All About Dormer Loft Conversion: Loft Ideas, Loft Design, Loft Conversion

“It’s always affordable and convenient to extend than to move! Roof dormers not only enhance the architectural design of your home but also increase your in-demand living space. Read the full article to get complete guidance on dormer loft conversion ideas, permissions requirements, feasibility and cost.”


Loft conversions is an incredible way to extend your home and turn the loft space into the much-desired living expanse without using any extra space from the garden. Preferring dormer extensions is an affordable way to extend your home’s space with minimal disruption.  If you have got some unused space, get a hold of these incredible dormer loft conversion ideas, types, pros and cons, feasibility and planning permissions for your loft.

What is a Dormer loft conversion?

A dormer loft conversion is one of the most loved, preferred and affordable loft conversion types in the United Kingdom and is ideal for most of the home types in a built-up area. Here the sloping roof is extended vertically to create more usable horizontal space along with increasing the headspace.

A box-shaped structure is added to the pitched roof where the walls make an angle of 90 degrees with the floor. This extended structure protrudes from the sloping roof resulting in a larger, airy and livable room. This type of loft conversion is best suitable for terraced, semi-detached ad detached homes.

What can you use a loft conversion with dormer for?

Traditionally the word “dormer” was used in reference to provide natural light to loft or attic bedrooms. But, gradually this word evolved to new terminology and now extends beyond just bedrooms or sleeping spaces.

You can easily convert this extended space into your office area, gym, playroom, hobby area or indeed any way where this extra space can benefit your family and you.

Types of dormer loft conversion

Depending on the available space, your requirements and preferred style, dormer loft extensions can be of many types. Have a look:

  • Flat roof dormer:This type of dormer sits horizontally and has a flat roof. It can be added to both front and rear of the loft. This is one of the most basic options to extend your space, head height as well as boost plenty of natural light.
  • Shed roof dormer: Here, the roof of the dormer slops down at a slight angle. This is best suitable for homes having gable roofs.
  • Dog-house dormer: This dormer loft conversion is inspired by your classic dog house as the dormer rood has two pitched sides. It is also known as Gable fronted dormer.
  • Hipped roof dormer: Just like the dog-house dormer has two sides, a hipped roof dormer has three sides. People living in homes with a stylish build, often prefer this type of conversion.
  • L-shaped dormer: Both the walls or parts of the dormer form an L-shape and give an appearance of a box.

Is planning permission required for Dormer Loft Conversion?

The best part regarding dormer loft conversions is that they fall under the category of permitted development rights or PD. These rights give permissions to the homeowners to extend their loft without the need for any permission as long as strict guidelines related to loft expansion are followed.

Most of the dormers are found on the rear or side of the home, leaving the front part intact. But, yes in some cases extending loft and creating a dormer in the front do require certain permissions such as when the home overlooks the main road.

If your house is a maisonette, you would certainly need to get planning permission. Some other factors are also considered such as the location of the property, type of property, size of the loft conversion or your preferred style of the dormer.

Do any building regulations apply to dormer loft conversions?

Yes, building regulations do apply to loft extensions as you need to acquire a building control approval before commencing your work.

In case your home falls under the category of semi-detached or terraced, then you may likely obtain a Party Wall Agreement signed by your neighbours to avoid any future disputes.

It’s always recommended to consult a professional developer or construction expert to gauge the feasibility scenarios and other requirements for your home.

Let’s look at a few reasons, why your loft conversion got disqualified for permitted development?

  • The height of your loft extension or dormer exceeds the height of the original roof.
  • Living in a conservative area or listed building can turn out to be taboo in fulfilling your dreams.
  • If bats live inside your loft, then you need special permissions to disturb the home of these protected species.
  • Your dormer is overlooking or overshadowing your neighbour’s area.
  • If your dormer is exceeding the 50 m on a detached or semi-detached house, or 40 m for a terraced home.
  • Only Juliet balconies are permitted, everything else may result in disqualification.

 How much does a Dormer loft conversion cost?

The cost of Dormer loft conversion in and around UK depends on a lot of factors such as:

  • Type
  • Size
  • Fittings
  • Complexity
  • Fixtures
  • Location and area

But still, calculating rough estimates, a standard dormer loft conversion starts from £35,000. The cost depends from area to area as well. In London, the dormer loft conversion cost for a 20 sq. m. with a bathroom and other medium finishing will cost around £50,000 to £55,000 including all VAT as other finishing charges. Call a loft extension expert today to get your space analyzed and a perfect quote as per your needs and requirements.

How long will a loft conversion with dormer take to complete?

Assuming that everything goes as per the blueprints, layouts and timelines, you can expect your dormer loft conversion structure to be completed in around 4 – 6 weeks. Followed by 2 -3 weeks for finishing works, this means that you will be able to start using your dormer in less than 2 months.

Things you need to make a dormer loft conversion

Let’s look at the requirements for a dormer loft extension. Ideally, a home with a pitched roof and a good attic space would be a suitable thing for dormer extension. Anyhow, the main requirements are:

  • Space: The minimum height required for a loft extension is 2.4m.
  • Access: To make the loft accessible, you will need a provision for a staircase that help you going to your newly built loft.
  • Removal: You may be having things kept in the unused space of your loft. Before going for loft extension, you will have to empty the loft and relocate the things to some other place.

What must be the minimum height for loft conversion with dormer?

Who doesn’t love to have an extra room with an attached bathroom that is too constructed in the existing space?

Most of the homes in the UK have a roof height of around 2.2 m to 4 m but for a trussed roof, the height is usually between 2.4m and 2.6 m. Most of the loft conversion experts just hung up the phone if the ceiling height is less than 2m.

But, many professionals offer wonderful dormer solutions even for heights less than 2 m with complete safety measures intact. This can be by rebuilding the roof or lowering the ceiling of the floor or rooms below the loft to make a good space.

Dormer loft conversion design considerations

Some design considerations that you need to consider before going for loft conversion with dormer are:

  • Ceiling height: You need a minimum height of 2.2 to 2.4 meters
  • Roof structure: Do you have a purling roof, trussed roof or a traditional cut rafter roof?
  • Space: Is the loft space enough to plan its conversion.
  • Services: Make sure that chimneys, water tank or other services don’t run through the loft space. If yes, plan their relocation.
  • Felt: Make sure that your roof is weatherproof or has felt underneath. Roofs with felt often have black bituminous placed inside the tiles which is visible from the inside of the home.
  • Structural integrity: The new dormer will be adding weight to your existing home. Make sure that the structure of your home can bear this newly added weight.
  • Proper insulation: Heat insulation is one of the prime concerns when it comes to loft conversions. Keeping a provision for underfloor heating helps to provide extra warmth in colder months.
  • Lighting issues: Go for dormer windows for extra natural and skylights.
  • Planning permission and building regulations: Loft extensions and conversions fall under permitted development category as far as they are following all the guidelines.

Pros and cons of loft conversion with dormer

The real estate market is notorious for its uncertainty. Some people don’t want or don’t have the budget to shift into a new home due to the increasing space demands of the family. Amongst this getting an extra room by dormer loft conversion would sound like a blessing. Wouldn’t it?

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of getting a loft conversion with dormer:


  • An Extra Room

Just dream it and the loft conversion experts are all there to realize it. Open the gateway to endless opportunities while you transform your loft.  Be it a cosy sleeping place for your growing kid or a peaceful study place, convert your loft into an extra room that addresses all your space concerns.

  • Cost-Effective Addition

Dormer loft extensions are significantly cost-effective when it comes to creating extra space out of unused space in your home. The cost differences are huge when you plan to shift to a new bigger house or construct a new floor for your family.

  • Less Strict Rules

Most of the loft conversion for dormer ideas falls under the category of permitted development rights. Of course, there are exceptions as already mentioned above. It’s always better to check with the professionals or local authorities before starting your loft extension.

  • Boost Home value

Upgrading your home with these brilliant loft conversions ideas and designs not only add an eye-catching aesthetic appeal to your home but also boost its value. Your ROI (return on investment) is significantly increased by 60-65% after loft transformation.

  • Improved ventilation

Most of the time, loft conversions are done in multi-story homes where the air could be stale and stuffy in the upper areas. The dormer windows allow fresh air to breathe and a great ventilation system for improved air circulation. In addition to this, you get a room with a beautiful view.

  • Potential Exit

The dormer window can act as a potential exit in case of any emergency or if any mishap occurs. Just keep a rope or a chain ladder handy at the upstairs location.


  • Extra Costs

Constructing a dormer is not an overnight activity. It requires adept planning and construction time. Undergoing a dormer loft conversion would require additional materials as well. Apart from this cost, you may need to hire an architect, design consultant, project manager and professional builders for your project.

The cost and timelines may shift in case your home require re-roofing for dormer construction. Things turn out to be cost-effective when you plan loft conversion if you are building your new home or getting your roof replaced.

This clearly makes sense that the pros outweigh the cons of dormer conversion in every way. There is no second best option than to undergo a loft conversion for space expansion within your budget.

Is my home suitable for a dormer loft conversion?

In general, any home having a pitched roof and a good loft space can undergo dormer loft conversion.

Connect with home renovation and loft conversion experts near you to find out more. They will give you the right estimates as well as the best loft conversion design ideas that are best suitable for your home and enable you to gain maximum from home extension.

Bottom Line

All set to get an additional space upto 50 cubic meters in your existing home? Gone are the days when ‘moving’ was considered the best option. Things have undergone a drastic shift, now upgrading and improving are the buzzwords of today!

If you are considering having your own loft conversion done, why not do it the professional way!

Our expert designers and loft professionals help you get the best out of your home with transparent pricing options and the most innovative designs ideas ever.

Book a free consultation today!

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