Navigating planning constraints

Plans for a dormer extension as part of the loft conversion of Sarah and Jon Lloyd-Foster’s fivebedroom Victorian home fell through due to the planning limitations of being in a conservation area. The couple was hoping to create a spacious bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.

Sarah, 36, who is head of talent acquisition at a global travel company, and Jon, 40, a police officer, have three young children, Harley, 6, Dexter, 5 and newborn baby Clark. This new space was to be the couple’s retreat. ‘We wanted somewhere we could relax and unwind,’ says Sarah.

The loft conversion company, Design A Loft, chosen for the project came up with the idea of including three roof windows to create a wall of glazing. "Having plenty of natural light was very important to us and this solution was ideal. Particularly as the room would be on the north-facing side of the house; we’d get a better result than with a dormer window because of the angle of the roof pitch," Sarah explains.
The attic had been divided into two sections, one part above the original house and the other above the 1990s extension, which made the conversion slightly more complicated. "Despite there being a brick wall bisecting the space, we knew it would be possible to create what we wanted," says Sarah. The solution to this structural issue involved altering the roof purlins and inserting extra steelwork.
Family-friendly roof windows

When it came to choosing the roof windows there were certain must-haves. "With three young children in the house, safety was at the top of our priority list", says Sarah. Design A Loft created three openings along the roof pitch and fitted VELUX units in place; three fixed units on the bottom row, with three top-hung roof windows above. 

For their en-suite bathroom, Sarah and Jon chose a contemporary freestanding bath, walk-in shower and vanity unit. As in the bedroom, the en-suite is decorated in a calming palette of mid-tone neutral colours. Large format porcelain floor tiles are teamed with glossy metro-style wall tiles in the shower area. Above the tub, a large roof window brings light into the space.

"The roof window combination has turned into a fantastic feature of the room"
- Sarah, homeowner
Bright retreat at the top of the house

Sarah and Jon love their bright retreat at the top of the house. "The amount of light the windows bring into the room couldn’t have been achieved in any other way. At night, we can see the stars above and it feels as though we’re in a treehouse."

Three VELUX MK34 units on the bottom row in the main bedroom are fixed for safety reasons, while the VELUX MK08s above can be opened to allow a breeze to drift through. VELUX worked with Design A Loft by providing a flashing kit that would allow all six windows to be fitted together.

The windows on the top row can be turned so that the outer face is on the inside, which makes for easy cleaning. The glazing cost approximately £4,000 in total.

In the ensuite, a centre-pivot VELUX FS CO8SK06 provides a view of the clouds and lets light into the space. A VELUX MK08 window was fitted directly above the staircase. Sarah and Jon chose white polyurethane finishes throughout with blackout shutters integrated into each of the windows in the bedroom.