What type of roof is best for a loft conversion?

For many homeowners the most valuable commodity right now is space.

With property prices skyrocketing for urban and suburban houses, homeowners are looking for the best ways to utilise their existing space.

Most UK properties come with a loft that could be used for storing unwanted items. 

But, given the space crisis, homeowners want to convert their lofts into functional spaces. It could become an additional room for guests, a study room, or even a playroom for your kids. 

The ultimate design of a loft conversion depends on numerous factors. The most important of them is the roof structure.

So, choosing the perfect kind of roof is vital for maximizing the potential of your loft conversion. If you live in London, your local contractors will likely quote London premium charges.

Instead, you can hire loft conversion experts in Colchesterwho provide the same service at a lower cost.

Types of roofs for loft conversions:

Before settling on one type of roof for your loft conversion, you need to understand the features of each type. Every roof has pros and cons to consider before deciding on one. 

These are the following types of roofs for loft conversions:

1. Roof with skylights

It is the favourite of most homeowners because of its simplistic appeal and practicality. You can transform your lofts into additional living spaces by making very few alterations. 

The light conversions, also called Velux conversions, are done through skylight windows installation to an existing roof space.

You will also need to add floor reinforcements, a proper staircase to the loft, and connections to basic amenities.

The loft would also need to be properly insulated to make it habitable. 

However, not every loft can be installed with a skylight. Your loft area must be sufficiently large with enough roof headroom.

Since it is a simple reconstruction, you won’t need permission from local UK authorities.


● This is the cheapest option out there. 

● Minimal construction is required.

● Get an extra room without the disruption caused by moving homes.

● No planning permission is required in most cases. 


● Lack of versatility which a full conversion can give.

● A basic utility like an en-suite bathroom would not be possible.

2. Dormer roof:

Generally a bit more expensive than a roof light conversion, dormer roofs extend the space of your lofts by providing more headroom and floor space.

Construction of dormer roofs is done through vertical extension of the existing roof.

It would create extra floor space and also more headroom.

The loft conversion would be box-shaped with straight walls on all sides. The roof might be a flat or pitched roof, depending on the homeowner’s choice. 


● No planning permission is needed in most cases.

● Creates maximum headroom.

● Dormer windows let natural light into the space.

● Suitable for most UK properties and add value. 


● Lacks aesthetic appeal.

3. Hip-to-Gable roof:

This loft conversion type is best suited for properties with a slanting side roof.

It involves a considerable amount of construction where the vertical wall is erected on the side of a hip.

It extends the sloping ‘hip’ side of a house outwards and upwards to create a ‘gable roof’ side wall.

It creates an ample amount of space and is also quite appealing.


● Best for detached and semi-detached properties.

● Provides better value to the home.

● Create lots more space. 


● Planning permission might be required.

● Limited by roof space availability. 

4. Mansard roof:

This conversion alters the existing roof and transforms it into flat roof with a sloping wall. It is constructed at the rear part of the house.

You have more configuration options in this type of conversion. For example, you can build multiple rooms with different functionalities.

Mansard roofs are the ultimate roof solutions for most homeowners and come in the highly recommended list.


● Greater aesthetic value.

● Create an additional space.

● Most suited for urban and suburban homes.


● Planning permission is required.

● The cost of installation is quite high.

● Not weatherproof.

5. Roof Terrace:

Since people don’t have the luxury of owning a garden in crowded cities, many opt for a roof terrace.

It involves a simple small balcony design where you can relax in the natural light and air.


● Adds property value.

● Get pleasant outdoor space.


● Expensive to build.

● Need planning permission.


Lastly, this list was curated after careful deliberations with loft conversion experts in Colchester. 

In their opinion, the mansard roof has the most to offer. It can create multiple rooms and are most appropriate for urban properties.

Feel free to use this guide in deciding the type of loft conversion you need. 

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of Constructionor.com, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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