How to gain more space with a loft conversion

What’s in your loft space? For me, it’s left over renovating bits and bobs from when we did the house up last year. For my in-laws, they’ve recently just decluttered theirs and have found mementoes going back to her school years (along with an impressive collection of my sister-in-laws old Polly Pockets). And like us, for the rest of you I’m sure it’s a similar story: junk, boxes you have no idea what’s in them, and Christmas decorations.

This means our lofts are, essentially, greatly under used spaces, which is why they are a fantastic area to convert – whether it be for spare rooms, a large master suite, or an extra living area and study.

Loft and dormer extensions can open up significant amounts of unused space in a home. Not only that, they are the best value in terms of cost per sq m, much more so than ground-floor extensions which are more costly due to the groundworks – good to know, right?

A loft conversion for your house is usually covered under permitted development – as long as it doesn’t exceed specifed limits and conditions, such as not going any higher than the highest part of the roof and using different materials to that of the existing house.

This means you won’t be required to send an application for planning permission to your local council, although other consents may be required if your house is listed or you live in a conservation area.

Loft conversion

To make the best use of space under the eaves of the loft conversion’s dormer, a bath was placed under the large roof light. Photography, Rachael Smith.

If you’re thinking of undertaking this type of project, if I were you I’d consider where the stairs will be placed, what plumbing you need if you’re going to have an ensuite or bathroom installed, and what to place in the often awkward eaves.


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You might want to think about dropping the ceilings to the floor below the loft to increase head height and make the space more usable. This is slightly more expensive, but not as difficult as it sounds.

A lot of additional structure needs to be installed to the new loft floor anyway, to support the structure, so it is often not that much more work or cost to install the  floor at a lower level.

Architects and construction companies should be able to help you plan the best loft conversion. There are also specialist loft conversion companies that can help.

Before hiring tradespeople, be sure to read reviews, visit their previous work, and get at least three quotes.

You may also enjoy: How to gain more space with a knock through

Featured image: By reconfiguring the layout and making better use of the loft, Granit Architecture + Interiors was able to add an extra 21 sq m of space to this apartment. A similar project would cost around £200,000.

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