Having a beautiful, airy loft to read, relax or host guests in is a dream for many homeowners. Fortunately, with a well-planned loft extension designed by experts, this vision can be brought to life. Whether you dream of designing a homely guest bedroom or you yearn for your very own mini sanctuary, having your attic space transformed with an extension opens up many possibilities. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are having their lofts converted into an idyllic living space.
In fact, you only need to have a quick scroll through Google, Instagram or Pinterest to see some of the creative and stylish ways people have transformed their attic spaces. However, with so much inspiration online and so many factors to consider, creating the perfect loft extension for you can seem overwhelming. You’ll want to make sure that you’ve found the right local contractors, chosen the perfect style and kept to your original budget to get the very best from your loft extension.
With this in mind, we at Abbey Lofts have created our very own guide to choosing the perfect loft extension for your home. Here we discuss some popular loft conversion ideas and some of the factors you may want to consider when designing the ideal loft.
Styles of loft room to consider
Having your loft extended isn’t a one size fits all operation. There are many different options and styles available to you, so it’s important to consider which one suits your existing interior design and preferred tastes. Here is a selection of the loft extension styles you may consider:
Dormer loft conversion
Dormer loft conversions are one of the most popular choices for homeowners in the UK due to the large amounts of space they can add to a loft. They’re easy to identify as they extend from sloping roofs and open up lots of vertical room within the existing loft space. However, the additional vertical room is just one benefit of having a dormer installed.
Not only can you benefit from lots of extra space, but by adding windows to your extension you can increase the level of natural light flooding into the upstairs of your home. Additionally, many dormer extensions don’t require planning permission, which makes them a top choice for homeowners who are looking for a hassle-free renovation.
Mansard loft extension
Mansard loft extensions, like dormer conversions, are also designed to optimise the space you currently have in your attic. Mansard extensions can only be installed in homes with a pitched roof, as they are built to extend from one of the sloping sides, and tend to take advantage of the entire plane of your house. There are many benefits to opting for a mansard style, including the fact they allow you to take full advantage of your attic space, making them another popular choice for many homeowners. In addition to this, they’re also very aesthetically pleasing as they can be designed to fit in with your existing external decor. Whether you love the idea of exposed brick or traditional rendering, the choice is yours with a mansard extension.
Modular loft extension
Unlike dormer and mansard loft extensions which are built into the existing roof, modular loft conversions are built separately and then lifted and attached to the building. Your home’s existing roof will need to be removed before the modular extension can be installed, so these require a great deal more work than other types of conversion. It’s likely that you’ll need planning permission for a modular loft, so this is something you’ll need to discuss with your chosen conversion specialists before making a decision.
Hip to gable loft extension
As many houses have been built with a sloping roof, trying to take advantage of available attic space can seem like a challenge. For this reason, hip to gable loft extensions are popular amongst homeowners with pitched roofs. With a hip to gable loft extension, the roof’s sloping wall gets replaced with a gable (i.e. a vertical wall), to create additional space within the attic, making this a suitable option for many detached and semi-detached roofs. If both of the roof’s walls are sloping, both of them will be replaced with a gable; this type of extension is called a double hip to gable conversion.
Roof light loft extension
Unlike dormer, mansard and hip to gable loft extensions, each of which are constructed by extending the attic from its roofline, roof light extensions are built using the existing attic space. As a result, roof lights are one of, if not the, cheapest styles of loft conversion. This style may be a top choice of conversion if you don’t have the space or budget to extend your roofline, yet still want to transform your dusty old attic into a beautiful living environment.
There are many different ways of creating the illusion of extra space within your loft, such as having large windows installed to allow more natural light to seep in. With a roof light conversion, your dream of having an airy and spacious attic could still come true.
Loft stair designs to consider
Once you’ve settled on the perfect style of loft conversion, whether you’ve fallen in love with a dormer or your heart is set on a roof light, it’s time to consider what type of stairs will suit your new room. When it comes to interior design, the magic is in the details – and this includes the stairs. After all, if you’ve spent a great deal of time and money creating the loft of your dreams, you’ll want to swap your rickety old loft ladder for a set of stunning stairs.
Depending on your current interior design and preferred tastes, the type of stairs you opt for may differ. Here are just three of the styles you may consider:
For a simple yet traditional loft conversion, you may consider installing a standard ladder. They’re sturdier than typical pull-down ladders, yet don’t take up as much space as a full staircase. There are many different styles and materials available, from classic wood to modern metal, so you’ll be able to choose an option to complement your existing decor.
Like a member of the royal family ascending their castle turret, adding a set of spiral stairs is a great way to add a touch of luxury to your loft conversion. Due to their unique shape, spiral staircases are also a great way to save space, as they can be tucked neatly into a corner rather than extending into the hallway or nearby bedrooms.
Electric loft ladder
For tech-savvy homeowners looking to save space, an electric folding ladder may be the ideal choice for you. You’ll be able to open and close your attic with just the push of a button, saving you the hassle of tackling it manually. This is also a great option if you have limited space underneath the opening of your loft conversion.
Styles of window to consider
When you picture a loft extension, the chances are you imagine a light, airy space with lots of sunlight flooding through large windows. Fortunately, with a few strategically placed windows, you’ll be able to bring this vision to life! Here are just a few styles you may consider when transforming your loft, depending on which type of conversion you have decided upon:
Dormer windows are a style of raised window which can be built into the sloping walls of the extension and are therefore ideal for properties with low ceilings. This type of window can allow lots of light to flood in, but as they’re raised from the roof, they are less simple to install than other styles, making them a more costly option.
Casement windows are a top choice for loft extensions with vertical walls and are also a popular way of making the loft extension fit in with the rest of the home. There are also many different styles of casement available, so whether you want traditional wooden frames or uPVC, the choice is yours.
Roof windows are built into the walls of the roof, and therefore don’t require any extra space for their construction. They’re also an ideal option for people who want to allow as much natural light as possible to illuminate their attic space, as they can be installed on front-facing walls for this purpose.
For more information about each type of window, check out our guide online.
Abbey Lofts: Loft conversion specialists and renovation contractors serving London and the South East
At Abbey Lofts, we understand that creating the perfect loft extension can be a fun and rewarding venture. That’s why we go above and beyond to help our valued customers get the best possible experience with first-rate loft conversion services in London and the South East. With over 14 years of experience, you can rely on our team of specialists to transform your current loft area into a beautiful and comfortable living space.
In addition to our loft conversion and extension services, we also offer kitchen refurbishment, kitchen extensions, design and planning solutions for homes in London and the South East. Whatever your requirements, you can trust us at Abbey Lofts to deliver great results every time.
For more information about our range of design services or to discuss the average cost of a loft conversion, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of professional renovation contractors today.