How Will a Loft Conversion Affect the Exterior of My House?

October 20, 2014 12:12 pm

house exterior

Adding a loft conversion to your home does alter the exterior – how much it changes the outside of your house depends on the type of loft conversion. This is part of the reason why some conversions (such as Mansards) require planning permission, as your changes have an effect on the aesthetics of the street.

Velux Conversions

Velux loft conversions don’t really change the outside of your house very much at all – the only visible change will be the window on the roof. Depending on how many floors your house has, and where the windows face, they may not even be visible from street level. This means that the rooms in Velux loft conversions are extremely private.


Dormers are small windows that are built onto boxes that extend outwards from the roof. There are a number of different types of Dormers  but ultimately these are the only parts that are visible from the outside of your house. Planning permission and permitted developments almost always require these to be built in materials that match your existing house, so they should not stand out too much. We always work to ensure that the Dormers look like a natural part of the house, rather than something added later on. To do this, we match it to your existing roof slates and recommend the best shape to blend in with the architecture of your home.

dormers on exterior

Hip to Gable Conversions

Hip to gable conversions often look more subtle than Dormers, as it’s a change in the shape of the roof rather than an addition to it. Again, we always match the materials to the existing walls and roofing on the house. However, if you are building this loft conversion on a semi-detached property and your neighbours keep their hipped roof, it can mean that the house looks very slightly asymmetrical.

Unlike Dormer and Velux loft conversions, this type of conversion doesn’t specify a window shape or build – that’s why Velux windows or Dormers are often added on as well to provide natural light to the rooms.

Mansard Conversions

Mansard loft conversions make the most extensive changes to the exterior of your house, which is why they almost always require planning permission. The Mansard itself is usually built to the back of the house rather than the street-facing side (if the option is available) so this may not be instantly visible unless you are standing behind the house. In some instances, clients opt for a double Mansard, which means that the roof is changed on both sides of the house.

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