The mansard loft conversion takes its name from a French architect, Francois Mansard who was prominent in the 17th Century. Unlike other types of attic makeover, this one is generally constructed to the rear of your property. There are a number of other elements that set a Mansard apart from standard loft conversions.
There is only one of roof that is available with a Mansard, and it's a flat roof. However, it does feature a back wall which has to slope at a 72 degree angle
Most loft conversions don't require any planning permission unless the are 40 cubic metres in a terraced property or 50 cubic metres in a semi-detached or detached property. However, the Mansard is different and will require permissions. This is because it completely alters the overall shape and structure of your roof
Pros and Cons
One the plus side:
However, the negatives are:
Of all the different type of loft conversions that you could opt for, this is perhaps the one that will offer the most long term satisfaction because it blends into your existing house. The mansard is the most expensive of all the conversions, but it has the advantage of using your roof space to its fullest potential.
A hip to gable conversion is one where the roof is extended to meet the exterior wall. Most houses have a double sloped roof and where those slopes meet at the top is called the hip. The gable is the part of the end wall where there are no other properties joined to it. In a terraced house, the end terraces would have this, for a detached property, it's any of your outside walls. So now you know a little bit more about what this type of conversion is, what are the benefits, does it require planning permission and if you can't have one – what are the alternatives?
In order to have a hip and gable conversion, your builder will need to remove part of your roof. This will allow the floor reinforcements to be put in place before the gable wall is rebuilt. Once this is done your hip roof is the rebuilt to.
Do you need planning permission?
Typically, the answer would be no. Because, your completed loft space shouldn't extend past the end of your property boundary, then you won't need any permissions. There are building regulations that you'll have to satisfy, but these can be discussed with your builder and or architect.
Is my property suitable?
Most properties can have a hip to gable loft conversion. This includes; detached, semi-detached, bungalows and chalets. Only an end terraced house can one, unfortunately mid-terraced are not suitable.
What are the alternatives?
If your property isn't suitable, then you may want to consider having a side dormer. This means that your conversion will protrude from the side of your house. Alternatively, you could consider having a mansard conversion as these are typically constructed at the rear of your house
Pros and cons of a hip to gable
A hip to gable loft conversion is just one of the many ways you can successfully utilise the space in your roof. A conversion is a very clever way of maximising the potential your house has to offer without needing to go through all the hassles of moving. The hip to gable conversion offers a unique way to increase your attic.
A dormer is a type of loft conversion where the structural part of it protrudes or sticks out vertically from the sloped roof. There are several different types of dormers, and a number of pros and cons that are related to having this type of roof makeover for your loft space. It's also possible to have this attic conversion at the top and side of your house if possible, but planning permission may be required depending on the size you opt for.
There are many different types of dormer conversions that you can get for your loft. Here are just a few;
Flat – this type is a standard conversion with no frills. The flat roof is the most versatile of all the different types that you can aquire.
Hip and gable – this type of dormer is one of the more aesthetically pleasing styles. It is constructed by having a gable wall line built up from the existing roof line with the addition of three sloping walls of a hipped roof that eventually meet at the ridge of the dormer.
Eyebrow – it looks like an eyebrow! This type of dormer is perhaps more unique and aesthetically pleasing to look at. It's constructed in a similar to the hip and gable type, but with a curved roof.
Why get a dormer?
There are many reasons why people choose a dormer conversion over other loft types, and here are just some of the many pros and cons
Whatever your reason for getting a dormer conversion, you'll find that you are spoilt for choice in terms of its construction method and style. The variety that you can achieve ensures that your attic transformation will provide your home with an abundance of new useable space.
If you are in the market for a loft conversion, but have a tight budget or don't want the prolonged intrusion of building works, then a Velux could be the option for you. If you've heard of a rooftop or skylight conversion then you'll know soon realise that this type of conversion is the same. Why? Because, the only difference is they type of windows that are used and Velux is a brand name for the windows. Regardless of the type of skylight you opt for this type works by utilising all of your accessible loft space because you only have windows installed.
Not just Windows
Ok, as with any loft transformation, you will need to spend money on a few essential additions in order to meet building regulations. These include, but aren't limited to;
Stairs – unfortunately in order satisfy building regulations and fire safety specifications, the access to the attic must be via a stair case. Loft ladders or any type of ladder that isn't a stair case will be considered unsafe
Flooring – you might be incredibly light, but rafters aren't designed to have a thin piece of wood placed over them and walked over for lengthy time periods. Again, to meet set building standards, the floor will need to be of adequate thickness and it will need to be fixed
Insulation – science states that 'hot air rises', and for this reason you will need have insulation in the new walls of your velux conversion and some sort of sound proofing for the floor below
You shouldn't need any planning permission because you aren't making an structural changes to the size of your property. One of the advantages of velux is that you are simply maximising what you already have.
If it's just windows, why are they so special?
The thing that makes these windows so special is there ability to flood your loft with natural light. The can also be made in any size and are designed to fix any rood slope gradient – which includes a flat roof
The only real disadvantage that you may find, is that because you're only have windows installed and may not be creating any additional space, you won't add any potential value to your property.
A velux conversion may just be about purchasing a brand of windows, but they are probably the best and most versatile loft windows on the market.
One of the main concerns that people have when embarking on an attic conversion, it when is the best time to have it converted? The short answer to this, is whenever you like. It's your loft and your house, so you are in charge of deciding when you want the work to commence. However, as with anything in life, it's not always that simple and there are a few other things that you might want to consider.
Regardless of where in the world you live, the weather is changeable and no amount of obsessive forecast watching can change that. Severe weather warning happen and that could be a sudden down pouring of torrential rain, winds that nearly blow you away, Siberian snow showers or baking hot days. However, you can rest assure that if you don't experience one of those dreaded severe weather conditions, your builders will continue to work.
If you have booked a once in a lifetime break or have just scheduled a must need chance to escape, but your due to have your attic converted during that precious time, then inform your builder. The loft makeover should be arranged to fit with your time and those of your contractor. If you know that you are going away, then have it factored into the construction timetable. Likewise if your builder has planned holidays then you will need to be informed about this before work starts.
Do you need to have your loft conversion completed by a set date? You won't be alone in discussing this with your builder. The best way to avoid any continued building work taking place after a required date is to have the work started as soon as possible. Depending on the type of conversion that you go for, they will all take varying amounts of time to complete.
Everyone needs a plan and this is no different to having work carried out on your home. An attic conversion can cause significant upheaval in your home, so it is important to consider every eventuality. Discuss the plans with your chosen builder and make sure that your requirements and theirs don't just fit each others additional timetables, but they are realistic and achievable
There is no real right of wrong time to have an attic conversion. Although quite simply, it would be wrong to have it done if you are facing a severe weather warning, or you or the builder have a lavish 4 week break planned. Communication with your construction team and planning ahead are essential for this type of house project.
So, you've made the decision to make use of the space in your roof, but how are lofts converted. The simple answer is that they are transformed through building work with insulation, flooring and electrical fittings to turn them into a room. However, to ensure that it's done correctly, there are a few things that you'll need to consider.
Can it be done?
Before embarking on your conversion, you need to know if it can be done and whether or not if it's suitable for remodelling. One quick method is to check out other houses on your street. Can you see if any of them have got loft conversions – windows in the roof? Another way is to measure the head height, which means measuring from the floor to highest part of the roof. The minimum height for a conversion is 2.2metres. Alternatively you could ask a builder to inspect your roof, many will offer a free no obligation quote.
Do you have trusses or rafters?
You can check this by just looking through the loft hatch. Rafters run along the edge of the roof and create a triangular hollow space. Whereas, trusses run through the criss-cross section of the loft. The rafter option is the easiest to convert, however, a conversion with trusses is also possible but it will cost more as your loft will require additional supports to replace them.
Type of loft conversion
Now you've established that your loft can be converted, it's time to choose which type of conversion to go for;
Roof-light – by far the cheapest option. This type just involves having a skylight installed, laying secure flooring and adding suitable access to your new room.
Dormer – Generally the most popular type of conversion. Dormers are an extension that sticks out over the slope of the roof. They are also suitable for any type of house with a sloped roof.
Hip-to-gable – This works by extending the slop (hip) of your roof at the side of your property outwards to create a vertical (gable) wall. This type is only suitable for detached and semi-detached properties.
Mansard – these run the whole length of your roof and alter the overall angle to make it almost vertical. These are suitable for all property types
Sturdy reinforced flooring is essential for a loft conversion. As a new room it needs to be able to withhold regular foot traffic and adequate furnishings. No-one wants a wardrobe to fall onto them through the floor upstairs.
One of the common questions asked by people hoping to have a loft conversion, is whether or not planning permission is required. The answer is, no not really, but it depends. If you're not ready to hire a builder or an architect yet, there are ways to answer this question a little better.
As a simple guide, you won't need planning permission if your loft conversion meets the following requirements;
If you are unsure then just contact a builder or architect and they can help you
Whilst you might not need to get planning permission, you will need to ensure that your loft extension meets specific building regulations. The type of conversion that you go for will have set regulations that need to be met, but on a more general basis, these include;
The above lists aren't extensive and you'll find that there are many other things that need to be considered before having a loft conversion constructed. Whilst planning permission isn't always needed, there are circumstances when it will be required. Regardless of whether or not planning permission is required, there are building regulations that must be met.
The space at the top of the house, in the roof is so often just left there, or if we do dare to venture into open the loft hatch it's to put empty boxes or unused items out of sight. If this is you, don't worry, you are not allow as many others have 'dead space' in the attic. However, there are many more ways in which your can utilise that space in your roof. Below are just a couple examples.
A Full Loft Conversions
If you desperately need an extra room in your house, and have considered the moving option, a full loft conversion could be the next best thing. There are building regulations that a full conversion must adhere to, such as being a minimum height and not having criss-cross trusses. However, even if you don't meet the height requirements or have criss-cross trusses you could still opt for a full loft conversion. It will just cost more money because you need to factor in raising the room or having extra supports built in if you have criss-cross trusses.
Storage conversion/Part Loft Conversion
If your loft doesn't meet the height regulations or you have a loft with the criss-cross trusses, then another option is to convert it for storage or have a partial loft conversion . Be aware that this means that your loft cannot be used as a full time space – it isn't classed as an extra room. A storage conversion means that it can be utilised and organised better for storage. To achieve this, you will need to lay sturdy loft boards so that they can be walked on, or have items place on them. If you already have loft boards in place, then this is a good opportunity to de-clutter your attic and arrange it in a more manageable way. You may also want to consider having lighting fitted if you don't already have that in place too.
Is your home packed to the rafters with family members and belongings? Perhaps you are, or have taken up a new hobby such as photography or sewing and dream of having your own dark room or dedicated sewing room – then investing in a loft conversion could be a better option than scouring the housing market for a new house. Below are four great reasons for getting your attic transformed.
1) A new room
The first and most important benefit of getting a loft conversion, is that all important extra room. Your attic space can be transformed into a creative space, office, bedroom or even a new bathroom. Not only will having a new room be more beneficial to you and your family, but because it's higher up you can achieve the additional bonus of having a room with a view.
2) Could add value to your property
By creating that extra room, you may add value to your property. Research indicates that by adding an extra room your property price could go up, but you could just break even and get back the money you spent converting your loft. The attic is often considered to be 'dead space' or an area that is only used for storing long forgotten children's toys and items that have been collected over the years. By having a conversion, you are rejuvenating that space and putting it to practical use.
3) Increases overall property space
Getting a loft conversion doesn't just add an extra room to your property, a carefully planned and executed conversion can also create extra storage space too. What's more by converting your attic into a more accessible and useable room, you will reduce the pressures on the other rooms in your home.
4) No need to move
If you thought you had already found your ideal home and due to its perfect location for the daily commutes to school and work, but the only downside to it now is the need for more space – then a loft conversion can help. Depending on how much extra space you require, a conversion can save on the ever increasing costs of moving and it could work out to be cheaper.
If you are now looking at your loft hatch an considering the possibilities of investing in a conversion, then do it. Most builders will offer a few quote, and it's worth considering. Obviously not all lofts can be converted, but if yours can be then you have a lot more to gain than to lose.
How to utilise the space in your roof
If you have chosen or need to convert to space in your loft, then you will need to consider the costs that could be involved. There are two options to take depending on the viability of your roof space.
Option 1 – The basic conversion
Building regulations stipulate that the loft space needs to be greater than 2.2 metres – this is measured from the loft floor to the rafters above. If your house meets these requirements, then the following costs could be incurred and will need to factored into your overall budget;
Option 2 – Raising the roof
If your roof space doesn't meet the height regulations, then you could consider having the roof raised. This option is the most expensive because you will have to have your entire roof removed and rebuilt at the new higher level. In addition to this, you will also need to apply and successfully get planning permission, which could take a while. Once the new higher roof has been constructed, you will then incur the same costs as outlined in Option 1.
It is important to considered and budget for all possible costs when planning for a loft conversion. You will also need to ensure that building regulations allow for the conversion and that the roof meets the minimum requirements before embarking on any such work.
Benefits for an attic extension
BS1 Loft Conversions