Loft conversion in a hipped roof

14 Oct 2018
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United Kingdom
I might be about to buy a semi with a hipped roof. To make this house work for me I need another double bedroom, but the location and garden are just perfect, and the asking price leaves me with some money to spend on alterations.

Is a loft conversion possible with a 1970s-ish hipped roof? I’m hoping that the existing trusses wouldn’t be in the way, but what kind of money are we talking to convert a hip to a gable end? Or is it even possible to make a useful room in a hipped loft over a fairly average-sized 3 bed semi?!

Alternatively I could extend on the side, but the single storey flat roofed kitchen is there, right in the way! If I could afford to do both it’d be even better...

And is all this something that a surveyor could tell me before I actually commit to buying?


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You need to get up there and have a measure.

If you don’t want to disturb the upstairs ceilings you floor will go up by around 150mm and the ceiling down by about the same.
Get on Google Maps overhead view - look for other loft conversions. If it's possible, it's been done. If no houses have them, it's probably too tricky to do.
Thank you for those top tips Jonbey and Ian, very helpful. I’ve decided against buying that house for other reasons, but did find that the estate agent wouldn’t allow me into the loft. I’ve now got a local architect who could come to talk through possible extensions once an offer has been accepted - apparently estate agents do let him in!
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and if you do see some locally in similar houses, look the address up on the local council planning website. Chances are they would need to raise the roof somewhere, and not be able to do it under Permitted Development, so plans may be available for you to look at. If so, you could then print one out and show a builder, ask for an estimate.
"estate agent wouldn’t allow me into the loft" - sounds dodgy!
That happened to me. Owner showed me a bungalow which I was only going to buy if I could convert the loft and the garage. I asked to see loft - not possible, the only ladder is in the garage. OK, I need to see the garage too - sorry, the estate agent has the garage key, so you can't see that. Totally weird. I could only assume that she had dead bodies hidden away. I said to the agent, lovely house would normally make an offer, but as she refused to show me half the property I can't!

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