Pitched Roof & Loft Windows

Whether you're building from scratch or refurbishing your existing property, install a high-quality pitched roof window which is tailored exactly how you need it. Choose between the most trusted and well-known brands in the window industry as well as shapes, sizes, window openings, glazing and colour. Opt for quad-glazed PassivHaus approved pitched roof windows, white-painted centre pivot electric windows or even a balcony window to give your project an attractive twist. Roof windows are also known as skylight windows, roof lights and sky lights. Find out which suits you below. 

How do I choose the perfect pitched roof window?

Who says windows are just for walls? If you’re looking for a clever way to add more natural light to a room, the solution could be right above your head. Pitched roof windows are known to let in three times more rays than the vertical variety - great if you wanted to drench your loft in sunshine or add daylight to a dark, uninhabited room.

From simple VELUX roof windows to huge skylights, cleverly placed roof windows can transform your space. But the right kind of roof glazing does more than just bring the outdoors in. It can highlight design features in a dining room, free up much-needed wall space in a kitchen or bring fresh air into your en-suite shower room. Read on to find out how to choose the right roof window, or use our full buyer's guide here

How do I want my roof window to operate?

There are three main types of roof windows: electric, manual and solar. Each of these has their very own applications, or areas of installation, that they may be more beneficial for.

Electric roof windows are perfect for installation in higher ceilings or hard to reach areas. If opening a window for you typically involves climbing over furniture, a kitchen side, or using an opening pole, electric windows are for you. Electric roof windows are opened with a remote control from anywhere in your home, and they automatically close if they detect rain. They also come with a whole host of other features including the fact that they’re programmable to open and close at certain times of the day, and they can be paired with smart devices to open or close if, for example, the temperature hits a certain figure.

Manual roof windows are what everyone commonly thinks of when we say roof window. It’s a window that is opened manually from inside the home and then closed manually too. These are ideal for easy to reach locations that mean that opening and closing the window isn’t particularly strenuous. They can be perfect for budget-builds and low-cost constructions!

Solar windows are like electric windows in that they can be programmed, they close automatically on detection of rain, and they can be opened or closed remotely from anywhere in the house. The only difference is that, as the name suggests, these are powered from the sun and don’t need to be plugged into a mains supply. Solar roof windows are perfect for the eco-conscious home owner who wants the benefits of an electric roof window without paying for the electricity!

What style of pitched roof window do I need?

When it comes to pitched roof glazing, each room of your home comes with its own design requirements. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Living rooms

Design and finish are usually the most important considerations when it comes to choosing the perfect roof windows for the hub of our homes. The living room is not only where you spend most of your time, but also the face your home shows to the outside world. Luckily, pitched roof windows come in a range of stylish finishes to really give your room the wow-factor. Love the minimalist look? Go for pitched roof windows with a painted white finish. After something more cosy? Many manufacturers offer windows in traditional wood finishes like pine.

Bathrooms

Want to stare at the skies while you soak? Putting a roof window into your bathroom lets you add this extra touch of luxury. But sloping bathroom windows have to work extra hard to allow ventilation in, while also protecting your privacy. Choosing pitched roof windows with opaque glazing can avoid red faces the next time you bump into your neighbours.

Kitchens

Kitting out your kitchen with sloping roof windows not only makes a stunning style statement, but can also free up valuable wall space for shelves and cupboards. As in bathrooms, the humidity in kitchens can be an issue. Fortunately, there are moisture-resistant pitched roof windows available that can reduce condensation, with top brand RoofLITE specialising in this field.

Bedrooms

Bedrooms need to be cool, comfortable and above all quiet. If you live near a flight path or busy road, choose pitched roof windows with extra noise reduction to maximise your chances of a good night’s sleep. They can even minimise the sound of the rain by 50% - great if the weather’s being a bit British. You'll also want the extra comfort of a window that reduces heat loss in the winter and prevents overheating in the summer and for that you'll need to choose glazing with a lower U-value.

What kind of finish do I need? 

The type of finish you go for will be influenced by the look you want to achieve, as well as practical considerations such as protecting your windows against moisture damage.

Pine

This traditional wood always looks stunning, making it a popular choice for loft bedrooms and living rooms. Long-lasting, this classic material doesn’t date and is neutral enough to match most interiors. Uncoated pine is less expensive than PVC coated windows, normally by around £30 to £40 per window. 

White painted pine

Another popular choice, a timber frame painted in a white looks simple and chic, perfect for adding some pared-back Scandi style to your home. The white shiny surface reflects the light, maximising every ray that comes through your new roof window.

White polyurethane

With these kinds of window, a timber frame is coated with a protective white polyurethane finish for added durability. More moisture-resistant than timber alone, it’s a great choice for humid places such as kitchens and bathrooms. 

Black polyurethane

Give your home a dash of drama by choosing roof windows with a black polyurethane finish. Increasingly popular, the black finish won’t fade and the colour does not affect the window’s U-value. These are available custom, or as side-hung uninhabited-space only windows.

White PVC

Long-lasting and easy-to-maintain, white PVC has the same moisture-resisting properties of polyurethane, but uses a polyvinyl frame rather than timber. If energy-efficiency is important to you, PVC offers excellent insulation.

Will I need planning permission? 

Unless you live in a listed building or conservation area, you don’t normally need to apply for planning permission for pitched roof windows. That’s because they normally fall under Permitted Development as you’re not doing anything to the volume of the roof.

You don't usually need planning permission to install a roof window or skylight into your home, especially when replacing an existing window of the same dimensions. Typically, you will only require roof window planning permission if you're making very visible changes to your property. You may also require permission if you need to change the position of chimneys, flues or pipes. The rights to undertake certain types of work are called 'permitted development rights'. The same rights that apply to houses may not necessarily apply to flats or commercial buildings. This article focuses on domestic residential properties.

When do I need roof window planning permission?

You'll need planning permission to install a roof window if any of the following situations apply:

  • You plan to install any windows more than 150mm above the existing roof plane
  • The window will protrude over the roof ridge or be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • You plan to install a side-facing window without obscure glazing
  • You are installing a side-facing window under 1.7m above the floor than can be opened
  • You plan to make changes to the chimney, flue, soil or vent pipe as a result of installation

You'll also need roof window planning permission if you're a leaseholder or you live in a building where an Article 4 Direction has been made by your local authority, regardless of the above. An Article 4 Direction means the local authority has withdrawn your rights to make changes and develop your building. This removes your permitted development rights. This is done usually in heritage, protected and conservation areas where the historic character, design importance or surrounding area could be negatively impacted. A local council will make an Article 4 Direction when the "character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened". You can find out more about permitted development rights and what it means to have them withdrawn on the government's Planning Portal

To find out more, read 'Do I need roof window planning permission?'

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