Design Options for Loft Conversions Part One - Dormers & Roof Windows

Following on from our recent blog examining your insulation options for Loft Conversions, we thought it may be useful to examine some of the options for bringing light and ventilation into your proposed loft conversion, along with maximising any views and giving your rooms some desirable design features.

There are a few fundamental issues to be considered when you are thinking about the layout for your loft conversion and how it might work. The first is how to get a staircase up to the new loft rooms from the floor below whilst trying to a) make it look as original to the house as possible, b) maintain the minimum headroom or more as you rise up with the stairs in order to meet building regulations, c) ensure you have a landing area at the top of the stairs of sufficient size and headroom to meet buidng regulations, d) ensure that the finished loft space (after insulation and structure etc) is of a useful size and shape, and e) examine whether you have enough width and height in the finished roof space to have a functional, useable room, or perhaps you may need to consider one or more dormer windows to the roof slope to help with useable roof space?

In most cases if you are not altering the shape of the roof in any way, or installing any window which protrudes more than 150mm above the roof line, then you will often not require Planning Permission to be applied for for your loft rooms (there are exceptions to this so we would always advise checking with your Local Authority Planning Department to make sure of this). You can also use Velux "Conservation Windows & Flashings" in sensitive planning and conservation areas which help to lower the window into the depth of the roof more and give less impact.