What is a Rooflight?
Some people refer to them as skylights, whilst others refer to them as rooflights. The two are somewhat interchangeable, but what are they and what is their purpose? A rooflight can be defined in simple terms. A rooflight is a glazed unit that provides an opening in a property’s roof. The purpose of this opening is to admit light and maximise aesthetic value. These structures can be installed onto pitched or flat roofs and, on occasion, improve ventilation (if an openable model is opted for).
How Much Do Rooflights Cost?
Determining the definitive cost of a rooflight is challenging. Not only will the cost change depending on materials used and the labour costs of the chosen company, but it may be more in specific areas of the country. You are likely to pay more for a rooflight installation in London than, say, Sheffield. On average however, a full rooflight installation is likely to cost the homeowner between £800-1100. This includes labour, materials, any equipment costs and machinery. As suggested, this is likely to vary hugely with some companies offering competitive pricing whilst others are more expensive.
Is Rooflight Planning Permission Needed?
Rooflights can make a fantastic addition to any home. Not only do they lighten up rooms and help to ventilate them, but they can add significant value to a property in the eyes of a prospective buyer. They will typically require a professional team to install them, which begs the question - ‘’Is planning permission required?’’. You will be glad to know that as long as you comply with a few rules, planning permission is not required for rooflight installations in England and Wales. It is worth noting that in Scotland, the rules are stricter and you may be required to apply for planning permission. The following rules must be adhered to:
- The installation cannot protrude more than 150mm beyond the plane of the roof
- The installation cannot be higher than the highest part of the roof
- Side facing windows must be obscure-glazed. Opening windows must be 1.7 metres above the floor level.
How Do I Prevent Rooflight Condensation?
Not only is condensation annoying, but it can cause significant damage to your home if left untreated. Specifically, it can damage paint and wallpaper, wreck furniture and generate mildew on windows and window seals. If you have a problem with condensation in your home, one of the first areas that will suffer is your rooflight windows. Whilst some modern rooflights are expertly crafted to reduce condensation, it can still be an issue. Ventilation is the key to combating condensation. Allowing air to circulate properly will solve your issue. As well as ensuring your property is adequately ventilated, it is best to avoid drying clothes indoors, use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom as well as opening curtains and blinds to allow for the circulation of air.
Do You Offer Rooflight Installation?
Although we offer a broad range of rooflights, we do not install them ourselves. We do, however, have a good rapport with a number of trusted installation companies. We have worked with these companies for many years, and can attest to the quality of their work as well as their competitive pricing. If you wish to talk to one of the team about rooflight installations, we encourage you to contact us before you place an order. If you are opting to install the unit yourself, we have a number of handy guides for a variety of our products. Click here to access our guides page.
What Are U-Values?
You may have heard someone describing or determining the u-value of a building element and never understood what, exactly, they were talking about. The u-value of an item refers to how much thermal resistance the layers have that comprise that item. Moreover, a u-value suggests how efficiently an item can transmit heat from a warm space to a cold space. This also works both ways. Essentially, the lower the u-value the better insulated the item in question is. The u-value of an item is important, as building regulations and standards use this as a metric.
Are Rooflights Safe to Walk On?
Different rooflights are designed for different purposes. Thus, when determining whether a rooflight is safe to walk on you to ask what glass has been used in its construction. Some rooflights are indeed safe to walk on. They feature special toughened glass that is able to withstand the weight of foot traffic. Depending on the purpose of the rooflight, the specification for the glass may change. For example, commercial rooflight installations will have a more demanding glass specification than domestic variations. It is important to note that if you purchase a normal rooflight without toughened glass, it is not safe to walk on. The manufacturer will specify which models can handle foot traffic and weight.
How Much Do Rooflights Weigh?
There is no question: rooflights are heavy. Whilst for the vast majority of installations you can get by with the support of a crew, there may be times where you need a crane. The cost of this may come as part of the overall agreed price, or it may cost more depending on the installation company. As a general guide, rooflights can go from 40kg per square metre all the way up to 80. If you are looking at triple glazed options, these can be even heavier. It is worth noting therefore that if you are choosing to install a rooflight yourself, you will certainly need support with lifting and placement. We encourage you to contact an expert if you are thinking about doing it this way.
Do Rooflights Lose Heat During the Winter?
Innovations have been made in recent years to prevent heat loss in homes that have rooflights installed. Lots of modern rooflights, including many from our ranges, are manufactured with thermal insulation in mind. They feature specialist glass and, on occasion, triple glazing which works to prevent heat loss during the winter. The positioning of your rooflight as well as the inclusion of tints or coatings will also impact heat loss. If you would like any more information on the most thermally efficient options we have, we encourage you to contact us.
How Do I Clean Rooflights?
There are a number of options as far as cleaning your rooflight is concerned. There are self cleaning rooflights available nowadays that feature a chemical coating that reacts with sunlight. This breaks down dirt on the glass and, with the help of rainwater, keeps your rooflights clean without having to do so yourself. This option is only available for rooflights in pitched roofs however, as a minimum pitch of 30 degrees is required. Even with self cleaning options, the inside will need to be tackled every few months. This can be cleaned as you would clean any other glass surface. If you do not have a self cleaning model and your rooflight is high up, it may be best to hire a professional window cleaner. Although people do opt to do this themselves from time to time, you will get better results faster by hiring a professional.
How Long Do Rooflights Last?
It is difficult to determine the lifespan of a rooflight as there are a great number of contributing factors. For example, the materials and how well it has been maintained or kept will determine how many years you are given. Like anything, if you regularly clean your rooflight and do not let it fall into disrepair you are likely to get the most from it. As a general rule, you can expect new rooflight installations to last between 8 and 15 years. With high quality aluminium casing and toughened glass however, rooflights can exceed the 15 year benchmark. Here at Rooflight Centre, our rooflights are expertly crafted using the highest quality materials. We can attest to the quality of our installations, with our rooflights being built to last.