Dormer loft conversions are the most popular style of loft conversion in London. Usually built into the existing slope of the roof, a dormer loft conversion can add up to 50 cubic meters of additional space to your home. Though there are different types of dormers (rear dormer, window dormer and side dormer), depending on the style of the property, many are designed in a way to maximise light and space. If you’re thinking of having a dormer loft conversion in London then read our top tips.
What should the ceiling height for a dormer loft conversion be?
When determining if your loft is suitable for a loft conversion you need to think about ceiling heights. A traditional roof is 2.2 to 2.4 meters high and the minimum height for a modern trussed roof is 2.4 to 2.6 meters. The preferred level of headroom for a habitable space is 2.3 meters. This height does not need to be maintained over the whole flooring area and a lower height may be acceptable for a bathroom, corridor or kitchen. If your head height is lower than the above, it may be possible to achieve this by lowering the ceilings of the floor underneath.
How do I get light into a dormer loft conversion?
In a dormer loft conversion, you can have natural light flooding in from dormer windows and skylights. If you have side windows overlooking a neighbour’s property, these windows must be made of obscured glass to comply with conditions of permitted development. Depending on your property it may be suitable for a Juliet balcony to be installed instead of windows.
Dormer loft bedroom ideas
Dormer loft bedrooms can vary in size and shape – some are conventional and others are more unusual in shape with architectural features such as chimneys and sloping roofs. For a child’s room, put the bed into a nook or under the sloping roof if possible. This creates a den-like feel and can help make bedtime more interesting.
For an adult room, painting it a cool colour, such as duck egg blue, has shown in studies to help you sleep better. Other colours that have also been found to improve sleep include pale yellow and moss green. If you have architectural features in your bedroom make the most of them, don’t try and hide them. Sometimes they can be used as storage spaces like in the image below.
Dormer loft en-suite bathroom ideas
High on most home owner’s wish list is an extra bathroom, particularly an en-suite. Dormer lofts lend themselves well to incorporating an en-suite bathroom. Depending on the size of your property en-suite loft bathrooms tend to be on the small side. However, that does not mean they cannot be beautiful. With a bit of creativity, you can fit a toilet, sink, bath and shower into even the smallest of spaces.
To keep the bathroom light and aired, dormer windows can be installed or if you have a sloping roof skylights are ideal – meaning you can have a bath while looking up at the stars. Or at least you can pretend those flashing lights are stars or comets and not a Boeing 747 coming into land at London Heathrow!
Exterior cladding for a dormer loft conversion
When planning a dormer loft conversion it is not just what’s on the inside that counts. What you clad your dormer in matters too. Depending on where you live in London, especially if you live in a heritage or conservation area, you may have to clad your dormer in a certain material. If you have the freedom to choose, options include:
- Slate style tiles – these tend to match the roof tiles.
- Rendering – this can only be done if the dormer is made of block walls rather than timber frames.
- Glass Reinforced plastic – a hard wearing material which should last 20 years.
- Timber – there is an array of options.
- Metal cladding – there are various styles to choose from but zinc or copper are the most popular.
For more information please take a look at our blog on cladding your loft conversion.