With the rising costs of moving home, extending up or out can be a great way of adding value and much-needed space to your home, without the hassle and expense of relocating. If you are planning an extension or loft conversion, you will need appropriate planning permission and your build will need to meet building regs.
A professional builder and architect can advise you on what you need to do. Once the formalities have been dealt with, you get to deal with the fun bits! Light is vital to any room, so deciding what kind of windows to use is an important part of your project. Here, we look at your primary choices for windows.
Pivot (Tilt) Windows
Pivot or tilt windows are an easy option for an attic as they fit at the same angle as the roof, so no additional building is needed. Due to the popularity of this style of window, there are now countless choices, depending on your needs and budget. You can get windows that open from the top, bottom, middle or in multiple directions. With so many styles to choose from, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, so focus on what you need: might the window be needed for access or as an escape window for fire regulations? What do you prefer from an aesthetic perspective? Once you have narrowed down your choices, consider blinds and shutters; some roof windows and skylights need specific blinds, which can add considerably to the overall costs.
Dormer windows project out from a pitched roof. This gives you more choice when it comes to the actual casements but means more building work. Dormer windows are often a good choice for loft conversions where the pitch of the roof comes low, or to the floor; they take the edges of the room, where head space is limited, and add a few extra feet of height. In this way, dormer windows can provide additional usable space to a room, as well as natural light. They do take more work as they will often require scaffolding to install, and the dormer roof will require maintenance, but in some cases, they are worth the investment.
Light Chutes and Flat Roofs
Roof lights aren’t only an option for attics and conversions, they can shed light in even the darkest spots of a home. It is easy to add a window to a flat roof; choose from a simple built-up frame, a dome, or a feature window to fill a room with natural light. Likewise, light chutes are a fantastic way of naturally lighting areas that don’t benefit from windows. Light chutes are smaller, non-opening windows that form a tunnel from the outside to darker areas of a home, e.g. hallways and landings. The chute is lined with reflective material, to draw the light from the outside.
The importance of lighting is often overlooked, but effective natural lighting can transform a space. If you would like advice on windows and lighting, get in touch with a specialist. For more tips and advice, why not follow us on Facebook or Twitter?