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Can we even do a loft conversion?

(13 Posts)
DinkyDye Sat 23-May-15 17:38:31

We have a 2 bed end of terrace in SW London and I've started to think about maybe needing bedroom 3 when DD2 arrives...but I'm going around in circles with how to do this! I'm swinging between moving house (which means area and would be well outside London) or getting a loft conversion.

Thing is, our roof is (I think) gable so an upside steep V but going left to right, not front to back so I can't see how a dormer could be added (I'm pretty certain a side dormer wouldn't be allowed as it's a conservation area and I don't think they look great tbh).

If we do a conversion I'd want the master bedroom with an ensuite up there (I think for a pretend 3 bed home 2 toilets are needed).

I know we need to speak to someone professional but before I kick that off just wondered if MN could help me confirm if we could even do this??

Spickle Sat 23-May-15 19:08:52

Could the windows be triangular shaped to fit the upside V? Usually not a problem with the rear but the front would be more problematic. Perhaps a stained glass frosted small window at the front (en-suite) and full V shaped see-through window at the back (bedroom) and if not possible, how about velux windows on the side rather than dormers?

DinkyDye Sat 23-May-15 19:53:36

Velux windows would work but how would we get more room that a dormer provides? Because it's only a 2 bed house l dont think there would be enough room for double + ensuite without that extra space iyswlm?

ThunderboltKid Sat 23-May-15 22:30:17

Side dormer comes under permitted development I think, so you wouldn't need planning permission anyway (though I agree they are ugly!)

RCheshire Sun 24-May-15 08:19:48

Bear in mind that permitted development rules change within a conservation area. You'd need to talk to local planning.

Spickle Sun 24-May-15 08:26:41

Agree with RCheshire. It's a conservation area so you do need to speak to planning to find out whether dormer windows on the side would be allowed. I'm thinking not.

nievesdesign Sun 24-May-15 09:11:44

Hi RCheshire

Depending on the size of the roof, and whether or not you have permitted development rights on your property, it may be possible and likely that you will be able to change your "hipped" roof (which is what your roof is called) to have a "gable" end. (essentially, imagine that your roof ridge went straight across just like the houses in the middle of the terrace)

Then you can have a regular rear facing dormer or mansard added to give you all the space.

Be aware that what you can or can't do may depend on exactly where your property is located, as well as the internal layout. If you have permitted development rights you will be able to have a little more freedom for a conversion as long as it is designed within the restrictions of the legislation. Otherwise it is down the planning route.

I'm currently dealing with a number of loft extensions in Kingston, Wandsworth and Hammersmith and each council has slightly different preferences under planning. It's worth taking a look on your councils planning website to see what others in the area have been getting permission for.


DinkyDye Sun 24-May-15 09:29:34

I don't want side dormers as l think they look ugly. Not sure if we could change the roof shape (thanks for letting me know correct terminology! ) due to the design of the house but l will look at the local planning portal and see.

Our neighbours had an extension and conversion approved but their roof is the right shape for it.

I was under the impression that as long as it didn't change the look of the house from the front it would be ok.

Spickle Sun 24-May-15 09:48:33

DinkyDye - you are correct in that if there are no changes in the look of the house from the front you are generally ok. However, that leaves your roof shape as it is and if you do not want dormers at the side but do want the extra space they provide, I'm not sure how you would get this at the rear?

My friend has a two bedroom house with a loft conversion and en-suite and it seems to work well. The en-suite is small (in the corner) but the bedroom is a decent size with fitted wardrobes into the sloping ceiling. I think it looks great and she doesn't have dormers, only 1 window at the rear and 1 velux in the en-suite, so you'd have no idea it's there from the front view.

DinkyDye Sun 24-May-15 09:54:03

Thanks Spickle, l'll ask DH if he thinks we would need the dormer as l've always spoken about it so we've never considered not having it!

I haven't actually been up in the loft either...that might be something to do this weekend.

Lucked Sun 24-May-15 09:55:24

If you sell and move the next person will probably do a side dormer if it's permitted. If it was a choice of side dormer or moving out of London I would go for the former if it was allowed.

Sounds like it is worth getting an architects opinion, I don't think all side dormers look awful, it depends on the house.

DinkyDye Sun 24-May-15 10:18:32

I know Lucked, and that would probably really annoy me as I'm not sure we're ready to leave London but would love a bit more room!

Ok l think l will speak with an architect and see what our options are.

TeddyBee Sun 24-May-15 17:56:42

We did a hip to gable loft conversion under PD. Was actually an improvement to the way the house looked as there had been a vile side dormer on before! I've seen nice ones though, with pretty pent tiled roofs, that actually looked quite sweet and characterful.

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