Undertaking a Hip to Gable Loft Conversion

As home renovation specialists, we have an extensive catalogue of knowledge concerning all types of home improvement projects. At Home Tales, our clients can rest easy knowing we will take care of all aspects of the design phase and have the appropriate documents ready for you to move on to the build phase. We believe a ground floor extension company in London should provide such a service, as a home extension can be a huge investment for any homeowner.

There are multiple types of extensions one can undertake to improve a property, although the client may not know exactly what they need. In today’s post, we talk about an underrated project that can be carried out to improve a property, the hip-to-gable loft conversion. We have found that some of our clients are unaware of what a hip-to-gable extension involves and the advantages of one.

What is a hip-to-gable extension?

A hip-to-gable extension is the process of transforming a hipped roof into a gable roof. A hipped roof can be described as a roof that slopes downwards at all sides (from a peak) to meet the house’s external walls. There are no vertical sides to this roof whatsoever. The hip refers to the angular points at which each roof side meets. Due to its complex structure, a hipped roof is generally more costly to build than a gable roof. A gable roof is made up of two roof sides that slope down to the walls, creating a tent-like structure. At one or both ends of the gable, the walls extend up to the ridge to create vertical gable-ends. “Gable” refers to the triangular section of wall that is at the end of the pitched roof. This is straightforward for most builders to construct, and therefore cost-effective.

Hipped vs gable roof

There are a few disadvantages associated with a hipped roof that would steer homeowners more towards a gable roof. One clear issue is the lack of useable loft space it offers due to the sloped roof on all sides. This can be costly to maintain as hipped roofs require an additional type of tiling (hip) and there is a larger surface area to cover. A hip-to-gable extension would add a lot of value to a property without losing valuable garden space. A gable roof is a simpler design when compared to a hipped roof, therefore it is easier to build and maintain. It creates useable space that would have been neglected under a sloped roof. Its streamlined design means better ventilation throughout the entire loft area.

What does this project entail?

This type of loft conversion involves stripping back part of the hipped roof, leaving space to build up the gable roof. The wall beneath is extended upwards to meet the ridge, and the gaps in the roof are then reconstructed to extend over this wall.

To ensure a successful hip to gable roof extension, there a few things to double check with your Architect. First, the loft space must have a head height of at least 2.3m to be deemed usable. In the case that there is not enough head height, you would have to raise the roof ridge or lower your first floor/second floor level.

Is there space on your top floor level to accommodate the new staircase that will provide access to your loft? Your second-floor level may need to be reconfigured to fit the staircase in, potentially causing loss of rooms. What will your new loft space be used for? For example, adding a bedroom, bathroom, or home office. All of these factors largely influence the layout of your loft and services within it i.e. plumbing and electrics.

Then to finish off your extension design, consider how you will light the space. What types of roof lights, door openings, and materials would you like? All of these smaller details make it so your loft conversion will be bathed in natural light and improves your overall quality of living.

Cost and timeline

The cost of a single hip-to-gable extension is dependent on the size and condition of your property, costing anywhere between £35,000 to £60,000. As the price of manual labour and building materials rises due to Brexit and other situational factors, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cost of the build until your chosen contractor receives the structural drawings. If your home is older, there may be parts of the property that need replacing to keep the building structurally sound.

Finally, depending on the scale and complexity of your project, the extension can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. This includes the design stage (2+ weeks) and the planning stage, which can take up to 8 weeks for your local planning authority to finalise.

If you are a homeowner looking to convert your loft space into a useable, liveable room, we can help you with that. Our friendly team of professionals will happily guide you smoothly through the design and planning stage, ensuring that you are equipped for the build phase. Just give us a call on 02070432378 or send an email with a short description of your project to hello@hometales.co.uk. Alternatively, book in a telephone consultation here to talk with a senior member of our team at a time that best suits your schedule.

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