The 4 Different Types of Loft Conversion

Loft conversions are a great way to expand your home, add value to your property, and generally increase your quality of life. If you’re going to get one for yourself, however, you need to know the different types of loft conversion that are available to you, and which one is going to be the best fit for you and your family if you choose them.

There are 4 main categories of loft conversion for you to add to your home. Each of them has the same benefit of adding the space and the value, but how they go about it, what they cost, and the effect that they’ll have on the aesthetic on your house and completely different entirely.

Let’s look through them.

Rooflight Loft Conversions

The first and arguably most common types of loft conversion that a lot of people tend to go for is the roof light loft conversion. This is essentially doing nothing more than converting the loft space you already have, and adding a skylight such as the classic Velux into the structure to let light in.

Rooflight loft conversions are usually the best choice for keeping a good amount of storage space in the loft through surrounding cupboards leading to the free space left in the roof. That’s a great feature if you need to space and also great for saving costs on less work to be done too.  There’s less space to move around, but you will save time and money on the build as a result. It’s a big trade-off that needs a lot of long-term thought.


·        Storage around the outside

·        Lowest Cost

·        Fastest Build


·        Least Room

·        Low Headspace

·        Difficult Shape

Dormer Loft Conversions

A dormer loft conversion is probably the second most common type of loft conversion you’ll see in the UK. They use a pop-up like structure on one side of the roof to create a much higher space in the loft, while the other side is usually left to be the same as it would be with a roof light conversion.

The use of a dormer in your loft conversion has the added benefit of having a great amount of headroom which is perfect for taller people, or for if the room is going to be lived in like with bedrooms since it won’t feel cramped or closed off.


·        Headroom

·        Low Cost

·        Half storage, half-height


·        Aesthetic impact

·        Storage sacrifice

·        Added build time

Hip to Gable Loft Conversions

A hip to gable loft conversion is designed to lift one part of the roof to create a new wall. That means even more room than a dormer provides, as there’s a whole wall raised rather than one small section. It’s a great way to create purpose-built rooms like home cinemas, playrooms and again bedrooms too, while still keeping most of the space a dormer has.

The downsides to this type of loft conversion however come from the sacrifice that comes from making one. Mainly, with a structural alternation as large as a hip to gable, it’s much more likely you’ll need planning permission. On top of that, you’re also making large structural changes to your roof, increasing the cost again, and adding more time to the build.


·        Large space to use

·        Increased property value

·        Storage space kept intact


·        Much higher costs

·        Planning permission may be required

·        Higher build time

Mansard Loft Conversions

Finally, there are also mansard loft conversions. These are the biggest type of loft conversion possible, and they are incredible additions to your home that are practically the same as adding a whole new floor. They are formed by creating almost vertical walls at each side of the roof to raise the hight all round, creating a great space inside that can rival even master rooms, which is perfect for purposed rooms again like new bedrooms if required that can also accommodate living areas like kitchens and bathrooms providing the right regulations are still met.

As always, there’s still a downside to such a great addition to your home. As you can image, a loft conversion that is as grand as this is going to cost the most money by a long shot. It will take more time than the other loft conversion types too, and it also means you’re sacrificing your storage space pretty much all together unless you incorporate them into your design.

Remember still here too, with structural changes to your roof like this, planning permission is more than likely going to be needed.


  • New space almost the size of a floor
  • Massive value increase


  • Massive cost implications
  • Likely requiring planning permission
  • Storage space sacrificed
  • Longest build time


When it comes to making the final decision, always remember to weigh up your options carefully against what you need the newly converted space to do. Think about how the space you have will work with the purpose you need, how much storage you can sacrifice during the build, what your budget is, and how much hassle the build may be (although project management services exist for that very reason too).

Only you know what will best fit you and your family, but each of these options still creates a whole new world of space for you to utilise and can really give your property a new lease of life that can add a staggering 25% to the property value when it comes to reselling.

For more information on anything we’ve looked at here, contact the CK Architectural team today. We’re always happy to offer free and impartial advice, and, as expert architectural designers, we can help you find your perfect project in no time.

Various types of planning are needed depending on how you wish to change your property. Understanding which type of planning is relevant to your plans and what that type of planning requires is essential to the success of your project.

Planning permission is widely misunderstood, often leaving clients feeling as though they are in the dark. Often the laws regarding planning are confusing and in details, confusing clients and consequently at CK Architectural Birmingham, we have developed a network of design, planning and construction professionally to support you right the way through the project helping you understand the process. This means that we can guide those in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry and surrounding areas through the process of developing your home without missing out any essential steps.

Under UK law the different types of planning are as follow:

  • Householder Planning Application
  • Full Planning Application
  • Outline planning consent
  • Reserved Matters
  • Listed building consent
  • Advertisement consent
  • Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)
  • Prior notification


Typical Types of Extensions

Rear extensions, both single or double storey extensions, are popular as a way of adding extra living space to the property and raising its value. Extensions of this kind can also be done to the side of the property space permitting. Double storey extensions are a clever way of adding an extra wing to the property, providing space for extra bedrooms or bathrooms.

A wrap around extension on the ground floor level is also a popular type of extensions as it gives homeowners additional open floor space in a typically communal area of the house.

Loft conversions can create a third floor in the home providing a good way to add a master bedroom with an en-suite and extra storage. Dorner windows, either flat room or gabled, can be added to the loft conversion as a way of providing extra light and space but require planning permission. Velux windows can be opted for to add light to the conversion, which are classed as permitted development making the loft conversion less expensive and quicker.


Unfortunately, restrictions do apply in certain circumstances to conservations areas, world heritage sites, sites of specific interest and listed buildings, which are unavoidable.

Additionally, developments over 3m in length, will need to be 3m from the boundary also whereby rights of light for the neighbour will be respected, as well as privacy issues, therefore most windows/opening tend to be on the rear rather than facing the side.

drawn house
3d drawing of architectural structure change

Development at the front of the property must be subservient to the main house and the hight of a single storey can be 4m of original eaves height maximum. For double storey extensions, no close that 7m to rear boundary.

architectural 3d drawing

Regulations also state that no more than half the area of land around the “original house” would be covered by additions or other buildings. However, this can be important as if houses were built with detached garages, outbuildings etc in a good plot of land, this can be used as original area, therefore we can gain 30% (argued as permitted development potential) plus another 30% through either permitted development and then the 50% as planning permission. If the house were already extended after 1948 then this would be part of the 30% area allowed under permitted development.

Permitted Development

According to the Planning Portal “The increased size limits for single-storey rear extensions that were previously time limited and due to expire on 30 May 2019 have now been made permanent by government.”

Class A – Extensions (enlargement, improvement or alteration)

This means for both planning and permitted development, the size of extensions has been increased (doubled), 6m for semi detached and terraces houses, 8m for detached. Therefore, a single storey space can be added to the ground floor, offering a great open plan space with glazed openings to the garden (if rear garden space permits), with a maximum 3m second storey addition to form an extra bedroom or 2.

Class B – Additions to the roof

This allows for rear dormers and hip-to-gable extensions if the additional volume created does not exceed 50m3 (40m3 for semis and terraced homes).

Class C – Other alterations to the roof

Class D – Porches

Class E – Buildings etc. (outbuildings)

This allows for an outbuilding to be erected within a residential curtilage if it is sited behind the principal (often the front) elevation, does not cover more than 50% of the curtilage and is not more than 3m in height (4m for a dual-pitched roof; 2.5m where within 2m of a boundary).

If the 6m or 8m single storey rear extension is to be agreed, a certificate of lawful development via prior notification (to the authority and neighbours) is submitted, if there are no objections by either then the certificate can be awarded, and work can commence.

Agricultural Land/Change of Use

Agricultural buildings, like barns and stables, can be converted into residential, (up to 450m²), if the building is structurally capable of being converted without requiring engineering work and providing access can be achieved. Up to five dwellings may be created up to a maximum floorspace of 465m², of which three may be ‘large’ (>100m²), and 2 smaller i.e. 80m². This change of use is subject to prior approval being sought in respect of transport, access, noise assessments, ecology reports, flood risk, may be required by the authority depending on sites and plans for that given site.


It is hard to estimate the typical cost for extensions because costings vary due to location, size, number of storeys and design specification. However, roughly a typical 3x5m extension would cost around £20k-£30k. If you want a double storey it would rise to around £50k, around the same as a single storey wraparound extension. Larger width rear extensions, large wraparounds, or double storey side extensions with rear single storey rear can be from £60, £80k, 100k +, depending on spec, bifold doors, kitchen layout/cost, what ground works are needed as foundations/structure may need to be improved/built to take the weight of the new extension. For more information regarding

Architects fees can be anywhere from 2 or 3, 5-10% of the build cost depending on level of service desired, to get through design options, planning, building regulations, working drawings (inc electrical/M&E layouts) and project management. A typical £40-60k extension may cost £2-4k in fees depending on option chosen.

If you would like a quote, please email or get in contact and we can do a free initial meeting to explore these opportunities at reasonable fees.

Planning and Councils Across Birmingham and West Midlands

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It is a legal requirement for Architectural design and home owner planning applications to be made to the correct local authorities and drawings to comply with the relevant building regulations. Architectural services and Architects alike must abide by the regulations set out for plans and planning drawings. In Birmingham and the West Midlands there are several authorities. Fourteen in the West Midlands region consisting of:

Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Shropshire, Stoke on Trent, Telford and Wrekin, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, and Worcestershire.

Birmingham City Council was formed in 1974 and was previously the County Borough of Birmingham. It forms the largest population centre for the combined authority in the West Midlands. The West Midlands Combined Authorities (WMCA). Has eighteen local authorities including Birmingham City and four Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), to include Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEPs. They work together to move powers from Whitehall to West Midlands. Individual councils work individually to retain their identity and collaborate on the big decisions.

 The West Midlands is historically known as, “The Workshop of The World” and are challenged to create jobs, enhance skills and training, to develop prosperity and drive economic growth. The agreement with the Government will see it make an annual contribution worth £40 million over 30 years. With an overall investment package that will unlock £8 billion to create half a million jobs.

New reports released on City Governance in Birmingham suggests major changes as the city grows. Research into the current climate addresses social and economic issues in the city, which is reflected in planning application and building regulations. Birmingham Council is split and facing many challenging development issues between it’s planning departments.

There is:

  • A lack of affordable housing. The council is exacerbated by developers and is making them accountable for meeting their deadlines and hitting their targets. They are developing mechanisms to deliver growth by creating targeted support programmes.
  • Racism and social margins. The aim is to deliver equalising strategies to integrate marginalised communities into the city. By multi agency work, using research on hard to reach communities. To dispel ghettoization and the involuntary segregation of disadvantaged groups.
  • The need to attract investment. To gentrify levels of social groups and provide affordable housing for all.

Amongst it’s many deliberations.

The council aims to:

Hold it’s developers accountable over it’s housing targets and deliver growth.

To involve the role of the new West Midlands Mayor, to lobby for social and economical change.

To soften the impact of the Brexit.

To bring relevant planning applications for affordable housing, redevelopment of existing properties, extensions, home improvement, commercial and industrial development.

The original council for the East Midlands was dissolved and a new council assembly took place in 2010, to give a more consultative approach on planning and building. It comprises of two police authority members, two fire and rescue members and two parish councillors. Headed by Martin Hill as the chair person.

Different types of planning applications and their suitability includes:

Householder Planning consent. (For home improvement and extentions).

Planning permission is not needed for all types of home building work, but it is always best to check. This type of consent is used to alter or enlarge a single house. To include any buildings within the boundary or garden and is for projects such as extensions, conservatories, loft conversions, dorma windows, garages, car parks and Outbuildings.

Full Planning consent. (For home and work place).

This type of consent is for detailed planning application for the development of Engineering Works and Industrial Works. In on over and under land. Or for making changes to existing land or and buildings. Any work on the flat or changes to existing buildings or any number of dwellings. Conversions or building of a separate house, changes in use to to part or all of a property. From domestic to business and vice versa. To include anything outside such as, a garden, stables or paddock. Outline Planning Consent. (For Industrial and Commercial Premises and larger scale projects).

Reserved Matters. (For temporary and miscellaneous builds). 

Relates to the layout access, appearance and scale of the development. Where permission has been granted, you may make an appeal within three years of the outlined approval.

Non Material Amendment.

Following a grant of planning permission. Is usually a notice of works proposed on trees in conservation areas. Notice of Intention refers to the size, number and growth of trees, that you have given to the Planning Authority. Six weeks notice is required before carrying out work on trees. Giving time to deliberate protection orders.

Removal Variations and Conditions. (Surrounding demolition).

This type of application is used to request a local authority, to remove or change the requirement of a condition on planning permission to listed buildings. Listed Building and Conservation area Consent. (To build, improve or demolish). You need too apply for Listed Building Consent, if you want to demolish a listed building. Alter or extend a listed building, where it would change it’s character and appearance. For buildings of special architectural and historical interest. You will also need consent for any work in seperate buildings within the grounds.

To list but a few to be found on the Planning Portal Website

For all of your existing needs, it is advisable to check the relevant planning permission and to seek advice on government constraints. CK Architectural are happy to help.

More Blogs From CK Architectural...

Planning and Councils

It is a legal requirement for Architectural design and home owner planning applications to be made to the correct local authorities and drawings to comply with the relevant building regulations. Architectural services and Architects alike must abide by the regulations set out for plans and planning drawings.

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New online service

CK Architectural Birmingham is now providing a professional, quick and easy to use online design service, for all your design, planning and building regulation requirements in Solihull, West Bromwich, Coldfield and all surrounding areas.

Providing you with a brilliant cost-effective solution to the design process our design team at CK can provide you with a free feasibility report. 

FREE Property project consultation – We are giving you a detailed assessment on if your property and what can be achieved. 

No Site Visit Required – We can design your modification without the need for a site visit which in turn can save you in excess of £200 

Quick and Easy – Spend 10-15 minutes gathering all the information (site visits normally last over an hour) 

Always available to talk – Our technical and supporting staff are always available either telephone or email 5 days a week. We’re with you throughout, helping with planning applications, building control and even the build process. 

What is a feasibility assessment? –  Your free feasibility assessment will determine your project scope using your needs against your wants, our design experts will help and advise you and discuss all possibilities that your property has to offer.  This will be followed up in a written report that you can peruse at your leisure without the pressure of someone sitting opposite you.  Your 4-page feasibility report will include the following: 

  • Professional advice
  • Which applications are needed for your project (if any)
  • Application cost
  • Drawing cost
  • Building control requirement and potential issues
  • Estimated build cost
  • Structural engineer requirements
  • Structural engineer estimated costs
  • Detailed quotation
  • Fee schedule
  • Project progression flow chart

All the information you need will be put together in one place before your designs commence in an easy to read property assessment report.  Our architects, designers and building technicians will carefully study your requirement and provide this report completely free of charge.   

Self Survey

Although the thought of surveying your property might be a little daunting, our step by step online guide will walk you through the process to make it as easy and simple as possible. We will make sure that we have the required information from you to produce your concept designs. Our friendly support team are always available on the telephone should you require any assistance. Once we have the measurements and few quick photographs of the area along with a brief description of your project, we can begin making your dreams into a reality. 

Design phase

Firstly, we will produce the existing drawings from your survey. Then we will work with you, whether that’s over email, telephone, Skype or even WhatsApp to produce your concept designs. From there we can explore all the best design options before going through planning and building control. 

Additional Services 

Along with design, planning and building regulations we offer a fully comprehensive package which allows you to choose the level of service we provide from design right through to build, these additional services can be discussed when your approval is received.

Home Improvements During Lock-down

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As the corona virus pandemic continues and everyone is urged to stay home and social distance, we look at ways to pass the time while in quarantine with 5 ways to improve your home. As it stands, we are still unsure of how long the epidemic will last so why not put your time to good use. 

1. Redecorate

One thing is for sure, while we are all spending a lot more time in our homes its inevitable that you will start to notice things that you would otherwise overlook, such as scuffs, marks, scratches and dents on your painted walls. Most of us have paint and brushes lying around the house but also for the time being DIY shops are still open and some are offering a delivery service. So, grab a paint brush and create a brighter, fresher environment for your home to isolate in. Websites such as Pinterest and Instagram are great sources of inspiration.

2. Declutter

No matter how neat and tidy you naturally are, it’s all too easy for clutter to pile up in and around the home. Many people enjoy decluttering because it relieves stress and provides a sense of control and accomplishment. For others, getting rid of the junk can create more space that wasn’t there before. An ideal way to start your house de clutter is to start with small spaces such as kitchen draws, cupboards etc. If you have any spare baskets, tubs or little boxes this is a great to separate items in kitchen cupboards and be more organised.  Whatever your reason for decluttering your life and home, now is the perfect time to start.

3. Organise your Shed

For most, sheds are a dumping ground for garden equipment full of creepy crawlies and not a space that gets much attention. However, while you have time on your hands why not re organise your shed, maybe even paint it. Its surprising what a lick of paint and a re shuffle can achieve. Or if you are feeling really adventurous and you have the space, you could create a man cave, play area, or chill out area as well.

4. Up-cycle your furniture

The best thing about upcycling is that there really are no limits to what you can create and achieve. It’s cost-effective and anyone can join in the fun with no previous skills required.  With specialised paints specifically for upcycling furniture it is now even easier to transform your tired old furniture into stunning pieces of art. Some paints don’t even require a primer. However, preparation is key, its always important to start with a clean, dry, smooth surface. There is plenty of websites and YouTube tutorials to get you going.

5. Plan for the future

If you were ever considering extending your home or converting your loft space, then now is the ideal time to start planning. By adding an extension, either single storey or double this in an ideal way to add living space without the need to move. You can create feature rooms such as open plan kitchens, dining areas or sunrooms, and additional bedrooms and bathrooms.  If your extension or loft conversion requires planning permission, then this can take up to 10 weeks to determine. And while a few businesses are currently not working due to the coronavirus epidemic, CK Architectural are still open for business with a new Online Design Service which still offers the same exceptional service without the need to visit your home or site. 

More Blogs from CK Architectural...

Planning and Councils

It is a legal requirement for Architectural design and home owner planning applications to be made to the correct local authorities and drawings to comply with the relevant building regulations. Architectural services and Architects alike must abide by the regulations set out for plans and planning drawings.

Read More »

Home Improvements During Lock-down

As the corona virus pandemic continues and everyone is urged to stay home and social distance, we look at ways to pass the time while in quarantine with 5 ways to improve your home.

Read More »
double and single extension in Birmingham

Extending your home

Extending your home is not cheap but here is 5 simple pointers on how to keep in control of  your home extension project. 

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House extensions are not cheap but here are some simple pointers on how to keep your home extension budget as low as possible. 
Having a fixed and limited budget needn’t discourage you from adding an extension to your home. There are plenty of ways you can create a good-looking and functional new space by planning and designing it with cost know-how in mind.

double storey extension design, planning and building regulations in Birmingham and surrounding areas
single storey extension design, planning and building regulations in Birmingham and surrounding areas
single storey extension design, planning and building regulations in Birmingham and surrounding areas

Use an Architectural Designer, not an Architect!

They will both provide similar services for a domestic extension; however, the price tag will be miles apart.

Keep it simple!

The more angles and corners you have in your extension, then the more money you will pay. A simple rectangle or square extension will be the cheapest option.

Save on Planning Fee’s

Save on Planning Fee’s by making sure your Extension falls within Permitted Development Rights. Read more on permitted development here.

Avoid any made to order products.

Stick to standard-size doors and windows. Velux windows in the roof will be a lot cheaper than a roof lantern. Or to really cut the costs don’t have any roof windows.

Reuse, Recycle or Repair.

Just because you’re getting a new extension it doesn’t mean you need everything new. Floor boards can be sanded or painted, the same can be said for kitchen units and work tops. Buy Salvaged materials, try second hand shops or salvage yards, it will be a lot cheaper then buying everything new.

Mistakes cost money

Mistakes cost money – but you can avoid or at least minimise them by having accurate scaled plans in place before work starts. This will mean you don’t over-order on materials, and it will prevent work having to be undone and redone. Measuring everything on site, rather than off your plans, can also help reduce wastage.

single storey extension design, planning and building regulations in Birmingham
double storey extension design, planning and building regulations in Birmingham and surrounding areas
single storey extension design, planning and building regulations in Birmingham and surrounding areas

Another alternative to keeping your budget low is simply removing walls in the home’s interior and opting for an open-plan design this can make the space feel larger without the need to physically add more space. Its also helpful to stick to a design as some design changes can cost you more money. Whether your project managing or just ordering your own materials to save money, getting the timings of deliveries right to save on wasted labor, this is a good way to save money as a site with no one working on it is costly, so materials need to arrive on time.

Spending time planning the smallest of details can save you money and cut extension costs further down the line. By specifying everything from light fittings and socket locations to flooring and wall colours at the outset, you’ll save money on the cost of making alterations or snap decisions at a later stage.

Design the build around off-the-shelf products, such as standard-size doors and windows. Avoid any products that must be made to order; instead, choose materials that are readily available and easy to use. So, stick to cast concrete for the sub-floor; concrete blockwork for the walls; brick, render or timber cladding; and a softwood timber roof structure. Try rooflights instead of dormer windows.

If possible, avoid complicated groundworks, such as building near to trees or drains and sewers, or other buried services, as these will increase groundwork costs. Remember, though, that if you live in a period or character property, your choices will be limited.

3 Ways to Improve Your Terraced Home

In the UK more than a quarter of all houses are terraced. With their solid walls and original features, the last decade has seen this house style surge in popularity.

CK Architectural Birmingham - Loft Conversion and Dormer Roof Extension in West Midlands
CK Architectural Birmingham - Single Storey Extension
CK Architectural Birmingham - Loft Conversion and Dormer Roof Extension in West Midlands

New Kitchen Extension

Most kitchens in terraced homes are small narrow rooms to the rear or the property with direct access to the garden with a passage to the side. The easiest and most popular way to extend the kitchen would be to extend into the side return. This will usually add 1-2m in width creating a good-sized space, big enough for the open-plan kitchen and family room most people want

Loft Conversion

Loft Conversions are the cheapest way to extend your home, so there is no wonder people are increasingly looking upwards for more space.  Before you do anything make sure the minimum height in the loft is 2.3 metres at the pitch.  You will need to consider enough head space for the staircase access also. A good Architectural Designer will be able to give you an idea of how much space you will have and different design options.


By adding a porch to your terraced home it will stop all the heat escaping from the home on wintery days and can be a handy storage place for coats and shoes. It’s an edition to the home that doesn’t usually require Planning Permission, however there are some instances it will. Not only will a new porch ass more space to your home but it will improve the curb appeal.

CK Architectural Birmingham - Single Storey Extension in West Midlands
CK Architectural Birmingham - Single Storey Extension

Try our new

Online Design Service

  • Free property assessment
  • Free project feasibility report
  • Design your project with our experts
  • Easy self survey guide
  • Online planning applications
  • Online building regulations drawings