Dormer roof conversions are an incredibly popular way to gain extra space in your home. Once upon a time they were only thought of as ‘dormer windows’ where a small window was built into an attic space – or garret. Over time, homeowners cottoned on to the usefulness of dormer windows and started to add whole rooms into their loft space with ever-wider dormer windows. And so the dormer roof conversion was born.
Unused roof space can now be added to and given purpose with a dormer extension that is anywhere from the width of a small window to a picture window, or even with several windows for a number of rooms.
A dormer roof conversion is the ‘lift-the-flap’ roof window: the one with fully constructed walls and roof to provide you with that extra space you want in your loft conversion. They’re the ones that look like the house’s periscope!
Many bungalow owners opt for a dormer loft conversion because it can increase a bungalow’s living space by nearly double, if done sensibly. Bungalows and terrace houses are the usual suspects for dormer conversions, because they are the properties that have the least option for extending outwards: upwards is often the only way.
With a dormer loft conversion, you’ll be adding significant space, and therefore value, to your property, which, in the current climate gives you the chance of staying put as your family grows and gives you an investment that will pay off when the housing market recovers.
Because the dormer conversion means that you’ll be changing the shape and look of your home, you’ll need to apply for planning permission. There is a quite a lot more ‘official’ stuff you have to deal with than with a Velux loft conversion
Planning permission aside, you also have to get a loft and house survey to ensure that your home’s structure is strong enough to accommodate another room. With an architect or loft conversion company expert, you need to draw up floor plans as part of your planning permission application.
Any building work that is done has to receive Planning and Buildings Regulations Approval and then get the building inspectors approval on completion, which means the work needs to be done by someone who knows what he (or she!) is doing. DIY or cowboy jobs done on the cheap could well end up costing you a lot more.
Aesthetically speaking, usually dormers have flat roofs built into a pitch roof because to put a pitched roof on a dormer means that, for the most part, the new dormer conversion would be taller than the original roof height, which is a no-go.
Most dormer loft conversions are fitted with double-glazed uPVC windows, which are easy to maintain, but for a price any kind of frame can be fitted. In this ‘sustainable’ market, though, the least carbon emitting frames are definitely preferred.
Dormer loft conversions not only changes the look of your house outside, but, for far less cost than an outward extension, it can add to your home’s value and to your family’s lifestyle.