Loft Conversion Ideas: 13 Amazing Projects to Inspire Your Attic Renovation
Login/register to save Article for later
Loft conversions are a clever, cost-effective way to maximise your property’s value and space – take a look at these smart and inspiring loft conversion ideas
by Sander Tel
5th May 2023
Loft conversions are an excellent, cost-effective and smart way to make the most out of an often-unused space without building outside of the property’s footprint. They make great additions to compact homes where space to extend is limited, and the additional usable storey means boosting your property’s value, too.
Loft conversions can present a whole host of design opportunities, as seen in these clever examples. They’ll invite the use of rooflights or even glazed doors with small balconies, which help to create a light-filled room and a spacious feeling. Work with a qualified architect or designer to ensure the loft conversion design will meet your needs and work with your home’s structure.
Before diving into a loft conversion project, there are several important factors to consider. Although most projects will fall under permitted development (PD rights), you should still aim to consult your local planning authority to check what you can and can’t do in your area. The staircase design, roof structure and height should also be noted prior to planning as these will contribute towards your project meeting Building Regs – consult a builder or structural engineer to ensure you’re getting the right information.
From ultra-modern designs that stand out against the main build to more modest, seamless additions, take a look at this collection of inspiring loft conversion ideas and designs.
1. Statement Loft Conversion
When gathering loft conversion ideas, think carefully about how you can make the most of whatever space you have. The owners of this Victorian property in Stoke Newington decided to entirely redesign and extend their terraced house to upgrade its structural fabric, improve natural brightness and allow for seamless navigation between rooms.
Photo: Yellow Cloud Studio
The architectural team at Yellow Cloud Studio masterminded a stylish modern extension that leads out onto a built-in pergola with sunken concrete seating – blurring the boundaries between inside and out while maximising views.
Photo: Yellow Cloud Studio
As part of these works, the top storey of the home was converted to allow a spacious dressing room. This striking, angular new addition has been clad in dark cement board to create a seamless transition between itself and the rest of the rear extension. Its interior features a wow factor pink vaulted ceiling, which is illuminated by two large windows.
Looking for reliable architect and design services for your loft conversion project? Browse Build It’s Company Directory
2. Loft Conversion With Balcony Addition
Developing loft conversion ideas shouldn’t just be limited to the interior. If you have the space, incorporate a balcony or roof seating area into you loft conversion ideas to maximise space and create a quiet area for relaxing outdoors. Paul Archer Design transformed this Victorian terraced house with a new outdoor area on the homes previously cramped top storey.
Photo: Ben Blossom
The family were after a home in an urban location to avoid long commutes and help with balancing family-work life. As expected, this resulted in a purchasing a smaller property but with potential to reconfigure the layout for maximum light and usability.
Photo: Ben Blossom
The loft conversion takes lead over the flat roof, with a large glazed sliding door that opens out onto a stepped terrace, featuring planters to connect the above-ground zone to the garden. A seamless glass balustrade wraps around the exterior to avoid disrupting any surrounding views. Inside, the master suite provides a tranquil escape for the parents within a busy city setting.
Learn More: Loft Conversions: Your Complete Guide to Getting a Loft Conversion Right
3. Spacious Victorian Home Loft Conversion
Frank and Paloma Gilks viewed around 30 properties before they found the perfect fit for their next renovation project; this dilapidated Victorian house in west London.
Due to structural issues, caused by the attic water tank exploding, it was considered unmortgageable, “Parts of the roof had rotted and caved in,” Frank explains. Despite this, the property had heaps of potential and the couple were confident that they could improve the structure and transform the home.
As a result of the pandemic, the couple faced financial setbacks and needed to save money, which meant they chose to complete the loft work as a shell that could be kitted out later.
The newly formed attic space is now an elegant office, complete with an exposed brick chimney breast and white ceiling beams. There’s also a cellar that Frank and Paloma can renovate at a later date.
SEE THE HOME
More Inspiration: Open Plan Living Ideas: Kitchen, Living & Dining Rooms
4. Bright and Open Bedroom Transformation
Studio Hagen Hall has applied its eye for spatial planning to this compact terraced home in an urban city location, adding a contemporary loft conversion.
Photo: Mariell Lind Hansen
Clever planning and storage features were key to the success of this new loft conversion. The space holds a master bedroom that enjoys two large windows in the vaulted ceiling to maximise light while providing uninterrupted city views. The interior contains built-in invisible timber storage systems throughout, which blend seamlessly with the clay render walls for a minimal, yet spacious interior.
Photo: Mariell Lind Hansen
The loft conversion’s bathroom boasts a luxurious sea-green quartzite surface, with a large inset window and mirrored vanity units that bring a light, open feeling to the narrow space. Following the bathroom around a curved wall, the shower is illuminated by a semi-circular rooflight above for sky views and abundant natural light.
Design Considerations for a Loft Conversion
Louis Hagen Hall, founder of Studio Hagen Hall takes a look at the key design considerations for when developing your loft conversion ideas
What planning restrictions are there on the design of a loft conversion?
Typically, you will only be allowed to raise the roof height to form a loft at the rear of your house. This is required to maintain the existing ‘ridge line’ as viewed from the street. If the ridge line of your property is too low (you have a shallow pitched roof), then you may not be able to extend into the loft.
If your property is listed, or in a conservation area, then you may find it harder to gain permission for a loft conversion.
How can you design a loft conversion to blend with the rest of your house’s architecture?
If you have a lot of period detailing and character on the floors below, sometimes it’s best to not to try and replicate it in a new loft, especially where you might have sloping roofs, lower ceilings, and modern windows incongruous with period properties.
I would suggest squeezing the most out of the new loft space first through extensive planning, rather than focusing on aesthetics. After then, see what characteristics you want to, and are able to, bring up from the floors below. This could be window treatments, joinery, colour schemes, or materials.
What are the best design ideas for making a loft conversion feel light and spacious?
Adding dormer windows and mansard extensions are popular methods for bringing in extra light while providing great views. Mansard extensions will also increase the usable square footage of your loft extension – as they’ll raise the pitched roof – but will be more expensive than a dormer window.
You could combine a mansard extension with a Juliet Balcony, or use large skylights in sloping roofs. I would also suggest sticking to light paint/material colours that bounce the natural light around!
What do you need to consider when designing a staircase for a loft conversion?
Firstly, consider the spatial and circulatory relationship between the existing top floor and new loft. Sometimes there may only be one way of continuing the stair upwards, but it can be worth investigating other ways of routing your stairs to create a better or more exciting use of space.
Secondly, there is an aesthetic decision to be made. If you are extending a Victorian property, for example, then you may want to carry the period styling from the lower floors up to the new loft. Finding what will complement the style of your home is important before taking any aesthetic risks or trying to switch from the style of the existing stories.
5. Practical Loft Upgrade
A Bedfordshire house, built around 2016 with a trussed rafters, had its entire roof reinstated from the inside out with timber and steelwork to create a large loft. The addition didn’t need a dormer and surprised the owners by providing enough space for a double bedroom, ensuite with a bath and shower, dressing room and home office.
DJ Moore Lofts was also able to fit in the new staircase with minimal changes to the first floor and designed a bespoke walk-in wardrobe.
6. Rear Cladding Statement
Gresford Architects was behind this multi-storey extension of a Victorian terraced property. The existing awkward layout was replaced by smooth-flowing spaces via a wraparound rear addition and roof extension.
Photo: French + Tye
The striking loft conversion and addition is finished with blackened timber, which makes a dramatic statement against the original building’s brickwork.
Read More: Timber Cladding Design Ideas for Your Self Build Project
7. Contemporary Bungalow Overhaul
When John and Susan Yates were looking to move from the west coast of Scotland to Edinburgh, their initial plan was to find a flat in the centre. However, they became inspired by a bungalow that was under renovation works in the coastal town of Portobello.
Photo: David Barbour
With the help of Chambers McMillan architects, the couple completely transformed this traditional single-storey build with a modern, light-filled zinc clad extension, expansive glazing and a contemporary interior scheme.
Photo: David Barbour
They decided to convert the roof into livable space as they felt they could benefit more from the solar gain in a living zone instead of a bedroom. “Although the space is small, it opens out onto fabulous sea views over the Firth of Forth, which really lifts the soul,” says John.
Some locals were concerned that the loft conversion’s dormer window would overlook them, but the extension model demonstrated this wouldn’t be the case. The local council were on board with the project and the planning process took just eight weeks.
8. London Home Transformed With Loft Conversion
Andrew Overin turned this loft into a bright and spacious bedroom with ensuite, but he hadn’t realised how much floor-to-ceiling height would be lost after insulation was added. With this in mind, one of his top priorities was to maximise every inch of space, so he managed to convince Build Team that having a long wetroom, rather than an L-shaped bedroom with a larger ensuite, would work better.
This means that the master suite is a regular rectangular shape with no awkward corners; while the ensuite features a walk-in shower and WC.
Copious amounts of light filter into the top storey through floor-to-ceiling bifolds on one side and rooflights opposite. “I love how the evening sun pours into the bedroom,” says Andrew.
More Inspiration: 11 Characterful Urban Renovation Projects
9. Attic Upgraded With Picture Window
This semi-detached London home dates back to the 1930s, and so the owners decided it was time for an upgrade.
The design, by Selencky Parsons architects, called for a complete internal remodelling of the home. This came in the form of a ground floor extension featuring a three-panel set of IDSystem’s ultra-slim sliding door system, along with a loft conversion to increase usable space for the family.
The loft conversion not only increases the number of bedrooms in the house but allows the home, built on the side of a hill in West Norwood, to enjoy a stunning panoramic view over the skyline of Central London from the master bedroom.
10. Sensitive Edwardian House Renovation
Think about how you can retain the character of your home when collecting different loft conversion ideas. Sara Hamilton and Steve McMahon joined their households together under one roof and undertook a major renovation to rework this striking Edwardian villa in Muswell Hill.
Photo: Lyndon Douglas
As part of this process, the couple appointed London based architect Edward McCann. “Ed pushed the boundaries but was very sensitive to the history of the house,” says Sara.
The family initially proposed to remove the stairwell and introduce a new flight that spiralled up through the core of the house. However, these plans didn’t quite materialise. “Early into the building contract a number of large unforeseen works blew the contingency and forced a major revision of the scheme,” says Ed.
The team had an open conversation about doing things differently whilst maintaining the character of the house and subsequently rethought the top of the building, which had been a cramped loft conversion.
Photo: Lyndon Douglas
Rather than introducing a brand new stairwell, the original ones were retained and now reaches the top floor master suite, which has been opened up completely with light pouring in from all directions.
11. Multifunctional Loft Conversion
A Victorian terrace in south London had a maximum permitted development allowance of 40m³ to convert the loft, which was achieved with two dormers and a 2m head height, completed by Design and Build company Plus Rooms.
A rear dormer over the main frame of the house created a bedroom with a roof window at the front. Due to the L-shape of the roof, the space steps down to the ensuite with an overhead rooflight.
Here, a second dormer over the rear wing benefits from a large, glazed window. Plus Rooms applied for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) to give the homeowners assurance their extension followed PD rules.
Read More: Window Design: Choosing the Right Glazing for Your Project
Contemporary Mansard Addition
Life Size Architecture, a Brighton-based team of architectural designers and technologists, designed this stunning rear and side extension and loft conversion to this home located in a conservation area.
The architects commissioned Attic Conversions Ltd to carry out the works of the mansard roof addition, which features bifold door openings and a metal balustrade. The loft conversion has helped to maximise the home within the confines of its plot, all while protecting the original charm of the property with a sleek finish.
13. Light Filled Artist’s Studio
With the main goal to maximise space and light in this 3-storey mid-terrace urban property, The Simply Construction Group designed and built this front and rear mansard loft conversion.
Their clients were after additional space for relaxing that could include a office space and bright, open terrace. The main living area can be used as a meditation space, artist’s studio, reading room or perfect entertaining area on those warm summer nights in London.
More Inspiration: Kitchen Diner Extensions: Inspiring Projects and Expert Top Tips
5th May 2023
Birmingham Bungalow Loft Conversion Transformed | Buckleys
The transformation of this three bedroom to a six bedroom bungalow in Birmingham is spectacular, providing the family with the extra space that they required. The bungalow already consisted of a “part” loft conversion in a section of the loft area that had been converted into a bedroom, with eyebrow dormer windows to the front and rear of the property.
The family decided to remove the existing “part” loft conversion in order to maximise the bungalows potential by utilising all of the existing space within the loft area.
This Bungalow Loft Conversion entailed removing the existing eyebrow dormer windows at the front and rear of the property. We installed NEW Velux Roof Lights within the roof space, creating a new modern look externally, but internally flooding the rooms and landing with lots of natural light!
The configuration of the stairwell was altered by removal of the existing staircase. The new stairs was installed in a new direction, so that our clients would enter the Loft Conversion in the centre of the Bungalow in to a Spacious Bright Gallery Landing Area. This alteration was required in order to maximise the potential loft space, thus creating four bedrooms, one bathroom, an open gallery study area and a large boarded storage area within the same space that had previously only had one bedroom as seen below on the plans.
From removing the existing staircase into the loft conversion, we replaced it with a new staircase with traditional pine stair parts which the client has decorated using a dark wood stain.
Timescale of the Bungalow Conversion
This Bungalow loft conversion took seven weeks to complete from start to finish. Our clients were delighted with the completed loft conversion, the family now has lots of space within the bungalow to enjoy as shown below.
Thank you to our clients for allowing us to take photographs of their completed Bungalow Velux Loft Conversion, we at Buckley Loft Conversions are pleased that they were delighted with the end result.
Is your family home too cramped? Could you benefit from having some extra space?
If you are interested in a loft conversion or Garage Conversion Please Contact Us On 01543 469996 or email us on [email protected] to arrange your FREE DESIGN and QUOTATION to suit your families needs.
This article was written by Fern Cranney on behalf of Buckley Loft Conversion Ltd.
Posted in Bungalow Loft Conversions, Loft Conversions, Velux Loft ConversionsTagged attic loft conversion, birmingham loft conversion, bungalow conversion, Loft Conversions Birmingham, velux loft conversion
The number of mansards on historical buildings continues to grow
Vladislav Kraev (Saint-Petersburg)
More recently, the topic of illegal mansards, which, like parasitic mushrooms, stuck around the houses of the historical center of St. Petersburg, was in the center of media attention. Then the number of publications and reports decreased – but not because the problem became less acute. On the contrary, experts say, it “went deep”: with the illegal adaptation of attics for residential purposes, buildings are remade in a makeshift way, gradually the house becomes uninhabitable. In the center of St. Petersburg, the housing stock is degrading, but there is no will to prevent it.
In a state-protected five-story house on Lenina Street (Petrogradsky District), the owner of an apartment on the top floor increased her living space by creating an additional room in the attic. The transformations had a negative impact on the lives of neighbors.
As Olga, a resident of the same fifth floor, told the “RG” correspondent, not only the enterprising neighbor’s apartment, but also the sewer hoods of the bathroom in Olga’s apartment got into the perimeter of the brickwork erected in the attic. After that, ventilation stopped working in the bathroom, and due to the reorganization of networks, problems began with water supply, drainage and heating.
“My young child has been living in an apartment since birth, where there is no ventilation, the pipes were all moved. Since this threatens to cause serious problems for the house, we turned to various authorities. But so far everything is as it was, as it is,” – Olga says. The history has been going on for several years, but the former state of the monument building has not been restored.
“All the bodies we applied to forwarded the complaints to the court,” notes Olga. In her opinion, if housing workers and officials had intervened in this story at an early stage, negative consequences for the house could have been avoided. But the author of adapting the attic for residential purposes got away with everything.
Finally, the administration of the Petrogradsky district went to court. In the course of the process, LLC Zhilkomservis N 1 of the Petrogradsky District indicated that interior partitions were dismantled in the ill-fated apartment, the tracing of the filling of the central heating of the house was changed, and the ceilings between the apartment and the attic were dismantled. The Committee for State Control, Use and Protection of Monuments (KGIOP) confirmed that a mezzanine floor with a staircase was installed in the apartment without permission. In the conclusion of the forensic examination, it was recorded that the apartment was redevelopment with the addition of an attic space.
Zhilkomservis demanded that the landlady restore the apartment to its previous state. The Petrogradsky District Court satisfied the claims in the fall of 2021. However, the defendant’s side appealed the decision to the City Court, where, with reference to a new examination, it was recorded … the refusal of the housing and communal services from the claims to restore the apartment, attic and stairwell. The litigation is still ongoing.
Also, the history of the illegal three-storey superstructure in the historic building of the Main Court Pharmacy on Millionnaya Street has been going on for many years. There, illegal squatting over a foreigner’s dwelling led to the fact that the residents of a number of neighboring apartments were forced to move out due to the lack of a roof, and those who remained suffered from constant leaks, black mold and interruptions in utilities. A criminal case on damage to the building-monument of federal significance was initiated in 2012. Only last year, the illegal superstructure was liquidated, the roof was restored, but normal life has not returned to this house so far.
“The apartment, owned by the Englishman who arranged it all, is rotten through and through, in an unsanitary condition,” said Yelena Kiseleva from the house on Millionnaya. There was no roof over this part of the house for several years, through holes to the attic are still visible from his apartment, leaks continue, fungus is spreading around the house.
The handicraft way of altering the building gradually makes it uninhabitable
“Currently, the entrance to this attic is blocked, it is impossible to maintain engineering equipment in the attic, since during this time another apartment appeared in the attic, the owners of which installed a door in the place of the former the entrance to the attic and employees of Zhilkomservis are not allowed into the attic,” says Kiseleva. Therefore, ZhKS N 1 of the Central District went to court to restore the previous access to the attic. So it is too early to put an end to history here.
According to Galina Belkova, a member of the public council under the vice-governor of St. Petersburg for housing and communal services, the number of cases of alteration of attic spaces for residential purposes has passed into a new quality. In the attics there are engineering heating systems and other technical equipment necessary for servicing the entire house. If technical attics have been adapted for residential purposes, then they are not used in accordance with their functional purpose. Residents of such houses have problems in the form of interruptions in heating and accidents with leakage of heating networks, and access to engineering networks and equipment is blocked by built-in partitions. “No one inspects such attics, prepares houses for the heating season, it is simply impossible to get there,” the expert explains.
This violates article 161 of the Housing Code, which states that the management of the house must provide favorable and safe living conditions. If technical regulations are not observed, then safety cannot be ensured, residential premises become uninhabitable. “The staff cannot properly maintain the house, cannot prepare it for the heating season – but these facts are hidden at all levels,” Belkova says.
According to her, when making court decisions on the transfer of technical attics for residential purposes, there is the content of Article 237 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Article 238 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on the provision of services that do not meet safety requirements, Article 167 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on damage to buildings. But for some reason, neither the ICR nor the prosecutor’s office are interested in these cases, they do not initiate criminal cases on such episodes. As a result, we will lose a huge number of buildings, including cultural heritage sites, says Belkova.