Types of loft conversion

How do you choose the best type of loft conversion for your home? Loft conversions are popular in the UK since they take advantage of transforming the empty space in the roof into a functional room. Which type is most suited for you?

A loft conversion in London will improve and add value to your property and you will also be eligible for a numerous of other benefits. However, the installation of a loft conversion is a complicated process due to the large amount of work involved, permitted development rights and difficulty in finding the matching type of loft.

For example, when designing a loft conversion in UK you will have to consider the variety of roof types and shapes, from almost flat to steeply pitched; arched or domed; single flat sheet or complex arrangement of slopes, gables and hips; or truncated to reduce the overall height.

6 Types of Loft Conversions

l-shaped loft conversion
  1. Dormer
  2. Mansard
  3. Flat Roof
  4. Hipped roof
  5. Gambrel
  6. Velux or roof-light
Dormer loft conversion London

Beautifully design your loft with Proficiency

1. Dormer

Dormer loft conversion is the best option for a London homeowner who wants to create additional space in the house. The dormer loft is built vertically on top of an already existing sloping roof and will require planning permission. It will also require a relatively simple building works. With vertical walls and a horizontal ceiling, the extension provides both extra floor space and headroom, immersed in natural light from the dormer windows.

Mansard Loft conversion London

2. Mansard

Mansard loft gets its name from the famous French Architect Francois Mansard. These lofts are usually located on the backside of the home with flat roof type. They have a steep inward sloping angle of 72 degrees (may be curved) with small dormer windows.

Mansards loft conversion became very popular in London due to the benefit of maximising the attic space and the ability to make use of all roof space.

These types of loft conversion could be the preferred option in sensitive areas and / or where original framework of the property is the available option in order to maintain the property's character.

Generally Mansard owners prefer a flat room Mansard style due to it being the most cost effective. However, the majority of mansard loft conversion in London will require planning permission because it involves structural work and the roof shape will be reconstructed.

L-shaped mansard loft conversion

The space inside the loft and resale value of the house can be increased considerably by implementing L shaped mansard

This type of loft conversion is very suitable if you want to convert the attic into an open-plan bedroom with en suite.

l shaped mansard loft conversion

Double Mansard

A double mansard loft conversion is quite similar to a normal mansard conversion except that it features a mansard to the front side of house too.

This loft conversion will greatly increase the space as it includes adding a mansard to both the rear and front sides of the house and both sides of the roof will be kept open.

Since in this conversion, changes will be made to the front design of the roof too; therefore, it might be difficult to carry out this type of loft conversion in some cases even if you have the planning permission.

3. Gambrel (curb, kerb)

This roof is quite similar to a mansard roof except that it has a symmetrical two-sided roof with each side containing two slopes and vertical gable ends. Of the two slopes, the upper one has a shallow angle and the lower one has a steep angle.

Gambrel roof provides the advantage of a sloped roof while also maximizing headroom inside the building’s upper level. Most cases gambrel loft will require planning permission.

Hip to Gable loft conversion

4. Hipped roof

For the Hipped roof type, a hip end is the sloping end to a roof and a gable is the triangular section of wall which stands between two sloping roofs.

Keeping this in mind, you could consider between various types of hipped roof loft conversion such as:

Hip to Gable

This type of hip roof loft conversion option is preferred for houses with a reasonably small internal volume using a smart solution to maximise their space.

This type of conversion increases the size of the attic space by changing the sloping side of the property to a flat gable end and allowing space for the staircase. It extends the roof's ridge line from the existing hips to the furthest vertical wall.
Similarly to the double mansard types of loft conversion that changes the outline of the roof, hence a planning permission could be required.

Hip or hipped

A hipped roof is sloped in two pairs of directions in contrast with the one pair of direction for a gable roof type.


Hybrid of a hipped and a gable roof.

5. Dutch gable (Gablet)

The reverse hybrid of a hipped and a gable roof.

Cross hipped

Joining two or more hip roof sections together results in an L or T shape formation or any other number of different and more complex formations.

The most common hipped roof type is the hip to gable loft conversion which gives you a much larger living space in the existing attic area, allows you to gain the best staircase positioning, could even accommodate a shower-room and increase standing space.

velux loft

6. Velux or roof-light loft conversions

As velux are the leading window brand and manufacturer of the types of windows used in this loft conversion, velux loft conversions were named after them. It is one of the most cost effective way to convert a loft and it involves creating a roof with sloping window(s) pointing towards the sky fitting to the existing roof line and leaving the original roof structure untouched. Therefore, planning permission is not generally required.

In this type of loft conversion velux windows are installed to the existing roof line, hence no large alterations need to be made to the roof, while keeping the costs of the conversion lower.

Loft conversion with roof terrace

Loft conversion with roof terrace

Loft conversion with roof terrace is ideal for you if you don’t have much space for your own terrace around your property. On the other hand, if you do have a balcony or terrace, this loft conversion can upgrade that into a special outdoor space you can enjoy with your family.

If you want a beautiful outdoor space, you can never go wrong with this type of loft conversion.

Loft conversion with roof terrace are more popular in areas with a large number of flats as space is difficult to find and gardens tend to be either small or dark, or both.

A Planning permission will be required for this type of conversion, but planning regulations have become more relaxed in relation to loft conversion with roof terrace.

Things to consider when planning for majority types of loft conversion

Issues Explanation
Roof spread Can be extremely serious and may not show up until months or years later. Badly converted garrets represent extremely poor value for money - sometimes costing twice the original estimate to get them right.
Leaks By poor insulation leading to condensation, poor ventilation leading to rot, and even fire danger.
Planning While adding a garret to your property will give you additional space, it will also create large forces to the structure, so proper planning and structural support may be required.
Ceiling ties Getting enough space through the ceiling ties to put the stairs in, is another frequent issue.
Materials There are different types of roofing materials based on lowest cost, aesthetics, resale value, DIY-ability.
loft conversion
type of loft

However also bear in mind the benefit of having lofts. Now head over to Project page to see Ian's loft conversion in Twickenham and see why he is pleased with his new renovated home.

Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.