Across the North East there are a dozens of house types, and some loft conversions suit certain designs better than others. It all depends on what kind of house you live in.
Also, your budget can dictate what kind of loft conversion you can add to your home.
Internal loft conversion
This is one of the cheapest types of conversions and it very much what many think of when they talk about converting an attic space.
Basically, it is creating a room within the confines of the space you have in your loft area. They usually include Velux windows in a sloping roof. Access is made through a staircase that links the space to your room below.
These are fairly quick to construct and because they barely alter the external appearance of your house, they raise no, or very few, objections from council planning authorities. Some may not need any kind of planning consent.
But there is a drawback! The loft space needs to be quite large for it to work well. Also, if the minimum ceiling height is less than 2.2meters from the floor, the conversion won’t meet building regulations.
Whether you have a modern semi-detached house in Kingston Park or a Victorian town house in Tynemouth, a dormer will work for you.
Dormer conversions are suitable for all house types and create a versatile space. Some people do not like the window protruding from the roofline. But that window can provide the perfect place to add a comfy chair so you can see above your street.
Extra light that is produced from the window also makes it a perfect place for a bed, with the early morning sun rays adding natural light.
Dormers are suitable for older houses in conservation areas, such as within Durham City, as they fit in with the aesthetic of the property. As a result, they usually gain planning approval.
Like the dormer, the L-shaped dormer is ideal for period houses, such as Victorian houses in Gateshead’s Low Fell or Edwardian homes in Newcastle.
Victorian houses and end terraces are perfect for L-shaped dormers because they can almost replicate the first floor space. This means you will have a large space that is suitable for a variety of uses.
One dormer is constructed over the main body of the house and another is connected over the rear extension that is common in Victorian terraces. The dormers meet to create an L shape.
Some of these loft conversions attract ‘Permitted Development’ status if they do not exceed 40 cubic meters. They aren’t suitable for all housing types but if you have the right house and the budget, they can transform a house and add value.
The full-width dormer takes longer to construct and is more expensive the other types of dormer. But if you can afford a full-width dormer it will add even more space than other types.
You can also create stunning features, such as dramatic windows and Juliet balconies that face your garden. They are perfect if you want to add an extra living space for a teenager as they are like a self-contained flat.
Many householders favour the full-width dormer because they do not change the appearance of the house at the front. Full-width dormers suit any kind of house but take longer to build than other kinds of dormer loft conversions.
Terraced properties, like those in Newcastle’s Jesmond, often feature mansard conversions. You will notice them if you look at the rear of a house and see a large addition.
They are different to dormers because they cannot be contained within the headroom of the loft.
Some houses have a mansard conversion to both the front and rear and they are effectively adding an extra floor.
The result is a huge extra space for a growing family or someone who wants to add dressing rooms and bedrooms to the loft space.
Mansard conversions require planning permission as they need major structural change. Due to their scale and the building and design work required, they are expensive to construct. But you will add considerable value to your home if you add a mansard conversion.
Hip to gable
This type of loft conversion is perfect for 1920s and 1930s semi-detached houses, which you see across the North East.
The hip to gable conversions create a new gable, which is perfect for adding a full-length window to create a space with lots of light and stunning views.
Like the mansard, it changes the appearance of your house and needs planning permission. It can be an expensive conversion and construction can take some time.
If you want to talk about loft conversions, contact us today for free advice.