Selecting the right rooflight for your project
When it comes to rooflights, there is no such thing as one size fits all. There are several considerations to factor in the decision making process, from the size and shape, to the frame material, the glazing type, opening or fixed, internal liners, the list goes on.
At Stella, we make every rooflight bespoke to suit your individual project so you can be sure that your rooflight is perfect for your individual application. Before we start any project we will discuss with you the factors involved in your build and the options available to you to ensure you find the perfect rooflight solution for your home:
The first thing to consider with any rooflight, is where it will be positioned within your roof and the type of functionality you require it to perform. The pitch of your roof will be a major determining factor as to the type of rooflight you are able to install. The majority of our rooflights are installed in pitched roofs, ,and are suitable for a minimum pitch of 17 degrees and a maximum of 70 degrees, although if you are using a fixed design, then it is possible to go as low as 15 degrees. Stella also offer skylights for flat roofs if required.
When it comes to functionality, of course the first and most important factor for most will be to ensure as much natural light as possible enters the room. Natural light can offer many benefits, but you will need to consider over-exposure to UV light. This is why all Stella rooflights come with the highest specification solar controlled glazing as standard. We also incorporate a permanent self clean glazing unit as standard, and if this is something that you are keen to have (and most people will as rooflights are not always the easiest to access for cleaning), then be mindful that a number of companies will offer a ‘self clean’ glazing when in fact it is just a spray on easy clean coating which is not a genuine self-clean glass and is unlikely to last long.
Opening or fixed?
Whether you need an opening or fixed rooflight will have a considerable impact on the cost, especially if you need a large rooflight that needs electric actuation, so think carefully as to whether you really do need it to open for ventilation or if the primary function is to let in light.
If you require an opening skylight, we can produce some quite large sizes but even so it still requires some careful consideration as large skylights up high on a roof can act like a sail if the wind gets up and can do untold damage to your roof. Our electric opening mechanisms are complimented by a range of rain, wind and temperature sensors to minimise the risk of any damage occurring whilst the rooflight is open. It is also possible to have your electronic rooflights open via a wall mounted switch or remote control.
If you need an opening rooflight, do you want it to open manually or via electric actuation?
This may be determined by the size or more specifically the weight of your rooflight. Large rooflights can weigh several hundred kilograms and it is impossible to physically open these by hand. An electric opening mechanism allows you to effortlessly open your skylight at the touch of a button. While a manually-operated skylight are usually controlled by a brass hand winding mechanism, or alternatively supplied with a pole mechanism to help you reach if they are high up in the ceiling.
What about the shape and size of your rooflight?
The beauty of a bespoke rooflight is that you can pretty much build anything you can imagine to suit your project. Of course there are certain limitations, ie those that govern the laws of physics! But most designs are perfectly possible and we work with clients who have a wide range of highly creative requirements.
Our expert designers will provide you with a professional set of CAD drawings that will show the technical details of your rooflight. These will be signed off by you and/or your architect prior to the manufacturing stage so that all parties are completely satisfied that the design matches the requirement.
What about Building Regulations and rooflights?
There are regulations surrounding the manufacture and installation of rooflights – these are principally surrounding the thermal performance and careful consideration should be given to Part L of the Building Regs. A good resource to find out more about this is the Planning Portal https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/47/roof/5
Rooflight companies will quote you a ‘U-Value’ figure when it comes to thermal performance. However, we would advise caution when comparing rooflight U-values as there is very little regulation in the industry. Also be aware that there are factors that will affect this figure, such as the pitch of your roof. If you would like to know more about rooflights and thermal performance, read our blog https://www.stellarooflight.co.uk/post/u-what