GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
A loft conversion is (as we said many times before) the best way to add extra living space and value to your home. A dormer will give you additional space in your new room in the roof. A loft conversion whilst being a fairly easy project requires careful planning because the design is as important as practicality. The biggest threat which comes from adding a dormer is its visual appearance because no one wants some ugly wooden box attached to their roof. This is why our professional team is here to help you achieve the look you've always dreamed of, but first read some of our basic guidelines.
To put it simply – a dormer is a form of roof extension which serves for increasing the usable space in a loft. The word for this box-shaped structure added onto a pitched roof comes from the French ‘dormir’ meaning ‘to sleep’. The dormer is positioned, in most cases, within the slope of the roof and it comes in different shapes, dimensions and designs.
These are several types of dormer :
· gabled dormer – simple pitched roof sloping to two sides;
· shed dormer – sloped single flat plane roof in the same direction of the roofline with a shallower angle;
· flat roof dormer – the cheapest one and it creates the most additional internal space;
· hipped (hip roof) dormer - three sloping planes which converge at one point;
· eyebrow (eyelid) dormer - the roof covering curves up and over a low, wide window.
Keep in mind that not all dormers need to be huge, on the contrary - very often small dormers can look more elegant, it all depends on the style of the exterior of your house. But we will discuss design later.
Planning permission is not required as long as the dormer window design does not exceed the highest part of the roof, among other specific parameters. As always, we should check those parameters with your local authority and find out if your planned work falls within permitted development rights.
Also, if your house is in a conservation area or dormer’s materials appearance is in contrast to the existing exterior, you will need a building consent.
What you can do before checking with the local council is to make sure that:
1. no part of the dormer is higher than the highest part of the existing roof;
2. a dormer must not project by more than 15 cm in front of any existing roof slope that faces onto the road and forms the principal or side elevation of the house;
3. no part of the dormer is any closer than 0.5 m to the roof ridge, eaves or any party wall or verge.
Though dormer loft conversions are cheaper than some other forms of loft conversion, you will still need to set aside a good and precisely planned budget to get the work done. As with any other project, there will always be unplanned costs that you have to plan for in advance, but also those associated and default costs (staircase, insulation, strengthening the floors and other fixtures). We will try to set an approximate cost for installing the dormer.
The number and the size of the planned dormers will affect the price the most. Standard cost of a dormer loft conversion goes from around £500 – £600/m², so to speak upwards of £20,000 to nearly £60,000 with a typical average price coming in around £45,000.
The good thing is this investment can add even 20% to the value of a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house. Your budget may restrict the number and size of the dormers you wish to install, but if you don’t add enough to make the room feel truly useful and your house more valuable, it will only be wasted money.
The main rule when it comes to installing a dormer is the same for any house: keep the dormers in proportion so your conversion doesn’t become an eyesore to the street, that way you will not overpower the rest of the house. The result of building a dormer that is too big will mean your home could look out of proportion and over developed.
Further advice: Keeping the ridges of a dormer well below the main ridge will look better with any style of house. It is best to place them slightly lower than halfway down the roof. If they have the chance to get close to the ridge, then the usual practice is to flatten their roofs.
When choosing a design for your dormer always keep in mind that dormer in the first place needs to look like an integral part of the overall house design. If the house is small, even the small dormer will serve pretty well to bringing enough natural light and spaciousness to a loft conversion room.
Don’t hesitate to add different elements, but do it carefully if you choose this appearance. Mirror glazing could look good on the house of Victorian facade tiles, for example, but you will have a consultation with exterior designers before choosing materials and final overall appearance.
With a good architect by your side, your dormer doesn’t have to be the same colour and made of the same material as the rest of the facade. You can even painted timber cladding on your dormer so you get a chic and unusual look of the building that will make your neighborhood envy and admire you. Although this is a very bold combination, you will adore it.
When you decide on creating a unique dormer for your home, please feel free to contact us for any consultation at any stage of the work. We will talk about every design option, timelines and costs. Use our well-known freephone, contact our experts and we’ll be happy to answer any question about your new conversion project and to submit everything to a planning department on your behalf.
FREEPHONE: 0808 1699964