They may not have the same popularity rating as rear house extensions these days, but loft conversions are still incredibly popular.

And it’s easy to see why. They are a great way of adding an extra room and living space to your home, without having to put up with the hassle and disruption of major structural work. Here are another three major benefits of a loft conversion over a rear extension:

Loft conversion vs rear extension

Depending on how elaborate you want your loft conversion to be, nine times out of ten a loft conversion is far less expensive than a rear extension. And yes, it will still add thousands of pounds onto the value of your home when – and if – you come to sell and move on.

Another plus of having a loft conversion is that, unlike a rear extension, it doesn’t cost you any garden space. In fact, quite the opposite. For, unless you have storage up in your loft, it’s probably just a big chunk of wasted space that it’s time you put to use and got the benefit of. And, anyway, with gardens being at a premium in London right now, you want to hold on to as much greenery as you can.

Another benefit of a loft conversion over rear extension is that you don’t usually need planning permission, especially if you’re opting for a dormer loft conversion. If you’ve decided on the more elaborate Mansard then you’ll definitely need to seek your council’s approval. And that brings us on to our next point – what type of loft conversion will be best for your project.

Different types of loft conversions

Velux Conversion/ Attic Conversion – This is when the actual size or shape of your loft doesn’t change, but you introduce light in the form of Velux windows. The floor will need to be reinforced and the windows fitted but apart from that, you’re good to go. Although it may be a good idea to get custom built storage cupboards for the eaves because of their unusual shape. Actually, there is one stipulation for this type of conversion and it’s that there is at least 2.1 metres of head height in the centre of the room.

Because it’s so basic, this is the least expensive form of loft conversion. And yet, it’s still effective in the sense that you’ve gained another usable room in your home.

Dormer – A dormer has vertical walls and a horizontal ceiling. It is the most common type of loft conversion, as the flat roof dormers often add the maximum amount of additional space. This opens up head room at the loft, giving more space and a less awkwardly-shaped room to decorate. The dormer extension could also be extended to wrap around the side of the roof too, forming an L-shape.

This type of extension is usually allowed under ‘permitted development’ laws which means it can’t be too different from the rest of the house in terms of materials used and colour.

Mansard – The most complicated and detailed form of loft conversion, this type of conversion has a flat roof with the back wall sloping inwards at an angle of 72 degrees. Windows are usually housed within small dormers. Mansard loft conversions normally require planning permissions due to large changes to the roof shape and structure. They look particularly good on older traditional properties and provide both plenty of room and light. It’s also the most expensive form of loft conversion currently available.

Hip to gable – This type of conversion requires the roof to be stripped back to the top of the hip ends, the flank wall built into a gable, and extending the ridge to meet the gable. This type of conversion requires reconstruction of some of the front roof.

This type of conversion works well for bungalows, in particular. Like the Dormer loft conversion, it usually falls under ‘permitted development’ regulations.

Get in touch!

If you’d like to hear how a loft conversion could work for your home then get in touch with us here at Eternal Design and Build for a free consultation. Call on 02084881230 or 07728034763. Or, email via