Velux or dormer – which is best for your attic conversion?

Master bedroom with skylights

A loft extension is an excellent way to make the most of the space in your home, adding valuable square footage while increasing the value of the property – in some cases up to 25%. We wrote a recent blog about the advantages of converting your loft which you can read here.

Whether you have your heart set on an extra bedroom, a home office or a chillout area on the top floor, the type of property and the style of your roof will determine what sort of conversion is most appropriate for the building. It is important to think carefully about the style of conversion that would suit your needs.

At Lofts4Homes, we can design and build all kind of lofts, and when we come to survey your property, we will be able to advise on the best options. Typically, homeowners choose between a simple Velux conversion or a dormer conversion that protrudes from the roof – so let’s take a look at the benefits of each in turn.


A loft conversion using Velux roof windows will use the original shape and layout of the roof, while giving the appearance of a larger space via the addition of skylight windows. The structure of the roof remains the same, which means that there must be enough headroom available for the new attic room to be viable.

If the budget is tight and your roof is high enough, Velux windows may be all you need to bring in plenty of natural light to effectively illuminate the newly converted room. These skylight options fit within the natural slope of the roof, requiring less building work and making the whole project more affordable than other conversion options.

What’s more, adding standard Velux windows shouldn’t require planning permission since there’s no outward projection that might need consent. In any event, conversions typically fall within permitted development as long as they meet certain criteria. That said, it is always wise to check with your local planning authority. Certainly, if your home is situated within a Conservation Area or is a listed building, additional planning restrictions will apply.

For light and temperature control in the new room at the top of your house, automated blinds can be fitted to the new Velux windows. These can be conveniently operated remotely at the touch of a button, allowing quick and easy operation with a hint of luxury.


Dormer windows are popular because they achieve greater head height in the attic room, creating more usable floor space. By building a projection upward from a sloping roof, the room becomes more conventionally square in shape. Without this projection, you would be left with a narrower portion of the room to stand up in.

To maintain the overall visual appeal of your home, a dormer window can accommodate a wide range of window frame styles, so you are able to match them to the rest of your home for a smart, uniform appearance. In this way, the traditional look of a dormer window can produce a more architecturally sympathetic loft extension that is more in keeping with the character of your neighbourhood.

The additional building and roofing work and window fitting required for a dormer loft conversion will obviously incur additional costs. There is a greater chance that you might need planning permission too, especially if you are altering the property’s silhouette. Do check with the local planning officer before you start work. As you might expect, the build time for a dormer conversion will be slightly longer too. That said, large and modern dormer windows can be a feature statement, adding value to your property when you come to sell it on.

The team at Lofts4Homes have many years’ experience in designing and constructing residential loft conversions in and around Surrey and South West London, and we would be delighted to help you make the right decision for your property. Why not take a look at our Gallery page for some examples of our recently completed projects?

It’s worth remembering that the window style you choose must work in terms of practicality, aesthetics and budget. Whatever design you are contemplating for your upcoming home improvement project, contact our professional team today and we will be more than happy to offer our professional advice.

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