31 Jan 2017

The benefits and considerations when opting for rooflights


With an abundance of skylight options available on the market, it may be proving difficult for some self-builders to select the correct one for their self-build. Here Steve Bromberg, General Manager at Express Bi-Folding Doors, offers his advice on selecting skylights and what designs are available.

Roof lanterns

Designed to completely transform a flat roof, roof lanterns are a great option to not only fill a room otherwise lacking in natural light, but also to increase its apparent size with its raised ceiling height. Options include pyramids, polygons, domes, gable/hip-ended, among others.

Flat roof skylights

Architecturally-led flat roof skylights are perfect for existing flat roofs where natural light might be lacking. The modern aesthetic ensures a minimalistic finish with elegant lines for a timeless look – with flush designs becoming popular.

Lean-to roofing

Glazing options aren’t just limited to flat roofs. If you’re wanting to incorporate glazing into a pitched roof, then lean-to roofing could be the best option. Combined with bi-folding or sliding doors or brick wall returns to match the rest of the property, a lean-to roof becomes more of a glass extension and is increasingly popular among self-builds.


The benefits

• In the last few years, homeowners have been knocking down interior walls to create open living-dining rooms, perfect for families. Glazing above this space adds a ‘wow factor’ and creates the illusion of even more space. This will make your self-build more valuable to potential future owners.

• Roof lanterns and skylights are notoriously simpler to install than a fully glazed structure or extension, providing a more cost-efficient and time-saving option to brighten a room.

• Advances in glazing technology mean that nowadays skylights and roof lanterns need not pose a thermal concern – solar control glass ensures a room will remain thermally efficient in both summer and winter.



Blinded by the light

Once you have selected which skylight suits your self-build project, you may wish to consider blinds to accompany your design. Here Kirsty Martin, a spokesperson for Web-Blinds, comments on the fitting of skylight blinds.

Despite what many may think, measuring and fitting your own skylight blind is surprisingly simple and straightforward. In fact, you probably won’t even need to measure anything at all! On most skylights, you’ll find a reference number, which you match to numerous blind companies’ numbers, such as the ones in our drop-down menus on our website, once you’ve chosen your desired fabric.


When completing your order, the window type is the first three letters (e.g. GGL, GHL or GPL). The window size is the following figures (e.g. SO6, 606 or 4). Before installing your blind, ensure you have the essentials: your blind cassette, your two side channels and a minimum of four wood screws, all of which come with your blind. You’ll also need a screwdriver and a drill. Fitting is easy and full instructions can be found on our website.


Healthier homes

84 million Europeans live in homes that are too damp, causing respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) according to new research from the German institute, Fraunhofer IBP.

In light of the findings, the VELUX Group is calling for healthier homes to be a central consideration for the new European framework for national building legislations, which will affect UK house-builders once implemented.

The study reveals that close to 84 million Europeans live in damp or mouldy dwellings, which increases their risk of having respiratory diseases and life-long allergies by 40%. This proves the number of people living in unhealthy buildings remains an issue, despite recent awareness of the correlation between indoor environments and human health.


According to Fraunhofer, dampness is one of the main defects in buildings across Europe, primarily caused by inadequate building structures and homeowners’ lack of attention to ventilate sufficiently. As a consequence, mould is likely to grow, however the risk of this can be reduced significantly by choosing the right building fabrics during renovations.

Last April, the VELUX Group completed the RenovActive project in Belgium, a home renovation based on Active House principles focusing on the building’s architectural quality, human health, comfort and wellbeing, energy efficiency and environmental benefits. A key element in the modernisation is the prevention of indoor dampness and mould, which is ensured by a natural and continuous airflow in the house.


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