Flick through any home or interiors magazine, and the pages will be filled with light-drenched rooms that simply ooze space and style. How the other half live! It’s true that many of these rooms will have mammoth proportions, but most of them will just be good examples of how you can create the illusion of more space by simply getting increased levels of natural light into the room.
Let there be light
So the million dollar question is, just how do you go about getting light into a dark, gloomy room, or making the ‘box room’ look like an airy, Manhattan loft apartment?
The simple answer is to install a rooflight. These are being used more and more as people realise how they can totally transform a room.
What is a rooflight?
Put simply, a rooflight or skylight is a window that can be fitted to either a sloping or flat roof. You’re probably most used to seeing them in loft conversions, but these days they’re being used for so much more than that.
They’re ideal if you have a sloping or vaulted ceiling, or if you want to create the illusion of a complete glass roof in an extension or new kitchen. They’re also often used in protected buildings like barn conversions where planning regulations may mean you’re not allowed to create new window openings in the walls. Rooflights are preferred in these cases as they have less visual impact from the outside – and as far as planning regulations are concerned, they’re not considered to overlook neighbouring properties.
Do I need planning permission?
You should be ok. In England and Wales, you won’t normally have to apply for planning permission for rooflights, providing the work constitutes ‘permitted development’. However, you might need to get planning permission if you fall into one of these categories:
- a proposed skylight installation occupies a large area of your roof beyond what is considered a ‘reasonable’ size
- a skylight projects beyond the roof plane by more than 150mm
- you live in a listed building or a designated area, such as a National Park or conservation area
- a so-called Article 4 Direction, or other planning condition, is in place for the area you live in. This will require you to submit an application, even if the work wouldn’t need it elsewhere.
What are the benefits of a rooflight?
There are many – some are quite obvious while others may not even have crossed your mind. Here’s a quick run-down of five key benefits:
- Tripping the light fantastic
Did you know that a rooflight lets in 40% more light than the old style dormer window? You’ll be amazed at the effect this much extra light can have on a room. As well as making your space look and feel much bigger, it’s guaranteed to give even the gloomiest room a lift and create a stunning focal point.
- Windows that help you go green
Because you let more natural light into the room, there will be less need to keep your lights on. That’s why rooflights are so great for the environment; they help reduce the need for unsustainable energy and give you a natural lighting solution that’s emission free.
- Stop your money going through the roof
Double glazed or triple glazed rooflights are extremely energy efficient, helping to keep the heat in during winter and your room cooler in summer. That means you’ll not only be saving money on your lighting bills, you could save on your heating too.
- Create a healthier environment
Rooflights can be opened to let clean air circulate around your home or cool you down with a refreshing breeze on a hot day. It’s also well know that exposure to natural light increases your levels of Vitamin D, essential for good bone and muscle health as well as a healthy metabolism. So perhaps they’ll even help you lose weight!
- Enjoy your privacy
If your window faces onto a neighbour’s home, or you’re right on the street, rooflights are a great way of letting in the light without anyone being able to see in. They’re also brilliant for bathrooms where light and ventilation are important but so is your privacy!
Bring in the light your way
Not so long ago, the Velux-style windows used in loft conversions were the only affordable option – not so these days. Because the technology has evolved so much, roof lights can now be designed in wondrous shapes and sizes, thanks to thinner, stronger and lighter frames.
At Crystal Clear, we have double glazed and triple glazed rooflights to suit any style of home and any sized pocket. Whether you want one that’s completely flat, one you can walk on, or one that’s shaped like a pyramid, we can sort you out. We can even design and fit to your own specification if you’ve got something extra special in mind.
Whichever Crystal Clear rooflight you choose, you can be confident that it’s robust enough to stand the British weather conditions. They all have powder coated aluminium frames, resin thermal breaks to prevent condensation and styrofoam inserts to increase thermal insulation. You can even get ones that open and close electronically!
Fancy a free quote?
If we’ve got you thinking about all the exciting possibilities for your home, why not give us a call on 0117 911 0272. One of our friendly team at Crystal Clear will be delighted to give you a bit more information or a no-obligation quote. What are you waiting for?