Roof windows – the basics and benefits explained

Roof windows can bring natural light and ventilation to parts of your home where standard vertical windows aren’t practical.

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Roof windows are windows built into the roof of a home. They can be opening or non-opening, and are great at providing light and fresh air to otherwise dark parts of a home.

For many homeowners roof windows are an ideal window solution for loft conversions, attics, home extensions and more.

The benefits of roof windows

Discover the many benefits of roof windows as a window solution for your home.

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Gain more natural light

Roof windows bring natural light to areas of your home where a standard vertical window is simply not practical. Conversions, attics and home extensions are key examples of where this may be the case.

Dark corridors and rooms which are cut off from outside walls are also examples of places a roof window can introduce natural light where a standard window cannot.

This can have a transformative effect on your living areas.

Increase liveable space in your home

As roof windows boost natural light, they can help to increase the liveable space within a home, providing extra room for hobbies, storage, a study or office, or even an additional bedroom.

Every home buyer knows that each square foot of a house is a precious commodity – it counts to make the most of what you have!

Overcome building restrictions

In some situations, building restrictions may limit the types of windows permitted to be installed in a home. Often this can be a case of needing to match the overall aesthetic of the building.

In some cases roof windows can be the best or even the only choice.

Improve your home’s ventilation

Ventilation is important in the home and helps to reduce the levels of airborne pollutants and moisture in the home – the latter can cause mould and condensation issues.

Ventilation also helps to control odours and provides better air quality for those inside the property, adding to the overall living comfort of the home.

Increase thermal comfort

A comfortable home is important, and whether it is a room being nice and cool in summer, or cosy and warm in winter, thermal comfort certainly makes a difference to how comfortable a home’s occupants will feel.

Roof windows with energy efficient glazing can increase a home’s thermal comfort year-round, by trapping the warm air inside in the winter and keeping it out in the summer.

Improve sound insulation

Sound insulation is incredibly important. Unwanted noise can lead to stress and fatigue, and it can interfere with the enjoyment of daily life.

Installing roof windows that have glazing with superior acoustic insulating properties can keep out sound pollution such as busy roads or low-flying aircraft, when deployed in conjunction with other noise-reducing strategies.

Add to your home’s value

A home with more natural light, improved ventilation and acoustic insulation, superior thermal comfort and that maximises its liveable space is likely to prove very attractive to home buyers.

As roof windows can help in providing all of these things, they can be a sound investment in your home.

Roof windows: The basics explained

A simple introduction to what makes roof windows unique – and different from skylights.

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What is a roof window?

A roof window is a window that is incorporated into the roof design of a property. A roof window is similar to a skylight and other similar architectural or lighting features, but has fundamental differences.

A roof can have one or several roof windows of varying sizes. New roof windows may be tinted, double glazed or triple glazed and may be completely sealed shut, or have the ability to be opened.

Commonly roof windows are from the original build, but they can also be installed into the building at a later date.

What does a roof window consist of?

Roof windows have two components: the window itself and the flashing kit.

The flashing kit is the part that provides you with the ability to fix the window to your roof and ensure it is watertight. The seal is an incredibly important part of this component. Recessed or low profile flashing and conservation style flashing are just some of the types available.

What is the difference between a roof window and a skylight?

Roof windows and skylights are different, however the terms are commonly used interchangeably.

Roof windows tend to be installed between the tiles of a pitched roof, whereas skylights tend to be installed horizontally or near horizontal as part of the main roof structure.

The light delivered by the window relies entirely on natural light. Skylights tend to provide a continual light because they use diffusers. A roof window is often much bigger than a skylight to provide better views and more light. Roof windows are also usually able to be opened whereas skylights cannot.

Seek the advice of glazing professionals

No matter how much research you do, it is useful to seek an experienced glazing professional for advice and a quote based on your property’s specifics.

The quote they give will be detailed, and their advice should help you understand where you could install roof windows and the different types of windows available to you.

We recommend seeking quotes from at least three companies so you may compare these and make an informed decision.

More: How to choose roof windows for your home