Dormer Loft Conversion versus Velux Loft Conversion, which is best? & how much do they cost in 2023?
Speak to us about designing your Loft Conversion
If you are in the research phase of your loft conversion project, this article will help you make an educated decision as to what type of loft/attic conversion may be best for you.
Whilst there are several different types of loft/attic conversions the 2 main types are:
- Dormer Loft Conversion
- Velux Loft Conversions
Which type of loft conversion is right for my home?
How much does a Dormer Loft conversion cost compared to the cost of a Velux Loft conversion?
In 2023 the minimum cost of a Velux Loft Conversion is around £50,000.00 + the VAT.
In 2023 the minimum cost of a Dormer Loft Conversion is around £70,000.00 + the VAT
These are the costs that we are typically seeing back from Building Contractors in 2023, depending on where you are in the country.
The type of loft conversion you opt for will normally come down to budget, if your budget is tight then maybe you will opt for a Velux Loft/attic conversion. If you have a bit more money to spend then you can consider a Dormer Loft conversion.
That being said, some properties are better suited to Velux conversions and Vice-Versa
Dormers can sometimes evoke images in your mind of ugly 1970’s style boxes stuck on the side of your roof, fear not, they can look awesome if designed correctly, with a plethora of materials to choose from for a real contemporary look.
The case for Velux Loft Conversions
What is a Velux loft conversion?
A Velux loft conversion is a type of attic conversion in which Velux skylights are installed in the roof to provide natural light and ventilation. This type of conversion is typically used to create additional living space, such as bedrooms or bathrooms, in the attic of a home. Velux skylights are known for their durability and energy efficiency, making them a popular choice for this type of project.
There are a few reasons why someone might choose a Velux loft conversion:
- Natural light: Velux skylights provide a significant amount of natural light, which can be beneficial for creating a bright and airy living space in the attic.
- Energy efficiency: Velux skylights are designed to be energy efficient, which can help to reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Easy installation: Velux skylights are relatively easy to install, which can make the conversion process quicker and less disruptive to the home.
- Aesthetics: Velux skylights are available in a variety of sizes and styles, so they can be used to complement the existing architecture of a home.
- Good Ventilation: Velux skylights also provide good ventilation, which can help to keep the space feeling fresh and reduce the risk of mold and mildew.
- Cost effective: Velux Loft Conversion are known for being a cost-effective way of adding extra living space to a home, as it does not require major structural changes.
In most cases, a Velux loft conversion does not require major structural changes. Velux skylights can typically be installed in the existing roof structure without the need for major alterations. However, it is always important to have a professional assess the structural integrity of the existing roof before starting the conversion process to ensure that it can safely support the added weight and load of the new living space.
Depending on the specific requirements and regulations of your local building codes, some minor structural changes may be needed, such as reinforcing the existing roof joists to support the additional weight. It’s also important to note that if the existing roof is too low, or if the conversion will require significant changes to the roof shape, structural changes will be necessary.
In any case, you should always consult with a qualified architect or builder to determine the specific structural requirements for your Velux loft conversion.
Alternatives to Velux Rooflights
There are many brands of roof windows available on the market, some of the most well-known include:
- Velux: Velux is one of the most well-known and established brands of roof windows, and offers a wide range of products for different types of roofs and applications.
- Fakro: Fakro is a European company that specializes in skylights and roof windows. They offer a wide range of products, including energy-efficient options.
- Roto: Roto is a German company that specializes in windows and skylights, and offers a wide range of roof window options.
- Keylite: Keylite is a UK-based company that offers a range of roof windows and skylights, including options for flat roofs.
- Dakstra: Dakstra is a Dutch company that specializes in skylights and roof windows, they offer a wide range of options to choose from.
- RoofLITE: RoofLITE is a UK-based company that offers a range of roof windows, including options for flat roofs and conservation areas.
These are just a few examples of the many brands that are available. It’s important to do some research and compare different options to find the brand that best meets your needs and budget.
The structural alterations that are required will be dependent on the existing roof structure. For example:
Was the roof originally designed with a future conversion in mind?
Was the roof designed just to be a roof’?
The existing roof structure will significantly affect the cost of your loft/attic conversion, extra strength-graded timbers or steel will be needed to give the roof the strength it needs for the demands that will be placed on it.
Just think of all the extra weight with People, furniture, new walls, bathroom & holes cut in the existing roof structure for windows and a staircase.
As a rule, houses built before the late 1960s tend to have much more substantial timbers in the roof, better for a loft conversion…no question.
House built from the late 1960s tends to have factory-made roof trusses which tend to prove more challenging for a loft conversion although it can still sometimes be done.
Speak to us about designing your Loft Conversion
You can still achieve a great look with Velux windows and there are no hard and fast rules as to how they should be set out, the key is not to skimp on windows that don’t cost much in the scheme of the project, put in as many as you can afford.
For a fantastic feature, a balcony window can be added to your Velux loft conversion.
Loft Conversion Costs
To help you understand what the costs might be, we have included two recent project examples:
- A Semi-detached bungalow Velux loft conversion
- A detached bungalow Dormer & Velux loft conversion.
Does a Velux Rooflight loft conversion require Planning approval?
In Scotland, the rules and regulations for planning permission for loft conversions vary depending on the specific details of the project. In general, a Velux loft conversion does not typically require planning permission as long as it meets certain criteria set by the Scottish Government.
According to Scottish Government guidelines, a Velux loft conversion that is within certain size limits and does not involve any external changes to the roof or walls of the property, will not require planning permission. However, it is always important to check with your local council to confirm if planning permission is required and to obtain the necessary permits before starting the work.
It is also important to note that even if planning permission is not required, Building Regulation approval is still needed for all loft conversions in Scotland, which ensures that the conversion is safe, energy efficient and complies with the regulations.
It’s always best to consult with a professional architect or/and your local council to get a more accurate information on whether planning permission is required for a Velux loft conversion in your specific area in Scotland.
How much does a Velux Loft Conversion cost in 2023?
Below we have included the costs for a Velux Loft conversion in a semi-detached bungalow: this bungalow had Factory made W roof trusses which is a lightweight roof and has been engineered to work as a roof and not withstand loads that come with a loft/attic conversion.
So, this was a little more challenging but far from impossible, three steel beams were inserted, 1 at a high level and the other 2 at floor level with timbers fitted between the low-level steel.
In the end, the customers were delighted with the result which gave them a lovely master en-suite bedroom, a lot of space for the cost of the loft conversion, especially when you consider the cost of moving to a larger house, all the legal and professional fees attached to moving, not to mention the stress of moving. (these customers were able to live in their house in Spain while the work was being completed, I know, it’s a hard life!)
How much does a Velux Loft/Attic Conversion cost in 2023?
|COST OF BUILDING WORK (+VAT )||£55,000.00|
|BUILDING WARRANT FEE||£693.00|
The case for Dormer Loft/Attic Conversions
What is a Dormer Loft conversion?
A dormer loft conversion is a type of attic conversion in which a dormer window is added to the roof. A dormer is a vertical extension that is built out from the slope of the roof, which can be used to create additional headroom and natural light in the attic.
The dormer window can be installed in different styles and shapes such as gable-fronted, hipped, shed or flat roof dormer. Each style serves a different purpose and can have different effects on the aesthetics of the home.
A dormer loft conversion is a popular option because it can add a significant amount of usable space to the attic, which can be used for bedrooms, bathrooms, or other living spaces. It also helps to increase the value of the home. However, it’s important to note that a dormer loft conversion can be a more complex and costly project than other types of attic conversions, such as Velux loft conversions, and will require a professional architect or designer to design the project. It will also require obtaining proper planning, and following local building codes and regulations.
A dormer Loft/Attic conversion will generally require more structural modifications than a Velux Loft conversion, therefore will cost more.
The benefits of a dormer loft conversion
There are several benefits to a dormer loft conversion, including:
- Additional space: A dormer loft conversion can add a significant amount of usable space to the attic, which can be used for bedrooms, bathrooms, or other living spaces.
- Increased headroom: Dormer windows create additional headroom within the attic, making the space more comfortable and functional.
- Natural light: The dormer window can increase the amount of natural light in the attic, creating a brighter and more inviting living space.
- Increased property value: A loft conversion can increase the value of a property, and dormer conversions are considered to be one of the most valuable types of loft conversions.
- Aesthetics: Dormer windows can be designed to complement the existing architecture of a home, which can enhance the overall look of the property.
- Privacy: Dormer windows can be installed in such a way that they do not look into other people’s properties, which can provide more privacy for the homeowner.
- Better ventilation: Dormer windows can provide better ventilation, which can help to keep the space feeling fresh and reduce the risk of mold and mildew.
- Better access: Dormer conversions provide better access to the attic space, making it easier to move around and use it for storage.
It’s worth noting that not all properties are suitable for dormer conversions and it’s important to consult with a professional before deciding to proceed with a dormer conversion.
Usable Floor Space
A Dormer loft conversion will create more usable floor space, this is because the rafters are cut and an ‘extension’ will be fitted into the roof space, this creates a more traditional feel to the room.
You can walk to the edge of the room without banging your head!
Dormers can come in all shapes and sizes and can be clad in all sorts of materials, they can be very contemporary or very traditional, it will come down to personal taste.
Often a contemporary-style dormer can complement a traditional building very well.
Dormers can be constructed offsite and craned into position:
These can be insulated, clad, and glazed in the factory or workshop and craned into position, usually fitted and secured in less than 1 day.
There are huge benefits to this type of construction technique which is increasing in popularity.
Having said that most of our Dormers are built on-site by the contractor, there is more room for error this way:)
As a general rule of thumb the bigger the dormer the more structural alterations that will be required, and the higher the cost.
Does a Dormer loft conversion require Planning approval?
A dormer loft conversion may require planning permission, depending on the specific details of the project and the local building regulations.
In general, a dormer loft conversion that involves external changes to the roof or walls of the property, such as the addition of a dormer window, will require planning permission. However, the specific criteria for planning permission can vary depending on the local building regulations.
It’s important to check with your local council to confirm if planning permission is required for your specific project, and to obtain the necessary permits before starting the work.
It’s also important to note that even if planning permission is not required, Building Regulation approval is still needed for all loft conversions, which ensures that the conversion is safe, energy efficient and complies with the regulations.
Again, It’s always best to consult with a professional architect and your local council to get a more accurate information on whether planning permission is required for a dormer loft conversion in your specific area.
How much does a Dormer Loft Conversion Cost in 2022?
We have outlined the costs for a Dormer loft/attic conversion below.
The existing attic space was generous and was crying out for conversion, a master en-suite bedroom, & a study was created. The dormer allowed space for a generous bathroom and a top stair landing.
Structural alterations were made to the roof which included both extra timbers and steel to allow the large dormer, 4 Velux windows, and staircase to be installed.
The staircase is located in the existing hall, albeit with the removal and relocation of some stud partition walls downstairs.
This Dormer Loft conversion is a magnificent addition to this bungalow, which has completely transformed this property, it’s now a proper family home, well balanced with the right amount of bathrooms and bedrooms.
Cost of a Dormer Loft/Attic Conversion
|COST OF BUILDING WORK (+VAT)||£86,000.00|
|BUILDING WARRANT FEE||£856.00|
Will a Loft /Attic conversion add value to my house?
Here is a list of how a loft or attic conversion can add value to a house:
- Provides additional living space and can increase the overall square footage of the home
- A well-designed, high-quality conversion that is in line with local building codes and regulations can add significant value to a property
- Makes the home more attractive to potential buyers by providing additional living space that can be used for bedrooms, bathrooms, or other living spaces
- Depends on the current housing market, so it’s best to consult with a real estate agent or a home appraiser to get an idea of the potential value added by a conversion in your specific area
- Can make your home more comfortable and functional for you and your family, even if you don’t plan to sell your home in the near future.
If you live in an area, say Edinburgh, where property prices are high then a loft conversion will not only be a great addition to your home it will also be a great investment.
There are lots of instances where the return on investment will be 2 or 3 times the cost…..so good news.
A critical element to adding value is the design, you only get to do this once so it’s got to be a great design, make sure you get a specialist to design your project, a bad design can devalue your property…not good.
Don’t skimp on windows or be tempted to cut corners, make sure there is plenty of light getting into the loft space, light and bright is good for a loft conversion.
If the amount you will spend takes you over the ceiling price of the houses in your street then it probably won’t work as an investment. If that’s the main driver then it may be worth reconsidering your options.
It’s fair to say though that while it’s nice to know that the money we will be spending is a wise investment for the majority of our customers this has been secondary to how this will improve their home and ultimately their quality of life.
So, Which is Best A Dormer Loft Conversion or a Velux Loft Conversion?
Both dormer loft conversions and Velux loft conversions have their own benefits and drawbacks and the best option will depend on the specific needs and requirements of your project.
A Velux loft conversion is typically less complex and less costly than a dormer loft conversion, as it does not require major structural changes. Velux skylights are relatively easy to install, which can make the conversion process quicker and less disruptive to the home. Velux skylights are also known for their durability and energy efficiency.
On the other hand, a dormer loft conversion can provide more headroom and space than a Velux loft conversion, which can make the space more comfortable and functional. The dormer window can also increase the amount of natural light in the attic, creating a brighter and more inviting living space. Dormer conversions are considered to be one of the most valuable types of loft conversions and can increase the value of a property.
It’s important to consult with a professional architect or builder to determine which option is best for your specific project, taking into account factors such as the size and shape of your attic, the condition of the existing roof, and the cost of the project. They will be able to provide you with a detailed design and cost estimate for both options, and help you make an informed decision.
Here is a list comparing the benefits of a dormer loft conversion and a Velux loft conversion:
Dormer Loft Conversion:
- Provides more headroom and space
- Can increase the amount of natural light in the attic
- Considered to be one of the most valuable types of loft conversions
- Can increase the value of a property
- Can be designed to complement the existing architecture of a home
- Can provide better ventilation
- Provides better access to the attic space
Velux Loft Conversion:
- Typically less complex and less costly
- Velux skylights are relatively easy to install
- Velux skylights are known for their durability and energy efficiency
- Velux skylights can provide a significant amount of natural light
- Velux skylights are available in a variety of sizes and styles to complement the existing architecture of a home
- Velux skylights can provide good ventilation
- A cost-effective way of adding extra living space to a home
If you are ready to move ahead with your project or just require advice, contact me for a chat email@example.com
OR Book a call here
Click the link below for further guidance on Planning guidelines