Thinking about getting more space out of your home? Loft conversions and home extensions help you maximise your property – from adding that much-needed bedroom or home office, to creating an open-plan kitchen-diner for the whole family to enjoy, they have the potential to transform your everyday life. If you’re having trouble deciding which type of renovation is right for you, check out our handy guide to the different types of loft conversions and extensions.
What are the different types of loft conversions?
Is your loft a dumping ground filled with junk that’s gathering dust? With one of these four loft conversions, you could transform it into a new room with unlimited potential.
Skylight loft conversion
This is the simplest conversion. It requires no changes to the roof and no planning permission. The addition of skylight windows make a previously dark loft space bright and usable.
Hip to gable loft conversion
If your house has a hipped roof, i.e. where the roofs slope inwards, the simple addition of skylights probably won’t be enough to give you the headspace for a spacious room. A hip to gable conversion turns those sloped sides into vertical walls, without changing the loft’s original footprint – another option that doesn’t typically require planning permission.
Dormer loft conversion
Dormer conversions are the most popular, as they can dramatically increase the usable floor space. Essentially this is an extension that projects out from the sloping roof of your loft. The use of large windows can bring in vast amounts of light, creating a fantastic bedroom with en suite, an office space, or a bright and airy playroom. While there are restrictions, these usually fall under permitted development so don’t require planning permission.
Mansard loft conversion
This is the most construction-intensive type of loft conversion, and therefore usually the most expensive. It involves the removal of a sloping roof, which is then replaced with a flat one and an almost vertical wall. Dormer windows are often added too. While they do usually require planning permission, mansard conversions have the potential to create the largest space in your loft.
What are the different types of home extensions?
If you’ve got side returns and garden to spare, one of these extension types might be the perfect way to get the extra living space you crave.
Built into an alleyway or space next to your home, the side-return extension is a popular choice for terraces, where space is at a premium, or where an inadequate extension already exists. The additional square footage this adds, either as a separate room or as part of a larger, open-plan space, can make all the difference.
Rear or side extension
Why not sacrifice a bit of your garden, either behind or to the side of your house (for those with detached or semi-detached properties), for the numerous benefits an extension can bring? Downstairs living space can be increased dramatically whether you add functional new rooms – such as a downstairs bedroom suite or home office – or bring the outdoors in with the addition of bifolding doors and a new patio or deck, so you can enjoy your garden, whatever the weather.
By combining side and rear extensions to an existing property, you can gain vast amounts of additional space, creating a sweeping, open-plan area for kitchen, dining and living. Wrap-around extensions can be substantial and are more commonly found on detached properties with large gardens.
If you’re going to go to all the trouble of extending your home, you might as well get the most bang for your buck. Because the major works, such as the foundations, are the same no matter how many storeys an extension is, the cost of a second or even third storey will be about half of the ground-floor extension. It’s worth considering, especially if you don’t want your home to be bottom heavy, i.e. not enough bedrooms and bathrooms to match the downstairs living space.
Please note that while an extension or addition to your house can be considered a permitted development – one that does not require an application for planning permission – this is subject to a number of limitations and conditions, based on the size, area, height and other factors. For more detailed information about whether planning permission will be required for your project, visit planningportal.gov.uk.