Guide to hip to gable loft conversions

If the past year’s lockdowns have shown us anything, it is the value of space. It is not always possible to relocate to solve your space issues, but many of us have a solution in the form of hip to gable loft conversions.

What is a hip to gable loft conversion?

This loft conversion is a very popular way of adding extra space to semi or detached properties with a roof that has a sloping side, as well as slopes to the front and rear of the property. As opposed to just converting the loft space, a hip to gable loft conversion will usually mean an expansion of the property itself by replacing the sloped roof with a vertical wall (aka the gable). This will mean that the once restricted loft space is now much larger and ripe for creating a liveable room.

Not suited to mid-terraces

Semi-detached and detached properties are perfect candidates for a hip to gable loft conversion and some end-terraces could make it work. However, because of the nature of the conversion, it cannot work for mid-terraces.

What does the work entail?

In order to carry out the conversion, you will need to extend the side of the roof so that your previously inward-sloping hipped roof will represent a vertical wall. This gabled roof creates the valuable extra room in the loft. Sometimes you can even extend both sloping sides, making double loft conversions. In addition, you could go the whole hog and add a rear dormer at the back, fully maximising space.

Will planning permission be necessary?

You might expect to need an application, but due to legislation called ‘permitted development’, in most cases, it can be bypassed. Permitted development was introduced back in 2008, and it allows owners to make some structural alterations without permission from their local authorities. If you plan to go further than just a standard hip to gable loft conversion, by making more changes to the roof as previously mentioned, you will possibly need planning consent. It is definitely wise to check.

What is the cost?

At an average cost of between £30,000 and £50,000 before fixtures and fittings, a hip to gable loft conversion is a good investment when you consider the space gained and the value-added.

Key benefits of a hip to gable loft conversion

Obviously, the main benefit involves the additional space you will benefit from as a result. In addition, you have the flexibility of creating a beautifully light space with the addition of Velux windows, making the space perfect for a home office, and with many of us working from home, it may be just the ticket. When you have the roof changes designed by your architect or structural engineer, you can discuss the options to make sure that the conversion is in keeping with the building’s original aesthetic. As a result, a good conversion will end up looking like an original feature.