Expert advice - choosing a rooflight
If you are planning a single storey extension, it's likely that you will want to add a rooflight in to allow more light to flood in, as well as add to the wow factor.
We catch up with Roof Maker to find out more about rooflights, from the different styles available to how to improve the insulation.
What are the rooflight options for an extension?
Your rooflight options depend on whether you have a flat or pitched roof in your extension. If you have a pitched roof, you can choose between the fixed or opening Luxlite™.
If you have a flat roof extension, there are many more options available. You can have a Pyramid style roof lantern (which has a square footprint) or the more popular Slimline® roof lantern (which has a rectangular footprint). Both of these are available as electric slide openers, and the Slimline® is also available with a vent, to provide fresh air and additional ventilation in the room.
You can also have a fixed flat rooflight, a flat hinged opening rooflight or a flat slide opening rooflight. A round rooflight is also available for those looking to create a unique feature in their home.
For larger areas of flat roof glazing, glass panels can be combined together to create a modular rooflight. Each panel is added to the line using a slim stainless steel support, which provides an optimally strengthened structure without compromising the flow of light.
For those looking to create a roof garden or roof terrace, a flat access rooflight opens at a 90° angle to provide an access point – whilst also providing light to the room below.
In terms of trends, what look is popular right now?
Slimline® roof lanterns and modular rooflights are proving very popular right now for those with flat roof extensions. This is because they create a stunning architectural feature to really bring the wow factor in any home, as well as flooding the room with light.
For those looking for a pitched rooflight, frameless designs are more popular than traditional wooden framed designs because they bring up to 49% more light into the room. Plus they give a better view out as the entire roof opening is glazing, without chunky frames getting in the way.
What's the largest size of rooflight I can have?
A modular rooflight can be manufactured much larger than standard rooflights, to create a huge area of roof glazing. By using supporting splits you can create a modular rooflight up to 10 metres long, and 2 metres wide.
How do I make sure the rooflight is well insulated?
To ensure your rooflight is well insulated, look out for the rooflights with the lowest U-values. Other tips include ensuring that the timber upstand is insulated, opt for triple glazing and look out for rooflights with specialist glass options. Reflex Ultimate Energy Performance glass is designed with Passive House standards in mind, a rigorous standard for energy efficiency, and when used in rooflights can provide U-values as low as 0.2 W/m²K.
Can you tell us more about u-values and what I should look out for?
A U-value is a measure of how quickly heat transfers through a building material or element of a house e.g. a wall, a window, or a rooflight. In other words, a U-value expresses how good an insulator something is, with the rule of thumb being the lower the U-value, the better i.e. the best insulators have the lowest U-values.
How much does an average rooflight cost?
Rooflight costs vary dramatically depending on the size, design and specification chosen e.g. double or triple glazed. Prices start from around £300 for a small, basic specification.
Can my builder fit a rooflight easily or do I need a specialist fitter?
Your builder should be able to fit your rooflight easily, and some homeowners even choose to fit their rooflights themselves to reduce costs. Most reputable rooflight companies will be able to provide you with clear installation instructions for your builder to follow to simplify the process. Some may even have installation videos for you to follow.
Anything else I should look out for?
Ensure that you choose a good quality rooflight which comes with a long manufacturer’s warranty so that your rooflight lasts a lifetime.
Published: December 3, 2018