dark mode light mode Search

The Basics of a Dormer Loft Conversion: All Your Questions Answered in One Place

The Basics of a Dormer Loft Conversion: All Your Questions Answered in One Place

Are you dreaming of having a master suite, or an extra kid’s room but don’t know where to find the space for it? Maybe you’d want a gym, a home office, or an additional bathroom? You might also be looking for a way to add significant value to your home. Whichever the case, we are here to tell you that there is definitely a better way to utilize the space in your attic than as a dumping zone for neglected items. Yes, you might have guessed it already, you can have it all with a dormer loft conversion.  

However, before you go ahead with your project, let us walk you through the basics of a dormer loft conversion.

What is a dormer loft conversion? 

One of the most accessible and most popular forms of home improvement worldwide is a dormer loft conversion. It is highly praised as a great way to add an extra square foot to your house. To be created, a box-shaped structure is added onto a pitched roof, where the walls usually sit at a 90° angle to the floor. This type of construction is versatile and works with a variety of roof pitches and property types. What is vital, it allows for higher headspace and maximizes floor base.

What is the average cost of a dormer loft conversion?

Typically, a loft conversion can cost between £21,000 – £44,000. However, before you opt for a building project, make sure to check the estimated costs in detail since prices for dormer loft conversion depend on various factors. The two most essential ones that need to be considered are the type of conversion you choose and, naturally, your property’s size. Yet, when planning your budget, do not forget to consider costs for fittings, fixtures of the proposed construction, and the complexity of the project.

 The Basics of a Dormer Loft Conversion: All Your Questions Answered in One Place

How is it done?

A dormer loft conversion can be gable-fronted or hipped-roofed and involves constructing a vertical wall from the bottom of the sloping roof. A flat roof is then built to meet the vertical wall to give maximum headroom in the loft extension. The dormer structure is attached to the existing roof, with a wooden support structure and a steel frame. There is also the option to use blocks and brick gables. Compatible concrete or slate tiles are then used to ensure the dormer blends in with the existing architecture. In the end, plastic or wood fascias are fitted, along with gutters and downpipes. 

What are the loft conversion key considerations?

#1 Space: This one may be obvious. Still, before you decide on a dormer loft conversion, you must ensure that your loft or attic can be transformed into a fully usable room. Pay attention to the roof-pitch and ceiling height. They are vital to any loft conversion, but especially for bedrooms and studies. To achieve maximum commodity, ensure you have 2.5m of vertical space.

Another imperative is the floor space, so envision if the place will look good after adding stairs, furniture, and storage. Stairs are especially critical, as they should rise from an existing staircase or hallway. 

If the attic is currently used for anything else, like plumbing, heating, or water tanks, consider whether they will need to be moved and placed elsewhere.

#2 The type of conversion: There are several different types of dormer loft conversions. The variations in their design and construction make them suitable for different styles of property. The one most fitted to your home will depend on your house type (whether it is terraced, semi-detached, or detached) and your actual roof shape. 

There is a flat roof dormer that is the simplest go-to option when no planning permission is required. Then we have the pitched roof dormer which is used when the dormer itself has a pitched roof, usually by bungalows. The double-pitched roof option means that two pitched roof dormers are installed side by side. The mono-pitch dormer is used by houses where the roof is angled from the ridge to the edge. In the mansard dormer, the brick gables and the dormer’s front are angled at 70°. The L-shaped dormer is made by two flat roof dormers which are joined and angled at 90° to each other and it is usually used for Victorian terraced properties. In the low ridge dormer, we have a flat roof dormer which is built to create a head and floor space, usually in houses where the ridge height is challenging.

#3 Legal considerations: Dormer loft conversions are mostly done to the rear or sometimes to the side of the property, in which case you are more likely to be within permitted development. However, a good rule of thumb is always to check with your local authority before starting any loft conversion. Activities that are usually undertaken are: checking the floor’s structural strength, stairs’ safety, and the existing structure’s stability. 

#4 Professional help:  Whether you will need professional assistance will largely depend on your project’s complexity. However, even if your conversion involves a small amount of structural work, we advise you to choose an architect or building engineer. 

 The Basics of a Dormer Loft Conversion: All Your Questions Answered in One Place

Is a dormer loft conversion worth it?

A dormer loft conversion gives you endless possibilities when it comes to transforming your loft. It is a great way to add extra square footage without infringing on the garden or interrupting the flow of the rest of the house. 

Additional good news is that your heating expenses won’t increase much because a loft conversion can actually make your home more energy-efficient compared to having an extension on the side of your home or a conservatory.

Another important fact is that many dormer loft conversions do not need planning permission as they can fall under permitted development. Exceptions are the size and the location of the extension.

Upgrading your home with a dormer loft conversion is also appealing to homebuyers. If you decide to move, your loft conversion will improve your home’s value by at least 20%.


Lofts and attics can often be forgotten areas that collect clutter and dust. However, they can become one of the most beautiful (and profitable) living spaces with the right ideas and investment.

The converted space can be used for just about any purpose – a main or guest bedroom, study, studio, or children’s playroom – often with less disruption than a significant extension to an existing living space. A dormer loft conversion can also add a considerable amount of value to a property, making this conversion idea even more appealing.