Converting your loft could be the best home improvement you can make in terms of value for money and increasing your living space. But the problem is they are often poorly designed and the end result can be an eyesore that really detracts from the original property. At Holland and Green we strongly believe that loft conversions can be well designed and an exciting addition to your property.

When our clients bought their three bedroom terraced house it needed a vast amount of renovation. But they liked the location and could see that with a bit of TLC the house could be transformed into something spectacular. Like many Victorian terrace houses, the bathroom was situated on the ground floor just off the kitchen.

So the first priority was to try and gain an additional bathroom upstairs and after taking a look in the loft, we saw the perfect opportunity for a good sized luxurious bedroom as well as an ensuite bathroom. This allowed us to change one of the existing first floor bedrooms into a large family bathroom.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), adding an extra bedroom is the best way to add value to your home, and while adding value to the property isn’t always the main priority for a project, it’s always a bonus if the improvements offer a good return on investment.

The Plan

The homeowners were looking for a high quality finish for this conversion. The space is L-shaped with chimneys to consider, so the design needed careful planning.  We enjoyed working on this project as the clients were open to creating an exciting design that also complimented the look and feel of the exterior of the house.  Loft Conversions don’t need to be the eyesores that have become the norm — with a bit of thought and design they can be really striking spaces both internally and externally.

Challenges

It was also important to ensure party wall agreements were in place as there are a number of shared walls which can make projects like this, more complicated. It’s advisable to seek advice if you share a party wall as you have a legal responsibility when it comes to carrying out certain works.

Design Details

We worked closely with our clients to design a conversion that included all the features they wanted.  They had some definite ideas and we were able to offer a few design concepts and helped them visualise how the loft space would work. Fortunately, they were not looking for another cheap and ugly box on a roof and we were able to use our design expertise to design something a bit more exciting than all the other loft extensions in the area.

The final design is a contemporary L-shaped dormer style, consisting of 2 new bedrooms — one with an ensuite.

The space is flooded with natural light thanks to the two large windows and the effect is an airy feeling not usually associated with lofts.  Our clients were aware that by converting the loft they were losing some storage space so the design includes some internal storage cupboards.

Stairs can sometimes be a tricky part of a loft conversion and often you need to borrow space from an existing room however, fortunately for the owners, with this house there was enough space above the existing stairs to allow us to design a full open staircase. The project was a perfect example of how with a well-considered design, a compact space can look remarkably spacious.

The homeowners were clear about the design they wanted and were happy to invest in the right materials to get the right finish.  Along with a number of premium products, bespoke powder coated Aluminium was used for the doors, glazing, facia and guttering.  Powder coated aluminium offers a contemporary and durable option being resistant to rust and offering a far better finish than timber or the plastic option so often used by the budget loft companies.  Using these higher end materials has resulted in a really exciting space that has undoubtedly improved the curb appeal of the property.

Planning & Building Controls

Gaining the right advice regarding what is and is not possible with planning is vital – especially if you are doing something a bit exciting with the design. In this instance, we were able to design everything so that it fell within Permitted Development and were able to gain a certificate of lawful development from the planning department. Thereby avoiding the need for submitting a full planning application. With this out of the way, our technical designers and the Structural Engineers were able to compile the detailed drawings ready for the build to start.

The End Result

We are really pleased with the final outcome. Our clients were a pleasure to work with and the end result looks as good as the original 3D Concept Designs. The space has an undeniably modern and fresh appeal — a breath of fresh air when compared to the run of the mill box dormers that surround it.  The aim of the project was to give the home an additional bedroom and ensuite but on commencing the design it was clear that we would be able to do so much more for the property.  The exterior of the house has been vastly improved, giving this traditional Victorian terrace a stylish modern contrast.

Comments
  • krishnaraj selvaraj

    Very good blog. As a design thought, I’m keen to know instead of a L Shaped dormer, is it possible to have a dormer between 2 valley’s. Tried to find out from web, but couldn’t. The end rear elevation should a Big — (flat dormer) between “M” Double pitched rear extension.

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