Is a Loft Conversion Right for Me?

by | Jul 27, 2022 | Loft Conversions, Your Home

Loft conversions are a brilliant way of adding value and space to your home and can even help save on those dreaded energy bills, due to added insulation. In the UK, loft conversions tend to be a no brainer, but only if you can overcome any challenges. One such challenge is achieving adequate headroom:  Building regulations stipulate that loft rooms must have a minimum head height of 2.2 metres.

Enlisting an Architectural Designer, such as Arkiplan isn’t a requirement under building regulations but they can help design beautiful spaces, whilst navigating the minefield of planning applications and building control rules. Architectural Designers often come up with ideas that help maximise space and create plans that are highly functional for you and for your family – that often add even more equity to the existing property.

Most loft conversions can be carried out under permitted development, which essentially means there is no need to apply for full planning permission. However, there are some stipulations; this is the case, if they don’t exceed 40 cubic metres for a terrace or 50 cubic metres for a detached house, or if they don’t protrude beyond the existing roof excessively.

What are the different types of loft conversion?

  • Roof light conversion– the most cost effective and the least disruptive conversion, where a staircase and skylight windows are added in to create a habitable space.
  • Dormer conversion – this is the most popular type of conversion. Dormers are a box-shaped design that are added onto a pitched roof creating much needed space on the top of an existing structure. Dormers are very practical and can often fall under permitted development but if they are done wrong, they can quickly stand out like a sore thumb on any street.
  • Hip-to-gable conversion – these conversions offer an extension of the slanted ‘hip’ roof at the side of the property outwards to create a vertical ‘gable’ wall.
  • Mansard conversion – these are usually the most expensive type of loft conversion. A Mansard conversion is typically built to the rear of the property and has a horizontal roof with an almost vertical 72-degree back wall.


  • The cost of a loft conversion will depend on various factors such as the age of the property and the pitch of the existing roof. Creating a loft space that doesn’t turn out to be very costly or overly difficult is dependent on the following factors:
  • Sufficient headroom (a minimum of 2.2 metres). For example, if this headroom cannot be achieved, then raising the roof ridge or lowering existing ceilings needs to be considered – both of which adds on significant cost and disruption.
  • Floor joists are also a key factor. If existing floor joists cannot support the new structure then reinforced floor joists and/or steels will need to be factored in to support the proposed conversion.
  • Complying with current legislation via building regulations is crucial and fire safety adherence will be key in getting the new conversion passed by building control. If there isn’t sufficient space below the intended conversion to create a staircase that provides a fire escape and protection then this will be an added cost.

An Architectural Designer such as those at Arkiplan can help design and plan for the build of your loft conversion. They can help navigate through various building regulations to ensure the build is compliant and also fit for purpose. If you are planning a loft conversion, get in touch with us today and we would be delighted to assist in creating a beautiful space for you and your family.