Rooflights are a fantastic way of getting light into a house. The higher the light source the brighter the room will be. Putting in a rooflight is a relatively easy job and can bring in up to 40 percent more light than the alternative form of roof window, the dormer, and is substantially less expensive to install.
Whether you’re extending or renovating in a traditional or modern style, there is a roof window to suit the design of your home. There are a number of options available for both pitched and flat structures and, if standard units don’t suit your scheme, many suppliers also offer a bespoke service – we explore some of the options available to help you find the perfect rooflight for your project.
Velux style rooflights
The most common kind of rooflight for a pitched room is the Velux style window, which are designed to fit in between the rafters. There is an extensive range of standard dimensions, designed to suit typical rafter widths, but bespoke sizes can also be ordered. The frames are typically timber with an aluminium outer covering, making them very durable. They are the most popular choice for attic conversions and as long as they are to the rear of the house they will not require planning permission.
There are several rooflight choices for a flat roof, ranging from straightforward flat rooflights to roof lanterns. Roof lanterns are raised, pitched windows and create a lovely feature in a more traditional room. They are the ideal choice for those looking to create a garden room or conservatory with a partially glazed roof. The frames are usually constructed of timber or powder-coated steel, although metal-reinforced PVC is also available. The material choice is important as most rooflights are not easy to access so the more maintenance-free the material the better. You might also want to think about opting for a glass with a self-cleaning coating.
For more contemporary spaces flat or flush rooflights can provide a minimalist look. They come in a huge range of sizes and the frame is designed to be concealed within the ceiling giving the glass a frameless appearance viewed from inside the room. These kinds of roof lights can come as structural or walk-on units which can be really effective where the roof forms part of a balcony or terrace for a room above.
Remote opening controls
Where you can’t reach a rooflight to open it manually, you can choose to control it automatically. Many manufacturers have developed units for their windows, operated by a wall-mounted or handheld remote control. They often include a sensor to close the window automatically if it starts to rain.
Sun shading can be a consideration especially for south facing windows. You should consider the number of rooflights and where you place them carefully. Too much glazing can result in the room being uncomfortable at different times of the day. If you are extending, place rooflights close to the existing external wall of the house to bring light into the middle of the plan, which can often be dark because of the new extension. Strategically placing rooflights over designated areas – like the kitchen work space or the walkway through the space – can create a striking feature as well as bringing lovely light to your new space. For sun shading many of the manufacturers offer blinds that are specifically designed to fit their windows and those that are difficult to reach can be remotely operated.
What do rooflights cost?
Off-the-shelf products start from €250 excluding installation. High-spec versions can start from €500, with prices rising for bespoke designs and extras such as blinds and electric opening systems. So whatever your style, requirement or budget, there’s a rooflight to suit you.
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