Converting the unused and often-overlooked loft in your home could provide you with enough extra space for a study, a play-room for the children, or even a new bedroom and cosy top-floor en-suite. But before you start to imagine all the things you’ll decorate your new home addition with, you first need to decide on which type of loft conversion is right for you. In this post, we discuss dormer vs Mansard loft conversions and the key differences.
What’s a Mansard conversion?
Named after a French Architect known as Francois Mansard, the Mansard loft conversion is usually built to the rear of your property, with a central flat roof, and an end-of-roof angle of 72 degrees. Most commonly found in London, these stylish extensions offer considerable increases in loft space, with the added beauty of Juliette balconies or large Velux windows.
What about a dormer?
A dormer conversion is an extension of your room beyond standard roof limitations. Like the Mansard, they’re generally built towards the rear of the property, but they come with the added benefit of often skipping the need for planning permission. Dormers can also protrude from the property, creating even more space.
We recently discussed the benefits of dormer conversions in built-up, compact cities, like London. You can find out more here.
Dormer vs Mansard: The key differences
Depending on the size of your space, the complexity of the conversion, and the extend of post-construction installs like white-goods, transforming your loft can cost anywhere from £25,000 – £50,000 or more, so making sure you’ve chosen the right conversion for you is an all-important first step.
There are a few things to consider when planning your conversion, so we’ve broken down some of the key differences between the two types to help you understand which one fits your home and needs.
1. Where you live
Depending on where you live, you could see some benefits or restrictions to both types of conversion. The most important factor here is planning permission.
While dormers tend to stand out a little bit more, they can often skip the need for planning permission, where Mansards will nearly always require it. And, even if you’re happy with a planning application, in cities like London, you might face restrictions on the type of conversion you’re allowed to undertake.
2. The type of roof
Whether it’s for aesthetic reasons, more space, or – like your location – for planning restrictions, there are a number of differences that set these two conversion types apart.
Dormer conversions with a protruding extension tend to stand out a little bit more from street level, and as they heavily rely on the slope of your existing roof on one side, can offer less overall space. Mansard conversions offer much more in terms of head-height space, and they can look a lot sleeker from the ground, but they require planning permission.
3. How you want to use your loft
If you’re converting your loft, you’re most likely going to want as much space as possible. When it comes to usable square footage, the Mansard is going to win here.
Generally, you’ll find more area above head height with a Mansard conversion, but if you’re looking to convert on a budget, a dormer still offers plenty of space for a bedroom, and maybe even an en-suite, at a slightly lower cost. Plus, if you extend the dormer with a protruding window, you can flood the room with light while expanding your room.
4. Your budget
As is the case with any home improvement project, cost plays a big part in the decision making process.
The cost of a conversion can vary depending on a whole range of factors, from job complexity to the small, post-conversion details like fittings. When comparing Mansard and dormers, you’ll often find a dormer conversion to be slightly less expensive than a Mansard. Dormers usually start at around £40,000, while a Mansard is roughly £45,000. You can find out more about the costs of conversion here.
Guiding you every step of the way
While we hope to have answered some of the questions you might have surrounding the differences, benefits, and downsides with dormer and Mansard conversions, we know that you’ll probably have more. But don’t panic, we’ll be able to help you through the entire process, providing you with clear and precise information on how you can transform your loft, and make the most of your unused space.
Our initial visit and quotes are free. If you’re ready to start planning your next home improvement project, contact us today. Let’s create the space you’ve been dreaming of.