Make Your Extension Brighter with a Roof LanternPosted 8th May 2015 in Blog
Once upon a time, houses tended to be dark and claustrophobic places. Windows were small, and a good deal of what light did make it through was stopped by heavy lace curtains.
No-one likes that kind of house any more, and most designers aim to bring in as much light as possible, cutting out barriers between inside and outside while still ensuring we can stay warm through the winter. Bifold doors are one of the key strategies, but if you have an extension or conservatory, a roof lantern can transform it.
What Is a Roof Lantern?
Sometimes known as a skylight, a roof lantern is a daylighting cupola architectural element. Essentially, it's a window in the roof, but raised from a flat roof in various configurations: square, pyramid, octagonal or double-hipped. Modern roof lanterns are far more efficient at letting in the light than traditional models, allowing for large panes of glass with minimal structure to get in the way.
Roof lanterns can be as large or small as they need to be, and the frames can be aluminium or uPVC. There's also the option of incorporating roof vents that open either manually or electronically.
Aluminium or uPVC
Both are excellent materials, depending on your requirements and your budget.
The big advantage of aluminium is that it can be ultra-thin without sacrificing strength. This means a roof lantern can have very little frame to block the light, at the same time looking elegant and modern. If the aluminium is thermally broken, that maximises its thermal energy.
On the other hand, uPVC is often seen purely as the cheaper option. Its low cost certainly makes it attractive if you're on a tight budget, but it's an excellent, versatile material in its own right.
Efficient frames are important, but the most crucial aspect of any roof lantern is the glazing. They'll normally be double glazed, of course, though triple glazing may be appropriate to keep out any severe weather.
Solar control is vital as well, to prevent the glass turning your extension into a hot-house. In general, look for 1.0 U-value, while an argon filling between the panes will ensure that heat is kept inside during winter.
Bifold doors from your extension to the patio and a well-glazed contemporary roof lantern make the perfect combination to bring the outside in, while keeping the house warm and comfortable when the weather turns bad. It's what you'd call a win-win result.