Converting the loft is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of adding space and value to a home — and in some instances can be achieved under Permitted Development without the need for planning permission. Whether you’re after a new bedroom, study, children’s playroom, cinema room, or even a kitchen as demonstrated in one of the case studies below, a loft conversion can be the perfect addition to your home.
Clever Conversion in Conservation Area
When the homeowners decided to create additional bedroom space within the roof of their semi-detached period property, located in a conservation area in south-east London, they approached architectural practice Design Squared for a solution.
Image: Design Squared
The resulting loft conversion and alterations to the property have provided one additional bedroom (top) in the loft space and one small bathroom (above) on a split-level landing. In order to bring plenty of natural light into the new accommodation, two conservation rooflights have been carefully positioned to enhance the internal space, while also minimising impact on the conservation area.
Due to planning policies affecting the ceiling height and controlling the window arrangement to the new bathroom, high-level eaves glazing was incorporated into the design, allowing natural light to enter the new space. This also avoided issues with overlooking the neighbour’s property — as well as adding wow factor to the room and drawing the eye up to the sky. Furthermore, the glazed panel increases the height and the sense of spaciousness.
A Contemporary Loft Conversion
This mid-terrace London house, though tall, was very narrow, with only two rooms on each floor, and one bathroom in the property. With a view to creating a family home, the homeowner (a director at Gruff Ltd) called on her firm to design a new loft extension to house a master suite with shower room.
A number of design devices were used in order to make this new addition feel as spacious as possible. For instance, in order to bring natural light into the house, frameless glass openings between the bedroom and the connected stairway, lit by a rooflight above, increases the feeling of space. Timber flooring was laid diagonally to disguise the skewed floorplan, providing the illusion of a larger room from corner to corner.
Externally, the contemporary dormer sits at the top of the Victorian house. The zinc cladding – which takes its cue from the metal used on surrounding roofs – contrasts against the brickwork, allowing the extension to be read as a new element among its Victorian neighbours. The size and framing of the large window aligns with the existing sizes of the windows of the house below to further tie in with the home.
Keen to maximise on the available space within her London flat, Jo Dyson has completely redesigned the property, creating a ‘reverse living’ loft extension, with the bedrooms and bathroom on the first floor and the kitchen and living space on the new top floor.
The new loft space now houses an open plan living room, kitchen and dining area, with bi-fold doors opening onto the south-facing roof terrace. With two large Velux windows, four rooflights, three sash windows and the bifold doors, sun floods in throughout the day.
The south-facing roof terrace enjoys sun for most of the day. On warmer days, when the bi-fold doors are pushed back, it joins the living room to the outside and creates a feeling of an extended relaxing space.
Thanks to a little imagination, Rick Croasdale and Gillian Wigley have given their Victorian home in Nottingham a remarkable character all of its own thanks to a renovation and new roof terrace.
Of the many changes to the existing property, one of the biggest was to the roof and master bedroom, situated in the loft space. “The existing roof had interlocking concrete tiles that were too heavy,” says Rick, “and so it was completely stripped and replaced with reclaimed slates bought from the demolition of a property at the back of the house. The 1970s flat-roof dormer was taken down and I designed and constructed a new dormer with patio doors to allow proper access onto the new roof terrace from the bedroom.”
The new exterior is one of the main highlights of the renovation, having been repaired and repainted, while the second storey of the rear extension has been turned into a brilliant conservatory bar.
A Loft Conversion for a Growing Family
With a growing family, and in need of extra space as their youngest son was getting too big for his box room-sized bedroom, the Levick family chose to invest in a loft conversion to their house in St Albans. Having seen a previous project from Econoloft nearby, the family enlisted the company to create their new space.
Econoloft built a full dormer conversion comprising a master bedroom (above) with a bathroom just off the landing. The 4 x 4.7m bedroom feels spacious, thanks to a huge floor-to-ceiling window to the rear, which lets natural light flood in, as well as two rooflights. The new space at the top of the house acts as a retreat for the parents, with their youngest son moving into their old bedroom.
“We feel like we are going to bed in a hotel room every night,” says Mark Levick. “We are not overlooked and thanks to the feature window we can enjoy a nice view of trees from our bed when we wake up. We don’t know how we ever managed without it for all these years. We know the conversion has added value and it has provided us with the space we need.”
Chris Dyson has painstakingly restored a Georgian town house to its former glory, transforming it into an interesting combination of old and new — as well as raising the roof to match the neighbouring properties and converting the loft space.
After transforming the ground floor into a gallery space for artists within the area to exhibit, and the basement converted into a ground floor flat and rented out, Chris along with his wife Sarah and two children now reside in the top three floors.
While the first and second storey comprise of formal living accommodation and bedrooms, Chris and Sarah chose to raise the roof with a new mansard addition in order to accommodate a new kitchen/family room which is filled with light thanks to patio doors which open out onto a roof terrace, providing much needed outdoor amenity space in this bustling area of London.