Loft Conversions: What Are My Options?

Home renovation specialists should be able to tell you exactly what your options are when it comes to home extensions and renovations. The first thing to look at is your existing property. The existing shape and structure will dictate what is possible. In London, period properties are well suited to home extensions. The traditional shape of a Victorian or Edwardian property often welcomes the addition of a new extension, be it via a side return extension, a rear extension, a loft dormer extension or in some cases, another type of extension (ie. first floor). 

A dormer extension in London is a fantastic way to add bedrooms and/or bathrooms to a property. If you have a first floor flat or maisonette, a loft extension might add valuable living space or a new kitchen. The options are endless, and it really depends on what you’re looking to add. Some homeowners add a home office, a gym, a spare bedroom, or even a master suite with walk-in wardrobe and luxurious bathroom – we have seen and designed it all. 

There are various types of loft conversions, and all the terminology can be confusing, particularly as companies often have their own interpretations of each option. We thought it would be useful to talk through the basic types of loft conversion. All of these can be varied and tailored to suit your individual home and specification. It’s important to remember these come in all shapes and sizes. Likewise, you can customise your extension specification by adding rooflights, windows, Juliet balconies, bi-fold doors – again, the list is endless!  

Here at Home Tales, we design each of our floorplans individually. First, we undertake a full measured survey of the property. This enables us to take those all-important detailed measurements so we can understand how the space works and what will fit when we design the proposed options. Your architectural designer will also take the time to sit down with you to discuss your ideas and requirements from the new space. If you’re not sure, that’s fine. They will have lots of ideas and design options to chat through. 

Single Dormer Extension

A dormer extension typically removes the rear pitched roof of a property. This is often the roof that you can see from your garden. Once this roof is removed, the new roof is built as a flat roof, aligned with the highest part of the ridge line. The ridge line is the highest part of the roof. This means you keep the sloped front pitch, but the rear is extended out to create a square room to the rear. This is a single dormer extension. It’s common to add Velux windows to the front roof pitch and a rear window on the new rear wall of the extension overlooking the garden. This allows natural light to penetrate the room from both sides, creating a wonderfully bright and airy room. 

L-Shape Dormer Extension

A l-shape dormer extension is essentially two dormer extensions put together. Lots of period properties have an existing two-story outrigger which means you can extend your roof further, creating a third-story above the original outrigger as well as over the main building. The outrigger is typically thinner than the main body of the property, creating a side return at ground floor level. For this reason, the two dormers create an l-shape, which is the reason for the name ‘l-shape dormer extension’. This is one of the larger extensions we undertake on London terraced properties, as it maximises the roof space available and essentially adds a third level to the property. The size of the dormer over the outrigger can vary. Some local councils only allow you to build over half of the outrigger, but some allow you to go the full depth. Either way, we can typically get a large bedroom and a spacious bathroom or two large bedrooms and a small en-suite bathroom from this design. 

Check out this l-shape dormer extension we completed in Wandsworth, SW18. We obtained approval for this proposal under permitted development. The new space adds over 35SQM of additional floor area to this family home, allowing for two double bedrooms and a bathroom. There is also valuable storage space added under the eaves. 

Hip To Gable Extension

A hip to gable loft conversion is typically used on an end of terraced property or if your roof has three pitches on it (rather than two). On a terraced property, the roof line generally has two pitches. If you are end of terrace, semi-detached, or detached, it’s quite common to have three or more. In this case you can extend on the side and rear roof pitch to create a hip to gable loft extension. We have a blog wholly dedicated to explaining the different options of a hip to gable loft conversion, which you can read here. 

Have a look at this hip to gable loft conversion we completed in SW17. We added two double bedrooms and a bathroom with a hip to gable loft conversion. 

If you are considering a loft conversion, call us today on 0207 043 2378. We would love to discuss your project in more detail. We can tell you what your design options are, as well as offer a guide on the cost brackets of each option. Call us or email us at You can also book a consultation directly via our live diary here.   

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