Three Skylight Window Features to Look for
November 22, 2019
With so much choice out there and so many buzzwords associated with skylight windows, it can be difficult to separate the wood from the trees and purchase a product that’s perfect for your needs.
To give you some food for thought and help you make the most informed decision possible, we’ve created this shortlist of three features you should look for when choosing a skylight window specifically for a pitched roof:
1. A Frameless View
The primary purpose of a skylight window is to allow more natural light to enter your home. In fact, flat or sloping roof windows and lanterns let in proportionally much more daylight than a vertical equivalent.
Related reading: How important is natural light for your health?
And if you install a pitched skylight window with no visible frame around the edge, you can actually achieve that primary purpose even more effectively, because it allows the optimum amount of valuable light into your room.
Not sure what we mean? Here is a photo that shows how a frameless skylight window looks compared to the more traditional type of pitched roof window you are probably used to seeing.
The image above without the wooden frame is Roof Maker Luxlite™ featuring a contemporary frameless design. This unique product allows a lot more sunlight to enter your home, than other traditional pitched rooflights.
The Roof Maker Luxlite™ is also a great choice for homeowners who are looking to achieve a cleaner, more minimalistic feel. If sleek aesthetics are one of your top priorities, the Roof Maker Luxlite™ could be just what you’re looking for. In fact, it can transform a room to give a more contemporary feel without the need to do a lot of other decoration.
2. A super low Ug-value
Achieving maximum energy efficiency is always a top priority for homeowners. It’s something that’s good for both the environment and your wallet – so it really is a win-win.
When it comes to the energy efficiency of skylight windows, the aspect you need to focus on is the Ug-value of the product you’re considering.
In a nutshell, a Ug-value is a measure of a building material’s thermal performance. In other words, how good an insulator it is and how quickly heat transfers through it. And the rule of thumb you should always follow is the lower the Ug-value, the better the thermal performance.
Related reading: What are Ug-values and why are they important?
So, if exceptional thermal performance and energy efficiency are important to you, you’re going to want to focus on skylight windows that have low Ug-values.
How do our products compare?
Well, low Ug-values are something we specialise in. Our Luxlites for example, feature triple-glazing as standard and boast Ug-values as low as 0.6 w/m2k. To give you an idea, a typical double-glazed vertical window has a Ug-value of between 3.5 and 1.5 w/m2k.
With the UK being the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050, the issue of Ug-values will become more and more important in our efforts to become energy efficient, so worth checking before you install.
3. A range of glazing options
When selecting a skylight window, glass is glass, right? Well, actually, while the glass in a skylight window is there to allow light in and keep rain out, there are a number of different types you can choose from, each with its own range of benefits. That’s why you shouldn’t just settle for whatever glass is offered as standard, but investigate what else is available and whether you might want to choose something more specific to your requirements.
As a minimum, look for skylight window glass that is labelled as being ‘Easy clean.’ This means it has a special coating that enables sunlight to break down dirt on it, which can then be washed away the next time it rains.
At Roof Maker, we manufacture our own, but regardless which type of glass you choose (more info below), it will come with a low-maintenance, easy clean coating as standard, no extra charge.
Our Reflex® Glass can also be ordered in four different varieties:
- Energy – Designed to provide even better insulation and toughness
- Solar Control – Features a special reflective coating to repel heat from the sun
- Noise Control – Significantly reduces unwanted outside noise
- Security – Our toughest type of glass, designed to withstand break-ins and not shatter
Hopefully, these three pointers will help you make the right choice, but if your appetite has now been wetted for more detailed information, please give one of our expert team a call and they will be happy to answer all your rooflight questions.
Meantime check out our video on the five reasons you should choose a Luxlite pitched skylight window.
It’s Look for Circles Day – and we’re here to help!
November 1, 2019
We thought we’d have a bit of fun looking for circles today, November 2, when people all over the world search for everything circular as part of Look for Circles Day.
We’re not joshing, this really is an international event and we thought it would be fun to get involved.
Circles are all around us
After all, circles are everywhere. The wheels of cars, circular dinner plates and mysterious crop and stone circles are just a few examples. So, if you’re up for joining us in the search you will probably find many more circles than you would have imagined.
Why not turn this funny day into a group activity. Make a challenge with your friends and count the number of circles each one of you finds – and at the end of Look for Circles Day, the winner might get a circular pizza, goldfish bowl or a romantic gemstone ring.
Install a circular feature into your home
You may want to step it up a gear and bring some truly stunning architectural circles into the structure of your home. And this is where we can help – with our O-lite circular roof lights. These round roof lights feature a unique and contemporary design. Their frameless form allows maximum natural light to enter your home, while the eye-catching, perfectly round finish is ready to become the focal point in any of your rooms.
Hand built in our UK factory, this unique and contemporary design is manufactured to our usual high standards, triple glazed as standard and provides exceptional levels of noise reduction and heat insulation.
From the inside, the cleverly designed minimal construction will give you a frameless look, resulting in a perfectly round finish which lets in maximum sunlight. We hope you’ll agree that our O-Lite could be the perfect fit for Find a Circle Day.
– triple glazed as standard
– easy clean glass – Ug-value of just 0.6 W/m² – 20-year unit seal warranty – marine grade aluminium frame for incredible durability – Choice of glass specifications and tints to suit your requirements and budget
So, if you feel a circular rooflight is right for you, but you’re not sure which specification will fit your budget visit our website or call us today on 0116 269 6297, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Happy circle hunting!
Finding the best rooflight to reduce noise pollution
October 29, 2019
With Bonfire Night fast approaching you may be wondering if rooflights will let in too much noise when the annual firework displays begin. We all want our homes to be tranquil, even on Guy Fawkes night, especially those of us with pets.
We understand that sound insulation is important when choosing a rooflight. That’s why we’ve carefully designed our rooflights to minimise noise from rainfall to airplane noise to pyrotechnics. We have developed a number of innovative manufacturing techniques to achieve this.
Designed to reduce noise pollution
When designing our rooflights, decades of experience have given us a huge amount of experience to draw upon when deciding which characteristics are crucial to minimising noise:
- Triple-glazing as standard on several products, including our fixed flat rooflight
- 6mm toughened safety glass as standard on all flat products, including Luxlite
- 16mm gap between the panes
- Double argon filled cavities to further minimise noise and reduce heat loss
- Edgetech warm edge foam spacer bar to reduce noise and provide extra thermal insulation
Specialist acoustic glazing
Reflex Acoustic Performance is a specialist glass, designed specifically and exclusively by Roof Maker to combat noise pollution. It does this by replacing the toughened inner pane of glass with two layers of glass, fused together with a purpose made acoustic laminate. This type of specialist glass is available for many different styles of rooflights and is most effective when combined with triple glazing.
While adding a specialist acoustic glazing will marginally increase the overall cost of your rooflight, it is worth the additional expenditure. For those worried about their pets in the run up to Guy Fawkes night, or if you live in a noisy area or under a flight path, it can hugely reduce the amount of noise pollution you are exposed to every day in your home. So we hope you’ll agree it’s well worth the investment.
For further advice, talk to the experts
If you’re still worried about whether rooflights are noisy when it comes to fireworks, plane or traffic noise or rainfall, or for further information about any of our products, please call
0116 269 6287 to speak to one of our experts. If you’re unsure which is the best rooflight for your property, why not try our rooflight selector?
Rooflights 101 – A handy guide to understanding everything rooflights
October 18, 2019
When you’re thinking of purchasing a rooflight, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer range of choices available.
As a minimum, you’ll need to decide whether you want a flat rooflight, a pitched rooflight or a lantern rooflight. But then there are all the components and optional extras to consider too. The bottom line is it can get quite confusing when you don’t know your builder’s kerb from your thermal break, so we’ve compiled this handy list of rooflight terms (a glossary, if you like) to help you out.
The hole or opening in which your rooflight will be installed. Roof Maker rooflights feature some of the slimmest frames going and most of them sit outside your aperture, so you’ll see more glass and enjoy more light for your money.
Argon gas is one of the gases that’s often used (along with xenon and krypton) to fill the space between the two panes of glass used in a double-glazed window. Its inert nature means it has lower thermal conductivity than air, which significantly reduces the transfer of heat through the glazing and improves energy efficiency.
Blinds that can be fitted to most rooflights to give you greater control over how much light comes in, enabling you to achieve partial or total blackout as desired. Roof Maker offers a remote-controlled blind, which is simple to use - and essential if the rooflight is out of reach.
A timber frame that sits beneath a flat rooflight allowing it to be installed at the correct pitch (usually five degrees) so that water can run off naturally. It also allows the rooflight to sit at a height that complies with most building regulations. Usually made from wood, a Roof Maker ready-made builder’s kerb makes installation easier. You’ll benefit from increased thermal insulation too.
Easy clean glass
A standard coating that’s added for free on all our glass. It inhibits the build-up of dirt and uses natural rainfall to help keep the glass as clean as possible, meaning you don’t have to spend too much of your precious time cleaning your rooflight. Beware companies who claim their glass is ‘self-cleaning,’ significant deposits of dirt or bird muck will not magically disappear without some form of cleaning by hand.
A surround that’s built in to our pitched rooflights to allow easier installation and superior weatherproofing. The flashing apron also acts as an extension of the rooflight under your chosen roofing material.
A rooflight that’s designed to be installed in/on a flat roof. Pitched at a minimum of five degrees (with the help of a builder’s kerb) so that rainwater runs off, these rooflights come as fixed flat rooflights, opening flat rooflights, walk on rooflights and round rooflights (O-lite). Or, alternatively, you can install a pyramid, Slimline® or traditional lantern on a flat roof to allow more light into the space below.
The different types of glass that can be used in a rooflight. The best rooflight companies offer a range of choices to help you control solar heat transfer or manage noise from outside. Also, toughened or laminated glass can provide higher levels of security compared to standard glass types. Find out more about our proprietary Reflex® Glass and it’s 20 year unit seal warranty (T&Cs apply) .
Marine grade frame
All of our rooflights are finished with a marine grade powder coating to help them better withstand the elements and provide you with years of faithful service - massively reducing the chances of you having to repair or replace them in the future. We’re so confident in ours the frame comes with a 10-year warranty (T&Cs apply).
The steepness of a roof or rooflight, usually expressed as a ratio or number of angular degrees e.g. five degrees. If you’re shopping for a pitched rooflight, it is always a good idea to know the approximate pitch of your roof before making your choice. Some companies have limitations whereby their pitched rooflight cannot be installed on roofs above or below a certain angle of pitch.
Quad Glazed Ultimate glass
Our Quad Glazed Ultimate glass provides the best possible thermal performance (Ug-values of 0.2 W/m2k which is comparable to house walls and ceilings) with the lighter weight of a triple glazed unit.
Automatic rain sensor
You can opt to have a rain sensor with many of our opening rooflights. It detects rain in the air and automatically closes the rooflight, meaning you won’t get caught with an open rooflight if there is a sudden rain shower.
Our proprietary glazing option, developed in-house and designed to provide ultimate thermal performance. Available with specialist UV and IR blocking capabilities, our Reflex® Glass is branded in the corner with the Reflex® glass logo to guarantee authenticity. Every piece is manufactured to BS EN12150 standards.
A contemporary rooflight designed for flat roofs. A lantern will provide a greater amount of daylight into a room as it acts rather like a prism. Available as a Slimline Lantern, Sliding Roof Lantern or Traditional Roof Lantern. A roof lantern can also be used to provide an eye-catching feature as part of your room design.
An aluminium bar that is used to reinforce a piece of rooflight glass. They are usually installed on a rooflight above a certain size to ensure there is adequate support for the weight of glass. A split bar is also featured on our Conservation Luxlite to reproduce the ‘traditional look’ required under building regulations for listed properties.
A piece of material – usually resin, silicone and Styrofoam – that has a low thermal conductivity. Placed between two different conductive materials, a thermal break reduces heat loss and cold transfer, as well as eliminating the risk of condensation.
In a nutshell, the colour of the glass used in your rooflight. While clear glass is our standard option here at Roof Maker, we also offer Subtle Blue Tint (helps reduce the heat gain and removes the harsh UV rays from sunlight, protecting furniture), Grey Tint Glass (the same as our blue tint but grey in colour) and Satinova Privacy (opaque glass, impossible to see through from either side). Finally, our Solar Performance offers the superb UV protection and control over heat gain, with the benefits of having a near-clear aesthetic effect.
Triple glazed Acoustic Performance glass
Our proprietary Reflex® Glass with extra insulation against noise – perfect if you live close to a busy road airport, or railway line etc. It also stops noise leaking out, so if you have band practice in your house, it will stop the neighbours sharing the experience.
Triple glazed Energy glass
Our standard Reflex® Glass comprising two or three panes of 4mm or 6mm toughened safety glass to ensure excellent thermal performance.
Triple glazed Security Performance glass
Our proprietary Reflex® Glass with an extra plastic interlayer, making it harder to break.
Triple glazed Solar Performance glass
Our proprietary Reflex® Glass with an additional solar reflective coating to repel heat from the sun and low Ug-values to retain heat. Helps to keep your room warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
A U-Value is a measure of how fast heat transfers through a building material or element of a house i.e. it’s a measure of how good an insulator the item in question is. The lower the U-value, the better the material is at insulating.
You can read more about U- and Ug-values in another of our blogs: What are Ug-values and why are they important?
Still have questions? Our team of rooflight specialists are here to help you. Contact us today if you would like more information about any of our products.
Which is best? A pitched or flat roof extension?
October 7, 2019
If you’re planning a home extension, one fundamental aspect you’ll need to consider is what type of roof you are going to put on it. While it won’t be the most exciting decision you’ll have to make, it is one that is actually pretty important, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
In today’s post, we are going to look at the pros and cons of the two main choices available to you when choosing a roof for your extension: pitched roof extension and flat roof extension.
(This blog is for information only and doesn’t constitute advice from Roof Maker. You should seek professional guidance and obtain all the relevant approvals before proceeding with any building work)
Pitched roof extension
One of the biggest factors when deciding between a pitched roof extension and a flat roof extension is cost. Pitched roof extensions typically cost more simply because they involve more work and take longer to complete.
Pros of a pitched roof extension:
- Pitched roof extensions afford a more traditional look and that means they blend in better with the style of many houses. This is a factor that planning departments tend to look on favourably.
- Pitched roof extensions tend to have a longer lifespan than their flat counterparts. That’s because the materials used to create them are generally more durable and weather resistant. Plus, there’s also the fact that pitched roofs don’t come with the risk of water pooling on them, which adds to their longevity and eliminates the chances of leaks.
- Pitched rooflights often let in more natural daylight than traditional windows because of their angle in relation to the sun. This helps make the space inside seem bigger, as well as affording all the health benefits that come with more natural light exposure.
- With a pitched roof extension, you inevitably benefit from more space beneath. This allows you to put up higher ceilings, or utilise the space below the roof in the form of a loft.
- Finally, a pitched roof extension enables you to add more insulation, which can help keep your energy bills lower and your house warmer.
Cons of a pitched roof extension:
- As we’ve already mentioned, pitched roof extensions tend to cost more than flat ones because of the extra work and time involved.
- The style, shape or size of some homes simply don’t lend themselves to pitched roof extensions, such as bungalows or those where neighbouring houses might have their view affected.
Flat roof extension
Many homeowners, when building single-storey extensions, tend to opt for a flat roof because they are cheaper and quicker to create.
Pros of a flat roof extension:
- First and foremost, a flat roof extension will usually be cheaper to create than a pitched roof extension. That’s because creating one involves less materials, labour and time.
- Flat roofs can still accommodate rooflights, which means you can reap all the benefits that a rooflight affords without needing a pitched roof. In fact, you’ve got more options open to you than a pitched roof extension: something from our range of flat rooflights or an elegant roof lantern.
- Flat roofs have a more contemporary feel than their pitched counterparts. This makes them a great choice if you’re aiming for a certain look.
- Despite their name, flat roof extensions still incorporate a slight slope, which means rainwater will run off without causing any damage.
- In some cases, for instance if you have a bungalow, a flat roof extension may be your only option anyway.
- Occasionally, a taller pitched roof extension might adversely affect the quality of life of people living next door. Typically, this is where their view or the amount of daylight they enjoy is impacted.
Cons of a flat roof extension:
- With a flat roof extension, you’ll inevitably have a lower ceiling inside. So if you were thinking of adding a loft conversion further down the line, you’ll need to make some major alterations, or opt for a pitched roof extension from the outset.
- Although they can be made with extremely durable materials, older style flat roof extensions tend to have shorter lifespans than pitched ones. They may also require more maintenance to keep them in the best shape for protecting the spaces underneath from water ingress.
- Flat roofs tend to be less energy efficient than pitched roofs, which means you are likely to lose more heat through them and have higher energy bills as a result.
Whether you opt for a pitched roof extension or a flat roof extension, Roof Maker have got you covered when it comes to rooflights.
Not sure which of our high-quality rooflights is right for you? Take advantage of our rooflight selector now and discover what your options are.
How Important Is Natural Light for Your Health?
October 1, 2019
We have been using natural light to enrich indoor spaces for centuries (a practice known as daylighting).
In fact, it’s thought that the Romans in the 1st century BCE were the first to use glass windows to allow more natural light into buildings while protecting the occupants from the elements.
However, when electrical lighting improved in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness, the need for daylighting (sadly) diminished.
But these days we’re becoming far more aware of the physical and mental health benefits of natural light. That’s why Roof Maker rooflights are designed to let in more light than many of our competitors.
So this blog aims to highlight why allowing more natural light into your home is still as beneficial for your health as it’s ever been – not to mention how much it can save you in energy costs.
1. Natural light boosts human performance
A study in 1999 found that students with the most daylighting in their classrooms scored as much as 26% higher in standardised tests than comparable counterparts who relied mainly on artificial light (Source: Heschong Mahone Group of Sacramento, California).
Likewise, research from 2013 also tells us that employees working in environments with more natural light had higher levels of energy than those in artificially-lit workplaces (Source: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).
Both pieces of research confirm what many others have shown: natural light boosts human performance.
2. Natural light improves your mood
There’s a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which affects some people during the winter. Not to be mistaken for the less severe ‘winter blues’, SAD causes people who have normal mental health throughout the year to feel depressed in winter. Common symptoms include overeating, sleeping too much and having extremely low energy levels.
The reason SAD tends to affect people more in the winter is simply because the days are shorter and the nights are longer, meaning we are exposed to less natural light, which can lead to a drop in serotonin levels and bring on depression.
3. Natural light boosts vitamin D storage
When we are directly exposed to sunlight, our skin makes vitamin D from our cholesterol. Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is important for a number of reasons, including helping to maintain bone and teeth health, supporting the immune system, regulating insulin and supporting lung function and cardiovascular health.
4. Natural light improves sleep
The amount of sunlight you are exposed to during the day has a direct impact on how well you sleep at night. Specifically, getting at least 30 minutes of direct early morning sunlight produces the biggest benefit.
The reason why early morning sunlight has such a large impact on sleep is all to do with ‘circadian rhythms’ - our 24-hour biological cycles. These cycles dictate when we feel sleepy and by exposing ourselves to natural light first thing in the morning, we reset our body clocks and that increases our chances of falling asleep faster in the evening.
5. Natural light benefits vision
The modern world we live in sees our eyes exposed to computer screens, smartphones and fluorescent light on a regular basis. This can cause headaches, eye strain and lead to more serious eye problems in the future.
By reducing our reliance on artificial light, we can in turn reduce our chances of developing permanent eye problems.
Furthermore, research shows that natural light lowers the risk of nearsightedness (myopia) and aids healthy eye development in children. This is because natural light helps children’s eyes produce dopamine (a key chemical for healthy eye growth) and encourages their eyes to maintain the correct shape and length, which keeps vision in focus.
How Roof Maker can help
Did you know that rooflights let in up to three times more natural light than vertical windows? So, if you want a cost effective way to flood your home with natural light, look no further than a rooflight (or two).
Rooflights are usually more cost effective (and less hassle) than creating new window openings – and you may not even need any planning permission to install them.
Not sure which of our high-quality rooflights is right for you? Take advantage of our rooflight selector now and discover what your options are.
Can You Afford To Renovate Your Home?
September 23, 2019
We recently published a blog post containing some top tips for planning a home renovation. Following on from that post, we thought we’d give you some more food for thought today by looking specifically at home renovation costs and potential financing options, to help you make an informed decision about any projects you might be considering.
(Please bear in mind that this blog is for information only and does not constitute advice of any form. You should obtain all the necessary approvals from the relevant bodies and seek expert professional advice before proceeding with any building or renovation work)
A couple of quick budget tips to start…
First and foremost, the primary aim when you’re carrying out any renovation work is to get your property secure and watertight as soon as possible. Failure to do so could lead to unnecessary expenses you hadn’t planned for and that’s a reality that will put a strain on your budget.
Likewise, it’s also important to plan everything meticulously and carry out all the work in a logical order. For example, don’t go ahead and plaster walls or tile a floor in a room that’s going to need services (like water, electricity and gas) added at a later date. You’ll end up doing the work twice and, again, that will have an impact on your budget.
Planning permission costs
If your property is listed, located in a conservation area, or if you’re planning to do work outside of your permitted development rights, chances are you’re going to need planning permission.
At present, a planning application in England for home improvements costs £206. But be aware that’s just the application cost and, depending on your plans, you may need to make several applications. Then you need to account for architects’ plans and special reports too, which is why a ballpark figure of £2,000 is often cited to cover this stage.
Building regulations approval
In addition to planning permission, you may also need to obtain building regulations approval.
Building regulations ensure that the design and construction of buildings meet certain safety standards. They also encompass fuel and power conservation standards too.
Professional drawings will need to be submitted to the Local Authority in your area so they can assess whether your plans meet their building regulations. Furthermore, a building control surveyor from the Local Authority will also periodically inspect the work to check ongoing compliance.
Building regulations fees start at around £80, but the overall cost could be several thousand pounds, depending on the extent of your project and the number of visits required throughout.
Is there a chance that bats are living in or close to your property? If there is, you’ll need to have a preliminary bat survey to make sure, which costs anywhere between £250 and £800. That’s because bats are protected by both UK and European law, and even disturbing their roosts or damaging, destroying or blocking access to them is a crime.
If the survey reveals that bats are present, a bat emergence survey will be required. Due to the amount of time and unsociable hours associated with this kind of survey, you can expect to pay anywhere between £1,500 and £3,000 for this work.
Example renovation costs
Obviously, home renovation costs vary widely and depend totally on the type of project you’re undertaking. Having said that though, research from Barclays - which involved speaking with builders, architects and specialists - revealed the approximate cost of many common home improvements.
Here’s what it found*:
- Creating an open-plan kitchen – Budget for around £3,500
- Bathroom makeover – Expect to pay around £2,500 for a basic refit and anything up to £6,000+ for a luxury bathroom
- Add a conservatory - From less than £5,000 to upwards of £17,000
- Garage conversion – Between £5,00 and £7,000
- Loft conversion – Around £20,000 to £45,000 (depending on work involved)
- Basement – Expect to pay £1,500 per square metre for a straight conversion and up to £3,000 per square metre if you’re starting from scratch
Sources of finance
So as you can see, home renovations vary significantly in price. That’s why you need to be pretty clear about what you are doing before you even begin (and ensure you have adequate budget in place).
While the most financially savvy way to finance a home renovation is by using any savings you have, not everyone is in a position to do this. So what are your options?
Fortunately, you’ve got a few alleys to explore to make your home renovation dreams a reality, but the most important piece of advice to remember is that if you do need to borrow money, choose the option that sees you borrowing over the shortest period of time. Moreover, consider the total cost of the borrowing, not just the monthly payments.
Increase your mortgage
If your home has increased in value since you bought it, there’s a chance you could borrow more from your mortgage lender. However, be aware that any extra mortgage you agree is likely to be on different terms than your existing deal.
The advantages are that you can typically spread the cost of the borrowing over a longer period and enjoy lower interest rates than a personal loan.
Peer to peer loans
In recent times, a new lending platform has emerged and it’s proving quite popular. Peer to peer lending, as they are known, involve you borrowing money from other everyday people.
The “lenders” actively want people to borrow from them and the resulting loan is based on both parties’ requirements.
With no traditional financial institutions involved, the peer to peer lending platforms act as an intermediary and oversee the transaction. If you’ve got an excellent credit history and no previous lending problems, peer to peer loans are a great way to secure the financing you need to complete your home renovations.
A quick Google search should bring up plenty of potential peer to peer loan services that will suit your needs.
Get an unsecured personal loan
Unlike mortgages, unsecured personal loans do not put your property at risk. But they will see you borrowing money at a rate and on terms that aren’t as favourable as you’ll get from your mortgage lender.
That’s why you should always be cautious when considering personal loans. While your property might not be at risk, you could end up paying over the odds for your financing and that will ultimately reduce the value of your home improvement project.
Sorry, but as we’ve already mentioned, paying for home improvements using savings is always the most cost effective method. That’s why it’s always advisable to try and save money before you begin any home renovation projects.
Ask yourself, do I need to undertake this project right now or can I wait until I (we) have saved the funds? If the latter is true, do that. Regardless of how much home improvements will increase the value of your home, if you have to borrow money to pay for them, their true value will always be diminished.
How Roof Maker can help
Did you know that Roof Maker offer 0% finance on all our products to help our customers spread the cost and obligation of their home improvement projects?
With just a 10% deposit, you could secure the perfect rooflights for your home renovation project and pay over a 12-month period.
Have a home renovation project in mind already? Our team of rooflight specialists are here to help. Contact us today if you would like more information about any of our products.
Case Study | Enfield
September 12, 2019
Do I Need A Builder To Install My Rooflight?
September 12, 2019
One of the questions we often get asked here at Roof Maker is ‘do I need a builder to install a rooflight?’ And it’s actually a very good question because the answer isn’t just a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
The bottom line is… it depends on a number of factors.
In this post, we are going to look at some of them, and point you towards some useful resources to help you make up your mind.
Heights and heavy objects
First and foremost, installing a rooflight involves two potentially hazardous components: heights and heavy objects. If either of these things faze you, it’s probably best if you get a professional tradesperson to install your new rooflight for you.
It goes without saying that safety should be your number one concern when considering installing one of our rooflights yourself. While you might not think it, our rooflights can be heavy depending on their size. For example, even a 600mm x 600mm fixed flat rooflight weighs around 25kg – slightly bulky by anyone’s standards.
So, if you are considering installing one of our rooflights yourself, we highly recommend you have an extra pair of hands to not only help make the process easier, but also safer.
Another factor you’ll need to consider is whether your new rooflight needs a timber upstand/builder’s kerb. It’s basically a wooden frame that ensures flat rooflights are installed on the correct angle (between 5 and 15 degrees) and protrude at least 150mm above the finished roof level (to satisfy building regulations).
The internal dimensions of the builder’s kerb need to match those of the rooflight, while the width needs to match the width of the rooflight frame (usually 75mm). If you consider yourself to be a pretty good DIY carpenter, a timber upstand shouldn’t cause you too many problems.
Don’t fancy making a timber upstand yourself? Then consider purchasing one of our readymade builder’s kerbs instead. It guarantees a perfect fit every time and will afford even better thermal insulation. From just £250 (+VAT), you really can’t go wrong – especially if the thought of making your own isn’t appealing!
Technical document hub
To provide you with all the information you need to install a rooflight yourself, we’ve invested significant time developing our Technical Document Hub. It’s a treasure trove of knowledge for all things Roof Maker and is designed to walk you through installing our products step-by-step.
Each technical document tells you exactly what you should expect to receive when you order a particular product; what you will need to complete the installation; and the exact steps you need to take to carry out the work.
As you can see from the extract below, everything is designed to be easy to follow and provide you with clear instructions along the way:
As a very minimum for any rooflight installation, you will need: • Suitable safety gear • Enough timber for your builder’s kerb • Silicon adhesive (we recommend Dow Corning 791) • A drill • A range of drill bits and screws
Handy rooflight installation videos
In addition to our comprehensive Technical Document Hub, we have also created a number of handy rooflight installation videos to show you exactly how some of our products are installed. These videos complement our technical documents superbly as they enable you to see how the necessary installation steps are carried out.
While our world-class rooflights are designed to be as easy as possible to install, if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, please either enlist the services of a professional builder in your area, or get our specialist installation team to carry out the work for you.
Your rooflight needs to be handled carefully to avoid damage to it and injury to you. That’s why we only suggest you install it yourself if you are confident, have all the correct tools and have carried out similar work in the past.
For more information about any of our products, or to ask any questions you might have about installation contact us today.
Top Tips For Planning A Home Renovation
September 2, 2019
Home renovations can be an exciting time, but the thrill can soon turn to frustration if you haven’t planned properly. Delays, stretched budgets and other unforeseen issues can really take the shine off the experience.
The good news though is that a lot of problems can be anticipated, so to help yours run more smoothly, here are our top tips for planning a house renovation.
1. Do your research (and ask around)
If you’re considering a home renovation project, chances are you already have a good idea of what you want to change and improve. For example, you may know that you want to convert your loft into another bedroom or home office. But before you start ordering rooflights to help brighten up the space, or picking out suitable furniture to fill the room, there’s a lot to consider.
A great place to start is by talking to friends or neighbours who have had similar work done. They will probably be able to give you some idea in terms of costs involved, and may be able to recommend a builder. Some suppliers offer handy online tools to help you pick the right products for your project, for instance you might want to take a look at our rooflight selector to see which is the best rooflight for you.
You can also (and we recommend you do) speak with building professionals and get their opinions on your proposed work. Their professional knowledge can be invaluable during the early stages of a project and help define the entire course going forward.
2. Define your budget (and be realistic)
We know you’re champing at the bit to get going on your home renovation project, but before you do anything, you need to sit down and define your budget.
Obviously, the simplest place to start is by literally figuring out how much money you’ve got to throw at your renovations. That might include savings you’ve got in the bank, money you can borrow from family or friends, loans you can get from the bank or perhaps an extension on your mortgage.
Having a realistic budget before you start will actually make it easier when you come to choose designs, tradespeople and materials. That’s because you can instantly dismiss stuff that you can’t afford, instead of having to back and check if you can squeeze it into your budget.
It’s also worth considering the ROI (return on investment) of your project i.e. will your improvements increase the value of your home by more than they cost to complete? They usually do, but it’s still worth considering.
A great website to help you figure out rough renovation costs is Love Renovate. Their simple-to-use cost calculator can provide you with some rough project costs, while the budget tool helps collate all the prices you’ve obtained.
Obviously, it goes without saying that you should never borrow more than you can afford to repay.
3. Anticipate the potential disruption
While it depends on exactly what home renovations you’re going to make, there’s likely to be quite a bit of disruption to your home while they are being completed. Even the most meticulous building professional cannot guarantee zero dust or debris, so you need to be prepared for what potentially lies ahead.
If you think that living in a disrupted home – which can be a trying experience – will be unmanageable, consider renting somewhere or staying with friends/family in the short term. You could even use the opportunity to go on holiday, but don’t let doing so affect your renovation budget.
Have you got pets? How are they going to cope with your renovation work? Again, consider relocating them in the short term. Power tools, strange people, open doors and harmful chemicals all pose a threat to your pets’ health and that’s why it might be better to get them safely out of the way.
4. Find the right building partner
This fourth point is extremely important. Partnering with the right building professional can literally make or break your entire project. And when we say ‘right’ we don’t just mean one who’s highly recommended or has completed similar projects, but someone who you can also see yourself happily working with.
Nothing is worse than contracting a builder to complete some work on your home and finding out you just don’t get on. It will make the entire project seem like an ordeal and exacerbate any issues that arise (and there will almost certainly be some).
Our recent blog post – Top tips for choosing a builder – has some great pointers for when you’re looking for a building professional to partner with.
5. Stay positive
We’ve got some news for you: no building project ever has gone 100% silky smooth, with zero snags or issues. And if you think yours is going to be any different, think again.
Of course you want everything to go perfectly – who doesn’t!? But with so many factors in play, it’s unlikely that things will go exactly as planned, which can be both frustrating and costly.
That’s why it’s important to remain positive and keep things in perspective. If you’re slightly behind schedule, it’s not the end of the world. If something hasn’t turned out the way you’d hoped, adopt a ‘how can this be remedied?’ mindset, instead of a ‘who’s to blame?’ one.
Most of all, stay focussed on your dream renovation, and use that to drive everything forward.
5 Unique Ideas For Roof Lights In Your Home
August 22, 2019
Looking for some inspiration when it comes to roof lights? We’ve been in the business of manufacturing and supplying roof lights since 2001. And while that might not sound ‘that’ long (nothing ever does when it’s post-2000), it’s actually just under 20 years.
As we’ve grown as a company, our vast experience in designing and manufacturing roof lights has been getting vaster. As a result, we have risen to become experts in our field and a driving force in setting the benchmark for premium quality roof lights.
So, we are in a fantastic position to provide roof light advice and support – and that includes inspiration for our customers, which is why we wrote today’s blog post.
If you’re toying with the idea of purchasing a roof light, but aren’t quite sure which type would be most suitable for your needs, this blog post is for you. We’ve covered five different Roof Maker roof lights (perhaps options that are slightly lesser known) and provided you with an inspirational lowdown on each to help you make an informed decision.
1. Round roof lights
First up are our O-lite circular roof lights. These round roof lights feature a unique and contemporary design. Their frameless form allows maximum natural light to enter your home, while the eye-catching, perfectly round finish is ready to become the focal point in any of your rooms.
Supplied with a free timber upstand for your convenience, our round rooflights come triple-glazed as standard for ultimate noise reduction and heat insulation.
2. Slide opening lanterns
Now you may have seen roof lanterns spectacularly adorning the roofs of homes before, but did you know that they also come in opening varieties too? That’s right.
Our slide opening roof lanterns not only look amazing and allow the maximum amount of sunlight to enter your home, they also slide open to provide ventilation as well. At the touch of a button (they are operated by remote control), you can sleekly slide open your lantern rooflight and let beneficial fresh air fill your home.
If you’re looking for an opening roof light that affords maximum light and looks the part architecturally, our slide opening roof lanterns are for you.
3. Walk on rooflights
The perfect solution for illuminating a dark basement, our walk on roof lights can be installed in both internal and external flooring. These roof lights really are the ultimate way to add extra light to rooms that are below ground, adding a seriously cool feature at the same time.
Made from toughened glass to withstand people walking on them and available with a range of anti-stick surfaces to prevent slipping, our walk on roof lights are designed to sit flush with your floor for dramatic effect and maximum usability.
4. Modular roof lights
Looking to create something truly unique? An actual glass ceiling perhaps? With one of our modular rooflights, you can.
In a nutshell, our modular roof lights enable you to combine multiple fixed flat roof windows into a single, integrated design. And because we use minimal steel supports to join the roof lights together, you still benefit from maximum light flow.
Furthermore, the fact our modular rooflights can be combined in multiple configurations means you can design a bespoke solution that fits your exact needs.
If you’re constrained by an unusual space, building regulations, or just want something a bit different/special (you can create roof windows up to 10 metres long, and two metres wide), one of our modular roof lights is definitely for you.
Here’s some drone footage of one of our modular roof lights in action:
5. Roof Maker’s Conservation LuxliteTM
If you live in a conservation area, you will almost certainly be subject to special controls known as ‘Article 4 Directions’. That means you can’t just go and install a rooflight of your choosing in your property.
Period properties require a special solution and that’s where our Conservation Luxlite™ comes in.
Designed to incorporate the thermal performance benefits of a modern rooflight, while still maintaining a traditional look, our Conservation LuxliteTM is the perfect choice for buildings in conservation areas and/or properties where you want to preserve a traditional architectural theme.
But traditional looking doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features. For example, you can even upgrade to make it remote control opening (and get a free rain sensor in the process).
Are you planning on adding rooflights or roof lanterns to your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
What Makes A Great Rooflight?
August 16, 2019
Rooflights come in all different shapes and sizes. They are also manufactured and sold by a range of different companies. But regardless of the type of rooflight you’re looking for, or your motivations for buying one, some considerations about what makes a great rooflight remain the same across the board.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve written this post all about what makes a great rooflight, so you can confidently purchase the right product for you.
1. Superb energy efficiency
Choosing a rooflight that’s energy efficient is a must. That’s because inferior products will not only negatively impact your wallet, but also the environment. Whilst you’re busy trying to heat your home in the winter as efficiently as possible, your rooflight could be leaking precious warm air out into the cold.
Look for a rooflight that boasts superb energy efficiency (low Ug-values).
Here at Roof Maker, our rooflights feature some of the lowest Ug-values on the market. To give you an idea of the thermal performance our products achieve: some double-glazed windows have Ug-values of 2.8 W/m². Our quad-glazed, Ultimate glass rooflights boast Ug-values from 0.2 W/m².
2. A range of glazing options
Glass is glass, right? Wrong! In fact, it’s such a popular misconception that rooflight glass is fairly standard across the board that we created a bespoke page on our website covering all the amazing features of our own Reflex® Glass.
Whether you live near a busy road and external noise reduction is your top priority, or you want to beef up your home security with some extra tough glass, we’ve got a rooflight glazing option to suit you.
When you opt for a Roof Maker rooflight, you’ll be presented with a variety of glazing options to choose from:
- Energy (exceptional thermal insulation)
- Solar Performance (reduced solar gain)
- Acoustic Performance (cuts down external noise)
- Security Performance (extra tough for extra peace of mind)
- Ultimate performance (designed with Passive House standards in mind)
You can even create your own combo!
The bottom line is the glass you choose for your rooflight makes a huge difference. So don’t just settle for any old glass – choose the type that’s going to best suit your needs.
3. A total peace of mind warranty
Only companies that manufacture their own rooflights (like us) can be 100% confident in the build quality and materials used in their products. That’s why we are able to offer an unprecedented 20-year unit seal warranty and a 10-year glazing system warranty. We also give our customers a 12-month warranty on electronic motor components.
In other words, when you purchase a rooflight from us, you are not just purchasing a high-quality product, you’re also purchasing total peace of mind. Don’t settle for anything less.
4. From a trusted, reputable company
You probably wouldn’t employ the services of a builder who couldn’t provide you with some examples of their work and/or wasn’t willing to put you in touch with any of their previous customers. So why would you entertain purchasing a rooflight from a company that doesn’t offer solid warranties and is reluctant to utilise any kind of review system?
Here at Roof Maker, we are super proud of our 5-star Trust Pilot reviews, which is why we display them prominently on our homepage. It provides anyone who’s thinking of buying one of our products with even more reassurance and helps confirm to us that we are getting things consistently right.
If you purchase from a company that doesn’t offer reassuring warranties and can’t, or is unwilling, to show you examples of their previous projects or customer reviews, prepare to be disappointed further down the line.
5. A low total lifetime cost
All of the above considerations lead to this final point: buy cheap, buy twice. What might seem like an amazing rooflight deal could end up costing you more in the long run. So rather than think in terms of how much you’re saving right now by buying that “cheaper” rooflight, instead consider its total lifetime cost.
And we’re not saying our rooflights are significantly more expensive than most (they’re not). It’s just you may be able to find cheaper alternatives out there. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Ask yourself how much an extra-long warranty is worth (both financially and in terms of peace of mind) and whether a smaller investment now is going to ultimately pay off in the future.
Are you planning on adding rooflights or roof lanterns to your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Why Being An Empty Nester Is The Best Time To Renovate Your Home
August 14, 2019
Following on from one of our previous blog post - 7 Things to Consider Before You Downsize or Renovate – our post today has been written with one question in mind: When is the best time to renovate your home?
Well, as with most things, it depends on many factors. But as an empty nester, you are likely to be experiencing the best time to renovate your home.
Here are some of the reasons why:
You have no mortgage (or it’s very small)
You’ve been working hard and paying off your mortgage for years. Depending on when you bought your house, if you’re in your late 50s, there’s a good chance you’re either mortgage free or have just a modest balance left. This means you are in a great position to invest in some renovations.
No more university fees
Now that all your kids have grown up and fled the nest, (in theory) you don’t have to worry about any more university fees. Okay, so your children will have almost certainly received student loans to help them during their course, but they’ll have probably called upon the bank of mum and dad a few times throughout, right? It’s now time for you to finally do all these little projects you’ve been meaning to.
You still have disposable income
It’s likely that you’re going to be working for a few more years yet. And with just a small/no mortgage, you’re inevitably going to have more disposable income than you have had for a while. Now while many people will rightly use their disposable income to fund things like holidays and other luxury purchases, investing in your home is often a solid move.
The bottom line is you’re going to have less disposable income once you retire. Plus, you may simply not feel inclined to start any renovation projects once you’ve retired. Start enjoying your home more now.
Future proof your home and future health
It’s a sad reality that our health typically deteriorates as we get older. That’s why it’s a good idea to make improvements to your home now and get it ready for your later years. Now those improvements could focus on mobility and making your home easier to navigate, or adding a few touches that afford extra health benefits.
As we’ve written about on several occasions, one of the simplest ways to make your home more beneficial to your health is to allow more fresh air and natural light in. This is especially true if your home tends to be a little on the gloomy side in winter.
Adding extra windows isn’t always an option and usually involves some serious surgery. That’s why many homeowners choose instead to opt for fixed or opening rooflights.
Are you planning on adding rooflights or roof lanterns to your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
7 Home Office Design Ideas To Boost Productivity
July 26, 2019
Whether you work from home on a regular basis or once in a blue moon, a pivotal factor for determining how productive you are is your environment. That’s why many people invest in a home office and reap the rewards that having one affords.
But simply putting a new cushion on one of your kitchen chairs, placing a new plant on your kitchen table and setting up your computer there does not constitute a home office. At the very least, you need to assign a room and create a space that enables you to be the most productive version of yourself you can be.
So what do you need to consider when planning home office design ideas to ensure it delivers the productivity boost you’re looking for?
Here are 7 home office design ideas to boost productivity:
1. Minimise clutter
You may hear people say things like, “A messy desk is a sign of genius” but the reality is most people are far more productive the less clutter they have lying around. The bottom line is clutter is distracting – especially if you ‘keep meaning to clear it up’ and it can be detrimental to your health because of the potential bacteria it can harbour.
2. Focus on ergonomics
When you start a new job, someone from the HR department usually comes round to do a workstation assessment. They check that your chair is fit for purpose, your desk is the correct height, whether you need something to put your feet on, etc.
Now they do this for a very good reason: because it’s important for helping prevent long-term injury. That’s why you should seek to do the same in your home office. Make sure all your equipment is fit for purpose and if it’s not, replace it. Feeling uncomfortable or strained will not only distract you, but make you less productive.
3. Have plenty of storage
Storage helps keep your stuff organised, which reduces clutter, and provides somewhere for your important work bits to be stowed. Even if it’s just a drawer under your desk or a set of shelves fixed to a wall, storage is something you absolutely need in your home office.
4. Increase the air flow
Sitting in a room with little air flow not only makes you feel lethargic, it also reduces your concentration. That’s why your home office needs to benefit from plenty of air flow whenever you are using it.
The obvious way to improve air flow is to simply open two opposing windows. But this isn’t always practical or possible. Plus you need to remain security conscious – especially if your home office is downstairs.
An excellent alternative is to invest in a rooflight (or two). If your home office has a flat roof, then one of our opening flat rooflights would be ideal. If you’ve got a pitched roof, opt for the Roof Maker Luxlite™.
5. Flood the space with natural light
Now, this point is linked very closely to the previous one and it’s equally important. It can also be acted upon in the same way – so installing some rooflights can literally be win-win!
Numerous studies have linked natural light to increased happiness and productivity. But in a home office it’s even more important. That’s because you aren’t inevitably surrounded by colleagues, so won’t benefit from as much mental stimuli.
6. Manage distractions
Distractions can actually be both good and bad. For example, doing something you enjoy when you’re having a short break can help wipe your mental RAM and get you ready to work again.
On the flip side, stuff that distracts you whilst you’re supposed to be working isn’t good (obviously). So, if you live by a busy road or there’s some other kind of external noise that seems to penetrate your working space, keeping windows open might not be ideal.
Did you know that our Reflex® Glass comes in four different options, one of which (Acoustic Performance) is designed to insulate against outside noise?
7. Add a few plants
Plants are not only pleasing on the eye, they also convert the gases you breathe out into beneficial oxygen. Furthermore, plants remove toxins form the air and boost your mood, which in turn helps increase productivity.
Including a plant or two within your home office design ideas is a no-brainer. All you’ve got to do is pick some you like.
Top Tips For Choosing A Builder
July 19, 2019
You’ve got a home improvement project in mind and the funds to pay for it. All you need now is a reliable tradesman to help make your dreams a reality. But choosing a builder to carry out major reconstruction work on your home isn’t always as straightforward as you might think.
Your house, after all, represents the biggest investment of your life and you’re not going to let just anybody start working on it. Plus, horror stories about cowboy builders who leave halfway through a job or cause major issues are plentiful
So how do you ensure the builder you’re considering using is reputable, reliable, professional and knows what they’re doing?
To help you make the right decision, we’ve compiled this shortlist of tips for choosing a builder:
1. Get personal recommendations
As is usually the case when you are looking to employ someone’s services, personal recommendations are worth their weight in gold. Whether it’s a word of mouth referral from a friend or family member, or a bunch of great reviews on the builder’s website/social media page, reviews and recommendations should always be the first things you focus on when you’re looking for a builder.
Likewise, any negative reviews and less than positive feedback should also be reasonably considered. For example, if a builder has a bunch of great reviews from previous clients and a couple that are less than favourable, consider why. You can even ask the builder to elaborate on the unfavourable reviews.
The bottom line is one or two bad reviews shouldn’t make you rule out partnering with a particular builder – that is unless they only have a few reviews, all of which are bad.
2. Check out the builder’s past work
The next thing to do is have a look at some of the builder’s handiwork by inspecting some of their previous projects. This is easy if said builder has been recommended to you by a friend or family member who has had work completed by them. In fact, most builders will have some previous clients who are willing to let you see work they’ve had done.
It’s a really good idea at this stage to inspect work that is similar to what you want done. That’s because while the builder may be good at a particular aspect of building, they may have little experience in others. You can also use it as an opportunity to ask a few more questions to help form your own opinion.
3. Ask about their insurance
You are absolutely within your rights to ask to see a builder’s insurance policies. As a minimum, a builder should have public liability insurance, which is designed to protect them and you if anyone’s hurt or something gets damaged during the course of the work.
Also, it’s important to check that any insurance they do hold is 100% valid i.e. hasn’t expired and lists the builder specifically on the policy.
4. Consider a JCT contract
In a nutshell, Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contracts set out the responsibilities of each party involved in a building project. They make it clear what needs to be done, who needs to do it, when they will do it and what the cost will be.
Under a JCT contract, you as the homeowner are listed as the employer, while your builder is listed as the contractor.
JCTs allocate risk in a fair and rational way, meaning you and your builder both stand to benefit from using one. They also help a project get underway faster.
You can find out more about the Joint Contracts Tribunal by visiting the following link: https://www.jctltd.co.uk/
5. Go with your gut
At the end of the day, you have to go with your gut feeling when you’re considering using a builder for your home improvement project. While great reviews are awesome (and they are), and seeing some previous work is great, you are the only person who ultimately knows whether you feel comfortable partnering with this particular building professional.
If you don’t feel comfortable – for whatever reason – keep looking. There are lots of awesome builders out there and you should never go with one whom you feel uncomfortable with.
5 Nursery Design Tricks to Help Your Baby Sleep Better
July 11, 2019
Whether you’re preparing for the arrival of a baby, or you’ve just had a new addition to your family, fixing up your baby’s nursery will be one of your top priorities. But whilst everyone would love to have an Instagram-worthy baby nursery, the best environment for a young one to sleep safely and consistently in isn’t necessarily the best for flaunting online. In today’s post, we are going to give you five nursery design tricks to help you create a space that’s conducive to help your baby sleep better.
1. Get the light right
First and foremost, it’s important to get the light in your baby’s nursery right. Whilst natural light affords a number of health benefits for children, remember that babies tend to sleep a lot during the day, so it doesn’t want to be too bright in their nursery.
[Related reading: The health benefits of natural light and fresh air for children]
For nurseries that receive a lot of direct sunlight, consider using blackout blinds or blackout curtains to help limit the amount of light entering the room.
If you’re considering installing a rooflight in your baby’s nursery, our electric blackout blinds are the perfect optional extra to help achieve a partial or total blackout as desired.
At night time, try to limit the amount of blue light (emitted by screens and fluorescent bulbs). That’s because blue light interferes with the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, which is why you probably find it hard to sleep if you’ve spent time on a phone or tablet in the evening.
A soft glow nightlight should be enough to keep your baby comforted and provide you with ample light when you’re trying to navigate their nursery in the early hours.
2. Get the temperature right
Many experts advise that the optimal sleeping temperature for babies and children is 16–20°C. If you don’t have a thermostat in your baby’s nursery, a simple indoor thermometer will do the trick, providing you with an instant and reasonably accurate temperature reading.
If you can’t get hold of a thermometer, a good rule of thumb is to keep your baby’s nursery at a temperature that’s perfectly comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. The bottom line is if you feel cold in your baby’s nursery, chances are they do too. The same goes for if you feel too warm.
A great way to regulate the temperature in your baby’s nursery is by installing an opening rooflight with a climate control and rain sensor. These ingenious solutions not only monitor the indoor temperature and adjust your rooflight accordingly, they also automatically close it if there is signs of rain.
3. Limit background/external noise
Nobody likes sleeping in an overly noisy environment and your baby is no different. That’s why it’s important to reduce as much external noise as possible and introduce calming sounds that are conducive to helping your baby sleep better.
One of the best ways to block out external noise is with triple glazed windows. You’ll be amazed at just how much of a different they make – especially if you live near a busy road or other external noise sources.
If you’re thinking of going down the rooflight route, our proprietary Reflex® glass can be ordered with special noise reducing capabilities. Simply opt for our Acoustic Performance glass when you place your order and external noise won’t be something that keeps your baby awake day or night.
You can also consider investing in a sound machine. These devices help provide a consistent white noise on which your baby can focus and that means they stand a better chance of drifting off to sleep even whilst the rest of your house continues to run as normal i.e. no tiptoeing around is required.
4. Invest in a smart baby monitor
Baby monitors today are vastly superior to their counterparts of yesteryear. Invest in a smart one and you can check on your baby via a high definition, bird’s eye video on your smartphone. It means you don’t have to constantly go into their nursery to check on them and run the risk of waking them up when you stumble over something or close the door just that bit too hard.
Some modern baby monitors can even proactively alert you when your baby needs some attention. They do this by sensing real time sound and motion, allowing them to determine the difference between a little sleep restlessness and your baby being wide awake.
5. Opt for calming colours
Neutral, cool colours can really help your baby sleep. Whilst it may be tempting to decorate their nursery with bright colours and educational wall décor, the result can be too much stimulation for your little one.
Did you know that babies only see in black, white and grey at the start of their lives and only develop colour vision at around the 4-month mark? It’s another reason why elaborate colour schemes are wasted in baby nurseries.
Stick with neutral, soothing colours to begin with. You can always redecorate when your baby’s a bit older after all.
7 Things to Consider Before You Downsize or Renovate
July 5, 2019
Your last child has left for university or to start their career and that means you are now an “empty nester”. You’re suddenly in a position where you can make an important decision regarding your home: downsize or renovate?
Both options have associated benefits and pitfalls, and which one you choose will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances and requirements.
In today’s post, we are going to give you some food for thought if you’re pondering whether to downsize or renovate.
1. Have your kids really flown the nest?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is: have my kids really flown the nest? It is increasingly common nowadays for fresh graduates to move back home whilst they look for a job and establish their career, or decide where they are going to plant their roots - at least in the short term.
That’s why you should thoroughly discuss your plans with your children before you decide to downsize or renovate.
2. What is your why?
Next, you need to decide what your why is i.e. why do you want to possibly downsize or renovate? Once you’ve got this figured out, you should keep it at the forefront of your mind.
So, for example, if you want to downsize because you’d like to release some of your current property’s value and travel more in your retirement or become mortgage free, that’s your why. If you want to renovate because you’d like to modernise your home and create a better space where you can relax and read, that’s your why.
3. Does your current house pose any age-related challenges?
Ageing is a part of life. It’s happening to all of us all the time, which is why we all need to plan for it, and your home plays a significant role as you become older.
Ask yourself whether your current house poses any age-related challenges. Maybe it’s got lots of stairs, which don’t pose a problem now, but could in the future. Maybe it’s got a big garden that requires a lot of upkeep. Whilst the rewards for maintaining it are worthwhile now, will you be able to meet its demands when you’re that bit older?
4. What kind of house would suit you best?
If you’ve decided that your later years are going to be spent travelling the world and enjoying your life, you probably don’t want to be leaving a large house empty whilst you do so. Especially if it requires a fair bit of maintenance.
Again, this point relates closely to the ‘what is your why’ one, and defining it will help you make a more informed decision.
5. Could your home be modified to meet your needs?
It could be the case that your current home cannot be modified to accommodate your later life needs. It’s a reality that pretty much settles the downsize or renovate conundrum for you.
However, on the flip side, you’d be amazed at what professional architects and builders can do to transform your existing home. Something as simple as adding a single floor extension, knocking walls through to make your home more open plan, or adding rooflights to improve natural light and ventilation can make a huge difference. That’s why you should always seek professional advice before you make a final decision.
Your spare room can become anything from a second bathroom or reading room to a music room or home office. The only thing limiting the possibilities is your imagination (and budget, of course).
[Related reading: Make the most of your spare room with these ideas]
6. Location, location, location
Chances are you bought your current home because you love its location. If you downsize, are you going to be able to get a smaller home in the same location? It’s one of the biggest reasons why so many people choose to renovate instead. Depending on your area, prices may have increased dramatically since you bought. Which makes the decision to downsize even more difficult as you’ll feel like you’re paying a princely sum for a house that’s much smaller than your current one.
If you decide to go down the renovate route, be sure that any changes you do make are actually going to add some value to your home. This will make it more attractive to potential buyers, just in case you decide to sell it further down the line.
7. Consider all the associated costs
With renovations, you’ll have a good idea of the costs before the project starts. That means you can assess whether you can afford the work and/or if your budget will stretch should things overrun a little.
When it comes to downsizing, you also have all the costs associated with moving home: insurance, legal fees, stamp duty, estate agents fees and more - as well as the cost of physically moving all your stuff. In other words, downsizing can actually end up costing you quite a bit, so don’t assume it’s a no brainer in the finance department.
How Roof Maker can help
Did you know that Roof Maker offer 0% finance on all our rooflight products? That’s right! You can now spread the cost of home renovations and improvements to make them more manageable.
How Much Does a Home Renovation Cost?
June 25, 2019
So you’ve decided to make some improvements to your home – good for you! Home renovations don't only make your home nicer and more comfortable for you to live in, but they also increase its value and appeal to potential buyers, should you look to sell further down the line.
But if you’re just starting out on your home renovation journey, you may be surprised to learn just how much your dream project is going to cost.
According to research by Barclays, you should expect to pay around £1,000 to £2,000 per square metre for an extension, plus anywhere from £5,000 to £10,000 if you plan to use the space for a kitchen; around £2,500 for a basic bathroom refit; and anywhere from £5,000 to £17,000 for a small conservatory.
However, such home renovations can add significant value to your property. For example, research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) shows that creating an open plan kitchen and dining room can add nearly £50,000 to a property.
Financing your home renovation cost
While many home renovation projects seem like a no-brainer when you evaluate the potential return on investment, funding them is obviously a huge consideration. If you’re fortunate enough to have savings that will cover the renovation costs, then you are luckier than most. If you don’t have any savings, you’ll need to consider what financing options you’ve got available to you.
For larger home improvement projects, one option is to borrow against the value of your home. If you’ve already got a mortgage, your lender may allow you to borrow more to complete your renovations. Alternatively, if you don’t have a mortgage, you could consider getting a small one to help with the cost of your renovations.
Another option is to take out a home improvement loan. Your bank or other existing lender should be able to help you with this, or at least give you some relevant advice. In many cases, a home improvement loan quotation will not impact your credit score; your payments will more than likely be fixed; and you’ll get the money pretty fast.
However, borrowing against your home or taking out a home improvement loan from your bank are options that are not to be considered lightly. Failure to repay a mortgage could see your home put at risk, while home improvement loans have associated interest rates that mean you’ll pay quite a bit more than what you actually borrowed.
The bottom line is you should never overstretch yourself and always be aware of exactly what you are signing up to before you put pen to paper.
Roof Maker offer 0% finance
Here at Roof Maker, we know that building costs can add up. That’s why we offer 0% finance to help our customers spread the cost of their rooflights. With as little as 10% deposit, you can take advantage of our 0% finance and spread the cost of your order with us over 12 months.
You can find out more about our 0% finance offer, including T&Cs, by visiting our website here.
When you consider that rooflights can dramatically improve the amount of natural light and fresh air (if you opt for opening variants) your home benefits from, plus improve the value of your property, adding one or two can be a really solid investment.
Looking for inspiration? Our online rooflight selector can help you see what options are available to you.
What’s the Difference Between a Builders’ Kerb and a Timber Upstand?
June 21, 2019
If you’re in the market for a top notch rooflight and have been browsing the websites of rooflight suppliers, you’ll almost certainly come across the term “builders’ kerb”. You may also read about “timber upstands”.
But what’s the difference between a builders’ kerb and a timber upstand, and why do you ultimately need one for your rooflight project?
Builders kerb vs timber upstand
Okay, so the first thing we should address is what’s the difference between a builders kerb vs timber upstand? In a nutshell, there isn’t any difference between the two. It’s simply that some rooflight manufacturers/suppliers (including us) use the term “builders’ kerb”, whilst others opt for “timber upstand”.
So don’t worry if you see a rooflight supplier/manufacturer talking about “builders’ kerbs” and not “timber upstands” (or vice-versa). It’s just the terminology they’ve chosen to use.
What do builders’ kerbs/timber upstands do?
The purpose of builders’ kerb and timber upstand is to allow a rooflight to be installed on a flat roof protruding at least 150mm above finished roof level, as building regulations stipulates. Nobody wants to fall foul of building regulations – especially when you consider that you could be served with an enforcement notice for non-compliance and could struggle to secure a mortgage as a result.
Builder’s kerbs and timber upstands can also be pitched, enabling your rooflight to sit at the correct pitch (five degrees in the case of our fixed flat rooflight).
You see, if a rooflight is installed completely level (zero degree pitch) on a flat roof, water will inevitably pool on it every time it rains. Whilst your rooflight won’t leak and let the water in, there is a chance that you’ll be left with some unsightly marks on the glass once the water has evaporated.
With a properly fitted builders’ kerb/timber upstand, your rooflights will never suffer from this problem and the glass will always look at its best – especially if you purchase a flat rooflight from us because they all come with easy clean glass as standard.
[Related reading: What type of rooflight glass should I opt for?]
Anything else I should know about builders’ kerbs/timber upstands?
You can choose to make your own builders’ kerb, but if you’ve never done it before, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve the same performance as a professionally made one in terms of thermal performance.
That’s why our customers prefer to buy one of our ready made builders’ kerbs. With prices starting at just £250 (+VAT), our precision-made, high-quality builders’ kerbs not only remove all of the hassle associated with making your own, but also provide total peace of mind. Save yourself the time and trouble of constructing your own kerb to the perfect size and pitch, by having our expert engineers do it for you.
Your Roof Maker builder’s kerb will have a quality plywood or OSB exterior with an insulating core. This composition provides exceptional thermal performance, with a U-value of just 0.3 W/m²K.
Many of our rooflights also come with a free built-in insulated upstand, which incorporates a thermal core to improve insulation and prevent heat loss between the roof area and the roof light.
Got a question about timber upstands? Or are you planning on adding rooflights or roof lanterns to your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
The Health Benefits of Natural Light and Fresh Air for Children
June 20, 2019
Tablets, TVs and video games provide hours of entertainment for children. Many parents use them to occupy their kids while they finish household chores and/or just get some much-needed downtime themselves.
But short screen time sessions here and there can often turn into several hours at a time. After all, the kids are engrossed and the grownups are enjoying some peace and quiet. The problem though is that extended periods of screen time are not good for kids’ health.
Just recently, in April 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued new guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age. Part of those guidelines focus on screen time and advise that children shouldn’t get too much of it.
However, the WHO guidelines are actually less about the health risks of screen time itself and more about encouraging kids to do more physical activity – like the kind they inevitably get when they play outdoors.
In addition to helping combat obesity and improving children’s social skills, playing outside also affords benefits because of the exposure kids get to natural light and fresh air – and that brings us to the main subject of today’s post: the health benefits of natural light and fresh air for children.
Research shows that natural light helps boost our mental health. That’s because sunlight stimulates our brains to produce serotonin, a chemical linked with feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Serotonin also helps prevent us from eating too much and promotes a better night’s sleep, as well as aiding our memory too.
Lack of sunlight is also thought to contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which is often known as winter depression. As serotonin levels drop, so too does our mood and that can lead to depression.
Like natural light, fresh air also helps us feel cheerier. That’s because our bodies benefit from more oxygen when we are breathing outdoor air, which boosts serotonin levels. More oxygen also helps us feel more energetic, improves our concentration skills and makes our brains function better. That’s why you often feel brighter and more alert when you’ve just come back in having spent time outside.
In a nutshell, natural light and fresh air are both extremely beneficial for kids.
Now you could be forgiven for thinking it’s just plants that metabolise sunlight. But actually we humans do too. Our bodies convert sunlight into vitamin D via a complex bio-chemical process.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is important for a number of reasons. It helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, strengthens the immune system, aids the regulation of insulin levels and supports lung function and cardiovascular health.
Natural light also reduces eye strain, which can lead to damaged eyes. Furthermore, natural light is particularly important when it comes to developing healthy eyesight in children. That’s because a lack of sunlight can disrupt the production of dopamine, which helps children’s eyes develop properly.
As we’ve already mentioned, fresh air increases the amount of oxygen we breathe. This helps lower our blood pressure and heart rate, improve our digestion and clean our lungs, reducing lung-related illnesses associated with mould and poorly ventilated environments.
More oxygen also helps our white blood cells function better, which boosts their effectiveness in the fight against bacteria, germs and diseases.
How Roof Maker can help
Now you might be wondering, what’s this all got to do with Roof Maker?
Well… we manufacture and supply rooflights that are designed specifically to maximise the amount of natural light in your home, plus our range of opening rooflights will help you and your kids to benefit from more fresh air too.
So, if you struggle to get your children to play outdoors and are concerned about the lack of natural light and fresh air they are getting, why not bring the natural light and fresh air to them?
And did you know that rooflights let in up to three times more natural light than ordinary windows?
So, whether you need a flat rooflight, a pitched rooflight, or a slightly more extravagant roof lantern, we have got all your needs covered to help you realise the health benefits of natural light and fresh air for children.
Case Study | Rutland
June 20, 2019
Are you considering looking for rooflights in Rutland or a roof lantern for your home anywhere in the UK? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
5 Cost-Effective Ways To Add Value To Your Home
June 4, 2019
More and more people are choosing to improve their homes rather than move. Indeed, according to the 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report, homeowners stay in their homes for 19 years (on average). During this time, they make regular improvements to their properties to increase both the value and their quality of life.
But like most things, home improvement projects vary greatly in terms of how much they cost, how easy they are to do and how much value they will add. It goes without saying that the best home improvement projects are affordable, relatively easy to undertake and add a nice chunk of value to your property.
With that in mind, we decided that it would be good to go over some common home improvement projects that tick all the boxes we’ve just mentioned.
1. Open up your space by knocking through
You don’t always need to add an expensive extension to improve an existing living space or add value to your home. By removing an interior wall and knocking through to the next room, you can significantly improve your home’s overall layout.
Knocking through can open up a living room to create a living-dining room or open up a kitchen to create a kitchen-dining room. Done correctly, an interior layout rework can add a significant amount to the value of your home. But be sure to seek professional advice before you start knocking down walls or you could end up with a huge repair bill on your hands.
2. Add a utility room
Having just advocated knocking down interior walls to open up your space, we’re now about to say why you should add some too.
By adding a small utility room, you’ll get your noisy appliances away from your living space and create a bit more room as a result. The best part is that stud walls are extremely cost-effective and can perfectly partition a space. So you can create a small utility room for your appliances, laundry and cleaning equipment.
Whilst it’s nice to have a utility room with an outside door, you don’t have to. All you need to ensure is that the space has ample ventilation.
3. Replace your windows
If you’ve got old, single-glazed windows that have seen better days, consider replacing them with double- or even triple-glazed modern alternatives. New windows not only look better, they also help keep your energy bills down. Keeping your home warmer in the winter because of their superior insulating abilities.
Plus, if you opt for triple-glazed windows, you’ll notice a significant reduction in the amount of outside noise you hear. Then there are the benefits that come with having more natural light and fresh air entering your home. Something that we are very fond of here at Roof Maker.
Some estimates place the cost of replacing the windows in your home at around £25,000 but the value added can be as much as £60,000 when (if) you come to sell.
4. Add a rooflight or two
If your budget won’t quite stretch to new windows throughout your home, but you’d still like to benefit from more natural light and fresh air, look no further than some high-quality rooflights.
Designed to be installed in either flat or pitched roofs, rooflights allow natural light to flood your home and if you plump for ones that open, you can also benefit from some nice fresh air too.
Whether you’re looking for flat rooflights, pitched rooflights or slightly more extravagant roof lanterns, Roof Maker has got you covered. Plus many of our rooflights come triple glazed with easy clean glass as standard. The best part is you often don’t need planning permission to install a rooflight either, but do check before you begin your project (just to be on the safe side).
5. Convert your loft
Loft conversions are a great, cost effective way to add an extra bedroom, a home office or playroom. They are reported to add up to 20% to the value of your home. A loft conversion is one of the most cost-effective ways to add both value and space to your home. Particularly if you choose to go for a simple room-in-roof loft conversion, without adding any dormers and using pitched rooflights instead.
[Related reading: 5 Reasons Why A Rooflight Loft Conversion Is Better Than A Dormer]
Again, consult a professional before you start any work because there are many aspects to consider when undertaking a loft conversion. One of the most crucial is where you are going to put the stairs leading up to it. Their footprint will encroach into your space, so it’s worth thoroughly planning ahead of time to maximize the amount of room you have left.
Is Active House The New Passive House?
May 22, 2019
If you want to create a home that is super energy efficient and as environmentally friendly as possible, look no further than the Passive House standard. It’s a topic we’ve previously written about in our blog post, Why Passive House Is The Future For Energy Efficient Homes. In that post we looked at what the Passive House standard is, what some of the benefits of it are and how Roof Maker can help you create a truly Passive House.
But what if you’re looking to create a house that is incredibly energy efficient and is nice and comfortable to live in? What you need is Active House.
What is Active House?
Active House is basically an evolution of Passive House that goes one step further than a zero carbon footprint, by encouraging homes to produce positive energy which can then be fed back to the grid, often via photovoltaic panels. Active House also encourages comfort and more natural light and ventilation to enter the property. So whilst Passive House homes feature few windows and can be a bit gloomy as a result, Active House homes are quite the opposite.
Active House still includes heavy insulation, high-efficiency glazing, heat recovery ventilation (HRV), zero thermal bridges and are positioned to maximize sunlight and shading. However, they also promote increased natural light and ventilation without compromising energy efficiency through the use of adequate windows and certified rooflights.
[Related reading: 5 Ways To Fill Your House With Fresh Air This Summer]
The obvious “issue” with Active House is that all the extra windows and rooflights mean that solar gain (the thermal energy a home obtains from the sun) can be an issue during the summer. Furthermore, all those extra windows and rooflights are harder to insulate (and achieve the same result) as standard walls. Opting for a rooflight with specialist Solar Performance glass can help to overcome this issue.
Active House vs Passive House
So which is better: Active House or Passive House? The answer is… it depends.
It depends on what you want from a home. For example, if you are simply looking to create a house with a zero-carbon footprint, Passive House is going to help you achieve that.
If you want to take this to the next level by designing a home that produces its own energy and is comfortable to live in because of the amount of natural light and fresh air it benefits from, Active House is the standard you’ll want to meet.
How Roof Maker can help you create an Active House
If you’ve read our blog post on designing a Passive House (linked to earlier in this piece), you’ll know that our Passive House Flat Rooflight is the only fixed flat rooflight manufactured in the UK to have been awarded the Certified Passive House Component seal.
So, if our Passive House Flat Rooflight meets the extremely stringent standards of the Passive House Institute and has been rubber stamped as being Passive House ready, it can be used in the design of Active House too.
Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Top Tips For Pulling Off The Dark Kitchen Design Trend
May 9, 2019
Whether you’re building a completely new kitchen or just looking to give your existing one a new lease of life, there’s a good chance you’ll come across dark kitchen design trends when you start your research.
But why has a room that’s traditionally filled with so-called ‘white goods’ and been stereotypically white and bright become a home for all things dark?
Dark worktops, dark (navy, green or grey) cabinets, dark tiles, dark walls, the list goes on… and people are using one or more to make a definitive statement in their kitchens.
Whether you agree that it adds a touch of mystery or makes a kitchen look that little bit more luxurious/designer, the trend is clear: when it comes to kitchens in 2019, people are straying to the dark side (okay, so we missed May 4th but the Star Wars pun is still relevant).
With dark kitchens at the forefront of interior design right now, how can you pull one off in your home?
Here are some things to consider:
Dark kitchens can be difficult to pull off
First and foremost, dark kitchen themes require a lot more expertise than light ones simply because of the intensity and depth of colours involved. So, if you’re seriously considering a dark kitchen, be aware that you need to plan carefully and do your research to pull it off successfully.
If you have doubt when it comes to your mix and matching abilities, please seek advice from a kitchen design professional or interior decorating expert. When matched inappropriately, dark kitchen elements can become imposing and ominous. But when matched correctly, they can create a stunning luxe look that will be a frequent subject of discussion in your home.
Don’t limit yourself to grey or navy
There’s a tendency to immediately think of dark grey or navy cabinets and features when someone mentions a dark kitchen. But the truth is you don’t have to limit yourself to just these two colours.
A dark kitchen can be achieved with dark shades of many popular colours (with the exception of white, of course). So, don’t rule out dark red, dark green, dark purple, dark orange, etc. See what colours take your fancy and then consult your designer to see how you can make them work together.
Don’t go too dark
One of the key things with dark kitchens is to balance the dark shades with lighter and metallic colours. Go too heavy with the dark colours and you’ll end up with a kitchen that’s moody and downright depressing. Remember, your kitchen still needs to provide you with culinary inspiration and an overload of darkness probably isn’t the best way to afford that.
Balance out any darker shades you’re considering with some lighter hues of the same or a different colour. Navy and copper go well together, as do dark grey and ashy lighter colours, so why not have some dark cabinets complimented with a brick slip wall or an accented backsplash. Throwing in some metallic handles, ornaments and utensils is also a great way to balance out the theme.
But dare to go dark enough
Okay, so this point is pretty much in direct contrast to the previous one, but it’s still very valid nonetheless.
When designing a dark kitchen, don’t be half-hearted. Whilst you don’t want everything to be dark, you do need to go dark enough or the whole effect won’t work (we didn’t say it was easy, right).
For example, if you simply stick some medium-grey coloured cabinets in an otherwise light kitchen, there won’t be enough of a contrast to experience the dark factor.
Be brave and consider the darkest hues. Also consider dark flooring, a dark countertop or a dark accent wall to help bring everything together and show that your kitchen is obviously dark and not just half-heartedly trying to be.
Don’t neglect natural light
Finally, don’t neglect the importance of light in a dark kitchen (say what!?). That’s because whilst you want to achieve a stylish, luxe look, you don’t want your space to feel small and depressing. To avoid this, you need to ensure your kitchen lighting is up to scratch and that means plenty of natural light during the day and enough lighting at night to keep the place sufficiently illuminated.
What’s the best way to allow an abundance of natural light into your dark kitchen? With a roof light – that’s how! And it just so happens that we know a thing or two about rooflights.
Perhaps the obvious choice of roof light would be one that opens and also ventilates your kitchen, to allow kitchen smells and steam from cooking to escape. Something like our Luxlite pitched skylight (if you’ve got a pitched roof), or one of our electric hinged or sliding opening rooflights (if you’ve got a flat roof). You could even opt for a vented or slide opening roof lantern, to really bring the wow factor to your kitchen.
Not quite sure what’s best for your particular application? Call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right roof light solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
What Is The Difference Between Fully Bonded and Flat Pack Roof Lanterns?
May 8, 2019
So you’ve decided that you’d like to buy a roof lantern (great choice, by the way). These stunning additions to flat roofs not only allow as much natural light as possible to enter your property (and fresh air if you opt for a model that opens), but they also serve as stunning home centrepieces.
Now what you will notice when you actually come to buy your roof lantern – especially if you buy one from us here at Roof Maker – is that you’ll have lots of different options to choose from when placing your order. For example, as well as standard stuff like size, choice of glazing, frame colour and whether or not you would like a vent, we also offer three different assembly options – and that leads us to the subject of today’s post.
So, what is the difference between fully bonded and flat pack roof lanterns? And more importantly, which is best for you?
Fully bonded roof lanterns
Let’s start by looking at fully bonded roof lanterns – the kind used by many rooflight manufacturers (but not us and you’ll find out why shortly). These types of roof lantern are assembled at a manufacturing facility and the components are structurally bonded together to form a single unit.
Whilst this might sound like an attractive option, there are a couple of things to consider:
- If something should happen during installation, like a pane of glass breaks, or one of the roof lantern components fails, the whole unit would need to be replaced. This will not only delay your project, but could also end up costing you far more than simply being able to replace a pane of glass or a singular component.
- Bonded units can (depending on the size) be heavy and awkward to handle. That means a crane may be needed to lift them into place, which will incur additional costs.
- Likewise, large sizes may be difficult to install in properties that do not have unrestricted access e.g. are accessed via a narrow alleyway or stairway.
These are just some of the reasons why we have chosen to steer away from the outdated method of producing fully bonded roof lanterns, and even offer flat pack roof lantern options too.
Roof Maker Slimline© roof lanterns
As we mentioned earlier, when you purchase a Roof Maker Slimline© roof lantern, you can choose from three different assembly/installation options: flat pack roof lanterns, fully assembled or flat packed with on roof assembly.
To help you decide which option to plump for, here’s the lowdown on each:
- Flat pack roof lanterns (kit form) – As its name suggests; comes flat packed for easy handling and is designed to be built at location by you or your building contractor (full instructions supplied and we’ve even got an easy to follow installation video for you too).
- Fully assembled – Our fully assembled units are delivered glazed and ready for you to install. But unlike fully bonded roof lanterns that cannot be dismantled with ease, our fully assembled ones can have components swapped should the worst happen and something gets broken during installation.
- Flat packed with on roof assembly – The zero worries/hassle free option. Delivered flat packed, constructed on-site and glazed/installed by Roof Maker’s dedicated team.
No two homeowner’s needs are the same, which is why we offer three different assembly/installation options for our exquisite roof lanterns. Whichever option you choose depends entirely on your individual circumstances.
Finally, when you choose a Roof Maker Slimline© roof lantern, you get all the following as standard:
- A FREE insulated upstand
- Extremely low Ug-values
- 20-year unit seal warranty
- A full aluminium, thermally broken frame
- Easy clean glass as standard
- Flat pack roof lanterns or fully assembled
And you’ve also got these optional extras available to you too:
- A choice of specialist glass types
- A range of different coloured glass tints
- 1600 RAL frame colours
- Electronic or manual vent (great for kitchens for extra ventilation)
- Electronic slide opening option available with a FREE rain sensor
- Remote controlled electric blackout blinds
So if you’ve got a flat roof and want to allow as much natural light into your home as possible, whilst adding an aesthetic touch, choose a flat pack Slimline© roof lantern.
Are you considering buying a flat pack roof lantern or rooflight for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Case Study | Sussex
May 8, 2019
Are you considering looking for rooflights in Sussex or roof lantern for your home anywhere in the UK? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Top 4 Benefits Of A Flat Pack Roof Lantern
May 7, 2019
Here at Roof Maker, we manufacture roof lanterns to the exact specifications our customers want and don’t charge extra for the privilege of choosing a bespoke size. This means our customers can specify roof lanterns that are in accordance with their individual needs, without breaking the bank.
However, it’s a reality that often sees us producing some pretty large roof lanterns, which can prove challenging to handle on site if delivered as a singular unit. That’s why, instead of only offering singular, fully bonded units like other rooflight companies, we give our customers the flexibility to choose from three different options when placing their order for a solution that best suits them.
The first and most popular option is flat pack delivery. We deliver the components, so that you or your builder can assemble and install the lantern at site using our step-by-step installation guide or video. The second and easiest option is that we can deliver your roof lantern to site in a flat pack kit, where our installation team will assemble and install it for you.
The third option is that we can fully assemble your roof lantern in our factory, and then deliver it ready to install. In this instance, we don’t bond the unit like other rooflight companies, meaning it can be dismantled if needed and individual components can easily be replaced. So, as with our flat pack options, if a component or a pane of glass is broken on site (which is rare), you only need to replace the broken part rather than having to fork out to replace the entire roof lantern.
Whilst ordering a pre-assembled Roof Maker roof lantern is an attractive option that is well suited for many, there are other things to consider which might mean one of the flat pack delivery options is better suited to you – especially if ordering a large unit. With that in mind, here are 4 benefits of ordering a flat pack roof lantern:
1. Limited access is a hurdle of the past
A big advantage of flat pack roof lanterns is that they are much easier to manoeuvre once they have been delivered. This is a particularly important consideration for properties that have limited access, such as via a tight alleyway or a small front entrance with a narrow hallway.
In these situations, you might struggle to fit a large fully bonded roof lantern through the limited space.
A flat pack roof lantern can easily be carried piece-by-piece onto the roof on which it will be installed, so limited access isn’t a concern. This allows them to be assembled directly over the structural opening avoiding the need to move the unit post assembly.
2. No need to hire a crane
With large, full bonded roof lanterns, getting them into position on the roof can be a challenge in itself due to the weight. In many instances it can prove too risky or dangerous due to the weight of the roof lantern, leaving the only option of hiring a crane.
But this obviously adds additional costs. And crane hire can be expensive. With a flat pack roof lantern, a crane is something that’s simply not required because the individual components can easily be carried to the roof where they are then assembled at location.
3. Less likely to be damaged on site
Flat pack roof lanterns are less likely to be broken on site than fully bonded units – especially if you get our installation team to assemble and install them.
Handling a fully bonded roof lantern on site is significantly more difficult than handling the individual pieces of a flat pack kit due to the difference in weight, which greatly reduces the chances of it breaking after it’s been delivered – an occurrence that adds both time and money to a project.
4. Easier to replace parts if needed
Should the worst happen and one of the components of your flat pack roof lantern is damaged post-delivery, replacing said part is pretty straightforward (and not too costly either).
Consider how much of a nightmare it would be if a fully bonded roof lantern was to be become damaged or dropped whilst being handled on site.
You see, as discussed earlier, the problem with fully bonded roof lanterns is that they are effectively one complete unit, and that means you can’t just replace a broken part. Instead, you have to replace the entire roof lantern, which could mean a significant delay and basically having to buy an entirely new roof lantern.
Whilst you can replace the parts of a pre-assembled Roof Maker roof lantern, the unit would still need to be dismantled to access the affected parts first, making a flat pack unit the easiest and quickest option if parts need replacing prior to being installed.
Are you considering buying a roof lantern or a different type of rooflight for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
5 Ways To Fill Your House With Fresh Air This Summer
May 3, 2019
Summer is just around the corner and that means the weather will soon be fine enough to open up your home to the elements a little and let in some much needed fresh air. In fact, according to the Met Office, temperatures this summer are likely to be above average, meaning the UK could be basking in sunshine over the next few months.
But besides flinging open your windows or leaving your backdoor ajar when you’re at home, how else can you fill your house with fresh air this summer?
Here are five ways to give you some inspiration:
1. Bi-fold doors
Another way to increase the amount of fresh air in your home this summer is with a set of bi-fold doors, which many customers have installed to compliment their skylights for a modern and airy home.
With the ability to be open on airy summer days, bi-fold doors are the perfect choice for homeowners who want to create a seamless boundary between their house and their outdoor space.
The nature of bi-fold doors means that they allow more fresh air to enter your home than traditional doors. They are also great for letting more natural light into your home too.
2. Slide-opening doors
For properties where space is at a premium and every centimeter counts, slide-opening doors are a great choice. That’s because their unique design means they do not encroach on a property’s living space when they are opened.
Available with attractive frames and in sleek styles, slide-opening doors are another stylish way to allow more fresh air into your home. Furthermore, like their bi-fold door cousins, slide-opening doors are robust and strong enough to provide the security your home needs.
3. Trickle vents
Trickle vents provide an effective way of allowing air to slowly trickle into your home, without the need to open a door or window. They are simply tiny openings in doors and windows that allow fresh air to flow into a home. This makes them great for the summer when you want your home to fill with fresh air, but cannot leave a door or window open because there’s no one at home.
Just be sure to close any trickle vents you have installed in doors and windows during the winter to prevent draughts and unnecessary heat loss.
4. Vented roof lanterns
Roof lanterns are one of the most stylish, eye-catching ways to allow plenty of natural light into your home. But did you know that they can also be manufactured and ordered with vents to allow fresh air in too?
That’s right! Both our Slimline® roof lantern and our Traditional roof lantern can be ordered with manual or electronic double-glazed vents as optional upgrades, including an option with a climate control and rain sensor that automatically does the opening and closing for you. This makes them perfect for kitchens, extensions and living spaces. All you need is a flat roof!
With easy clean glass as standard and available flat packed, fully assembled or installed by us, a vented roof lantern from Roof Maker could be the perfect addition to your home this summer.
5. Opening rooflights or vented roof lanterns
If you’re not sure whether a vented roof lantern is right for your home, we’ve got a bunch of other products that can also help fill your home with fresh air this summer.
Take our hinged-opening pitched skylights, hinged-opening flat rooflights and slide-opening flat roof lights, for example. These opening rooflights are perfect for rooms where you need maximum light and ventilation.
With electrical operation, our opening skylights can be controlled at the touch of a button. Plus, the free rain sensor that comes with some of our electric openers means you’ll never need to worry about the weather taking a turn for the worse again.
Like the idea of a roof lantern, but want more of an opening than that provided by a vent? You need one of our slide-opening roof lanterns. Operated by remote control, these sliding roof lanterns afford all the aesthetic benefits of a standard roof lantern, but also slide open to allow fresh air to fill your home.
Are you considering buying a rooflight or vented roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
What Is The Difference Between A Skylight And A Rooflight?
April 15, 2019
One of the questions we often get asked by our customers is: “what is the difference between a skylight and a rooflight?” And what better way to answer than in a blog post for all to see.
Now, you can be forgiven for wondering if there’s a difference between a skylight and a rooflight. That’s because both of these terms are often used interchangeably across the Internet. As a result, different people have come to use different terms for what is, essentially, the same product.
Regardless of whether you call it a ‘skylight’ or a ‘rooflight’, the bottom line is that it’s ultimately designed to achieve the same purpose: maximise the amount of natural light entering a home or property (and ventilation too, if you’re talking about rooflights that open).
[Related reading: The History Behind The Conservation Skylight]
But whilst there’s essentially no difference between a skylight and a rooflight, the same cannot be said for roof windows. Confused? Don’t worry, we’re about to shed some light on the subject (pun intended).
Why roof windows are not the same as skylights and rooflights
Skylights and rooflights should never be confused with roof windows. That’s because whilst they are all very similar, there is actually a difference when it comes to form and function.
For a start, roof windows fall under British Standards regulation BS EN 14351-1:2010, which stipulates that roof windows must be fitted in the same orientation and ‘in plane’ with the surrounding roof, typically at a minimum pitch of 15-degrees.
Roof windows must be CE marked before they can be sold, meaning manufacturers must be able to provide a declaration of performance (DOP) to customers outlining how their units perform under rigorous test conditions.
Furthermore, roof windows are often seen as ‘off-the-shelf’ products compared to skylights and rooflights. That’s because they are usually only available in standardised sizes, shapes and specifications.
What about roof lanterns?
We couldn’t have a post about the difference between skylights and rooflights without mentioning roof lanterns.
Roof lanterns are designed to be installed in flat roofs and as well as allowing significantly more natural light into a property than standard flat rooflights, they also act as architectural showpieces.
Now the reason why roof lanterns allow more natural light into a home is because their 3D design allows them to channel light from all different angles and beam it into the property below. Also, because they add height to rooms, roof lanterns make your home look bigger.
We’ve got you covered…
Here at Roof Maker, we’ve got a whole bunch of products designed to meet a wide-range of needs and budgets.
If you’ve got a pitched roof, look no further than our LuxliteTM rooflight. Alternatively, if you’d like to preserve your property’s traditional architectural theme, our Conservation LuxliteTM would be perfect.
Looking for something a little more eye-catching? Our spectacular roof lanterns are designed to make a statement.
Whether you call it a ‘skylight’ or a ‘rooflight’, or you’d like to buy a roof lantern, Roof Maker has got you covered.
Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
The History Behind The Conservation Skylight
March 29, 2019
Did you think that the conservation skylight was a new thing?
Believe it or not, despite not being quite a 'conservation skylight', other types of rooflight have been around since the Roman times, when oculi were used in ancient buildings to allow more natural light and fresh air. Often found in the roofs of domed cathedrals and monuments such as the Pantheon in Rome, they are open to the weather rather than incorporating glass into the circular design – allowing rain to fall to the centre of the building where it is then carried away by drains.
Fast-forward to the Victorian period of not so sunny England and rooflights now have glass panels. Being used to not only afford more light into homes, but to also improve their aesthetics. Indeed, Victorian-era rooflights were things of beauty. Usually featuring a black frame, a vertical split bar was added to the centre pane of the single glazing to reinforce the glass and prevent strong winds from blowing the panels out. Allowing them to serve a beneficial purpose whilst blending in with the overall architecture of the property.
However, Victorian rooflights were typically made of cast iron. Whilst they were strong enough to withstand even the most adverse weather conditions, they were inevitably heavy. Nevertheless, rooflights were popular additions to homes at that time and their popularity has continued to grow over the years.
Whilst the modern rooflights of today are significantly advanced compared to their Victorian counterparts, featuring exceptional thermal performance, triple glazing and boasting lightweight aluminium frames, many do not have the same traditional architecture about them and simply look mismatched in Victorian and character properties.
So what can you do when you want to install a rooflight in a Victorian building or heritage home without detracting from its characterful appearance?
Introducing the Roof Maker Conservation Luxlite™
Here at Roof Maker, we know how important it is to select the perfect product for your application – especially when you want to maintain the heritage feel of character properties and barn conversions.
That’s why we created the Conservation Luxlite™ rooflight, designed for use in period properties and areas where conservation is a top priority.
Perhaps the most recognisable feature of our Conservation Luxlite™ is the slim vertical aluminium split bar that is designed to replicate the original look of Victorian-era rooflights. This split bar is structurally bonded to the surface of the rooflight glass to prevent dirt and debris from accumulating underneath.
But despite its traditional look, our conservation skylight features a host of the very latest technological advances and affords superior thermal performance.
Here are some of its key features/benefits:
- Triple glazed with easy clean glass as standard (superb thermal performance and a doddle to clean)
- Ultra slim split bar (allows more light to enter your home/property)
- The split bar is structurally bonded to the glass (unlike many other conservation skylight models), so zero room for dirt and debris to accumulate. This important design feature also means there is no thermal bridge, significantly reducing the chances of condensation forming and heat escaping
- The rooflight and split are made out of aluminium (making the whole entity lighter and more resistant to corrosion and rusting)
- An electric opening version is also available, which comes with an automatic rain sensor if the remote control option is specified (allowing you to open the rooflight from the comfort of your chair and not having to worry about it being left open in the event of rain)
- The mechanics for the electric opening version are sealed and hidden away from view (providing a clean, minimalistic look for your conservation skylight)
So if you have a character property and are looking to add a conservation skylight that is in keeping with the overall look, but also features a host of modern technological advances, including superior thermal performance, look no further than Roof Maker’s Conservation Luxlite™.
Are you considering buying a Conservation Luxlite™ for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Roof Maker Launches New Conservation Luxlite™️ Rooflight
March 29, 2019
Designer, manufacturer and supplier of rooflights, Roof Maker, is maintaining its position at the forefront of industry developments with the launch of its new rooflight, the Conservation Luxlite ™️.
The conservation area friendly rooflight has been designed to help architects and installers maintain the heritage character of their clients’ homes. Particularly with regard to listed buildings and barn conversions.
Designed to replicate the original Victorian cast iron skylight featured in many traditional properties, Roof Maker’s latest rooflight features a slim shaped split bar that is constructed of high quality aluminium for better weathering and aesthetics.
Unlike existing conservation skylights where the split is sandwiched between the glass panes, Roof Maker’s split is structurally bonded to the glass to eliminate the presence of a cold bridge, significantly minimising the risk of condensation forming and retaining the best possible thermal performance. The bonding process also eliminates the opportunity for dirt and debris to accumulate underneath the split, a potential issue with other skylights that only feature a rubber seal. By constructing the split from aluminium, rather than commonly used steel, the opportunity for risk of corrosion is also greatly reduced. Enabling Roof Maker to offer a 10 year warranty on their frame, whereas most steel frame manufactures only offer a 1 year warranty.
Roof Maker is driven by its commitment to providing professionals with the highest standard in aesthetics and quality, with the new rooflight offering outstanding Ug-values as low as 0.5W/m2K by featuring triple glazing as standard. This significantly improves the overall energy efficiency and thermal comfort of the living space.
Sabahudin Medic, Technical Director at Roof Maker, said: “The trend for renovating listed properties continues to be extremely popular with housing developers and architects, which is why we have launched our new Conservation Luxlite ™️ rooflight to support professionals in not only achieving compliance with building legislation regarding listed buildings, but also improving the overall thermal performance of the building.
“Our in-house research and development team in Leicestershire has worked hard to produce a rooflight that surpasses industry standards, offering the highest level of aesthetics, thermal performance and overall quality. Particular importance has been placed on the aesthetics of the rooflight, as it has to be sympathetic to the historical style of the building, whilst also offering the contemporary benefits of our award-winning Luxlite™️ rooflight is renowned for.”
The new rooflight is available in either fixed or electric hinged opening options, including a free rain sensor if a remote control option is specified. Each Roof Maker rooflight is handcrafted to order, so can be built according to individual custom sizes to ensure a perfect fit.
Featuring an innovative flashing apron, the rooflight offers superior water dispersion and ease of installation for an experienced professional builder, roofer or carpenter, supported by impressive lead times due to being manufactured here in the UK.
The Conservation Luxlite ™️ rooflight will be showcased at this year’s Home Building and Renovating show at Birmingham NEC on stand G142 and the FIT Show on stand K40, with Roof Maker’s team of dedicated experts on hand to offer exclusive information and insight into latest edition to their product portfolio.
Are you considering buying a Conservation Luxlite ™ for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
How To Use Pantone Colour Of The Year 2019 In Your Home
March 22, 2019
Every year, the Pantone Colour Institute selects a certain hue to be its Colour of the Year based on trend analysis, as well as social and cultural shifts.
Last year, Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet was picked as Colour of the Year. But now we’ve got a new one.
Described by Pantone as “buoyant, vibrant and effervescent”, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral is the Colour of the Year for 2019 and is predicted to dominate design trends this year.
In a world in which our daily lives are often dominated by digital technology and social media, Living Coral is meant to serve as a reprieve (of sorts) from the digital onslaught we experience on a daily basis, providing somewhere joyful, bright, light-hearted and intimate to take refuge.
So now you know what the Colour of the Year is for 2019, how can you incorporate it in your home?
1. Rejuvenate your front door
Your home’s front door says a lot about you and your property. It is the first thing visitors see when they arrive and plays a huge role in forming their immediate opinions. Front doors that are warm and inviting welcome any visitors with open arms and that’s why Living Coral would be an excellent choice for your front door.
Living Coral’s natural inspiration also means that it will perfectly complement any green foliage you might have by your front door.
2. Create a Living Coral inspired living room
Living Coral is actually very versatile, which makes it easier to add to your home’s colour palette than you might think. It boasts the energy of orange combined with the softness of pink, and that means you can use it in place of a pastel colour or even a neutral colour.
With some Living Coral throw pillows on your sofa or even (if you’re feeling a bit bolder) a Living Coral rug as a centrepiece, you can add some really nice warmth to your living room. Partner said rug with some Living Coral curtains and accompanying lamp shades to afford the ultimate coral-esque look.
3. Add some Living Coral bathroom accents
Living Coral has its roots in the sea, so what better place to show off this marine-life-inspired hue than in your bathroom!?
The best part is that incorporating some Living Coral touches doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. For example, why not add some Living Coral towels and/or accessories. These little touches are the perfect way to inject some Living Coral into your bathroom - especially great if your bathroom has a neutral colour scheme.
How about strategically placing some Living Coral tiles to provide pops of colour? It’s a nice compromise if you don’t want to go for a full out Living Coral colour scheme.
4. Throw in some Living Coral kitchen touches
Because of its warmth and subtleness, Living Coral can be incorporated in modern and traditional kitchens alike. Again, you don’t need to have a complete redesign. Instead, consider adding some Living Coral touches here and there.
For example, swap out your old kitchen cabinet handles for some beautiful Living Coral ones. Or why not revamp your old kitchen stools with Living Coral paint? Some Living Coral crockery would certainly add a splash of colour to your dining table too.
5. Install a stunning Living Coral roof lantern
Did you know that Roof Maker’s Slimline® roof lanterns can be manufactured in any custom RAL colour of your choice, including RAL 3022 Salmon Pink? The closest hue of RAL to Pantones Living Coral. That’s right! We can manufacture, supply and – if you require – install a Slimline® roof lantern in a shade not the same, but similar to Pantones colour of the year.
We can even supply you with a Slimline® roof lantern that has a different colour on the inside than the outside, creating a truly unique look for your home.
Just imagine the rooflight in the main picture of this blog adjourning your home.
Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Designing a Passive House? Make Sure Your Rooflight Is Certified
March 20, 2019
If you’re looking to achieve an ultra-low energy building that has the smallest possible ecological footprint and requires very little energy to both heat and cool it, look no further than the Passive House standard.
In a Passive House, cold winter draughts and summer sweats are a thing of the past because the temperature is kept consistently comfortable at all times.
So what exactly is a Passive House and what are the benefits of designing one?
What is a Passive House?
In a nutshell, a Passive House is a home or building that has:
Heavy insulation is perhaps the most important aspect of a Passive House. Enveloping the entire building, the highly-efficient insulation ensures heat transfer between inside and outside is kept at an absolute minimum. In a Passive House, such insulation is even installed under the ground floor.
No air leakages
Air leakages account for a significant proportion of lost heat in the winter and lost cool air in the summer. That’s why a Passive House has to be airtight, with any air exchange facilitated by controlled ventilation.
No thermal bridges
When heat wants to make its way from inside a home to outside, it takes the path of least resistance. A thermal bridge usually acts as that path. That’s because a thermal bridge is a localised area or component that isn’t as good as adjacent areas or components when it comes to preventing heat flow.
A Passive House must incorporate high-efficiency glazing; in other words, glazing that has been manufactured with exceptionally low U-values.
While specific designs vary from climate to climate, the glazing typically used in a Passive House is triple-glazed with argon gas separating each pane and has insulated frames.
Here at Roof Maker, we use our own Reflex® Glass in all our products and offer our customers a choice of glazing options to meet their requirements.
Proper orientation and shading
Orientation refers to the positioning of the home on its site to take advantage of the warmth of the sun for heating and cool breezes for, well, cooling.
However, too much direct sunlight during the summer can cause homes to become uncomfortably hot and that’s where the shading aspect comes in. A Passive House is strategically shaded from the hot summer sun and so doesn’t need any additional cooling systems.
Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)
HRV systems continuously replace dirty, stale air with fresh, filtered air. HRV systems are extremely clever in that they allow cool fresh air to enter a home during the summer without being heated, while recovering up to 90% of the heat of the outgoing stale air during the winter and using it to warm the fresh, filtered air that’s entering the property – eliminating the need for conventional boilers and heating/cooling systems.
Passive House benefits
As you can imagine, a Passive House affords a number of benefits to the homeowner.
Here are some of the main ones:
- Highly energy efficient (lower energy bills)
- Consistently comfortable indoor climate
- Better indoor air quality
- Excellent ventilation
- Extremely quiet
How Roof Maker can help you create a Passive House
The Passive House Institute (PHI) is an independent research institute that has been fundamental in helping develop the Passive House standard. The PHI tests building products to see if they are suitable to be used in Passive Houses. If they are, they receive a certification from the institute – the Certified Passive House Component seal.
Every building product that has passed the PHI’s rigorous testing is stored in its component database, which allows designers and builders to quickly and easily see which building products are certified for use in a Passive House.
So, if you want to achieve a true Passive House and are looking to incorporate rooflights as part of your design, the only flat rooflight you should be considering for your project is our fixed flat rooflight.
Case Study | Hackney House
March 19, 2019
When London based architecture studio, Loud. Architecture & Interior Design, was approached to transform a run-down property in Stoke Newington, its founder Kate Clare jumped at the chance to not only bring the property’s construction and design into the 21st Century, but to also pay homage to Hackney’s industrial history.
The Victorian-era property located in the centre of the leafy green borough of Hackney had been left in ruin for a number of years, requiring dire need of modernisation to transform the space into a bright dwelling with captivating design features for a young, growing family.
An extension was added to both the rear and side of the property to align with the neighbouring property’s extension and was angled from the neighbour’s wall back to meet the house in a sympathetic way.
Speaking of the build, Kate Clare Managing Director at Loud. Architecture & Interior Design said: “Our brief was to design a property that had a hard appearance on the outside, which was in keeping with the dark extensions that have been erected along the rear elevations of Kersley Road, whilst also creating a softer more playful feel inside that maximised the amount of natural light available.”
The thermally broken dark grey doors blend into the charred timber cladding of the extension to create a visual unity when the on-trend Crittal style steel doors are closed, whilst also being a nod to Hackney’s industrial past.
This manufacturing influence can be seen throughout the exterior and interior of the home, delicately balanced by the influx of soft lighting that inundates the property to offset the bold dark appearance of the rear façade. This was achieved through the specification and installation of windows and rooflights throughout the extension to not only maximise as much natural light into the property as possible, but also provide adequate ventilation. Three Roof Maker Luxlite™ roof windows were installed in the rear extension, as well as a Fixed Flat Rooflight for the corridor between the extension and existing property.
Kate commented, “Roof Maker’s Luxlite™ roof windows were chosen for the extension due to the sleek design of the rooflights as they offer maximum glazing with a minimal frame, offering a flush appearance when facing the property from the garden. The rooflights offer an impressive U-value, combined with aluminium frames to offer exceptional heat insulation, whilst the mechanical opening helps with ventilation, which is ideal for a kitchen area.”
In total the project took eight months to complete, with Kate and the owners working closely together throughout the entire process to create a unique family home designed to meet the wide ranging needs of modern day life. The contemporary, quirky interior touches add a sense of the owner’s personality, from the chequerboard encaustic entrance tiles to strategically placed pocket doors to capitalise on all available space.
Kate concluded: “This was a really unique project to work on and it was a pleasure to be part of transitioning the home from a tired, dilapidated property into a modern, fun family home. It was essential that we offered a balance between the harsh materials and style of the industrial influences, which was perfectly offset by the abundance of natural light and nature inspired designs.”
Which Roofing Materials Are Suitable For Rooflights?
March 4, 2019
If you are thinking of building a home extension in the near future, one of your main considerations will be what type of roofing material to use. With so many different options out there, it can sometimes be difficult to make an informed choice.
But what if you want your new extension to feature a high quality rooflight? Does it significantly narrow down your choices of roofing material? The good news is that it doesn’t.
To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of some of the roofing materials that are suitable for and can accommodate rooflights:
Slate roof tiles
Despite having its roots in Victorian times, slate roofing remains a popular choice for homeowners today. That’s because it is tried and tested, looks great and is extremely durable.
Opt for artificial slate tiles (often known as fibre cement slates) and you’ll benefit from a tile that’s light, cost effective and available in a number of diverse shades of grey and brown.
In comparison, natural slate roof tiles are much more expensive, but they will last you a lifetime and attract far less moss than their artificial counterparts. Plus, they are totally unique because of their natural composition.
Clay roof tiles
Clay roof tiles have been used for literally thousands of years (as far back as 3000 BC, according to some sources). One of the main reasons why is because they are virtually imperishable. In fact, even after ancient buildings are long gone, their terra-cotta roof tiles still somehow survive.
Use clay tiles for your roof and they will not only look fantastic, but also provide you with years and years of faithful service. Clay roof tiles can also be purchased in a number of different colours.
Metal roof tiles
Perhaps the biggest advantage of metal roof tiles is that they are much lighter than traditional slate and clay tiles, making them easy to work with and relatively quick to install. Available in wide range of styles and colours, metal roof tiles are usually made from steel, aluminium or zinc.
Metal roofs are durable, but in the event that you ever need to replace a section, the tiles you remove can usually be recycled. Metal roof tiles are available in a large range of colours too.
Asphalt shingles popular and common because of the benefits they afford. They are lightweight, affordable, easy to install and last a reasonably long time. They can also be replaced with relative ease if they ever get damaged.
Because of the way in which they are installed, asphalt shingles are sometimes called composition shingles. That’s because they have to be installed in an overlapping style comprising several layers.
Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP), or fiberglass, it one of the most popular roofing materials for flat roofs. If offers strength and durability without adding too much additional weight to the overall structure.
One major advantage is that there are no joins of seams what-so-ever, due to the material having a liquid form. Creating an extremely smooth surface. This, alongside the wide range of colours available, provides great aesthetics.
If the roof has been well installed, the GRP should last for at least 25 years. But if a repair is needed, the material itself is also very easy to repair.
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) is a type of rubber that’s frequently used for roofing and has numerous advantages. It is low-maintenance, cost effective, can last a lifetime and is durable enough to walk on regularly – making it an excellent choice for flat roofs where you plan to have a suitable access rooflight installed.
Perhaps the only downside of installing an EPDM roof is the lack of initial aesthetics. The rubber look won’t appeal to many people, but EPDM can usually be painted in a variety of different colours.
Green roofing materials have become increasingly popular in recent years, even though they’ve been being used in places like Scotland and Scandinavia for centuries.
One of the most popular types of living green roof uses sedum, a perennial plant with thick, succulent leaves, fleshy stems and clusters of star-shaped flowers. Placed upon a more conventional roofing material, sedum usually comes in the form of matting (it’s the easiest way to install it), which saves you considerably in terms of installation time.
Sedum roofs are designed to be low maintenance e.g. they do not require watering, deadheading or mowing. All you have to do is give it a good weeding once a year and check your drainage gutters are free from debris.
Did you know that rooflights can even be installed in thatched roofs too? That’s right! Providing you have an experienced thatcher who knows exactly what they are doing, you can install and reap all of the benefits of a rooflight in a thatched roof.
When installed in a thatched roof, rooflights afford all the same benefits they do usually (namely more natural light and fresh air), as well as add a nice modern twist to such a beautiful, traditional roof.
We can even supply a rooflight for use in a copper roof and that’s exactly what we did for a homeowner in the Wickham Market area, Paul. He had built a beautiful extension with a copper roof and wanted a rooflight that was equally as stunning and complementary of the overall look he’d achieved.
Size Matters When It Comes To Rooflights
February 20, 2019
The benefits of rooflights in your house are numerous. From improving the air quality in your home to helping beat the winter blues, adding a rooflight is an easy (and often cost effective) way to allow more natural light and fresh air to flood your property.
Whilst there are lots of different pitched rooflights available, what can you do if you want something more bespoke and/or a little (or even a lot) bigger than most?
Introducing… the LuxliteTM pitched rooflight.
Here’s the lowdown on the Roof Maker product that won the ‘Best Application of Rooflights’ category at the Pitched Roofing Awards 2018.
1. Seriously large custom sizes
Sometimes, there are situations where several small rooflights in a row just won’t cut it. Or perhaps your roof requires a rooflight of a specific size to allow for rafters. Whatever you need, because we handcraft our pitched rooflights to order, we can supply you with a perfect fit.
The LuxliteTM is also available in much larger sizes than many other pitched rooflights, available in dimensions of up to 2400mm x 1200mm or 3000mm x 1000mm.
Larger rooflights afford three main benefits for home owners:
- More natural light
- Better ventilation
- Gorgeous aesthetics
Likewise, if you need a bespoke, non-standard size pitched rooflight that isn’t necessarily large, we can accommodate that too.
2. Frameless design
Another thing you should know about the LuxliteTM pitched rooflight is that it features a unique frameless design. With no chunky visible internal frame when fitted, it allows up to 49% more natural light to enter your home compared to traditional rooflights.
Furthermore, our Luxlite’s frameless design means it is a lot cleaner and minimal looking than many of its counterparts on the market, which makes it a particularly good choice when aesthetics are a top priority.
3. Triple glazed as standard
The LuxliteTM comes fitted with high specification triple glazing as standard. Offering ultra low Ug-values from 0.6 W/m2k, which is particularly important during colder weather when your home needs to be as insulated as possible.
In fact, such glazing provides exceptional energy efficiency all year round, helping to keep your home cooler during the warmer summer months too. We also offer a double glazed option too.
4. Comes with a built-in flashing apron
All our rooflights are designed to be as easy to install as possible. It’s something we’ve worked very hard to achieve because we know how important it is for our customers.
For example, our LuxliteTM comes with a free built-in flashing apron. This flashing apron not only enables easy installation*, but also provides superior water dispersion. Blending in among your roof slates or tiles, our LuxliteTM flashing apron enhances the minimalist design cues of the overall rooflight.
*They can be installed by a professional builder, roofer or carpenter with minimum effort.
5. Electric opening option available
Many of our customers ask whether our LuxliteTM comes in an opening version. The answer is yes, providing you opt for triple glazed glass.
The electric opening LuxliteTM provides you with the ability to open your roof windows to allow ventilation all year round.
If the thought of having to manually open your pitched rooflight each time doesn’t fill you with glee, don’t worry. The LuxliteTM is controlled electrically by a rocker switch fitted to your wall, or you can upgrade to a remote control. The latter option comes with a free rain sensor which will automatically close your rooflight at the first sign of rain.
6. Unparalleled peace of mind
As with all Roof Maker products, the LuxliteTM comes with a 20-year unit seal warranty. This is provides the assurance that our products are designed and built to last.
The glazed unit, spacer bar and fixings are all concealed within a neat black resin border, protecting them from harmful UV rays, which adds to their overall durability.
To find out more about Roof Maker’s award-winning LuxliteTM and discover just how affordable it can be (even if you need a bespoke size), contact us today
What Is A Thermal Break And Why Is It Important For Rooflights?
February 15, 2019
If you are in the market for a rooflight, you’ll almost certainly encounter some jargon during your search.
Here at Roof Maker, we always want our customers to have all the information they need to make a confident decision. It’s one of the reasons we’ve created a bespoke Help Section on our website and keep our blog filled with fresh posts (just like this one).
In today’s post, we are going to deconstruct and explain a term that you will inevitably hear when you are looking at rooflight specifications, and that’s ‘thermal break’.
So, what is a thermal break?
Most modern rooflights are manufactured with an aluminium frame. That’s because aluminium is lightweight, durable and requires a lot less maintenance than wood, making it an excellent choice to be used in rooflights. But aluminium isn’t a very good insulator. In fact, it’s a really good conductor of heat, which means the precious warmth from within your home would escape outside if your rooflight frame was constructed solely from aluminium.
That’s where a thermal break comes in…
A thermal break is basically a piece of material that’s placed in the frame of a rooflight to minimise heat loss. Rooflight manufacturers, like us, use them to ensure their products retain maximum thermal performance.
At Roof Maker, dependent on the rooflight, we use a range of materials such as resin, silicone, polyamide and EPS between the conductive aluminium components of the frames. Sandwiched in the frame, these materials bridge the gap to vastly reduce cold transfer, ensuring our rooflights always provide superb thermal insulation.
Many of our rooflights also feature a fully insulated frame, offering far superior thermal insulation than other rooflights on the market which only have a minimal thermal break. It is for this reason that Roof Maker’s fixed flat rooflights are the only certified skylights in the UK that are recommended by the Passive House Trust – the rigorous design and construction standard which aims for optimal energy efficiency.
Furthermore, the thermal breaks we use also help boost the rigidity and structural integrity of the frame, which means you can rest assured that your rooflight is durable enough to withstand even the most adverse weather conditions.
Thermal breaks and condensation
Now you might be wondering, what has condensation got to do with thermal breaks? The answer is quite a lot, actually.
When a rooflight is located over a room with high humidity, like a kitchen or bathroom, there is a chance that condensation will form on its frame if it doesn’t have a thermal break installed. That’s because the lack of thermal break leads to the aluminium frame being much colder than the humid air inside your home. As soon as the warmer air makes contact with the colder frame, condensation appears – it’s something often referred to as ‘cold bridging’.
To reduce this happening, we install thermal breaks inside the aluminium framework. So not only do thermal breaks prevent precious warmth escaping from your home, they also greatly reduce the chances of condensation forming on your rooflight frame.
Thermal breaks perfectly complement our Reflex® Glass
All Roof Maker rooflights are fitted with our very own specialist Reflex® Glass. It’s a glazing product that boasts super insulating properties to significantly reduce heat loss from your home, something that’s especially crucial during the winter and particularly for those who live in exposed areas.
Constructed from two, three or even four panes of Reflex® Glass, each separated by an argon-filled cavity and a foam spacer, our rooflights provide exceptional insulation. This not only keeps your home warmer when you need it most, but also helps lower your energy bills (it’s win-win).
[Related reading: What type of rooflight glass should I opt for?]
The bottom line is we are extremely proud of our Reflex® Glass and totally confident in its ability to help insulate your home. So there’s no way on earth we would undo all that good work by not suitably insulating our rooflight frames too.
Are Your Pets Getting Enough Natural Light Throughout The Day?
February 5, 2019
We’ve previously written about the numerous health benefits of natural light for you and your family. From boosting your mood to making you more productive and helping you sleep better, exposure to natural light is associated with plenty of plus points.
But have you ever considered how natural light can also be beneficial to your pets? After all, sunlight is one of the most important influences upon life on our planet. In fact, it’s arguably the most important influence.
The bottom line is any mammal that is active during the day is extremely sensitive to the sun and needs exposure to raw sunlight every day to remain healthy.
It’s a consideration that’s particularly relevant right now, what with the shorter days and gloomy weather we are experiencing here in the UK. That’s because it can be tempting to leave your curtains closed when you set off for work on a cold, dark morning; leaving your beloved pets in an environment that isn’t going to provide them with the natural light they need.
Unfortunately, leaving a light on during the day isn’t enough. Animals need natural light, with its full spectrum of colours and dynamicity (changing intensity and mix of colours depending on the time of day).
Artificial light has a totally different spectrum to natural light and contains a high proportion of blue light. It also remains constant all the time, unlike sunlight.
Ideally, dogs (and any mammal for that matter) need to be exposed to sunlight for a period of time in the morning, mid-day and in the late afternoon so that they experience the full range of intensities and mix of colours.
When sunlight lands on your dog’s skin or its eyes, lots of different metabolic pathways are triggered. For example, sunlight hitting your dog’s retinas and skin directly impacts its circadian rhythm (body clock). That’s because melatonin - a hormone that helps us (and mammals) sleep – is not produced during the day. But when the sun goes down and it’s dark, melatonin levels rise sharply, making us and our pets feel sleepy.
In other words, natural light is the only light that provides mammals with what they need to feel their best.
Did you know that LED bulbs completely lack infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV)? Furthermore, LED bulbs have been found to suppress melatonin by up to 80%. For comparison, candlelight suppresses melatonin by just 2%.
So, if you want your dog or cat to consistently get a good night’s sleep and be more active during the daytime, make sure they are getting enough exposure to natural light throughout the day.
Allow more natural light into your home
This blog post on how to maximise daylight without scrimping on design contains some great tips for, well, maximising daylight without scrimping on design. Check it out to discover some ways in which you can allow more natural light to penetrate your home and benefit your pets.
If you’ve got a pitched roof, installing LuxliteTM roof windows is one of the best ways to allow natural light to enter your home. That’s because LuxliteTM rooflights are completely frameless, meaning they bring in up to 49% more natural light into your home than traditional framed designs.
You can even choose to add a remote control to your LuxliteTM for ultimate convenience. If you do, we’ll include a free rain sensor, which will automatically close the rooflight should the weather take a turn for the worst.
Media Coverage: January
February 1, 2019
In our January Roof Maker media coverage roundup, we highlight some of the top articles that have covered our rooflights in the trade and consumer press. Find out more below.
|An article about being on the right side of building regulations by adhering to Document L1 B. Read it here|
|Improving thermal performance with triple glazing. Read about it on their website|
|Electronic rooflights - opening up opportunities Read more about electric opening rooflights here.|
Don't forget to come back next month for more Roof Maker Media Coverage.
Snow Loading – Is Your Roof Lantern Ready?
January 25, 2019
The recent bitter cold snap in Britain saw many people awake to plunging temperatures and icy conditions. The Met Office issued a yellow warning for ice across many parts of the country and motorists were urged to be extra cautious due to hazardous driving conditions.
Homeowners in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, were bracing themselves for the coldest night of the winter so far, with -12C expected in the Scottish village. It’s safe to say that Jack Frost has well and truly bitten the UK this January.
But what does all this frost, ice, snow and freezing temperatures mean for homeowners with rooflights? Surely snow loading (the downward force placed on a rooflight by the weight of accumulated snow and ice) is a big consideration, right?
The answer is it depends on your rooflight. After all, not all rooflights are created equal.
1. Pitched for resistance
The pitch of a rooflight is one of several factors that can help to promote the process of self-cleaning. The general rule of thumb is that the steeper the pitch, the easier it is for dirt and grime to slide right off with rainfall. In the case of snow, the steeper the pitch, the more difficult it is for it to settle and accumulate.
The steep 40-degree pitch also provides maximum structural integrity to the prismatic shape, so that you can be confident your roof lantern is built to withstand the extra weight if snow does build upon it.
2. Durable powder coating
With its marine grade powder coated frame, the Slimline© roof lantern is capable of withstanding even the harshest weather conditions. Freezing temperatures, heavy rain, snow, ice - you name it, the Slimline© roof lantern is capable of coping with them all and for a very long time too.
Moreover, its aluminium construction means that it won’t rust – even if it’s subjected to extreme weather.
3. Your choice of glazing
Finally, as with all of our world class rooflights, there are a number of different glazing options available to you so that you can choose a solution that is best suited to your needs.
For those most concerned about thermal regulation and keeping toasty during the winter, opting for triple glazing will help to keep the temperature in your house amicable. Reflex© Ultimate Energy Performance glass is designed with Passive House standards in mind, the ultimate energy performance status. Meeting the stringent Passive House standards, it can achieve Ug-values as low as 0.2 W/m²K.
4. Ultra slim glazing bars
Last but certainly not least, the Slimline© roof lantern has ultra slim aluminium glazing bars. Thanks to its super slim frame, it provides an almost uninterrupted view of the outside world without thick, unsightly bars getting in the way.
Whilst this reason might not be directly linked to snow loading or thermal regulation, it does mean that the Slimline© roof lantern allows up to 25% more natural light to enter your home than similar products that are available. Providing you with as much natural light as possible during the darker, cloudier winter months.
7 Tricks To Make A Small Room Feel Larger
January 17, 2019
If you live in a compact apartment or a smaller-than-ideal house, you’ll know all too well that the struggle to make rooms feel larger is real. Whether you’ve got a bedroom that’s consumed by your bed or a dining room that can’t quite accommodate a table, anything you can do to give the illusion that your room is bigger is invaluable.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 7 tricks to make a small room feel larger:
First and foremost, if space is at a premium in your house, de-clutter. And we don’t just mean move all the knick-knacks and souvenirs you’ve collected around a bit, we mean get rid of them completely.
Be brutal and apply this simple rule: If you haven’t used something in a year, or wouldn’t buy it today, either sell it, upcycle it or bin it.
Still can’t bring yourself to part with some of your stuff? See trick number 3.
2. Be smart with your furniture placement
Never position a sofa or a table so that it appears to block the view into a room. It will make the room look cramped and prevent people from seeing the open spaces (hint: if you can see the floor, the room will appear larger).
Also, try not to have any furniture pushed up against your walls. Even if it’s just a few inches, leave a gap. It will make the entire space feel more open.
3. Choose furniture that’s multi-functional
Hidden storage and multi-functional furniture are your two best friends when you’ve got a room that’s a bit on the small side. Look to take advantage of things like foot stools that have lift-up lids and coffee tables that open up to reveal storage underneath their tops.
These multi-functional pieces with hidden storage provide an excellent place to hide the knick-knacks and souvenirs you’re not yet ready to part with.
4. Bigger is better
Many people (wrongly) think that lots of pieces of small furniture are better in a compact room than a few larger pieces. The reality though is that smaller pieces make a room feel cluttered. Opt for just one or two larger pieces to give the illusion that the space is bigger than it actually is.
Indeed, floor-to-ceiling bookcases are an excellent way to make a small room feel larger (plus they are great for storage). They draw people’s eyes to them and up them, giving the impression that the ceiling is higher than it actually is.
5. Let in more light
Any room will feel larger if it has plenty of light, whether that’s natural light or artificial light. You’ve probably noticed that your bedroom feels airier and more spacious when the curtains are open and the same applies to any other room.
Whilst adding more artificial lighting is one option, it does not afford as many benefits as natural light.
So what’s the answer? Well, adding more windows is often a non-starter for a number of reasons e.g. the associated costs, lack of free walls, etc. That’s why more and more people are opting for rooflights instead.
The good news is that regardless of whether your roof is flat or pitched, there are numerous options available to you.
For example, in addition to our pitched rooflights and flat rooflights, we also design, manufacture and supply roof lanterns. These more elaborate rooflights are stunning and create an even bigger sense of space in your home.
6. Add some mirrors
One of the simplest, cheapest and most effective ways to make a room feel larger is by adding some mirrors. They work particularly well if you have plenty of light as they throw it (the light) across the room and into the corners of the room. With dark corners eliminated, your room will appear that little bit bigger.
If you really want to create an unusual impression, place two mirrors opposite each other. It will create a sort of infinity effect and your room will appear significantly larger.
7. Opt for a soft, light colour scheme and coordinate
Whilst darker colours make a room feel cosy and intimate, they also absorb light and that makes the space feel ultimately smaller. Choose light, cool colours and your room will appear larger.
It’s also worth noting that having several different colours in a room breaks up the space and that can make it feel more compact. Try and incorporate furniture (like sofas and chairs) and drapes that are the same colour (or similar) to your walls. This will help everything blend together and make a small room feel larger.
New Year, New Home: Planning Your Home Improvements For The Year Ahead
December 21, 2018
The majority of British people (54%) have lived in their homes for almost 20 years and have chosen to make improvements instead of moving. That’s one of the key findings to come out of the 2018 Barclays Home Improvement Report.
Surprised? Thought most people moved more often than that? The research tells a different story.
In terms of improvement trends, having new carpets fitted (35%), installing a new kitchen (31%) and landscaping the garden (29%) are all at the top of the list.
Maybe you’ve got some home improvement projects of your own that have never got further than the “I’d love to do that” stage. But with the start of a new year, what better time to finally make those home improvement dreams a reality.
Perhaps you don’t yet have a list of improvements you’d like to make around your home yet? But need some ideas for how to modernise your home? Don’t worry, we’ve created this post to give you some food for thought.
Add a rooflight
When it comes to home improvements, any changes you make to your house should be focussed on affording you an improved quality of life. Whether that’s fixing an existing problem or adding a new feature, the goal should always be to benefit you and (hopefully) add some decent value to your property in the process.
One such home improvement that many homeowners are choosing to make nowadays is installing rooflights to allow more natural light and air into their homes. It’s an option that is usually much more cost effective than adding more windows and doesn’t involve major surgery on your house.
Whether you want to brighten up a room that doesn’t benefit from much natural light, or improve your home’s overall ventilation, a rooflight will do the trick.
Not sure what options are available and/or which rooflight would be the best choice for you? Use our handy rooflight selector to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
Related reading: 5 ways to improve the air quality in your home
Get some smart home tech
The January sales present a great opportunity to kit your house out with some smart home tech. There are tons of smart home technology solutions out there today. Everything from simple additions like smart plugs, which can turn an ordinary power outlet into one that can be controlled by an app on your smartphone, to smart baths that automatically fill themselves based on criteria you determine.
Whilst such technology might seem a bit OTT and a wasted investment to you now, it’s likely that you’ll change your mind once you’ve experienced the benefits such gadgets can bring.
Replace your windows
If you’ve got old windows that have definitely seen better days, why not make this winter their last.
You see, the problem with old, draughty windows is that they not only negatively impact the overall look and feel of your home, but they also negatively impact your energy bills.
If you’re constantly having to turn your thermostat up to compensate for the cold draught that’s coming in, make 2019 the year in which you replace all your windows (or at least your main ones) for more modern alternatives.
Update your lighting
In the same way that old, draughty windows contribute to higher energy bills, so too do old light bulbs. Consider replacing all of your existing incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs for LED lights.
Whilst LED lights do cost more to buy, they are long-lasting and extremely energy efficient – a reality that makes the extra investment justifiable.
You could even couple LED lights with some complementary smart home tech to take your energy efficiency to another level again. Imagine walking into a room and your lights coming on automatically and then switching off when you leave.
Landscape your garden
According to the aforementioned Barclays research, 29% of British homeowners believe landscaping their garden is the number one home improvement to carry out. It makes sense when you consider that your outside spaces are seen by everyone who passes by and they are your primary opportunity to make a good first impression on everyone who visits.
Even something relatively simple like adding a patio with a covered area can greatly improve your quality of life. What better way to spend this coming summer than in your garden with friends and family enjoying the fruits of your home improvement labour.
The Elements You Need For A Perfect Hallway Design
December 21, 2018
First impressions count and that’s why your hallway is one of the most important rooms/spaces in your home. It welcomes guests and provides an insight into the rest of your home.
Moreover, if you are trying to sell your home or preparing for the arrival of friends and family at Christmas, your hallway will play a vital role when you’re meeting and greeting.
Bearing all this in mind, why are hallways so often overlooked by homeowners?
To help you transform your hallway from being just a place where shoes and coats are left as people proceed into the rest of your home to a space that adds real value and creates a great first impression, we have compiled this list of elements that every perfect hallway should have.
The first element to consider is your hallway lighting. Remember, you are setting the tone for the rest of your house, so your lighting decisions in your hallway are actually pretty important.
You don’t want a hallway that is too dark as it doesn’t create a welcoming atmosphere. Likewise, a hallway that’s too bright will illuminate and highlight any imperfections the space is trying to hide.
Most people would love a window or two in their hallways but space restrictions can often make this a non-starter. If this is the case in your own hallway, would a rooflight solve the issue?
The good news is that there is an incredible choice of different styles of rooflights available, which boosts your chances of finding the perfect rooflight solution for your home. Whether you’re looking for a flat rooflight, pitched rooflight or a gorgeous roof lantern, we’ve got you covered.
No space for even a rooflight? Consider lighting long, narrow halls with wall lights to create a uniform feel throughout the space. If your hallway is very small, use a pendant, standing lamp or table lamp to add a little more depth and a focal point.
It can be tempting to paint your hallway with colours that are light and bright in an attempt to steer clear of creating a dingy atmosphere. And whilst this is fine – particularly if you have a small hallway – you need to remember that there are inevitably a bunch of other rooms leading off your hallway.
Therefore, any colour choices you make in the hallway should (in theory) complement the colours of your other rooms.
If you opt for safe, neutral colours, consider jazzing things up a little with flashes and accents of citrus colours where possible to add more depth and character.
One way to do this is with your rooflight. The Slimline© roof lantern is available in any of the 1,625 RAL colours, which means you can pick a colour that complements your home perfectly.
Unfortunately, your hallway floor will accommodate more foot traffic and receive more abuse than all your other carpets put together. That’s why practical, functional flooring solutions are a must here.
Carpets, whilst looking nice and providing additional comfort, are hard to keep clean. One mistake and that beautiful hallway carpet of yours could be stained forever. Instead, consider using wooden flooring or natural stone. Both are durable, easy to clean and can even be softened with the addition of a well-placed rug.
If you have a room below your hallway with limited light, such as a basement, then adding a walk on rooflight to your hallway flooring could offer a great solution. Not only will it make a unique impact to the aesthetics of your hallway, it will also improve the functionality of the room below by introducing more light.
Okay, so it’s unlikely that you’ve got enough room in your hallway for lots of furniture, but you might be able to squeeze in a beneficial small table and chair combo. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to balance on one leg and hold a nearby wall whilst you remove a shoe.
Also, by adding a piece of furniture you are definitively labelling your hallway as a room in its own right and not just a thoroughfare.
If you’ve got children (and even room), place a small bench along one of your hallway walls. It’ll help get your kids into the habit of removing their shoes when they come inside and that could just save your beautiful interior carpets.
Nobody likes to see a hallway being used as a glorified shoe storage space. A mini mountain of shoes when you’ve got guests round doesn’t do your hallway justice, which is why a simple, narrow shoe rack can work wonders to organise the area.
Similarly, a wall-mounted or floor-standing coat rack is also a must for accommodating outdoor garments – especially at this time of year when everyone’s wrapping up warm!
A sturdy storage box with a cushion on top can double up as a seat, giving you both a place to sit and an extra place to conceal your boots and brollies.
6. Those all-important finishing touches
Finally, by adding a few personal touches to your hallway, you can tell visitors to your home lots about you without even opening your mouth.
For example, a family photo on the hallway table or one of you doing your favourite hobby will not only brighten up the space, but also tell your visitors a silent story.
If you’ve got some favourite paintings or posters, consider putting some of them up in your hallway too. It’s a subtle way to say, “Hello! This is our house and this is what we like.”
Fresh flowers, plants and mirrors all also add to the overall atmosphere and vibe of your hallway, helping to create the perfect lead into the rest of your home.
10 Home Office Design Hacks
December 21, 2018
Whether you work from home (either full-time or part-time), or just need somewhere to stay on top of all your monthly paperwork and organise your schedule, a home office is often a sound investment.
But before you rush to stick a small table and chair into a spare corner of your home, please appreciate that such a setup does not constitute a home office and that doing so will not afford you the same number of benefits as a dedicated office space would.
A dingy, cramped, unappealing home office will not be conducive to you being productive and won’t help your psyche either.
An investment in a good home office is an investment in yourself (and your business if you run one from home), one that will pay dividends in terms of both productivity and happiness.
To provide you with some inspiration and get your design juices flowing, we’ve compiled this list of 10 home office design hacks:
1. Location, location, location
First and foremost, your home office should allow you to work to the best of your abilities and be as productive as you can. That’s why adding a small table and chair combo to an existing room won’t cut the mustard.
Consider what type of environment you work best in and then design your home office accordingly. For example, if you’re easily distracted, areas that are busy and noisy should not be avoided. Look instead for a quiet corner or, even better, a dedicated room in which to create your home office.
2. Functionality first
Once you’ve chosen an acceptable location for your home office, it’s time to think about the actual design. As a rule of thumb, never sacrifice form for functionality. You wouldn’t in your kitchen (we hope) and your home office should be no different.
Every aspect has to lend itself to helping you be more productive and boosting your psyche. It’s one of the reasons why you should always consider your workflow when laying out your home office and think about what items need to be close to hand before you purchase any furniture.
3. Don’t scrimp on an office chair
Some people, quite rightly, invest in a really solid office table that can accommodate everything they need and has built-in storage. However, what they neglect to invest in is an equally regal office chair. But why?
The majority of your time in your home office is going to be spent sitting. It’s unlikely that you’d sit on a plastic garden chair while watching TV in the evenings, so why would it be acceptable to use one in your home office?
Look for an office chair that’s ergonomic and a delight to sit in.
4. Don’t be afraid to splash out on paint
Offices don’t have to be boring, especially if you have some favourite colours that help brighten your mood and your productivity.
Don’t be afraid to do away with traditional beige or white colour schemes and paint your home office walls with something a little more vibrant, cheery and positive. Likewise, if calming shades help you work better, opt for those instead. It really is up to you. The bottom line is you don’t need to conform to typical office standards when it’s your own home.
5. Light and airy is the order of the day
By allowing plenty of natural light and air into your office, you’ll not only reduce eye strain and headaches but also boost your mood in the process.
Numerous studies have shown that exposure to natural light helps ward off seasonal depression, improves sleep and boosts your productivity. Similarly, fresh air also brings benefits, primarily because it is a much better alternative to the stale, musty air often found in homes – particularly in the winter.
Adding another window to allow more natural light and air into your home office is usually a non-started because of the associated costs. A much more viable option is to opt for a rooflight.
Recommended reading: 5 ways to improve the air quality in your home
6. Aim to give yourself a nice view
While you shouldn’t place your desk in front of a window because the glare can play havoc with your eyes when you’re trying to work, you should try and give yourself some kind of view from your workstation.
A great solution is to position your desk with a window to the side. Then you can just glance sideways whenever you take a short break and soak up a bit of the great outdoors.
If you’ve got no windows, consider hanging some nice pictures on the walls to give yourself something to look at when your eyes aren’t glued to your computer screen.
7. Make it homely
As we’ve already said, your home office doesn’t need to conform to traditional style cues. Instead, choose accessories that enhance its comfort levels. Even the smallest of personal touches on your desk can provide you with a little mood boost throughout the day.
Family photos, your favourite mug, a whacky pencil holder and that all important paper tray are all little touches that will make your home office feel slightly more homely.
8. Consider the electronics
When it comes to technology, you’re inevitably going to have a computer, printer and telephone in your home office as a minimum. And while there’s not much you can do about the aesthetics of each of these, you can be proactive when it comes to all those unsightly, annoying cables.
Nobody wants to run cables across a floor, so consider this when you’re planning your home office layout. Power cords need to be easily accessible and other cables should be tamed with tubing to minimise their impact under your desk.
9. Stay organised
Minimalist offices are very popular. Their clean, sharp appearances give them an almost clinical vibe and that’s something many people love.
However, empty space is wasted space, space that could be used for other purposes, including storage. In the same way your kitchen requires plenty of storage, so too does your office.
Consider organising all of your important stuff using bookcases, shelves and hanging storage solutions. If you don’t manage to fill it all, you can use it as overflow storage from other rooms in your house.
10. Don’t forget feng shui
Finally, last but not least, why not optimise your office space to afford happiness, abundance and harmony by following the principles of feng shui!?
Feng shui is all about creating positive energy in a room. When it comes to your home office, a clutter-free environment is a must (another reason why you want all that storage). Aim to only have the stuff you are actively working on that day on your desk. Everything else should be out of sight. Remember, a cluttered space creates a cluttered mind.
Furthermore, never sit with back facing a door, window or traffic thoroughfare. It will, apparently, cause your energy to become weak and insecure. Position yourself so you have a wall behind you and can command the space in front of you.
Related reading: 7 simple ways to feng shui your home
What Type Of Rooflight Glass Should I Opt For?
December 12, 2018
You’ve chosen the perfect rooflight for your home from our wide range and you’re now being asked (among other things) what type of rooflight glass you would like. Whilst it might seem like a simple question, with a myriad of glazing choices available, it’s one that some customers may feel slightly overwhelmed by because of the sheer choice.
So, what should you consider when choosing rooflight glass and how do you know which type is right for your particular needs?
Here’s the lowdown:
First and foremost, whichever type of rooflight glass you choose, you can be sure that you are getting absolute quality. That’s because here at Roof Maker - unlike many other rooflight companies – we manufacture our own glass. It’s known as Reflex® Glass.
With specialist ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) blocking capabilities, our Reflex® Glass is manufactured to BS EN12150 standards and unparalleled in terms of quality, affording you complete peace of mind.
Did you also know that all our glass comes with a low-maintenance easy clean coating as standard? It’s yet another benefit you get when you purchase a Roof Maker rooflight.
Moreover, because we make our own glass, we have total control not only when it comes to quality, but also features (few rooflight manufacturers can boast this). That’s one of the reasons why we’ve got so many different rooflight glazing options for our customers to choose from.
But which one’s right for you?
As its name suggests, our Energy glass provides exceptional thermal insulation. This prevents heat loss during the colder winter months and ensures your home is as energy efficient as possible. As a result, your home will not only stay warmer, but you’ll also save on heating costs.
If you’re not already familiar with Ug-values (the measure of a product’s thermal insulation), check out our blog post on the subject: What are Ug-values and why are they important?
In a nutshell, the lower the Ug-value, the better the insulation.
To give you an idea of just how good our Energy glass is, a standard double-glazed window typically has a Ug-value of 2.8 W/m²K. Our tripled-glazed energy glass boasts Ug-values as low as 0.5 W/m²K (depending on your chosen product).
We’ve managed to achieve this outstanding thermal insulation by using an argon-filled cavity and a foam spacer to separate each pane used in our Energy glass.
Our Energy glass is ideal if you have a north or east-facing property as it will afford maximum light and heat during the morning.
So we’ve seen how our Energy glass can effectively keep heat in. But what about when you want to keep heat out?
Beautiful summer days, whilst we all welcome them, can make the rooms in our homes uncomfortably hot and that’s why we designed our Solar Performance glass.
With all the same great features of our standard Energy glass, our Solar Performance glass also has the added benefit of reducing solar gain, which is when the sun’s rays heat up a space or object.
An object’s ability to minimise solar gain is measured using what’s known as a G-value. Again (like Ug-values), the lower, the better. Some of our products achieve G-values as low as 23%.
Moreover, just because our Solar Performance glass is good at keeping unwanted heat out, it also keeps wanted heat in, thanks to its excellent thermal insulation properties.
Our Solar Performance glass is ideal if your property faces south or west and catches heat from the sun during the hottest parts of the day.
Nobody likes it when outside noise from busy roads, building works, etc. floods their homes and disturbs their peace and quiet. It can have a really detrimental impact on day-to-day life and, if it’s constant, can really start to get you down.
Luckily, our Acoustic Performance glass has been designed to afford all the benefits of our standard glass, but with additional outside noise reducing properties. It does this by utilising laminated panes, which are a little bit thicker and spaced further apart, , which in turn reduces the frequency of sound passing through it.
Choose a rooflight with our Acoustic Performance glass and you won’t even know there’s a busy main road or building works there.
For ultimate noise reduction, opt for our triple-glazed Acoustic Performance glass.
Your home is your castle and you want it to be as secure as possible at all times. The good news is that a rooflight from us with Security Performance glass won’t put a chink in your castle’s armour.
Whilst all of our glazing options feature toughened glass as standard, our Security Performance glass goes the extra mile and features laminated toughened glass. Unlike ordinary glass, our Security Performance glass does not shatter on impact. This is thanks to a unique plastic interlayer that keeps the pane in one piece, even if its integrity has been compromised.
Rest assured that intruders and burglars will struggle significantly to break through out Security Performance glass, keeping you, your loved ones and your valuables safe.
Have you ever heard of Passive House? It’s not a brand name but rather a construction standard that refers to a property which can maintain a comfortable interior climate without active heating and cooling systems. In other words, a Passive House is an ultra-low energy building that requires very little (if any) heating or cooling.
Our Ultimate Performance glass has been designed with Passive House standards in mind.
If you want the absolute best performance in terms of Ug-values and G-values, opt for our quad-glazed Ultimate glass. With Ug-values as low as 0.2 W/m²K, our Ultimate glass is unrivalled in its thermal insulation and solar gain minimising abilities.
You can even create your own combo
Did you know that you can mix and match (so to speak) our glass and benefit from say minimised solar gain and reduced noise? That’s right! You’re the boss when it comes to choosing the features that are perfect for you and your home.
5 Ways To Improve The Air Quality In Your Home
December 12, 2018
Even if you're not sensitive to indoor allergens and/or don’t have any respiratory issues, poor air quality in your home isn’t good for you and your family. That’s because stale indoor air often contains a number of nasty lurkers, including dust mites, pet dander and mould spores.
In other words, if you can benefit from fresher air, you should whenever possible. But leaving doors and windows open all the time isn’t ideal. So how else can you improve the air quality in your home?
Here are our top 5 ways:
1. Keep your house clean
It goes without saying that a clean house is a healthier house. By staying on top of your vacuuming, dusting and mopping, you can significantly reduce the amount of dust, dust mites, animal dander and mould spores in the air in your home.
Moreover, you should try to reduce the amount of clutter in your home too. It acts as a trap for dust and mould, which is why getting rid of all those old holiday souvenirs and knick knacks can actually benefit your home’s air quality.
If you’ve got pets, make sure they are groomed regularly to reduce the amount of hair/fur they shed and ensure wash their beds on a regular basis.
2. Turn to nature
Indoor plants are not only pretty, but they also help clean the air in your home. For example, rubber trees are known for producing large amounts of oxygen and absorbing plenty of carbon dioxide, as well as getting rid of formaldehyde while they're at it.
In fact, plants are the only natural way in which indoor air can actually be restored to a previous state i.e. have any pollutants removed.
The best part of all about using indoor plants for improving the air quality in your home is that they are extremely cost effective. Okay, so there’s an initial investment required, but after that it’s just water, sunlight and perhaps a bit of pruning.
3. Let more air in
We know it’s not ideal to leave doors and windows open – especially at this time of year - but there are other ways to allow more fresh air to enter your home.
Have you ever considered an opening rooflight?
Whatever your roof type, there is almost certainly an opening rooflight that will suit your needs.
For example, if you’ve got a flat roof, our opening flat rooflights are perfect for maximising the ventilation in your home.
Homeowners with pitched roofs can take advantage of one of an opening pitched Luxlite® rooflight. These remote control opening rooflights come with a rain sensor – absolutely free of charge - so you don’t need to lift a finger should the weather turn and your rooflight is open.
Looking for something a little fancier?
Why not check out our range of slide opening roof lanterns. These super sophisticated rooflights are designed to fill your home with both daylight and fresh air. Operated by remote control and with a built-in rain sensor as standard, our sliding roof lanterns are the epitome of both sophistication and convenience.
4. Make ventilation improvements
As well as letting more fresh air in, it’s also a good idea to let dirty, smelly air out. And there are a few ways you can do this.
A cooker hood with an exhaust fan, for example, can dramatically reduce the amount of smoke and cooking-related smells that threaten to reduce the air quality in your home. Likewise, bathroom exhaust fans lower condensation levels and make it more difficult for mould to grow.
Even leaving a window open while you bath, shower and cook (not all at the same time, obviously) will ensure a lot of the polluted air can escape.
5. Invest in an air purifier
An air purifier is a device that removes contaminants from the air within a room or a house. As its name suggests, it literally purifies “bad” air and makes it cleaner. Air purifiers vary greatly in functionality and value, from simple table-top models to state of the art systems that cover your entire house.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and how well your own air purifier works will depend on whether you maintain it or not.
Finally, don’t expect a table-top air cleaner to remove huge levels of contaminants. A much better approach is to address the source of the contaminants and reduce the impact there.
Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 62976. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Roof Maker Celebrates Award Success
December 11, 2018
We're delighted to announce that Roof Maker has been awarded first place at the inaugural Pitched Roofing Awards for its contemporary Luxlite™ pitched rooflight.
The accolade was presented to Roof Maker after securing first place in the Domestic Installation of a Rooflight category for its technical innovation as part of a renovation project on a terraced property in Cheltenham.
Roof Maker fought off tough competition to achieve the award, having been nominated alongside prestigious brands such as Velux and Coxdome. The Luxlite™ pitched rooflight allows up to 49% more light to enter through the frame in comparison to competitor’s products due to its sleek aluminium frame. It’s built-in flashing apron also allows fast installation and superior water dispersion.
The judges were impressed with how closely Roof Maker’s technical team worked with the homeowner and building contractor to successfully manage the limited site access, whilst also maximising available natural light, without being obtrusive to the existing environment.
Vanessa Howard, Chief Marketing Officer at Roof Maker commented: “We pride ourselves on delivering the highest standard of product performance for our customers and are delighted to receive the Pitched Roofing Award for our Luxlite™ rooflight, which is a testament to our ongoing commitment to innovation and first class customer service.”
Are you considering buying a pitched rooflight? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Media Coverage: November
November 30, 2018
In our November Roof Maker media coverage roundup, we highlight some of the top articles that have covered our rooflights in the trade and consumer press in the last month. Find out more below.
|Press release about the vented options available for roof lanterns Read more about vented rooflights|
|An article about being on the right side of building regulations by adhering to Document L1 B. Check out the Document L1 B article (Page 66)|
Case Study | Butterhills
November 29, 2018
Hidden within the 30-acre site of Butterhills in the North of Devon, the beautiful Linhay has been rescued from a state of ruin.
Butterhills is owned by Nick and Caroline Welch who live there with their two teenage children. Nick's grandparents bought the land and dwelling that makes up Butterhills in the 1930s, where Nick and Caroline decided to make the beautiful valley, meadows and woods their home in 1989.
When deciding what to do with the ruins of a Linhay in the Butterhills wood, the initial plan was to prevent further deterioration by converting it into an open camping barn for friends and family to use. But following redundancy, Nick and Caroline decided to develop it into an off-the-grid holiday let to provide a source of sustainable income for the family.
Many people would have simply demolished the fragmented, unloved shell, to start from scratch. But Nick and Caroline have lovingly converted it into a stunning, environmentally friendly cottage. Accessed via a cart track, the Linhay’s location gives a feeling of total seclusion whilst being a 10-minute drive from the bustling village of Braunton
The project started in 2014, with materials sourced locally from the surrounding environment. Oak trees in the Butterhills wood were felled and milled to provide the roof timbers. The stonework in the main section of the Linhay was repointed and restored – inside and out – with lime mortar. A contrasting modern extension was also added to the side of the building, to create a shower room.
Nick, a Building Services Engineer by trade, had the skillset to introduce the sustainable water supply, plumbing and the solar electrics. The shower room is a great example of his talents. The project is off grid with no mains electricity, so it was essential to gain as much natural light as possible in the shower room. A rooflight was the perfect answer.
Caroline, who took responsibility for the Linhay’s interior design, décor, furnishing and detailing, decided upon a 1,200mm x 600mm fixed flat rooflight by Roof Maker. Chosen for the sleek design which mostly consisted of glazing, to introduce as much natural light as possible.
“The rooflight is a fantastic feature in the Linhay, our guests have loved it – you can sit on the loo, look up through the branches of the oak trees and watch the buzzards swooping overhead. It also affords a lovely view of the Linhay’s gable end with ancient stonework & cedar soffits and fascias – a great contrast with the clean lines of the rooflight and the shower room. When first installed it brought so much light into the space that we kept thinking the builders had left the site lights on”.
All in all, with the help of a local architect, civil engineer, surveyor, ecologist, builder and carpenter, and of course the oak from the wood – the Linhay was lovingly brought back to life within 7 months. The project was completed within a budget of £50,000, including all fixtures, fittings and furnishings.
This is a story of a labour of love and a building that refused to fall down. A story that truly shows what can be accomplished when choosing restoration over demolition. Caroline and Nick already have exciting plans for more Butterhills-based projects in the future.
How To Maximise Daylight Without Scrimping On Design
November 27, 2018
Natural light not only makes a home feel lighter and brighter, but also bigger and more welcoming. Then there are the health benefits that are afforded by more natural light. Improved mood, improved sleep, boosted vitamin D storage and healthier eye development are all plus points associated with being exposed (within reason) to more natural light.
It’s no wonder, then, that homeowners are often keen to allow more natural light to flood their properties – especially now the days are shorter and the nights are longer.
With all this in mind, we decided to run through some tips for how to maximise daylight in your home, without scrimping on design.
Add a rooflight or two or three
One of the best, most cost-effective and elegant ways to maximise the daylight in your home is with a rooflight. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, rooflights are unparalleled in their ability to afford more natural light. That’s because the higher the source of light, the brighter the room will be.
Moreover, rooflights can be installed in both pitched and flat roofs, which makes them pretty versatile. If you want something a little more contemporary, maybe a roof lantern is more your cup of tea.
Whatever type of rooflight you opt for, you can rest assured that it will allow natural light to flood your home all throughout the day.
Add new windows or make existing ones bigger
If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to install a rooflight, adding some more windows is the next best way to maximise daylight in your home. Just be aware that adding a new vertical window or two will cost considerably more than an equivalent rooflight and will involve some pretty major surgery on your home.
Nevertheless, it is, of course, very much still an option that’s open to you.
Just be sure to check whether you need any planning permission and understand that due to privacy issues, your new windows may need to be obscure glazed if they look out over your neighbours’ properties.
Add large glazed doors
If you’ve currently got an external door that leads out to a patio area or your garden, you could get more natural light into your home if you replace it with larger glazed doors.
Whether you choose bi-fold, sliding or more traditional French doors, the end result will be more daylight penetration. Plus, you can open the doors in the same way as windows and rooflights to allow better air circulation.
Glazed doors with slim frames will afford the most light. But again, the associated costs may be a bit too heavy for some budgets.
Install a glass staircase
An expensive, but extremely classy option is to install a glass staircase. Whilst you’ll almost certainly need an architect to make such an addition become a reality, the finished article will inevitably be one of the most talked about features in your home.
Obviously, a glass staircase will only help maximise light in rooms that are already reasonably well-lit as they allow light to pass through them and reach other areas.
A cheaper alternative to a completely glass staircase is to install an open-tread one. Again, this allows light to pass through it and only really works well in rooms that are otherwise well-lit.
The cheapest option in our list so far is to add more mirrors in the rooms you want to appear brighter.
Mirrors reflect light and allow it to penetrate deeper into the nooks and crannies of a room, which makes it appear larger. It goes without saying that larger mirrors reflect more light and so achieve better results, but don’t go too big as it could overwhelm the whole feel of your room.
For an even greater optical illusion, hang two mirrors opposite one another to create an infinity effect.
Lighten your colour palette
It stands to reason that dark walls aren’t great for making a room feel lighter and brighter. They absorb a lot of the light that enters a room and should only be used in spaces where you want to create an atmosphere that aids relaxation, such as in a bedroom.
Swap those dark colours for pure whites and pale yellows if you want to maximise the daylight in your home. Like mirrors, lighter walls reflect more light and that gives the impression that a room is bigger than it actually is.
If you really want to maximise light reflection then opt for glossy or satin paint rather than matte.
Lighten your fabrics
In the same way that dark-coloured walls absorb light and make a room appear less bright, so too do dark fabrics.
Sofas that are adorned with lighter linens and cottons will brighten up your living room. The best part is you can look to have existing furniture reupholstered to give it a new lease of life. It’s a practical and cost-effective solution that will maximise the daylight in your home.
Be smart with your furniture placement
In addition to choosing lighter-coloured furniture, where you place it (the furniture) also has an impact on the amount of natural light your room will get.
It goes without saying that large sofas placed in front of windows will block out some daylight – especially when people are sat on them. That’s why it’s best, if you want more light in your room, to place large pieces of furniture against walls and in corners where possible.
Even your favourite ornaments (dare we call them clutter?) placed in a window sill will block some light. Consider moving them to a better home.
Remove outside obstacles
To achieve even brighter rooms, go out into your garden and get busy. That’s because overgrown hedges and trees will prevent a significant amount of natural light from entering your home, particularly if they are near your windows.
It’s also important to consider which direction your property faces. A south-facing garden will get more sunlight later into the day, which means more light will enter the rear rooms of your home during the summer, providing your windows are not obstructed by overgrown foliage.
You can simply keep an eye on the path of the Sun throughout the day and decide what outside obstacles should be removed or trimmed (in the case of hedges and trees) to allow more light to enter the various rooms of your home.
Keep everything clean
Finally, another hugely important factor that helps or hinders the amount of natural light in your home is how clean your windows, glazed doors, rooflights and mirrors are. Dirty glass doesn’t allow light to enter as easily as clean glass, so it’s essential to clean your windows, doors, rooflights, etc. as often as possible.
In the winter, especially, you will notice the impact that dirty glass has on the overall brightness of your home. A little bit of time spent cleaning your windows can be enough to not have to switch your inside lights on in the afternoons, which also positively affects your electricity bill. Opting for easy clean glass in windows and rooflights will help to reduce the manual cleaning effort and make this easier.
Make The Most Of Your Spare Room With These Ideas
November 20, 2018
Have you got a spare room that doesn’t get as much use as it should or could?
Ever wondered why you don’t use it? Is it not as light as the other rooms in your house, too small, perhaps too cold?
Turning what might feel like a lacklustre spare room into a space that you actively want to use inevitably takes time and perhaps some money. Nevertheless, the end result will be a positive one and often a project like this will add value to your home.
All you’ve have to decide is what your spare room is going to become.
If you’d like some inspiration, here are 10 exciting spare room ideas:
1. Second bathroom
Is there a rush for the bathroom each morning in your house? By adding a second bathroom you not only stand to reduce morning wait times, but also significantly increase the value of your home.
Maybe your current bathroom only has a shower. Providing you’ve got the space, wouldn’t it be nice to have a hot bath after a long day at work? Make it your mission to afford yourself that little bit of added luxury and turn that spare room of yours into a relaxing second bathroom – one in which you can actually have a bath!
2. Reading room
Ask any bookworm what to do with a spare room and they’ll convince you that a reading room is the only option you should choose. And that just might be the case if you get the lighting right, add some super-comfy chairs and proudly display your book collection in its full glory. Natural light is best, so if you’ve got the space, why not add a rooflight just above the seating area?
What better way to spend rainy afternoons than by losing yourself in a good book from the comfort of your very own reading room. It’s also provides a fantastic opportunity to get children interested and involved with books.
3. Music room
Always wished you’d learned to play an instrument? Maybe someone in your family is a budding musician? With a dedicated music room you can all let your creative juices flow, without even needing to leave the house.
Just be sure to add some sound proofing if you’re going to be making lots of noise. And if adding a rooflight to the room, opt for Acoustic Performance glass to keep the noise under control too. Whilst you might think you’re making a beautiful sound from your old clarinet, your neighbours may disagree.
4. Man or Woman cave
If you can successfully obtain approval from your other half to create a man or woman cave, do it! These sacred sanctuaries of solitude enable guys and gals to do something selfish and indulgent. A dartboard, a pool table, a set of music no-one else will listen to, box sets of DVDs no-one else will watch, a drinks fridge, some suitable wall posters and a huge LED TV with a speaker system to do it justice will turn your spare room into a first-class retreat.
A top tip for any guys or gals out there considering this option, but who have no idea how they’ll get approval, is to sell it from the point of view that you’ll spend less time in the pub or hogging the family TV or music system – win-win.
5. Home gym
Christmas is just around the corner and that means you’ll soon be making a bunch of New Year resolutions that you’re going to try and stick to. A favourite for many people is losing weight and getting fitter. But with costly membership fees and rather daunting atmospheres, gyms aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea.
If you had a home gym though, you could work out in private and it would only involve a one-time investment. Chances are you’d be more motivated to get fit if you had all the necessary facilities in your home, which is why turning your spare room into a home gym is often a winning idea.
If you’re thinking of adding a rooflight to your home gym, then it’s definitely a good idea to opt for an opening one. This will help to keep you cool with fresh air whilst you work out, plus help to keep the room stink free by providing much needed ventilation.
Many people benefit from flexible working arrangements, which see them being able to work from home on a semi-regular basis. Others freelance and spend their time switching between their homes, coffee shops and dedicated co-working spaces.
Whether you fall into either of the categories above, or would just like somewhere that allows you to stay on top of all the paperwork in your life, a home office is a great use of your spare room.
Best of all is that it’s a reasonably low-cost investment, seeing as all you really need is a decent desk, a suitable chair and some storage. If your budget can stretch to it, also add as much natural light as possible to your work space – research suggests that natural light boosts productivity.
7. Home cinema
Love movies? Imagine being able to watch all your favourites films from the comfort of your very own home cinema.
The good news is that mini projectors are better and more affordable than ever, and all they require is a decent-size, white wall for you to take advantage of them. Adding blackout blinds to your rooflight and windows will give you the option to transform your room to create a dark cinematic environment in seconds.
Whether you’ve got kids of your own, or are visited regularly by families with kids, the smiles on their faces whilst they are sitting in your home cinema will be worth the investment alone.
8. Plant room
If you don’t currently have a garden, or you do but it’s tiny, why not create one indoors? There are plenty of plant species that thrive inside houses, providing improved aesthetics and purified air. In fact, some are extremely low maintenance, which makes them perfect if you’re not exactly green fingered.
You are going to want a large sink and a water supply, plus plenty of shelves and storage space.
9. Games room
If you and your family enjoy playing games – whether it’s pool or Ping-Pong, chess or draughts, or even video games – a games room would be a great addition to your home. You could even add some casino games for when the kids have gone to bed.
Get some chalkboards up on the walls, some comfortable seating for all ages and some relevant décor/room features to make your games room feel authentic.
10. Mini bar
Enjoy throwing parties and entertaining friends and family in your home? A mini bar would be the perfect addition if you do.
Stock it with all your favourite drinks, install a small refrigerator, get some quality glasses and you’re all set. The added bonuses are that there will be no last orders and you don’t even have to make your way home at the end of the night.
All of the spare room ideas listed above will be further enhanced if you are able to allow more natural light to flood into them. One of the best and most cost-effective ways to do this is with a high-quality rooflight.
Winter Blues? More Natural Light Could Be The Answer To Beating Them
November 14, 2018
At 2am on Sunday 28 October, clocks in the UK went back one hour. Since then, the UK has been on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and will continue to be so until Sunday 31 March, 2019 (when the clocks go forward again one hour).
The change means our days are currently shorter and our nights longer (and colder). It’s a reality we’ve inevitably come to accept.
But whilst the lack of sunlight in winter doesn’t have as great an impact on our lifestyles as it once did before the dawn of electricity, what does the reduction in natural light mean for our health?
Why is natural light important?
Natural light plays a surprising role in a variety of physical and mental health disorders.
Light plays a huge role when it comes to our body clocks. For example, light in the morning helps us to wake up and feel energised and alert. Dimmer light in the evening helps our bodies and minds relax, preparing us for a good night’s sleep.
The problem during the winter is that less natural light increases our levels of melatonin (the hormone that regulates our daily sleep-wake cycles). As a result, we tend to feel sleepier early in the evening, disrupting our circadian rhythm (body clock), which can lead to our physiological and mental functions being affected.
Lack of natural light and SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that follows a seasonal schedule. It’s often referred to as “winter depression” or “winter blues” because most people who experience it find their symptoms are more prominent and severe during the winter.
According to the NHS, whilst the exact cause of SAD is unknown, the primary theory is that it is caused by a lack of sunlight, which, in turn, impacts melatonin and serotonin levels and the body’s internal clock.
People with SAD even undergo light therapy – where a light box is used to simulate natural light – to help relieve their symptoms.
Even if you are not susceptible to SAD during the winter, exposure to more natural light can afford a number of health benefits.
Here are 5 health benefits of natural light to give you some food for thought:
1. Natural light improves your mood
As we’ve already briefly mentioned, natural light boosts your mood. The fact that light therapy is a frequently used treatment for SAD highlights this perfectly.
Scientists believe that serotonin (the happy hormone) increased during the summer, when days are longer and nights are shorter. In the winter, the opposite is true. That’s why it’s so important to get as much sunlight as you can during the winter days – something that many office workers struggle to do.
2. Natural light makes you more productive
Exposure to natural light makes people more productive. But don’t just take our word for that. A recent piece in the Harvard Business Review says that almost half (47%) of employees feel tired or very tired at work because there isn’t enough natural light. A further 43% said the lack of natural light made them feel gloomy.
It goes without saying that tired and gloomy employees are not the most productive versions of themselves and that should be a huge consideration for employers.
3. Natural light boosts your vitamin D storage
Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium and promotes healthy bone growth. It’s also been linked to helping prevent heart disease, weight gain and even certain types of cancer. In other words, vitamin D sounds like something we should be getting.
Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D there is – one of the reasons vitamin D is sometimes referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”.
In the UK, midday during the summer is the best time to boost your vitamin D levels from sunlight. Just 13 minutes of sunlight exposure three times a week is enough to keep your vitamin D levels “healthy”.
4. Natural light benefits your vision
Whilst frequent exposure to smartphones, computer screens and florescent light can cause eye strain, which can sometimes lead to permanent eye damage, natural light, on the other hand, has been shown to benefit healthy eye development.
Children especially should get enough natural light whilst their bodies are still developing as it helps their eyes produce dopamine, which reduces the risk of myopia (near-sightedness).
5. Natural lights helps you sleep
Did you know that exposure to natural light in the morning actually helps you sleep better at night? It’s because when our bodies are exposed to more sunlight during the day, they better recognise the contrast with darkness in the evening, which triggers melatonin production to start.
It’s widely believed that one of the keys to achieving better sleep is more exposure to sunlight during the day and less exposure to artificial light at night.
How to get more natural light over winter
Are you getting enough natural light exposure? Are your family? It’s something we often don’t think about, but with winter fast approaching, maybe we should.
The most obvious way to get more natural light during the winter period is to spend more time outside during the daylight hours. As easy as this sounds, it can prove challenging due a mixture of bad weather and being stuck inside working during the day.
If you can’t go outside to get more natural light, why not introduce more natural light into your home? This way you can experience the benefits of natural light without being restricted by the weather. Home workers can even fill their natural light quota whilst typing away.
One of the best and most cost-effective ways to afford more natural light in your home is with a rooflight. For those with a pitched roof, opting for a frameless design will ensure that you get up to 49% more light in your room when compared to traditional framed styles. Or, if you have a flat roof, choosing a roof lantern with ultra slim glazing bars and a high apex will ensure you are maximising the amount of light let through.
Design Hacks For Smaller Bathrooms
November 6, 2018
Small bathrooms are not uncommon. As people look to maximise the space in their homes, it’s often their bathrooms that get sacrificed to make some extra room in an adjacent location.
But smaller bathrooms aren’t without their benefits. For a start, they are easier to clean and keep clean. Then there’s the fact that smaller bathrooms can be kitted out for less money than their larger counterparts.
Nevertheless, many homeowners would love to make their smaller bathrooms bigger. Extending them though often isn’t an option due to space and budget restrictions. So what’s the solution?
The good news is that with a bit of creative thinking, you can make your smaller bathroom appear larger than it actually is.
Here are our top design hacks to provide you with some inspiration:
Add a large mirror
When it comes to design hacks, the simplest solutions are often the best and this one is no exception. By simply installing an oversized mirror, you can create an optical illusion and make your modest bathroom appear much larger than it actually is.
Upon entering, people will be initially tricked into thinking your bathroom is vast. It’s a simple and cheap, yet very effective way to make your bathroom (or any room for that matter) appear that bit bigger.
If you really want to go crazy, consider placing two mirrors opposite one another. This will create an infinity effect, although that may not be the order of the day when you’ve come home from work and just want to chill out in the bath.
Light it up
Adding a mirror (or two) makes rooms appear larger because the light that’s present is multiplied and bounced around the room more effectively, reaching even the darkest corners. Therefore, if you’ve got more light in your bathroom, the impact of the mirror will be amplified.
Now whilst you can add more lights in your bathroom to brighten up the space, doing so can sometimes ruin that cosy atmosphere you long to bask in after a hard day at work.
A great solution is to install a rooflight. During the day, it can be opened to allow more natural light to enter your bathroom. Once the evening comes, close the blind on your rooflight and ignite a candle to restore the calm atmosphere your mind and body needs.
If your bathroom only has small windows and you really want to push the boat out and make a bold statement that will also help the water vapour escape from the room, consider opting for a bespoke opening rooflight.
Vanity sinks look great and provide you with additional storage at the same time. But they do take up a chunk of floor space and that’s a reality which isn’t always ideal in smaller bathrooms.
If you want to claw back some floor space, consider replacing your vanity sink with a pedestal one or a sink that’s fixed directly to the wall. Okay, so you’ll lose a little storage, but we’re going to show you how you can regain that in our next tip.
Utilise your bathroom wall space
Floor-standing storage units are easy to take advantage of because they can be assembled quickly (if they are flat pack) and can be moved around your bathroom easily. But again, like vanity sinks, they consume floor space and when it’s at a premium e.g. in a smaller bathroom, you need to think a little outside the box.
A great way to tidy up your toiletries and do away with those floor-standing storage units is to utilise your bathroom wall space. Kitchen spice racks fixed to the wall provide a neat solution for organising all manner of hair and body lotions, shampoos and other toiletries. You can even paint them to create a more aesthetically pleasing look.
Another great bathroom design hack for maximising your available space is to install a shelf above your door. It’s a space that’s inevitably empty anyway and the shelf can be used to house anything from towels and cleaning products to old magazines and books.
Roll your towels
Are you one of those people who roll their clothes when you’re packing a suitcase? It’s a neat trick that means you can pack more and have a little space left over for those important souvenirs. Well, the same principle applies in your bathroom when it comes to storing your towels.
Rolled towels take up less space and you could place them on the new shelf above your door. Moreover, rolled towels give your bathroom a bit of a spa-esque feel, which makes this neat storage trick a win-win for many people.
Obviously, only clean, dry towels should be rolled. Rolling wet towels would lead to them becoming damp and smelly.
Media Coverage: October
November 2, 2018
In our latest monthly Roof Maker media coverage roundup, we highlight some of the top articles that have covered our rooflights in the trade and consumer press. Find out more below.
|An article exploring the increasing popularity of flat roof extensions and the range of rooflights available for them. Read it here: https://view.joomag.com/clearview-national-october-2018-issue-203/0154610001538145892?short|
5 Ways To Incorporate Pantone's Colour Of The Year In Your Home
November 1, 2018
Pantone’s colour of the year for 2018 is 18-3838 Ultra Violet, “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade”, according to the globally recognised colour institute founded back in 1962.
Some say it’s the coolest shade of purple, a Prince-esque colour that pays homage to the much-loved, flamboyant American singer, songwriter and musician who wore it so well.
But how can you incorporate this decidedly dramatic, even moody, colour into your home, without experiencing purple overload? After all, decorating with Ultra Violet isn’t exactly child’s play.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered…
1. It’s all about the accents
The easiest (and safest) way to start experimenting with a bold new colour like Ultra Violet is to take baby steps and add some simple accents around your home. Whether you choose to put a pair of Ultra Violet throw pillows on your sofa; add a rug that features some hints of violet; or place a few sprigs of lilac in a vase, these subtle purple touches will add both an element of colour and individuality wherever they are placed.
By using Ultra Violet just as an accent, you still retain the ability to remove it quickly, easily and cost effectively. Any new violet additions can be relocated and your original colour scheme restored once more.
2. Pair with pinks, blues and other purples to soften the impact
A neat trick when working with Ultra Violet is to pair it with pinks, blues and other purples. Doing so will soften the boldness of the Ultra Violet and reduce its overall impact on a room, making it less imposing and more at home.
3. Make a sky-high feature of it
Ultra Violet, as Pantone says, “suggests the mysteries of the Cosmos and the “greater galaxy”. In other words, it’s a colour that’s become emblematic of space and limitless night sky.
So what better way to champion this complex and contemplative colour than by showcasing it in a rooflight feature.
Now you’re probably thinking, you can buy Ultra Violet coloured rooflights!? The answer is yes. In fact, you can buy rooflights from us in 1,625 different RAL colours, plus choose to have a different colour on the inside than on the outside.
We’ve made these mock-ups of how an Ultra Violet Slimline® roof lantern would look:
As you can see, the custom RAL 4011 (ultraviolet pearlescent, the closest match to the Pantone colour of the year 2018) looks spectacular.
4. Children love violet
If you’ve got kids, chances are they love purple, violet and lilac tones. That’s why Ultra Violet actually makes a great colour for children’s bedrooms and play rooms.
Again, a full on purple colour scheme will probably be too overpowering, even for a child, but ultra violet accents – especially if your child’s room has white or grey walls – can look really cool.
Consider painting the knobs of plain-coloured wardrobes violet, as well as adding violet furniture and maybe even an ultra violet toy box.
5. What about your own bedroom?
As we’ve already mentioned, Ultra Violet exudes drama and that makes it a good potential colour choice for your own bedroom. The mystical and spiritual qualities associated with Ultra Violet make it perfect for people who practice mindfulness.
As we’re continually confronted with over-stimulation in our day to day lives, an Ultra Violet bedroom sanctuary could just be what’s called for at the end of a busy day.
Not quite sure if an Ultra Violet Slimline® roof lantern is quite right for you and your home? Call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297 today to discuss the 1,624 other colour options. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Roof Maker nominated for two industry awards
October 30, 2018
British rooflight manufacturer, Roof Maker, is celebrating being nominated for two prestigious industry rooflight awards; the ‘Build It Awards’ and ‘Roofing Cladding and Insulation’s Pitched Roofing Awards’. Both nominations are a testament Roof Maker’s commitment to producing high quality, market leading products.
The ‘Build It Awards’ celebrate all aspects of self build and renovation, including completed projects, services and suppliers. These rooflight awards bring together architects, manufacturers and key industry figures to recognise the achievements of the self-build home sector.
With the awards growing in size and prestige every year, Roof Maker fought off tough competition to achieve a nomination for the ‘Best Roofing System or Product’ for its Passive House rooflights. Having already celebrated being awarded the Passive House standard earlier in the year, Roof Maker is delighted that as the first UK manufacturer to produce a Passive House solution it is now being further recognised by the industry.
This year Roofing Cladding and Insulation magazine launched the Pitched Roofing Awards which aim to raise the profile of pitched roofing and celebrate the outstanding workmanship and technical excellence of contractors, manufacturers and suppliers.
Roof Maker is honoured to be nominated alongside prestigious brands such as Velux and Coxdome, in the ‘Domestic Installation of a Rooflight’ category for it’s Luxlite™ pitched rooflight.
The judges were impressed with one particular installation which saw, Roof Maker’s technical team work closely with the homeowner to create a bespoke design to maximise the natural light without being obtrusive to the existing environment.
The award winners will be announced on the 9th November (Build it) and 30th November (PRA)
Roof Maker is a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of rooflights, developed to address the most demanding challenges faced by customers. Offering standard or bespoke sizes, Roof Maker, which has been delivering its premium glazed products since 2001, can help transform even the most unusual living or working spaces. At the forefront of engineering the most advanced technical and design specifications in the world, Roof Maker is a driving force in setting the criteria for value and high-standards. Passionate about its customers the company provides an unparalleled level of skilled advice to help customers choose the right rooflight for each individual project, all backed by the latest industry accreditations.
How to install your Roof Maker Slimline® lantern
October 15, 2018
Check out the links below for all the information you need to make your installation go smoothly.Don't forget...rule no/1 is safety. Please ensure you take all the necessary precautions for working at height, and that you have enough support from other people to safely lift the elements into place.
YouTube Lantern Installation Videos
- Installing a Slimline® Lantern
- Adding a split bar to a lantern
- How to add an opening vent to a Slimline® lantern
Downloadable Installation Guides
5 Kitchen Design Hacks
October 2, 2018
The once humble kitchen has undergone quite a transformation over the years and has firmly established itself as the epicentre of every home. It’s the place where you make culinary magic happen and often serves as the central gathering point whenever you have friends and/or family over.
But what if your kitchen has seen better days? After all, it’s supposed to be the heart of your home, so at the very least you should be proud to welcome people into it, instead of consciously closing the door every time you walk by.
The good news is that you can give your faithful kitchen a new lease of life without breaking the bank.
Here are 5 kitchen design hacks to give you some food for thought:
1. Functionality first
First and foremost, when rejuvenating a kitchen or creating a brand new one, functionality has to come first. At the end of the day, your kitchen is a working room, so it has to lend itself as perfectly as possible to the tasks you’re going to undertake in it.
Now, despite having tons of potential layouts at your disposal, the trusty working triangle approach is still – even today – considered the best.
The working triangle concept states that the kitchen’s three main working areas – the sink, the cooker and the fridge – should be laid out in a triangle formation. But the concept goes a little further than that, stipulating that each side of the triangle should be between four and nine feet, and the total sum of all sides should not exceed 26 feet.
Sound a bit too regimented? In a nutshell, just plan to have your sink, cooker and fridge in a triangle formation that’s neither too big nor too compact. The bottom line is aim for functionality first, aesthetics second.
2. Light it up and ventilate
Sticking with the functionality first theme, this next hack relates to the lighting and ventilation in your kitchen.
Unlike your bedroom, where lighting is used to create an atmosphere, your kitchen lighting should be all about practicality to ensure you have light where you will need it most. Your kitchen should also have an exceptional level of ventilation to keep the air fresh, even in the midst of fry up. Quite often, overhead lights and extractor fans are simply not enough.
However, nothing beats having an abundance of natural light in your kitchen. And whilst adding more windows is something that’s often a non-starter due to the work, cost and wall space involved, there is another way to fill your kitchen with more natural light (and fresh air): by installing a rooflight.
Whether you require a flat rooflight, a pitched rooflight or even a lantern rooflight. If you’re choosing a rooflight for your kitchen, opt for one with manual or electric opening vents, or a rooflight that opens up completely, to keep the air fresh and easily disperse of any cooking smells.
3. Keep appliances in the same place
Our next kitchen design hack is one that will save you a significant amount of money when rejuvenating an existing kitchen. You see, whilst it can be tempting to want to move your appliances around, doing so will cost you a chunk of cash.
Moving the utilities your appliances rely on will require you to hire a professional and put your kitchen through some serious surgery, which will inevitably include cutting the floor/walls. That’s why, if you can, try and leave your main appliances where they are when you are undertaking a kitchen redesign.
There’s no reason you can’t replace old appliances with new ones and give your kitchen a facelift, but really do consider the cost implications of moving them.
4. Consider refreshing old cabinets
If your existing kitchen cabinets and cupboards have seen better days, don’t immediately decide you need new ones. A lot of the time, old cabinets and cupboards can be restored to their former glory simply by replacing handles and applying a fresh coat of paint or varnish.
For a small investment, you can benefit from cabinets and cupboards that look good as new. Moreover, the money you’ve saved can be splurged on some of the little kitchen luxuries you want.
5. Don’t ignore your floor
Whilst it might not seem like a big decision, your choice of kitchen flooring is actually very important because it has safety, functionality and cost implications. That’s why we’ve decided to focus on kitchen flooring for our final design hack.
Your kitchen is a high foot traffic area – especially by your sink, cooker and fridge – so durability is a big factor. Then there’s the fact that water spills often occur in kitchens, which makes the floor slippery, creating a greater accident risk. You’ll also want flooring that can be easily swept and/or wiped clean if something gets spilt on it.
In other words, you want a kitchen floor that is durable, non-slip, low maintenance and easy to clean.
Everything depends on your budget and personal preferences. Natural stone looks good and is hard wearing, but can be expensive. Ceramic tiles are a cheaper option and whilst they are easily cleaned, they can be slippery when wet. Wooden floors also look the part, but like ceramic they can get slippery if water is spilt on them. Furthermore, wooden floors require ongoing maintenance to keep them durable and looking good.
If you have a basement or another room located beneath your kitchen, adding a walk on rooflight with a non-slip textured coating into your flooring will really help to introduce the wow factor. It comes with a touch a practicality too, as it will help to channel natural light through to the room below.
Case Study | Cheltenham
October 1, 2018
How To Get The Most Out Of Your First Meeting With An Architect
October 1, 2018
Whether you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, an architect will be a key player throughout your project. This blog post is designed to help you get the most value possible from your initial meeting with them.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to attend the preliminary meeting with your architect knowing all the answers already. A big part of it will be a discovery exercise, but you do need to be prepared ahead of time.
The overall success of your project will rely on having an architect you can trust, you get along with and who’s got your best interests in mind.
Here are our top tips to help you get the very most out of your first meeting with an architect:
Check their credentials
By law, anyone who calls themselves an architect must be properly trained, qualified and worth their salt – and that takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Furthermore, anyone who wishes to use the title ‘architect’ must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
Therefore, you are well within your rights to enquire about a potential architect partner’s credentials and experience. Ask to see examples of their previous work and see if they have any previous customer testimonials. After all, this is your dream home and will represent a significant investment, so you want to ensure you are working with a true professional and not some fly-by-night cowboy.
You can check yourself whether an ‘architect’ is registered with the ARB by searching on the Architects’ Register.
Understand what you are in for
Building a new home or even renovating an existing one isn’t an overnight process. It’s something that could take anything from a few months (in the case of a renovation) up to a few years for a new build – and your chosen architect is going to be with you throughout the entire journey (in theory).
That’s why your relationship with them really matters. You’ll know after your very first meeting whether they are someone you are going to get along with. Okay, so you’ll sometimes butt heads on certain things, but as long as you get along most of the time, that’s the important thing.
The bottom line is you both need to assess whether you’re going to be a good fit before you even start discussing the project in hand.
An architect’s time is precious (and so is yours), which is why you should go to your first meeting with them fully prepared and ready to discuss what it is you’re looking for.
Write down all your must haves/wants, as well as a list of flaws with your existing home. This will help ensure you are getting exactly what you desire and not leaving out some key elements. It’s also a good idea to take plenty of newspaper/magazine cuttings of home designs you really like. Likewise, Pinterest and Instagram images can show the architect the kind of home you’re looking for, making it far easier for them to understand as opposed to you just trying to explain.
Don't be afraid to push back
Being clear from the offset will make for a much more enjoyable and, ultimately, successful project. So, if there’s something you are not really happy with during the first meeting with your architect, tell them! At the end of the day, this is your project and your architect will absolutely want you to be happy with the end result – especially as it could affect their reputation.
While the architect will have lots of ideas and professional experience – which is often invaluable – decisions ultimately rest with you.
Don't be shy about talking money either
We Brits don’t like talking about money. It’s a bit of a taboo for us, but it shouldn’t be when you’re looking to undertake a large-scale home project.
You need to be clear from the start what your budget is and also understand exactly how the architect’s fees will be calculated. Some work on a daily/hourly rate, while others may charge a fixed percentage of the overall build cost. Some architects even just charge a fixed fee for the entire project. Whichever method the architect you’re meeting uses, be sure that you are clear and fully understand what’s involved. There’s nothing worse than getting an unfavourable financial surprise at the end of your project.
Manage your expectations
As we’ve already mentioned, this is your project and so you need to ensure your expectations are managed throughout. For example, pertinent questions to ask are thing like: how long is it going to take? Will you be the only architect involved? How often will I be updated about progress? Who will be responsible for what?
Just ask the architect to be honest with you. Of course, you want your new home or renovation done as quickly as possible, but remember that projects like this can’t and shouldn’t be rushed.
Ask what they need from you
Finish off your meeting by asking the architect what else they need from you (in addition to your glossy cutting and Pinterest ideas) to move the project forward. More often than not, the architect will require other information relating to things like deeds, which you will more than likely need to provide.
Something as simple as finding out who owns a wall or what permission needs to be obtained before you start work may fall under your remit.
Aim to come away from your first meeting with a list of action points for you both. It will ensure everyone is on the same page and vastly increase the chances of you hitting the ground running in your second meeting.
If you're undertaking a new home build or renovating an existing property, will a rooflight or roof lantern be part of your plans? If it will, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
5 Tips For Planning Bedroom Lighting
October 1, 2018
Lighting is an important consideration throughout your entire home. That’s because it not only impacts your energy consumption and power bills, but it also affects your mood, productivity, mental wellbeing and energy levels.
Of particular importance is the amount of natural light entering your living environment. Numerous studies have shown how natural light benefits everything from your body’s vitamin D storage to the amount of sleep you get each night.
In fact, one study showed how natural light boosts the health of office workers. It found that workers who had windows in their office had better quality sleep, slept for longer, exercised more and had a better overall quality of life than those whose offices had no windows.
The bottom line is that light – especially natural light – affords lots of benefits, which is why your home lighting decisions should never be hasty.
Now whilst you will probably want a lot of light in your kitchen, your bedroom is likely to be a different story altogether. But what should you focus on?
Here are our top tips for planning bedroom lighting:
First and foremost, don’t forget that your bedroom is much, much more than just a place where you sleep. In fact, because modern homes are often more compact than their traditional counterparts, the bedroom plays a multifunctional role within the home, acting as an intimate space for sleeping, relaxing and connecting.
This reality is something that requires us to give a little more thought to our bedroom lighting considerations. For example, your bedroom may also double up as a mini study, which means you’ll need ample light to work in. Then there’s the light needed to fold and put away clean clothes – you don’t want to be doing that in dingy light, after all.
Obviously, though, your bedroom still needs to retain its cosy, calming, comforting nature. My gosh, so much to think about!
2. Plan for convenience
The last thing you want to have to do when you’re almost asleep is get out of bed and turn the lights off. This is especially true during the winter (it’s coming) when your duvet is acting like a warm cocoon, encasing your body and protecting you from Jack Frost’s icy touch.
Therefore, convenience is a must when you’re planning bedroom lighting. Bedside lamps that afford enough light for reading and can easily be switched off with an outstretched arm are a great way to boost the convenience of your bedroom lighting.
Dimmer switches located close to your bed are another effective solution that allows you to control the amount of light in the room, without even needing to get out of bed.
Or, if you are going to have a rooflight in your room, fitting it with an electric blackout blind means that you can leave the remote control by your bed – so you can open it for natural light or close it when you’re ready to sleep without having to poke a single toe out from under the duvet.
3. Layered lighting for different areas
As we’ve already mentioned, modern bedrooms serve many purposes, including lounging, exercising, working, reading, watching TV. As a result, you really need multiple layers of light to fill different areas.
There are three aspects to consider here: ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting refers to the general amount of light needed in a room to enable you to move around in it safely. It is achieved using overhead lighting, floor lamps and table lamps.
Task lighting is the lighting needed to carry out particular activities in your bedroom, like working, exercising or putting on make-up. The key is to throw the right amount and the right type of light into the space you are carrying out said task in. For example, light from bulbs will suit most tasks, but natural light from windows or rooflights will help to make sure make-up is done right and show up true colours of clothing when deciding on an outfit.
Accent lighting is what gives rooms their atmosphere. Illuminating a piece of artwork, adding a subtle glow under a bed or brightening up a window with some fairy lights are all examples of accent lighting.
4. Maximise natural light and air
During the day, you want to allow as much natural light and air to enter your bedroom as possible. Draw back your curtains, open the windows (providing it’s not freezing outside) and allow your bedroom to freshen up.
Brighter rooms with lots of natural light make us feel happier, more energetic and generally more vibrant. The problem with bedrooms, though, is that both privacy and security can sometimes be issues, and people are reluctant to leave windows and curtains/blinds open for prolonged periods of time.
If you are considering fitting a rooflight but privacy and security are issues – no problem. There are a range of solutions to help. Such as adding a privacy tint to the glass in your rooflight or choosing Security Performance toughened glass which makes it more difficult for intruders to break through.
Roof Maker have solutions to fit all requirements and budgets. Whether you need flat rooflights, pitched rooflights or elegant roof lanterns, we’ve got you covered. Many of our products even come with built-in rain sensors and remote controls, affording you both peace of mind and ease of use – perfect for bedroom applications.
5. Selecting the right light bulbs
If you think all light bulbs are created equal, think again. Both a light bulb’s brightness and colour temperature have the ability to affect your mood and the way you function.
When choosing a light bulb, there are two factors to consider: lumens and colour temperature.
Lumens have taken over where watts left off, becoming more popular with the advent of more energy efficient lighting such as CFLs and LEDs. While watts tell us how much energy a particular bulb uses, lumens refers to the level of brightness. While it varies from room to room, the total suggested lumens for a bedroom ranges between 2000 and 4000.
Colour temperature, as its name suggests, refers to the colour temperature of a bulb. In other words, its appearance or tint. While most light bulbs emit a white light, this ranges from warm to cool.
As a general rule, warmer temperatures are more calming, relaxing and inviting – making them an ideal choice for bedrooms. Cooler temperatures, on the other hand, are general used in places where concentration is important, such as schools, offices and hospitals.
The tips above have only really scratched the surface when it comes to bedroom lighting. Nevertheless, we hope they have given you plenty of food for thought.
Media Coverage: September
September 28, 2018
In our latest monthly media coverage roundup, we highlight some of the top articles that have covered our rooflights in the trade and consumer press. Find out more below.
|An article exploring the latest flat rooflights that the trade should be installing to their customers extensions this autumn to really stand out from competitors. Read it here: http://www.rcimag.co.uk/digitaledition/rci-sep-2018/page_71.html|
|Vanessa Howard of Roof Maker explores how taking a rigorously ecological approach to design can improve energy efficiency without compromising on aesthetics and individuality, focusing on rooflights. Read it here: http://www.sbhonline.co.uk/news/attractive-options-for-energy-efficient-house-design/|
|When Worcester-based Architect Nick Carroll was approached to design a Passivhaus-inspired home that would be built on the very cliff face of the Malvern Hills, he knew it would be a once in a lifetime project for its owner Jonathan Flewers and his family. What’s even more extraordinary is that the lot had never been viewed by the Flewers. Read it here: http://www.i-buildmagazine.com/magazine/september-2018-edition (pages 16 - 20).|
|As designing to the Passivhaus standard continues to grow in popularity, not only for residential builds but also increasingly for commercial constructions, architect Nicolas Tye shares insights on the specific considerations a Passivhaus-accredited roof requires. Read it here: http://www.buildingconstructiondesign.co.uk/news/roofing-elements-of-designing-to-passivhaus/|
What Are Ug-values And Why Are They Important?
September 25, 2018
Everyone wants their homes to be more energy efficient. Not only is it good for the environment because it helps save precious natural resources and reduce pollution, but it’s also good for your wallet too.
But what does being ‘energy efficient’ actually mean? In a nutshell, it means using less energy to achieve the same desired result. For example, while traditional incandescent light bulbs do a great job of illuminating a room, LED light bulbs are now a very viable alternative, using significantly less electricity (energy) and boasting a much longer lifetime.
Another way to use less energy (be more energy efficient) is by ensuring your home is sufficiently insulated, so that it stays cool during the summer and warm during the winter. In fact, when it comes to making your home more energy efficient, insulation is widely considered to be the most practical and cost-effective way.
And that brings us to the focus of this post: Ug-values.
What are Ug-values?
A Ug-value is a measure of how quickly heat transfers through a building material or element of a house e.g. a wall, a window, a roof. In other words, a Ug-value expresses how good an insulator something is, with the rule of thumb being the lower the Ug-value, the better i.e. the best insulators have the lowest Ug-values.
Measured in watts per m² Kelvin (W/m²K), Ug-values actually need to meet certain standards to comply with building regulations in England.
The table below, taken from Approved Document L1A (link above), shows the minimum energy efficiency standards required in new dwellings:
Image credit: UK government [Approved Document L1A]
However, it should be noted that the values shown above are the maximum permitted for each element and the standards for the notional domestic building are considerably higher i.e. the Ug-values are much lower:
Image credit: UK government [Approved Document L1A]
Why are Ug-values important?
Ug-values are important because they provide a quick indication of how good an insulator something is. So, for example, they allow consumers to compare products and make an informed purchasing decision.
Moreover, because building regulations stipulate the maximum Ug-values allowed for various elements of a house, homeowners can afford total peace of mind that they are adhering with current regulations.
How do Roof Maker products compare?
We are extremely proud of the very low Ug-values of our products. Take, for example, our fixed flat rooflights. These high-performance, non-opening skylights are triple glazed as standard, boasting Ug-values from 0.6 w/m2k.
And it’s much the same with our Luxlite™ pitched roof windows. The wide selection of glazing options allows you to keep Ug-values as low as possible.
Furthermore, because we make all our glass in-house, you can be sure that whatever glazing option you choose will come with the Roof Maker stamp of quality.
At the end of the day, you wouldn’t leave an upstairs window open during the winter when it’s freezing outside, so why would you purchase a rooflight that does not boast a good (low) Ug-value?
Tips For Creating The Perfect Utility Room Design
September 24, 2018
Look up the word ‘kitchen’ in any good dictionary and you’ll find a meaning along the following lines: “a room or area where food is prepared and cooked.”
Now do you see any mention of housing washing machines or accommodating pet baskets or storing muddy boots? Nope! That’s because your kitchen isn’t really the place where these things should be.
However, needs must and, as a result, kitchens often wear more than one hat simultaneously.
But what can you do to help your kitchen with its apparent identity crisis? One option is to build a utility room or convert an existing space into a utility room.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered, with our top tips for creating the perfect utility room:
1. Make it functional
First and foremost, utility rooms (as their name suggests) are all about functionality. Also, because most utility rooms aren’t particularly big, your focus needs to remain on maximising the space available.
That’s why you need to think carefully about where you are going to place your large appliances, ironing board and anything else you want in your utility room. You’re also going to want plenty of storage space for all your washing/cleaning products, as well as bespoke areas to put dirty clothes and places to hang/store clean ones.
Cupboards, shelves and large baskets are all common features of utility rooms that help keep stuff organised and out of sight.
2. Put your mark on it
Nobody loves doing laundry, right? The good news though is that there are a few things you can do to make the whole experience more pleasant.
The simplest thing to do is put your mark on your utility room. By that we mean make it your own, a place where you don’t mind spending time or, dare we say it, actually enjoy being.
Consider painting the walls your favourite colour and adding that snazzy wallpaper you keep threatening to buy. At the end of the day, it’s a utility room so it needs to be functional, but who says you can’t decorate it how you want!? Even something as simple as a few subtly placed plants/flowers can make all the difference in a room that’s designed purely for working in.
3. Ensure adequate light and ventilation
Because you’re going to be doing a lot of laundry in your utility room, light and ventilation are both factors you need to consider. The humid nature of washing and drying clothes can play havoc in terms of creating additional condensation and facilitating mould growth.
One of the easiest, most cost effective and elegant ways to let in more natural light and add much-needed ventilation is with one of our world-class rooflights.
Got a pitched roof? No problem! One of our LuxliteTM roof windows is what you need. They can even be equipped with a remote control and include a rain sensor to prevent any accidents happening.
4. Provide outside access
Kids (and even grownups) frequently get filthy when they are playing and working outside. Telling them to ‘come in the back door’ isn’t always the best option, especially if your back door leads straight into your kitchen. Muddy footprints, paw prints and piles of dirty clothes are not what your kitchen is for.
That’s why any utility room you build should (wherever possible) feature an external door. Then, when your kids, or whoever else for that matter, come traipsing in they can take off their dirty clothes, shoes, etc. in the utility room before entering your home. Said clothes can then be washed in due course and not kick up a stink in your main house.
5. Think carefully about the floor
As we’ve already mentioned, utility rooms need to be functional. They are also likely to get damp and be dumping grounds for dirty, smelly clothes. This is why your choice of flooring actually really matters.
While having something soft under your feet when you’re doing the laundry would be nice, a beautiful wall-to-wall carpet is definitely not the order of the day for your utility room floor. A washing machine leak, muddy boots and/or a detergent spillage are all things that should make you steer clear of carpet.
The best options for a utility room floor are ceramic tiles, natural stone and sheet vinyl. They can all be easily mopped and are hard wearing enough to serve your needs well. Wooden floors, while they look great, can be expensive and require a lot more maintenance.
Are you planning on building a utility room? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Case Study | Solihull
September 18, 2018
Creating a bright, contemporary feel, whilst maintaining the original features and character of her 1900’s home was Layla Champion’s number one priority when she undertook a massive renovation of her semi-rural home in Solihull.
With her home dating back to the early 1900’s, homeowner Layla was passionate about retaining the property’s original features, including its beams and fireplaces, whilst also hoping to add a modern twist with a bright new, open plan layout.
Prior to the renovation, the kitchen was completely separate to the rest of the living area and was not an ideal layout for entertaining or flexible living. By knocking down two walls and removing the old oak fixtures and fittings, Layla was able to create an entirely open plan, downstairs living area that she can both entertain and relax in.
Speaking of the renovation, Layla said: “The renovation has completely transformed the living space in our home and how we use it. When we started out on the project it was really important that we create a modern, open plan space whilst staying true to the character of the house, retaining as many of its original features as possible. However, one of my big concerns was that the original layout of the house meant that the living area and original kitchen were both incredibly dark, with hardly any natural light and this was something I was really keen to address.
“I ideally wanted to flood the new space with lots of natural light to enhance the living area and reduce the amount of artificial lighting required. I also wanted the rooflights to blend in with the overall design. By installing three of Roof Maker’s Luxlite™ pitched rooflights we have allowed much more natural light to enter the space. The streamlined design and flush fit of the rooflights means we have managed to create a striking focal point rather than an eyesore in the room. The installation was also exceptionally straightforward and we didn’t require a crane, which made the whole process much simpler and cost-effective. ”
Roof Maker’s Luxlite™ allows up to 49 per cent more light to enter the room than competitor rooflights. By choosing the triple glazed option Layla also improved the thermal efficiency of her home as triple glazing prevents any cold or hot spots from forming within the room to ensure a comfortable temperature all year round.
Whilst the property was being renovated, Layla also decided to completely makeover the garden, creating a brand new outdoor entertainment area with a new slate patio. By adding bi-fold doors at the end of the kitchen, Layla also created a natural flow from inside out to the new garden area– making it the perfect area for versatile entertaining, indoors and out.
The transformation of the detached three-storey house was completed in just five months and Layla is delighted with the results.
“We have received so many compliments on the new spaces and people are amazed at the transformation, commenting on how welcoming and bright it is now.”
Find out more about the Luxlite™ on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how the lantern could be best used in your project.
Tips For Saving Money When Extending Or Renovating Your Home
September 17, 2018
Renovating a house or adding an extension to your home is always going to be costly; that’s a given. But there are ways you can keep said costs to a minimum and realise your dream home project without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re just redecorating a room or adding a completely new one, these 7 tips will help you stretch your funds as far as possible.
1. Define a budget
First and foremost, whenever you are considering adding an extension to your home or undertaking some renovation work, you must define a sensible budget. If you don’t, you’ll have nothing to gauge your spending against and, as a result, won’t be able to make informed purchasing decisions.
While home improvements are exciting and most of us can happily spend thousands or tens of thousands of pounds in our heads while flicking through glossy magazines, you know how much you can realistically afford to spend at the end of the day.
2. Track ALL of your costs
How can you see whether you are managing to stick to your budget if you don’t track ALL of your costs? The bottom line is what gets measured, gets managed and failure to track your spending will inevitably lead to your costs spiralling out of control, resulting in you spending a small (or large) fortune.
The good news is that tracking your expenditure doesn’t need to be a headache or complicated. A simple spreadsheet (use Google Sheets if you don’t have MS Office), or even a good old-fashioned pen and paper will do the job.
3. Do what you can yourself
Whilst we would never advise people to undertake building work themselves if they aren’t 100% confident or have previous experience, there are some jobs – especially a lot of the grunt work - you can do to help curb costs. For example, if you’re having a new carpet fitted you can reduce the total cost by removing the old carpet yourself.
Just remember, a good rule of thumb is to never carry out any electrical, plumbing, gas-related or structural work yourself.
Encouraging DIY is something we are very passionate about here at here at Roof Maker. That’s why our rooflights are designed to be quick and easy to be easy to fit. In fact, you can even find step-by-step fitting installation for our products in the Technical Document Hub on our website, or installation video tutorials on our YouTube channel.
But don’t just take our word that Roof Maker rooflights are easy to fit. Check out some of the case studies on our website.
One that really sticks out is homeowner Paul’s unique copper roof extension in the Wickham Market area. Paul chose the Slimline® slide opening roof lantern because, in his eyes, it offered the best solution.
The best part of all is that Paul and his partner fitted the roof lantern themselves and it turned out to be a real showpiece.
4. Enlist the help of friends
What are friends for if it’s not to help with home improvements? Okay, so quite a lot more actually, but that’s still no reason not to enlist the help of your friends who are handy when it comes to DIY.
If you can’t afford to pay them, why not agree to reciprocate in the future and help them out with any work they need doing. Even if it’s just to lend some emotional support, friends can be a huge strength when you’re improving your home.
5. Choose only reputable contractors
It’s inevitable that you’ll need to call in some professional contractors when carrying out a renovation or adding an extension. However, our advice is to opt for a contractor or tradesperson who comes highly recommended and has plenty of experience.
Using substandard contractors will almost certainly result in a substandard outcome, which is likely to cost you more to fix than you would have spent hiring a true professional in the first place.
6. Repair, recycle, reuse
Another great way to save money when undertaking a renovation project or home extension is to repair, recycle and reuse as many things as possible throughout the course of the work. For example, maybe you’ve got an old chest of drawers that has seen better days and you’d love to replace it with a new one. But why not give yours a new lease of life by adding a fresh coat of paint or varnish and changing some of the smaller details like the drawer/door knobs.
You’ll be surprised how many things can be recycled and turned into really useful additions in your new living space. The only thing holding you back is your imagination!
7. Take advantage of seasonal sales
Even if you’re not going to be undertaking some renovation work or adding an extension in the near future, still keep your eye out right now for items that you might want and are on sale. This is especially applicable in the Black Friday and January sales, where you can pick up some real bargains.
Make a list of everything you’d love to incorporate in your new space and keep your eyes peeled for special discounts and end of season sales.
Design Cues For A Uniquely African-Inspired Home Interior
September 17, 2018
From Algiers to Cape Town, each country across the continent of Africa has its own unique kind of interior style and décor. And while we could do a feature focussing on interior design cues from each country in Africa, it would result in over 50 posts, so we’ve instead chosen to look at design elements that are often seen across the entire continent.
Here’s how you can create an African-inspired interior that looks positively lekker:
Inspired by nature
The continent of Africa is a melting pot of different cultures, languages, people and traditions. However, if there’s one thing that links all of these together it’s a love and respect for nature and all things natural. It’s one of the reasons why African homes are usually heavily filled with items relating to wild animals, colourful fabrics and traditional wood carvings.
Plenty of natural materials
Wood, clay, straw and leaves are just some of the materials that can be found inside African homes. Remember, many traditional African homes are huts made with clay walls and covered with other natural materials. That’s why modern homes inspired by this beautiful and exotic continent often feature textured wallpaper and plaster to create the feeling of different surface levels.
Even using pieces that are made completely from natural materials can achieve the desired look. Opt for things like woven blinds, wooden picture frames and rattan chairs.
Natural stone floors stay cool even when the weather is hot, which is why they are a prominent feature in many African homes. Thick, natural mats are a great way to break up these large floors and add extra texture.
Traditional statues, pottery, masks and tribal art
No African-inspired home would be complete without some traditional pottery, statues and other tribal art, like masks. Look for figurines and statues that have disproportionate features, such as elongated legs or hands. These traditional pieces are sacred in the eyes of many African tribes and having just a few of them in your home will add to the overall effect.
The great thing is many African-esque pieces of art and crafts can be purchased much closer to home, so you don’t need to splash out on that safari holiday and come home with a bunch of souvenirs just yet.
Beautiful textiles and faux animal skins
While we absolutely don’t condone fitting out your home with real animal skins, faux ones are a great alternative. Leopard and zebra skins are the most authentic, but you may struggle to find good ones at home.
A great way to warm up those cold stone floors is with a faux cowhide rug from somewhere like Ikea. It’ll look the part and won’t break the bank. Add other textiles, such as cotton, fabric and linen, to enhance the overall look and add depth to your walls.
At the end of the day, as long as the fabric looks like the sort of thing you’d find in an African home, it’s going to be okay.
Comfort is also key
Comfort is a key feature of modern African homes, which is why lots of leather and plump cushions are the order of the day when you’re looking to recreate that African feel. If you’re not a fan of leather then consider using dark wooden furniture that’s artisanal and adding extra comfort with large, soft ethnic pillows.
Lots of warm colours
Africa has a strong association with the Sun and that’s why many of the colours that adorn African homes are warm. Consider reds, yellows, oranges and browns when you’re decorating to give the impression that the space is flooded with sunlight.
But why just give the impression that your home is filled with lots of natural light when it actually could be real?
10 Tips for Planning the Perfect Bathroom Design
September 3, 2018
Few rooms in your house are as important for making the most of your precious downtime as your bathroom. This private space is one where you can relax in the bath after a long day at work with zero distractions.
But beginning a bathroom project can be daunting, particularly if you’ve never undertaken one before. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you are looking to give an existing bathroom a new lease of life, or wanting to create a new bathroom from scratch, our list of 10 top tips for planning the perfect bathroom below will help ensure you hit the ground running.
1. Define a budget
First and foremost, start by defining a budget for your forthcoming bathroom rejuvenation. While it’s a rather sensible and slightly boring aspect to focus on first, it is inevitably a factor that will determine the rest of your entire project.
A definitive, carefully considered budget will enable you to prioritise both where to spend and where to save.
Nobody is saying that your budget has to be set in stone, but it is a very good indicator of what your total project can realistically run to. Moreover, there’s no reason why you can’t splurge on a few luxuries, like a massive bathtub, providing you can make savings elsewhere.
2. Weigh up what you really want vs. what you really need
With your budget set, the next step is to figure out your main priorities. If the bathroom you are
planning will be the main family bathroom in your home, chances are it’s going to need a bath, a shower, a sink and ample storage. But if it’s a much more modest en-suite bathroom, maybe you can get away with just a shower cubicle and a loo.
The bottom line is that while there will be components you really want (that enormous bathtub, for example), you should really prioritise the elements you really need instead.
3. Seek inspiration
Maybe you’re not really sure what you want/need and need some creative inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with that! We often don’t know what design styles we like until we see them in the flesh.
This is where showrooms, glossy magazines and even your friends’ bathrooms come in. Don’t decide on a layout or style until you’re 100% happy (or as close to 100% as you’re going to get).
It may be that your taste doesn’t draw you to a particular style and you simply pick and mix ideas you like to create the perfect bathroom for you. Regardless, you’ll likely still need that creative inspiration to get your imaginary juices flowing.
4. Be realistic
This point kind of touches on the preceding three in that you can only achieve what your space, budget and imagination will let you. If you pine for features that you cannot have because they are out of your price range or simply won’t fit, you’ll end up feeling hard done by – even if your finished bathroom is absolutely gorgeous.
That’s why you need to be realistic and appreciate that there are things you won’t be able to have from the start.
Sure, you can try and cram stuff in, but you will probably live to regret it further down the line when you are bumping your head on the sink because you don’t even have adequate room to dry yourself.
5. Nail your layout/plan
With your budget defined, list of requirements compiled and suitable inspiration drawn from a number of sources, it’s time to begin laying out the basics.
If you are renovating an existing bathroom, ask yourself if you really need to move the bath/shower, sink and toilet. If you do, be aware that it will incur additional costs as you’ll need to also move the corresponding water/waste pipes too.
If you are building a bathroom from scratch, consider what it’s going to be like to use once it is finished. For example, picture yourself laying in the bath (if you’re going to have one). Will the toilet bowl be right next to you? It might be if you’re cramming in too much.
Measure everything to ensure your proposed layout fits together. The last thing you want is your bathroom door banging against your toilet bowl every time it’s opened.
A great tip here is to utilise the expertise of the experts. Pop down to your local bathroom showroom and have a chat with one of the designers. They will be able to create a layout that maximises the space and minimises the chances of any mistakes occurring.
6. Remember, ventilation is very important
If you overlook the ventilation in your bathroom, you’ll regret it later. That’s because poor ventilation in a room that contains a lot of moisture is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you likely experience a build-up of mould on your walls, you’ll also have the headache of constant condensation on your windows, mirrors and shower cubicles.
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to ensure your bathroom has adequate ventilation is by installing an opening rooflight.
Steam from hot baths and showers rises, which is why rooflights are so good when it comes to bathroom ventilation. Also, unlike may exhaust fans, they are completely silent while they are removing all that unwanted moisture.
If your bathroom has a sloping roof, a design favourite is to have two rooflights that face each other and meet at the apex of the roof. An opening pitched roof window would be perfect for this.
Working with a flat roof instead? No Problem! Both hinged and slide-opening flat rooflights or a vented or opening roof lantern would be just the ticket for creating adequate ventilation in your bathroom.
7. So is lighting
Some people like dimly lit bathrooms where they can enjoy all the rejuvenating qualities afforded by a long soak in the bath by candlelight. Others prefer a much more enlightening experience. Your preference will determine both the number and type of lights you install.
Don’t forget that as well as ventilating a bathroom, an opening rooflight also lets in more natural light. That means you might not need as many electric lights as you first thought, which makes installing a rooflight a win-win all round.
8. And so is storage
A tiny glass shelf above your sink covered in toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and shampoo bottles never looks good. Nor does storing all these items at the end of your bath or in your shower cubicle. That’s why storage is such an important consideration for any bathroom.
Even if it’s just a cupboard, set of shelves or wooden rack, adequate storage is something you need to factor in; otherwise you’ll be constantly knocking toiletries over and searching for somewhere to house your razor.
9. Create the right mood with colour
In the same way that lighting helps create a certain ambience in a bathroom, so too does the colour you choose for your walls. If you’re aiming to create a relaxing spa-esque atmosphere, consider using warm colours like reds, purples and browns.
If you’re looking for something a lot fresher that leaves you feeling energised before a long day at work, consider crisp white décor, pale blues or yellows.
Remember that it’s not just your walls that will add colour. Bathroom suites, wooden cabinets and tiles all add their own colour splashes.
10. Consider your flooring options
Whatever kind of floor you choose to lay in your bathroom, it will need to be impervious to water, slip-resistant and match your overall feel/colour scheme. It’s why many people opt for tiles and complement them with a soft bathmat to absorb most of the excess water to prevent accidents.
Nevertheless, there is a wide array of different materials you can use for your bathroom floor, including vinyl, natural stone, engineered wood or laminate. Your choice will all come down to your personal taste and available budget.
Got your heart set on underfloor heating? While it’s a lovely feature to have, it could destroy your budget and requires your bathroom to undergo some major surgery.
Case Study | Malvern Hills
September 1, 2018
Ensuring energy efficiencyThe structure was insulated internally and externally with all walls, floors and ceilings thermally upgraded to achieve the greatest level of thermal performance possible. This was extended to the specification of rooflights and windows chosen, with Jonathan wanting to maximise as much natural light and ventilation into the property. To support the energy efficiency of the home, triple glazing was specified as standard. Roof Maker’s 2m x 1m fixed flat rooflight was specified to be installed above the stairwell, with its triple glazing supporting the energy efficient design of the property. Nick commented, “Roof Maker’s fixed flat rooflight was specified for the feature stairwell to help flood it with natural light. With a U value of 0.8 on the triple glazing combined with aluminium frames that offered exceptional heat insulation, the product was in keeping with the build’s environmental ethos. “The rooflight was fitted on a north facing hill, lighting the stairwell from the roof, complying with the Passive House design principles. The recommendation of the fixed flat rooflight prompted us to design the staircase differently so the natural light would fill the entire area”. In total, the project took three years to complete, with Nick and Jonathan working closely together throughout the entire process to create a unique family home. From its upside down approach, to the layout in the cliff side and the ecological design principles, Old Hollow is a one of a kind property that will be part of the Flewers family for years to come. Find out more about the fixed flat rooflight on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how a rooflight could be best used in your project.
How To Give Your Home That Latin American Feel
August 17, 2018
We’ve taken you to Scandinavia, China, Japan and The Med in our home design series so far. Today, we’re heading west-southwest to Latin America.
Now mention Latin America and most people will conjure up images of football, samba and amazing street carnivals. But these Latin American idiosyncrasies are not the focus of our post today (although each of them would make fascinating reading). Instead, we’ll be looking at Latin American home design and giving you a few tips on how to achieve it yourself.
First things first, let’s not confuse Latin America with South America. The first is an ideological/cultural entity, while the latter is a geographic one. For the purposes of this post, we’ll be focussing on Latin American home design.
Here’s how you can achieve the Latino look in your own home:
First and foremost, it’s worth pointing out that Latin American design is derived from a range of different cultures and countries; from Mexico in Central America right down to Argentina in South America. Furthermore, because it boasts a mix of indigenous styles and North American and European influences alike, Latin American home design is wonderfully eclectic.
In other words, there is nothing about it that definitively says “Latin American”, but you know it when you see it.
Traditional woodworking, metalworking and handcrafted techniques play a huge role in Latin American home design. Local artisans produce items that retain a strong sense of Latin American tradition and which are built to last.
Wrought iron accents, exposed beams and natural stone are all components of the Latin American design aesthetic.
A love of nature
Natural materials are a prominent feature in any Latin American home. This is because of their respect for nature and everything it provides. That’s why organic fabrics and natural objects, such as seashells and pebbles, regularly feature.
Glass and tile are also key components of Latin American home design, where they are used to create full-on interior murals and impressive floors that often serve as the centrepiece of a room. Adding an opening rooflight can take it a step further by truly bringing the outside in.
Plenty of textiles
Despite having impressive, elegant floors a lot of the time, Latin American homes aren’t afraid to cover them a little with rugs. Organic fabrics and intricate weaves add a real sense of character, as well as warmth to the entire room. Also, by mixing delicate cottons with rough hessian, additional levels of texture are afforded.
Why have a simple door leading to another room when you can have a handcrafted arch!? It’s a distinctive design that really opens up a room and makes a bold, yet subtle statement. Said arches are often adorned with the natural elements we mentioned earlier – glass, seashells, pebbles, etc.
In fact, arches are used pretty much anywhere and everywhere in Latin American homes (both inside and outside) - it must be the Mediterranean influence.
The other benefit of these large arches is that they allow more natural light to enter the home.
No Garden? Create A Roof Terrace With These Tips
August 17, 2018
There’s talk of the current heatwave in the UK continuing until October. And while this will come as welcome news to many people across the country, those without gardens may be feeling as though they are missing out on opportunities to make the most of the good weather.
Other than going to a local park, a nearby beach or around a friend’s house, what alternatives are there if you want to enjoy the sunshine but don’t have a garden at home?
The solution could be creating a roof terrace or roof garden for your home. A flat roof offers the perfect opportunity to build roof terrace without breaking the bank. Whether it’s a flat roof on a house, garage, extension or top floor penthouse. These tips will help you to plan how to create a roof garden or terrace.
1. Is your roof suitable?
Before you start considering design options and creating an image of your finished roof terrace in your head, you need to determine whether your walls and roof can take the weight of one. After all, a roof terrace alone adds additional weight and this is increased significantly once furnishings and fittings have been added and people are walking around on it.
It’s best to a surveyor to take a look for you to advise you on what can and can’t be done and any building regulations etc.
2. Do you need planning permission?
You almost certainly will. That’s because adding a roof terrace will involve some major surgery on your house. Moreover, if your terrace will overlook neighbouring properties, securing planning permission is almost certainly a must.
Going ahead without checking the required planning permission requirements and you could end up in a very difficult situation if someone complains, or you want to sell the property.
If you live in England, contact your local planning authority (LPA) in the first instance and take it from there.
3. Be a good neighbour
Even if your roof terrace doesn’t require planning permission, it’s still best to be a good neighbour and discuss your plans with the people who live near you. It’s a simple gesture of goodwill that could prevent any complaints in the future.
Your new roof terrace may overlook their property and impact their privacy and during the building work, there is likely to be some noise and disruption. The bottom line is being open and honest with your neighbours is likely to stand you in better stead going forward.
4. Create an access point
Your new roof terrace obviously needs an access point and while it is common for people to use standard doors, there is another solution that will really give your roof terrace the wow factor: an opening rooflight combined with stairs from the room below.
There are two different types of rooflights that are suitable to serve as an access point for a roof terrace. Here’s the lowdown on each of them:
- Hinged opening rooflight – hinged to open to a 90° angle to serve as a flat roof access hatch, open at the touch of a button with a remote control
- Slide-opening roof lantern – with the option to open fully to create enough roof for an access point, operate using the remote control
In addition to providing rooftop access, adding an opening rooflight will allow more natural light and fresh air to enter the room below, making it a win-win solution.
5. Consider drainage
We’re sorry to say the gorgeous weather isn’t going to last forever, so you need to seriously consider how rainwater is going to drain from your roof terrace. Even though most appear flat, roof terraces slope very slightly and drain into one corner.
Check to see if you’ve got an existing downpipe that your roof terrace can drain into. If you haven’t, one will need to be added or you’re going to end up with a rooftop swimming pool instead –hmmm, now that’s an idea!
6. Install some windbreaks
Your new roof garden is going to be quite a bit windier than a regular garden. For a start, it’s unlikely to have any buildings providing it with cover. That’s why you’ll almost certainly need to install some latticed windbreaks.
This is also an important factor to consider if you’re planning on putting plants on your roof terrace. Some species do not like windy, exposed environments, so bear this in mind when choosing plants and flowers.
Are you considering buying an access rooflight for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
5 ways to give your home a Mediterranean feel
August 8, 2018
Moving on from the Japanese kanso-inspired design cues we introduced you to in our last interior design post, this week we’re heading closer to home to look at how you can add a touch of Mediterranean style to your property.
Now what are the first thoughts that enter your head when someone mentions the word ‘Mediterranean’? Delicious, romantic seafood dinners? Turquoise waters (hence, the Côte d'Azur)? Maybe just the laid back, friendly lifestyle.
Whatever the word Mediterranean means to you, the good news is you can take inspiration from the beautiful smells, tastes and colours of this region to create your own little piece of The Med right in your own home.
Obviously, the Mediterranean comprises of many different countries, but for the purpose of this post we’ll be focussing primarily on the Italian, Greek and Spanish influences.
1. Natural Colours
First and foremost, Mediterranean design is all about natural inspiration. Therefore, your choice of colour scheme will play a big role in recreating that style.
Greek homes traditionally opt for white walls and whitewash wooden floors. These are then accented by dashes of cobalt blue in the interior decorations.
Italian homes, on the other hand, often use earthier colours to create the desired ambience. Plenty of oranges, deep reds and yellows to complement the dark wood or rustic stone floors many Italian homes have.
Colour schemes can be introduced through furnishings, paint and decoration, but also through windows and rooflights by choosing a custom RAL colour. It is often possible to choose a different colour inside to out. So, you can achieve a certain colour on the inside of your rooflight which complements the room, and a different colour on the outside which better matches the external aesthetics of your house.
2. Rugged Furniture
Forget squashy sofas and armchairs, Mediterranean homes usually feature wooden or wrought iron, patio-type furniture. A large wooden kitchen table is also a must as food and the art of cooking are often celebrated in Mediterranean homes.
Warm terracotta tones are often a favourite furniture colour and they add to the overall rugged feel of every piece. Somehow, though, the basic nature of many items of furniture doesn’t detract from its warm, functional appeal.
3. Be Rustic
Mediterranean design often has the word ‘rustic’ associated with it. Detailed mosaics along the approach to a home and plenty of tiles once you’re inside are the order of the day. In fact, tiles work just about anywhere in a Mediterranean home – on the floors, walls, table tops and even around the mirror and door frames. The best part of all is that they don’t need to be laid uniformly. That ‘rough round the edges’ feel is what gives many homes in the Med their charm.
Adding round windows or creating an archway in your home is very Mediterranean-esque, and few things capture this style better. To give this look a unique twist, try adding a round rooflight instead of a round vertical window. It will help to introduce even more light into your home and create an impact.
4. Invite Natural Light
The fairer climate in the Med is celebrated, with many homes featuring an abundance of windows and rooflights to let as much natural light in as possible. Sunlight is great for enhancing the sumptuous colours inside and serves as a perfect reminder of the region’s beautiful weather.
Adding new windows into an existing home can be costly, which is why so many people nowadays are choosing to opt for a rooflight instead. Going for a frameless pitched rooflight instead of one with a traditional wooden frame, or a lantern with ultra slim glazing bars , will help to maximise the amount of natural light in your room.
5. Bring Nature Inside
Sticking with the nature/natural theme, many Mediterranean homes celebrate plants, flowers and herbs by featuring them wherever possible.
Living areas are often adorned with large floor-standing plants, while more subtle flowers are to be found in the bedrooms. The Mediterranean kitchen is usually jam-packed with fresh herbs and spices – a reality that once again highlights this region’s penchant for delicious, fresh, artisan produce and cooking.
Adding greenery to your room can up the Mediterranean feel, and adding an opening rooflight can take it a step further by truly bringing the outside in.
Case Study | Saltash
July 31, 2018
Contemporary family home in Saltash is bathed in natural light thanks to Roof Maker’s sleek Slimline® roof lantern
Roof Maker was approached by Neil Carroll who was looking to create his dream contemporary family home. The stunning project, designed with the help of celebrity architectural designer Charlie Luxton, was to be featured on the channel 4 television show Building The Dream.
With advice from Charlie Luxton, Carroll was aiming to create a family home that was both amazing and affordable. He oversaw the project from start to finish, beginning in December 2014 and completed in January 2017.
Roof Maker was asked to help bring the wow factor to the sunroom with their triple-glazed Slimline® roof lantern. They were tasked to install this rooflight in just one day.
The Slimline® roof lantern, officially the slimmest in the UK, successfully accomplished the frameless, modern look. With a Ug-value of only 0.7 w/m2k, it also helped to achieve an impressive thermal efficiency in the heavily glazed room.
Overall, the result is stunning from both the exterior and interior. The rooflight added to the 500mm alloy facia fitted to trim the flat roof. The interior is equally impressive, with grey, aluminium windows stretching across the two walls of the sunroom.
Find out more about the Slimline® lantern on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how the lantern could be best used in your project.
How To Plan The Perfect Kitchen Extension
July 25, 2018
The kitchen is the heart of the home. With family and friends instinctively congregating in the kitchen during social occasions, it’s a room that has quickly evolved to become much more than just a cooking station. With this in mind, more and more people are carrying out extensions to open up their kitchen into a larger, open plan living space.
Being able to cook, drink, dine and comfortably socialise in the same room has its benefits. When cooking for family and friends, it means that the chef can still entertain and join in the fun whilst whipping up dinner.
So, when it comes to planning a room which serves multiple functions, you want to get it right. These 4 tips will help you to plan the perfect kitchen extension.
1. Consider the size carefully
A large open plan kitchen is great, but one which utilises space in a smart way is even better. Choosing to make your extension as large as possible isn't always the smartest move because when you're paying per square meter, it could mean that you're paying for unnecessary space.
Before deciding on the size of your extension, think carefully about the purpose it is going serve and exactly what you want to go in it. Then work backwards from there.
Your architect should be able to draw out your extension with furniture in it to scale to give you a good idea of the perfect size for you. Or, alternatively, there are plenty of free online tools that enable you to play around with this yourself. Such as the Ikea kitchen planner.
2. Plan for ventilation
When considering an open plan kitchen, one topic that sometimes crosses people’s minds is cooking smells. With good enough ventilation this shouldn’t be a problem. Planning ahead to include additional ventilation into the extension, such as adding an opening rooflight, will ensure that you don’t have any cooking smell regrets.
Adding an opening rooflight will also help to disperse steam and heat when cooking, keeping the room thermally comfortable and the air fresh.
3. Introduce natural light
Natural light helps to make a room feel lighter, brighter and provides a feeling of more space. Whilst windows and glazed garden doors will certainly help, opting to include a rooflight will ensure that your kitchen extension is flooded with light.
Choosing a frameless design over a traditional wooden framed design will help to maximise the amount of natural light in the room. This is because frameless rooflights, such as the Luxlite, channel up to 49% more light.
4. Choosing your extension style
There are several options when it comes to the type of kitchen extension that you can have. Whatever is best for you will depend on the design of the original house and your budget.
A side return extension stretches your home into an alleyway or space at the side of your home, making the room wider. This works well for widening a narrow kitchen so that it can accommodate a dining area too. This type of extension looks stunning with a pitched rooflight.
If a side return sounds good to you, but you also want to include a larger living space, then a wrap-around extension could offer a good alternative. This type of extensions builds upon the side return by extending out from the rear too, so that the extension quite literally wraps around the side and rear of your home.
If you don’t have space at the side of your house to extend, you can still choose between a pitched or flat roof rear extension. A rear extension with a pitched roof will last longer and require less maintenance than a flat roof extension, which usually requires the roof to be replaced after a couple of decades.
Are you planning to create a rooflight kitchen extension? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
4 Steps To Achieve A Kanso Home
July 23, 2018
Today’s post, the third in our series, sees us heading just under 2,000 miles east from the land of feng shui to Japan, where an all-the-rage interior design concept known as kanso is helping people achieve total zen.
Like both Scandi-style and feng shui, kanso is all about minimalism. In fact, the word kanso means ‘simplicity’ and it is one of the seven principles of zen, focussing on the flow and movement of energy within a space.
1. Eliminate everything non-essential
Kanso is a hoarder’s worst nightmare. That’s because, first and foremost, it calls for the elimination of everything non-essential. Now you may be thinking, what counts as non-essential? Well, basically anything that you can live without.
So, for example, consider selling, storing or donating to charity all those souvenirs you’ve accumulated from trips away and the knick-knacks you’ve bought on the spur of the moment over the years.
Keep only what you need – a bed, a table and a chair. You should even consider removing everything from your walls too if you really want to follow the kanso concept. By eliminating unnecessary clutter you’ll achieve a calmer and happier state of mind.
2. Embrace imperfections
Most people have got a feature in their homes that they are not 100% happy with. Maybe it’s an awkward nook, a wall that’s not asymmetrical or a small space that you just can’t decide what to do with.
Whatever it is, look to work with it and embrace it rather than fighting it. For example, you can look to soften sharp edges by introducing plants or have some customised storage made to mask asymmetric aspects.
3. Learn that things only last so long
To truly incorporate kanso into your life, you need to appreciate that things only last for so long. For example, we use a chair every day and it soon becomes our favourite chair. But one day said favourite chair will inevitably break or fall out of favour when a new alternative is purchased.
The bottom line is that once you no longer need something anymore, you should look to remove it from your home. Wear and tear should serve as a reminder that things only last for so long.
4. Design with a purpose in mind
Do you regularly hold dinner parties and/or cook full family meals on a regular basis? Or are you more of a one-dish-wonder in the kitchen?
By committing to a purpose when you’re designing, you’ll be less likely to stuff your rooms with objects and items that simply aren’t needed. It will also mean that you get the most out of your room.
In the kitchen, that means more space for efficient appliances and intuitive storage, and less space for clutter. In an extension or renovation, it could mean planning ahead to design a space for an opening rooflight to introduce natural light and ventilation.
Is kanso for you?
Design concepts like kanso aren’t for everyone. For most people, following kanso to the letter would feel pretty extreme. Our advice is to take the ideas and elements you like and use them in a way that works for you.
Don’t strive to create a kanso-inspired home that’s fit for Instagram or Pinterest if it’s not something you feel comfortable doing.
If you’re looking for another way to add a bit more zen to your home, you should consider allowing as much natural light as possible to enter it. Natural light helps introduce tranquillity and optimises the space in your home, and what better way to afford more natural light than with a rooflight.
7 Simple Ways To Feng Shui Your Home
July 17, 2018
Today’s post is the second in our around the world design series, following on from the previous one which outlined 7 ways to add a touch of Scandinavian style to your home.
The ancient Chinese discipline of feng shui is said to date back almost 6,000 years, which makes the fact it is still followed in many western homes today truly remarkable. Feng shui is concerned with optimising homes and businesses to afford happiness, abundance and harmony – sounds great already, right!?
The good news is that you can feng shui your home and encourage positive energy to flow through it by making some simple design changes.
1. Give your front door some love
Your front door symbolises wealth and it’s how chi enters your home and your life. That’s why it should be in as perfect condition as possible – free from damage, nicely painted and ultimately welcoming. Consider placing two healthy standing plants either side of your front door to make it feel even more welcoming.
2. Get good quality air and light
Good quality air and light are both essential elements for promoting positive chi in your home. Keep your windows open as often as possible to let fresh air inside and also try to allow as much natural light as you can to enter your home.
One of the simplest and (perhaps surprisingly) most cost-effective ways to get more natural light into your home is with a rooflight. If you have a flat roof, a roof lantern offers a great choice because it is designed to channel light from all angles. Adding vents or opting for an opening version will also help to introduce good quality air to your home.
Alternatively, if your roof is pitched, a frameless rooflight will introduce far more natural light to your home compared to a traditional wooden framed design. Again, an opening version will also fill your room with fresh air.
3. Clear up your clutter
Feng shui is all about letting harmonious, positive energy circulate your home. Therefore, it’s important that your home is as clutter free as possible. Even simple steps like storing magazines in drawers and shoes in cupboards will improve your home’s energy flow, while adding some fresh flowers will add some extra positive vibes.
If you are considering buying an electric opening rooflight, opting to have a rocker switch fitted to your wall to control the opening and closing mechanism will help to keep your remote control clutter down.
4. Make sure your kitchen sink and cooker are not opposite each other
Are you kitchen sink and cooker opposite each other? If they are, you should really consider moving one of them (if you can). That’s because it’s a scenario that creates a water and fire crash, which can lead to arguments among couples.
Furthermore, try and ensure that your cooker is not positioned directly opposite your kitchen door.
5. Carefully position your bed
When you consider how much of our time we spend sleeping, it’s easy to understand why our beds are one of the most important pieces of furniture in our homes. As a result, beds should be placed in a commanding position. That means your bed should face your bedroom door, but not be directly in line with it. In an ideal feng shui world, your bed would be diagonally across from your door.
6. Keep your bathroom door closed
Your bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home when it comes to feng shui. It’s the primary place where water exits your home and since water is related to wealth, you don’t want too much being drained away.
Your bathroom must always be clean and left with the toilet seat down and the door closed at all times. Adding plants is thought to stem the flow of water out of your home because they soak it in.
If you don’t already have a window, adding an opening rooflight to your bathroom will help to keep the room bright and the air clean and fresh.
7. Get your gardening gloves on
Both your front and back gardens play a role in achieving good feng shui. While your front garden is said to represent your future, your back garden represents health and wealth. It’s important to keep both tidy and well maintained. Tend to your flowers and plants regularly and keep your gardens free from clutter. The bottom line is that if you don’t feel totally relaxed in your garden, it probably doesn’t have good feng shui.
Gently curving pathways allow energy to flow smoothly, while wind chimes create healing vibrations in the air.
Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 214 5466. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
7 Ways To Add A Touch Of Scandinavian Style To Your Home
July 16, 2018
Mention Scandinavian home design and people are likely to shout “Ikea!” But while the Swedish-founded furniture retailer’s seemingly single-handed flat-pack revolution is definitely something that’s had a big influence on many homes in recent years, there is far more to so-called Scandi-style than meets the eye.
In a nutshell, “Scandinavian style is characterised by three key components — functionality, simplicity and beauty,” says Ikea’s Communication and Interior Design Manager, Craig Ritchie.
Bright neutral walls, simple yet stylish furniture and pops of colour accompanied by an appreciation for natural materials, with an overall emphasis on wellbeing and making the most of natural light – that’s what Scandinavian home design is all about.
Scandinavian home design is all about a minimalist, clean look and feel. That’s why de-cluttering your home should be your first area of focus.
Be brutal. Consider selling, giving away or recycling anything that you can live without or that doesn’t serve a definitive purpose. Your home will feel far more organised as a result and you may even make enough money to buy a new Scandi-style piece of furniture.
2. Keep walls white, bright & neutral
The colder climate and shorter winter days in Scandinavia mean that people want their homes to appear as light and bright as possible. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by using lots of white throughout – walls, furniture, bed linen, etc.
If you’re not a huge fan of white, consider using a soft pale grey to afford a similar effect.
3. Wood floors and rugs
Wood flooring is a staple of Scandinavian home design and it’s no surprise when you consider how many trees there are in Scandinavia. Long, wide planks of light-coloured wood with a liberal covering of mixed rugs are the perfect way to make your home feel that bit more Scandinavian.
You never know, you might remove your existing carpets and discover some beautiful, rustic floorboards underneath, which can be rejuvenated and become the focal point of your room.
4. Add bold splashes of colour
If the thought of lots of white and wood doesn’t fill you with excitement, the fact Scandinavian design also includes bold splashes of colour hopefully will.
A minimalist room with pale wood floors and a light-coloured sofa can be transformed by simply adding some bright, vibrant, colourful cushions. Yellow, in particular, works well against a grey backdrop. Colour can also be introduced internally and externally by using choosing a custom RAL colour for windows or rooflights.
5. Think multi-functional
Scandinavian home design masterfully combines form with function. So if you want to be complimented for your Scandinavia-esque rooms, look to introduce items that are both stylish and serve more than one purpose.
For example, coffee tables with built-in drawers and sofas that double as beds are both prime examples of what someone in Scandinavia would buy.
6. Make the most of natural light
As we’ve already mentioned, Scandinavian home design loves to make the most of natural light, and what better way to do that than with a frameless rooflight. Some parts of Scandinavia are cast into darkness for months at a time, which is why natural light is so cherished. Choosing a frameless rooflight over a rooflight with a traditional wooden frame will help to maximise the amount of light in your room.
A rooflight can be installed with little or no disruption and introduces far more natural light to the interior than standard windows. Roof lanterns and flat rooflights are suitable for those with flat roofs, whereas roof windows are also available for pitched roofs.
7. Go back to nature
Scandinavia has some of the most breathtaking scenery and natural beauty in the world. Therefore, it stands to reason that design concepts from this region would include plenty of natural design cues. Look to bring the outdoors inside by adding green plants to tables and placing small trees in the corners of your rooms.
Large panels of glazing will also help to bring the outside in and help your room to better connect with stunning views and the outside world. Bifold doors and large modular rooflights can make an impressive impact when used for this purpose.
5 Reasons Why A Rooflight Loft Conversion Is Better Than A Dormer
July 9, 2018
With the cost of moving soaring, loft conversions are becoming increasingly popular for those looking to add more space to their home. Not only does converting your loft add up to 20% to the value of your home, it is also one of the most cost-effective options to add more space.
Those with low or hipped roofs may be squeezed for enough headroom to make a comfortable conversion. This means they may be required to have a dormer or carry out roof alteration work, such as changing a hip to a gable, to create more usable space.
But many homeowners are in a position where they can choose to create a rooflight loft conversion with minimal effort. Here are 5 reasons why a rooflight loft conversion is better than a dormer.
Simply put, rooflight loft conversions cost far less than dormer loft conversions. And this doesn’t mean that they will add less value to your home either. So, all in all, if you already have enough usable head room, it makes it a far better investment option.
On average rooflight loft conversions cost between £20,000 and £30,000. In comparison, dormer loft conversions usually cost between £30,000 and £40,000, but this can increase even further depending on the size of the dormer and the design chosen.
2. More Natural Light
Rooflights are known to channel more light into a room than standard windows do, such as those typically used in a dormer. Especially rooflights with a frameless design. This is because of their sky facing orientation, which means they capture more sunlight throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.
Many people consider oversized dormers to look ugly and make a house look top heavy. Whilst there are some stunning and unique dormer designs available, these usually cost more than the standard, traditional designs with hanging tiles. Ramping up costs even further.
On the other hand, with a rooflight loft conversion, the rooflights can be fitted flush to the existing roof – so that the dynamics and aesthetics of the exterior of your home isn’t altered too extremely.
4. Flexible Ventilation
Unlike the window on a dormer, you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to choosing the exact location of where you would like to install an opening rooflight on your roof. This means that you can choose to add ventilation exactly where you will need it most.
This means you could have an opening rooflight installed directly above a shower or bath in an en-suite to disperse steam. Some opening rooflights also come with free rain sensors – which closes the rooflight automatically should it start to rain. So, you can leave your rooflight open to help regulate the temperature in your loft conversion without fear of being caught out should the weather turn.
5. Planning Permission
Because they’re not considered to overlook neighbours properties as standard windows typically used in dormers do, you do not usually need to apply for planning permission to install a rooflight in a loft conversion.
With loft conversions falling under permitted developments, this means that you may be able to create a rooflight loft conversion without having to go through planning permission at all. For the best advice about planning permission for your loft conversion, speak to an architect or a loft conversion specialist.
Are you planning on converting your loft with rooflights? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Case Study | Keeling House
July 3, 2018
This unique one-bedroom duplex penthouse was converted from a disused water tank space in a rapidly changing area of East London.
This conversion of a former water tank space is based at the very top of the 16-storey Keeling House, the Grade II* listed brutalist block of flats designed by Sir Denys Lasdun in 1959. The building is located 500m from Bethnal Green underground station, just off Hackney Road.
The heavily glazed flat offers incredible views across central London, with sunrises from the bedroom, sunsets from the bathroom and star-gazing from the rooflight.
The concrete structure has been insulated internally with the walls, floors and ceiling all being upgraded thermally. Architect, Brian Heron, wanted to keep the space feeling raw and honest, with references to its former use as an enclosure for water tanks.
The walls and ceiling are lined with orientated strand board which provides a visual warmth but is also robust and hard-wearing. The choice of material is also very practical in that the homeowners are able to easily hang things on the walls and put up shelves wherever needed. An essential convenience in any 1-bedroom property.
It took Brian and his wife Ayesha just over 2 years to convert the empty concrete shell with plywood sides into the industrial style penthouse it is today. All in all, the project cost £420,000 – which was £170,000 more than initially budgeted. Costs quickly rocketed due to complications that come with building on top of a tower block, such as needing 18 floors of scaffolding and having to close the road below multiple times.
Introducing natural light to a former concrete shell
Brian wanted to fit an opening flat rooflight directly above the bed, to help bring additional natural light and ventilation into the bedroom. Triple glazing was also a must to help with thermal regulation. After searching online, he decided on the 1m x 1m flat electric sliding unit by Roof Maker. It was the only triple glazed, opening rooflight that Brian could find, plus lead times were good and the price was competitive.
Brian commented “the rooflight is the crowning glory of the bedroom. We designed a raised bed and the rooflight is directly above it so we can lie in bed at night and look up at the stars. It's beautiful”.
“There is a lovely play of light over the bed during the day as the sun passes overhead. As the rooflight is an electric slider, it can open to provide additional ventilation and access to the roof for maintenance, or just to take in the amazing 360-degree views of the London skyline.”
The project was awarded Best Historic Intervention at the New London Architecture ‘Don’t Move, Improve 2018’ Awards.
Find out more about the flat slide opening rooflight on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how a rooflight could be best used in your project.
Flat Rooflights Vs. Roof Lanterns. Which Is Best For You?
July 2, 2018
With rooflights available in more styles and configurations than ever before, there is a rooflight to suit every style of home and roof. When looking for a rooflight solution for a flat roof, homeowners are faced with choosing between a flat rooflight and a roof lantern. In this blog, we explore which is option is best.
The right rooflight will transform a property, flooding dull or dark rooms with beautiful, natural light, additional ventilation and a feeling of extra space. This effect can be created in any area of the home, from kitchens to bathrooms, bedrooms and loft spaces.
Rooflights have become an integral part of thousands of striking self-build and renovation projects around the UK, mainly due to their versatility. Both flat rooflights and roof lanterns have gained popularity over the years, so, which style is best for your project? These are the key differences which will help you to decide for yourself.
A flat rooflight is a great choice if you don’t want to see it from the outside, as they sit very low to your roof. If you choose a flat rooflight that is manufactured to internal dimensions, it will allow up to 25% more natural light than other flat roof windows to enter your room. Instantly and unobtrusively brightening any extension or renovation. They can also provide a good source of ventilation if you select one which opens.
It is also possible to join multiple flat rooflights together to create a much larger modular system. These can be combined in many different configurations. Meaning the sky is quite literally the limit when it comes to sizing, perfect for creating an impact in long but narrow side returns and larger ‘grand design’ style homes.
Roof lanterns offer a great choice. Not only are they better at channeling light from all angles than their flat counterparts, but they can also create a stunning architectural showpiece in your home. A lantern rooflight will make a room look bigger. They open up the ceiling to the sky, maximising light flow and providing additional room height to alter the ergonomics of the room.
Naturally, the construction of a roof lantern relies on using glazing bars as a support structure for the glass, these are visible from underneath, unlike a flat rooflight. So you need to look for a roof lantern with minimal glazing bar connectors, such as the SlimlineTM roof lantern, will help to minimise the impact on the look and the amount of light that will flow through.
Which Is Best?
Perhaps the greatest difference between flat and lantern rooflights is their appearance. Both internally and externally, flat rooflights are barely visible at ground level, whereas roof lanterns provide an impressive perspective to the architecture of any building.
If you’re working to a tight budget, flat rooflights may provide you with a more cost-effective option.
Whatever style you decide on, it's recommended to invest in triple glazing for both flat and lantern rooflights. Triple glazing provides far better heat insulation, minimising the risk of cold areas in your room and reduces external noise. So not only do you maintain your green credentials, but you also keep those energy bills down.
Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Case Study | Wickham Market
June 26, 2018
Natural light and ventilation is introduced to this copper roof extension by the Slimline® slide opening roof lantern.
A unique copper roof twist was brought to this 1805 residential end of terrace in the Wickham Market area. The character property sits on a large plot overlooking the River Deben, within a conservation area. As such, the design of the extension also needed to delicately respect the other character properties in the area.
The copper roof successfully introduced a quirky, modern touch to the otherwise traditional design. Whilst certainly a costlier option, handmade bricks were used to match the original bricks in the rest of the property. This helped to maintain the overall character feel.
Homeowner Paul both designed and built the property with the help of his partner. From start to completion, the timescale for the extension was two and a half years – an impressive feat given both of them were also working full-time.
Every aspect of the self-build extension was carried out by the homeowners. “I wanted to use the best materials I could get. From from the handmade bricks to match the originals, the copper roof for its beauty and the roof lantern because it was the best I could buy” shared Paul. Thanks to zero labor costs, the extension was achieved within their £35,000 budget.
Maximising daylight and much needed ventilation
Natural light and ventilation was the main challenge of the project. Paul was unable to fit windows to the ground floor kitchen extension as they would have looked through to the neighbour’s garden. After lots of desktop research, he decided that the 2000 x 1000mm Slimline® slide opening lantern offered the best solution.
“I chose the Slimline® rooflight because it was the only lantern I could find that opened and didn’t need an ugly prop, which would have ruined the look of the roof. I also liked the very narrow frame which is nearly invisible”.
Paul wanted the flexibility of being able to open the roof lantern in the summer or whilst cooking to help maintain a comfortable temperature in the kitchen. The quality of the components, such as the remote control opening vent and the free rain sensor, also drew him to the Slimline® lantern. Paul and his partner decided to install the lantern themselves. They found it a breeze with the help of the fitting guide and installation video on Youtube.
“The roof lantern is a real showpiece. It looks amazing from the inside and stunning from above. Thermally it is also great, the room does not get too warm. When you cook, you can use the remote control to open the rooflight and feel the hot air simply vanish!”
Find out more about the Slimline® slide opening lantern on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how the lantern could be best used in your project.
The Best Rooflights To Minimise Noise Pollution
June 22, 2018
Noise pollution can be a concern for some who are thinking of buying a rooflight for their home. Whether they live under a flight path or near a busy road, many worry their area is simply too loud for a rooflight to provide an acoustically comfortable living space. They couldn’t be more wrong. With the right type of glazing, noise pollution is a problem of the past.
With a recent study revealing that over 2 million people could be exposed to additional aircraft noise from Heathrow’s third runway, noise pollution is a hot topic. According to the Heathrow anti-noise group Hacan, households in Heston, Osterley Park, Brentford and parts of Chiswick and Hammersmith would be brought directly under the new flight path.
This would have a large impact on those living in these areas who are considering buying, or who have already installed, a rooflight with inadequate glazing. Daily noise pollution from aircraft would increase considerably. However, there are steps that can be taken to eradicate or minimise the impact.
Triple glazing for noise control
Without a doubt, choosing a triple glazed rooflight rather than a double glazed one will help to reduce noise pollution. The additional sheet of glass provides an extra layer of noise insulation and will help to minimise any sound from the outside world.
Whilst not all companies offer triple glazing in their rooflights, some companies offer triple glazing as standard. This means that you don’t need to opt for an expensive upgrade or add-on to achieve adequate enough glazing to help with noise pollution.
If you already have a rooflight installed which isn’t triple glazed, you may wish to replace it. You don't have to go back to the same supplier either. Rooflight manufacturers that offer bespoke options can create a triple glazed rooflight to fit perfectly into the space of your previous one.
Specialist acoustic glazing
Whilst opting for triple glazing can reduce outside noise, there are additional measures that can help further. For ultimate noise control, choose a rooflight that utilises acoustic control techniques. This could include adding lamination, thicker panes and wider cavities into the glazing.
Reflex Acoustic Performance is a specialist glass, designed specifically to combat noise pollution. It does this by using laminated panes that are slightly thicker and spaced further apart than those typically used. This type of specialist glass is available for many different styles of rooflights and is most effective when combined with triple glazing.
Whilst adding a specialist acoustic glazing will marginally increase the overall cost of your rooflight, it is well worth the additional cost. For those living in noisy areas or under a flight path, it can hugely reduce the amount of noise pollution they are exposed to every day in their homes.
Do you need a rooflight which combats noise pollution? If you do, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Top 3 Roof Lanterns To Create A Showpiece In Your Room
June 7, 2018
Roof lanterns are a great choice for those looking for a skylight for their flat roof. Not only are they better at channeling light from all angles than flat skylights, but the right roof lantern can also create a stunning showpiece in your home.
Due to the recent growing popularity of roof lanterns, there are now more options than ever to suit the unique style of your home. No longer do they just provide a solution for natural light, but they’re now proving a popular architectural feature. From slick, contemporary designs which maximise the amount of natural light let through into the room, to more traditional designs which work well to give the feel of an orangery.
A larger sized roof lantern is certainly a winner when it comes to making an impact that will impress your friends. But, more importantly, it is key that the size of your roof lantern perfectly compliments the individual size and shape of your room. Thankfully, with some rooflight suppliers now offering cost effective, bespoke sizes, a perfect fit is within reach for everyone.
Here are the top 3 roof lanterns for those looking to create a showpiece.
With the slimmest aluminum frame available in the UK, the Slimline is designed to bring more natural light into your room than any other roof lantern. And improve your view of the outside without unsightly, thick glazing joints getting in the way.
Manual or electronic opening roof vents are available, offering a great ventilation solution for kitchens and bathrooms. The electronic opening vent can be operated using a rocker switch fitted to your wall, with the option to add an automatic climate control and rain sensor which impressively does the opening and closing for you.
Ideal for larger, square or rectangle shaped rooms thanks to the bespoke sizing options available.
With many similarities to the Slimline, the Pyramid roof lantern offers the same slim framed and contemporary features but is available in a square shape. It offers a unique option for those looking for something different to the popular, rectangle roof lantern style.
If ventilation and bringing the outside in is on your list, an electrically operated slide opening version is also available. This allows you to open up the roof and truly let the sunshine and fresh air in. A free rain sensor is also included, so you don't need to fear about forgetting to close the roof lantern if the weather should turn.
The Pyramid roof lantern provides a perfect fit for smaller or square shaped rooms.
If you’re looking for something with more a traditional character, this traditional roof lantern will help to set you apart from the contemporary crowd. Furthermore, you can customise it from a variety of finial and cresting finishes for a truly bespoke product. So, whether you would like Victorian style crestings, a simple ball design or no ridges at all for a cleaner look, there is an option for you.
Manual or electronic opening roof vents are also available, making it another great choice for those looking for a roof lantern for their kitchen or bathroom where additional ventilation is crucial.
The traditional roof lantern works fantastically in orangeries and character or Victorian homes.
Are you looking for more information about feature roof lanterns? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your natural light and ventilation needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
How to create the ultimate roof room for your home
May 31, 2018
A loft conversion, or a roof room as they’re also known, is a fantastic way to add some extra space to your home. Roof rooms are often a quick win because they can be turned around in a relatively short period of time, are significantly cheaper than other types of extension and allow you to maximise wasted space. And it is usually wasted space, let’s face it - boxes of Christmas decorations or bags of old clothes shoved up in the loft space.
Find a new home for your Christmas decorations and get those old clothes down to the charity shop, so you can start utilising your loft space to its absolute fullest.
Follow these top tips to create the ultimate roof room for your home:
1. Check if you need any planning permission
Normally, loft conversions only require planning permission if you are going to significantly alter the exterior appearance of your property. Chances are you’re not going to do this, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
A quick call or visit to your local planning authority (LPA) should provide the reassurance you need.
2. Define a budget (and stick to it)
As with any building project, a loft conversion requires a budget. Whilst it will often be less than many other types of work, it’s important that you stick to the budget you set. Focus on getting the actual room finished first before you start looking at all the goodies you want to put in it. Some people get carried away and spend too much on furniture, fixtures and equipment before the actual roof room is completed. Doing so could leave yourself short for the actual conversion.
3. Consider access
Your existing loft is probably accessed via a pull-down ladder or set of steps. Your new roof room, however, will almost certainly require a bespoke set of stairs. This is a big consideration as space is often at a premium.
Furthermore, you can’t just stick a set of stairs anywhere. You need to think about how exactly you’ll enter the roof room. After all, it’s never nice to hit your head, right? That’s why the location of your new stairs is actually pretty important, especially as it will also impact the floor (storey) below.
4. Let there be light (and ventilation)
Lofts are naturally dark and gloomy, and just because you’ve converted yours into a room, it won’t change that reality. Fortunately, plenty of natural light and air can be let in by installing a high-quality rooflight (or two).
The beauty of rooflights is that they can be installed with little disruption. Rooflights also allow significantly more natural light into a roof room than traditional vertical windows. If noise from rain or other outside causes is a concern, you can also opt for acoustic performance glazing to reduce noise pollution.
Moreover, the range of designs, choice of glasses and low Ug-values mean that rooflights are an all-round, affordable solution.
5. Prepare to be disrupted
Whether you like it or not, a certain amount of disruption is part and parcel of having some building work done – and that includes a loft conversion. Let the professional builders get on with their jobs in peace and resist the urge to bother them every five minutes unless it’s to offer them a fresh cup of tea.
Be prepared ahead of the project start date by removing everything from your loft and laying down the necessary protective covers on your floors and walls. Your builders do not want to turn up to start work and find that the space isn’t ready.
Are you considering converting your own loft into a roof room? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your natural light and ventilation needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.
Why Passive House Is The Future For Energy Efficient Homes
May 23, 2018
Passive House isn’t just another brand name. Passive House is a rigorous design and construction standard which aims for optimal energy efficiency. The aim is to create a building which is thermally comfortable, affordable and ecological at the same time. A building which requires little or no energy for heating or cooling.
With more and more people looking to create cost-effective and environmentally friendly homes, the standard isn’t something to be ignored. The increasing demand for ultra-low energy buildings truly is a reflection of why it is is the future of energy efficiency.
Passive House principles
The main principle is to reduce or eradicate the need for conventional heating systems which rely on wasteful fossil fuels. For a building to be Passive, it needs to be able to maintain a constant and comfortable temperature through the use of ‘free heat’.
Free heat can be generated from all electrical and gas appliances such as ovens, refrigerators and light bulbs. It can also be generated through solar energy and unobstructed, south facing windows. In order to pass the Passive House standard, the building must be superinsulated and air-tight, so that the free heat cannot unintentionally escape.
Building a Passive House
Passive Homes are reported to cost 8-10% more to build upfront than conventional buildings in the UK. Whilst this might sound expensive, the long-term cost savings of having a truly energy efficient home are worth it. A Passive House requires as little as 10 percent of the energy used by typical Central European buildings – meaning energy savings of up to 90%.
Using the 'Passivhaus Planning Package' (PHPP), a computer simulation, can help with building design. But to achieve the Passive House standard, a combination of techniques must be considered. This includes superinsulation, advanced window technology, ventilation, airtightness and lighting.
With the popularity of modern homes incorporating more glazing to increase natural light, it's more important than ever to consider advanced window technology. Many building designs risk missing the Passive House mark due to the selection of standard glazing products over those which are accredited.
Make your home more Passive
Whether you're creating a fully Passive building or just want to use accredited products in order to maximise energy efficiency, a list of certified building components can be found on the Passive House website.
When it comes rooflights, Roof Maker's fixed flat rooflights are the only certified skylights in the UK, recommended by the Passive House Trust. They are triple glazed as standard with a Ug-value as low as 0.2 W/m2K, achieved by the patent-pending stepped glass unit. They offer an exceptional energy efficient solution for new build homes, extensions or renovations.
To find out more about Roof Maker’s fixed flat rooflights and get a free quote, call our product experts on 0116 269 6297 or build your quote online.
Tips For Choosing The Best Rooflight For Your Extension Or Renovation
May 15, 2018
The number of people choosing to renovate or extend their home has more than doubled over the last decade. Whether a loft conversion, kitchen diner extension or a full home renovation, total aesthetic control and offering a more cost-effective option than moving appears to be the driving force. Almost in parallel, the popularity of rooflights has skyrocketed. Roof lanterns and flat rooflights now play a key role in creating the wow factor in any home.
However, it's easy to get swamped by choice with the wide variety of rooflights available. This can make it difficult to pinpoint the best rooflight for your needs. These tips will help you to choose the best rooflight for your project, or you can download our guide to the 15 things you need to know before choosing a rooflight.
Consider A Rooflight With A Frameless Design
Many add a rooflight to their home in order to increase the amount of natural light and brighten their interior. However, due to different frame thicknesses between products, the amount of light provided can differ hugely. This can be disappointing for those who spend thousands of pounds, only to achieve a dull result. To maximise the amount of light in your home a frameless design could be the best choice for your project. One option is the LuxliteTM®, which offers up to 49% more light than traditional designs.
Consider what else you want your rooflight to provide
A rooflight shouldn’t just be about light. A rooflight with a low Ug-value should be top of your list if you're aiming to create an environmentally friendly home. Look for rooflights with the lowest Ug-value as this indicates a better thermal efficiency. Some companies, such as Roof Maker, offer the option to build your fixed flat rooflight to Passive House standard. This ensures it will meet a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency.
Ventilation is an important feature for rooflights that will be situated above a kitchen. If you have a flat roof, a large rooflight with an electronic opener means it could also work as an access point. This could provide your extension with another purpose, providing the flexibility to create a roof terrace or roof garden.
If Your Site Isn’t Easy To Access, Choose A Flatpack Option
A large ready-made rooflight might not be suitable for your project if it needs to be installed in a difficult to access area. This could include a top floor apartment or a house with a narrow staircase. Instead, a rooflight with a flatpack option could be the best choice. This will enable the rooflight to be assembled at location, rather than risk it getting stuck or causing damage to your home en-route.
The Best Quality Rooflight
It is often said that the quality of a product is reflected in the length of warranty that the manufacturer offers. If you're looking for a rooflight that will last, choose one from the company which offers the longest the warranty. If you don't, you might end up regretting your choice and needing to pay out more to maintain or replace your rooflight further down the line. Roof Maker offers an industry leading, 20-year unit seal warranty for their products. Find out more about the range of rooflights that Roof Maker offer.
Brighten up your home with the UK’s slimmest roof lanterns
May 2, 2018
With more people looking to maximise the natural light in their homes whilst looking to be more energy efficient, Roof Maker’s Slimline® roof lanterns are the perfect option. Designed to maximise daylight, these low maintenance windows are energy efficient and officially the UK’s slimmest roof lantern.
The innovative roof lanterns are designed to brighten up any room with a stylish, frameless bottom edge and ultra thin aluminium-capped glazing joints which will fill the room with natural daylight. Bleached and discoloured furniture and fabrics caused by direct sunlight will be a thing of the past as Reflex glazing comes as standard on all windows. Reflex is a specialist UV and IR blocking glass with super insulating properties to reduce heat loss from your house, available in two stylish tint options, making it ideal for areas where you have soft furnishings such as lounges, dining areas and open plan living areas.
In addition to being the slimmest roof lantern available, the glass unit seals are 80 per cent deeper than competitor’s products, significantly reducing the risk of condensation and increasing product life expectancy. As well as offering incredibly low Ug-values of 0.9 w/m2k. Even on a cold day you can rest assured that your room will stay warm, as the insulation of the rooflight will prevent heat escaping.
Based and manufactured in Leicester, Roof Maker offers bespoke sizes, made to order at no extra cost, with stock sizes available with next day delivery for the ultimate convenience.
Manual or electronic opening roof vents provide a stylist touch as well as excellent ventilation with climate control and rain sensors are also available to help modernise your home. The firm is the only manufacturer to offer a patented stepped glass unit on the bottom edge of the window together with the low maintenance, Easy clean glass which is pitched at 40 degrees, rain water and dirt are able to flow off, eliminating the risk of unsightly dirt build up over time.
British rooflight company, Roof Maker is committed to providing homeowners with the highest standards in rooflights. The company has been delivering its innovative, contemporary products since 2001 and makes a wide selection of well-designed rooflights in different styles and sizes.
Each of Roof Maker’s contemporary products comes with an unprecedented 20-year unit seal warranty on all glazing units, a 10-year guarantee against frame discoloration, cracking shape deterioration and component failure, and a three year guarantee on any motor, switches, climate control units or other electrical items within the product.
How Businesses Can Attract & Retain Millennial Talent
April 25, 2018
A study released in March 2018 shows that millennial workers are turning their backs on potential employers simply because their offices are ‘boring’ and ‘uninspiring’. The research, commissioned by co-working provider Mindspace, in conjunction with research firm One Poll, reveals that employers are increasingly struggling to attract and retain young talent because of the importance the younger generation is placing on the aesthetics and vibe of potential workplaces.
In fact, over a fifth (21%) of 18-24 year olds say they have rejected a potential employer because of a poor office design or lack of amenities available. Over a third (34%) are even willing to commute for a maximum of one hour each way to a workplace environment that is ‘perfect’.
But it’s not just millennials who are becoming bored with uninspiring office environments, with 31% of workers admitting they are not inspired to go to work. A further 28% said their place of work is outdated and dull.
The Mindspace survey also found that when it comes to improving morale, UK office workers desire more natural light air conditioning and improved interior lighting.
So what can employers do to boost their chances of attracting millennial workers?
Offer Competitive, Appealing Benefits
Like most workers, millenials value competitive, appealing benefits packages. If your company doesn’t offer such benefits or the ones you do offer are several years old, it could be time to review you’re offering.
Try to think outside the box a bit. For example, benefits do not have to be financially driven. Research by CV-Library released early last year found almost half (47%) of workers cite flexible working as the most desirable workplace benefit. So, if that’s something you can offer, consider it going forward.
Afford More Natural Light
As the aforementioned Mindscape study found, employees like workplaces that have plenty of natural light. Now, we’re obviously slightly biased, but one of the most ways to get more natural light into your place of work is with a world class rooflight made by us here at Roof Maker.
Natural light has been shown time and time again to boost people’s moods and productivity, which is why a rooflight absolutely makes sense in an office environment.
Utilise the Latest Technology
Millenials love technology. They’ve grown up with it and gadgets – especially mobile devices – are a huge part of their personal lives. Therefore, it makes sense that companies which provide their workers with the latest smartphones, laptops, etc. in their roles stand a better chance of attracting and retaining the best millennial workers.
Encourage Community Support Initiatives
Companies that allow their employees to take a number of paid days off throughout the year to help local charities, non-profit organisations and community projects are viewed very favourably by today’s workers.
Oftentimes, employees would love to get involved in community projects and lend a helping hand, but they simply do not have the time or opportunity to do so. Such initiatives are a win-win for businesses as they boost their community standing and the morale of their employees.
Provide Professional Development & Growth Opportunities
Last, but certainly not least, are the professional development and growth opportunities many businesses offer their employees. While a handsome financial remuneration is highly regarded by many workers, so too is the opportunity to progress within the organisation.
Look to have clear professional roadmaps created for each employee and don’t force individuals to go down routes they don’t want to. For example, some people are natural managers, while others shy away from such positions. Individuals are exactly that – individual – so don’t treat them all the same. Listen to their wants and aspirations and design a career roadmap around them.
Are you thinking of having a rooflight installed in your home or workplace?
If you are, we are here with 15 things to consider before you make your choice. Having already thought thought-through these key points will ultimately make the shopping process much easier and ensure you get a rooflight that is perfect for your individual project.
Fill in the form below to access your free download.
Everything You Need to Know When Buying a Skylight
April 19, 2018
Deciding to install roofliughts into the roof of your house or commercial property is a commitment, and there are a number of things to consider before buying a skylight.
If you’re asking, “What should I look for when buying a skylight?”, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we take a look at everything you need to take into account when purchasing your rooflight. If you want something you can keep to hand, you might also want to download our guide to choosing a rooflight.
Where Will Your Skylight Be?
Which room(s) do you want your skylight(s) to be installed in? Will it be your living room, kitchen or bedroom? Or perhaps you want to add an interior skylight in, to add extra light into your basement?
Most people choose to install skylights to allow additional natural light to enter their home. However, one thing to be aware of is the greenhouse effect this can cause (i.e. your room overheating in the summer months). You can tackle this by installing a special type of glass if necessary, which we will cover later on.
Don’t forget that the room you choose to install your rooflight in can also play a part in the style and size you ultimately offer; making it the first thing to consider when purchasing a skylight.
Which Style Rooflight Is Best for You?
Our rooflights come in several different styles, each with their own unique features and benefits. It’s worth taking a look at them all, before deciding which is the most ideal for you:Passive House Standard, which means they help to lower your energy bills, and reduce CO2 emissions.
We’ve designed these rooflights for pitched (sloping) roofs. The frameless views from the inside give these windows a contemporary feel, which is perfect if you have a modern home.
The shape of these attracts the sunlight from various angles throughout the day, so you’ll always have tonnes of natural light flooding into your home.
If you’re looking to add a touch of the unexpected into your property, then the quirky shape of these rooflights will do just the trick.
This is the classic rooflight style, complete with a selection of finial and cresting options for you to choose from.
When the days are warmer and sunnier, you may prefer to open your rooflights. We offer a range of opening pitched and flat skylights.
Designed for internal flooring – plain, tinted and decorate glass available.
Not sure which style skylight is best for you? This infographic will help you to decide.
Our fixed flat rooflights are available in black and grey frames, and you can choose any RAL colour combination you like for our slimline rooflights. We also offer matching bi-fold and sliding doors, so if that’s something you’re interested in, you’ll probably want complimentary colours.
Which Size Rooflight Should You Get?
Rooflights aren’t one-size-fits-all. Whilst we offer a range of standard sizes, we can also create bespoke skylights made to order. Simply tell us your desired size, and we’ll send you a quote.
Don’t forget to measure the area where you want your rooflight installed before you ask for a quote. We’ve created a guide to measuring for rooflights here, in addition to how to measure your roof pitch – both of which are essential to know before your skylights are installed.
Please note that we do have maximum sizes for rooflights – find out what this is in our FAQs.
What Type of Glass Should You Install?
Once you’ve chosen your rooflight style, it’s time to select the type of glass to install. We offer four different types, each with their own unique features. Choose from the following:
- Energy Saving: This glass prevents heat from escaping during the winter months, helping your room to stay warm, meaning you pay less for your energy. Ideal if your rooflight faces north or east.
- Temperature Control: Combat against the greenhouse effect by preventing your room from becoming unbearably hot. This is ideal for rooflights that face south or west.
- Noise Pollution: If your home is by a busy road, this glass will prevent excess noise from being heard.
- Security: Our Reflex+ glass doesn’t shatter easily, which is great for an added layer of security.
No matter which glass you choose, you can rest assured that they all filter out up to 100% of harmful UV rays, are low maintenance with Easy clean glass, and are built to last, with a life expectancy of 30 years. Find out more about our different types of glass here.
There’s also the option to choose between double glazed and triple glazed windows – although please note, double glazed is only available in standard sized rooflights.
How Much Do Skylights Cost?
A big question we're often asked by people buying a skylight is 'how much do they cost?'.The cost of your rooflight(s) depends on many different factors: the style you choose, the size, whether it’s double or triple glazed, other properties of the glass (e.g. noise control, solar control), tinting, and delivery vs collection.
We’ll provide you with a quote that takes into account all of your requests, so you’re 100% clear on the cost of your rooflight.
How to Install Rooflights
Once you’ve finishing buying a skylight and received your rooflight from us, you can either install them yourself, or have them fitted by a builder. Currently, we don’t offer installation services. All of our rooflights come with their own detailed set of fitting guidelines.
You can find out how to install rooflights yourself here, or watch installation tutorials over on our YouTube channel. However, if you’re at all unsure then we would recommend hiring a builder, to ensure a professional finish.
And if you’re wondering where to buy your skylights from, then the answer is us! We’re experts in skylights, and are always on hand to help with any questions you may have – just give us a call on 0116 214 9960, or head on over to our blog.
Roof Maker’s Slimline roof lanterns are officially the slimmest in the UK
April 16, 2018
In 2018 leading British roof light manufacturer, Roof Maker were celebrating after successfully being awarded a trademark for its range of Slimline roof lanterns. The trademark reinforced the fact that the Roof Maker Slimline roof lantern was the slimmest available on the UK market at that time.
The innovative design of the Roof Maker Slimline Roof Lantern combines sturdy, insulated construction with a clean, contemporary aesthetic. In addition, the glass unit seals are 80 per cent deeper than competitor’s products, significantly reducing the risk of condensation and increasing product life expectancy. This also enables Roof Maker to be the only manufacturer to offer a 20-year glass unit guarantee across all of its rooflights.
“We are delighted to have been awarded a trademark for the Roof Maker Slimline roof lantern,” commented Vanessa Howard, Chief Marketing Officer at Roof Maker at the time. “We were the first manufacturer to bring a Slimline roof lantern to the market and have been selling them in greater numbers than any of our competitors for a number of years now. Whilst other brands may be using the term slimline, the successful trademark application proves that Roof Maker’s roof lanterns are officially the slimmest available in the UK and this is something we are very proud of as a business. It goes without saying that as a business Roof Maker will seek to protect this trademark at any opportunity. The successful trademark is also further proof of our commitment to continue to deliver market leading and innovative products to our customers, making sure we offer the very best solutions available.”
It is the innovative slim glazing bars and ultra thin aluminium-capped glazing joints that made Roof Maker’s Slimline roof lantern the slimmest available at the time. Its 40-degree pitch also allows rainwater to flow off, eliminating the risk of unsightly dirt build up over time and the Reflex glazing will deliver a Ug-value as low as 0.7 w/m2k.
Roof Maker’s Slimline roof lanterns also feature a built-in insulated upstand, which is fully thermally broken with super-insulating Styrofoam. Conforming to all safety standards and building regulations, the units have also been thoroughly weather tested against BS 6375 Pt 1 to all safety standards and building regulations.
The clever modular design can be supplied in flat pack form for easy and safer lifting on to the roof, eliminating the need to hire a crane. Alternatively, a builder’s kerb can also be supplied for a really simple and fast installation.
To find out more about Roof Maker’s extensive range of rooflights and get a free quote, call our product experts on 0116 269 6297
How fitting a rooflight can improve your mood and productivity
April 10, 2018
There’s no shortage of studies showing how lighting affects our mood and productivity. In fact, a study just recently released in March 2018 shows over a third of workers are adversely affected by a lack of natural light in their office. But is there such a thing as rooflight health benefits?
According to the poll conducted by Lamp Shop Online, lighting that’s too bright or so weak that workers have to strain their eyes to read are also common bugbears.
While employees can request additional lighting in their place of work or ask for more subtle alternatives to be installed when it’s too bright, major changes that afford more natural light are often non-starters due to the associated costs.
However, you do have a say when it comes to getting more natural light in your house, and that’s particularly good for people who have the flexibility to work from home.
Here are some of the benefits:
First and foremost, poor lighting is associated with several health complaints, including eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes and headaches. These complaints occur because of unwanted glare and flicker on computer screens; glare and flicker that your eyes have to ultimately compensate for.
Furthermore, spinal complaints and other musculoskeletal issues have also been attributed to poor lighting conditions as people adopt awkward sitting positions to compensate for the inadequate light they are working under.
Obviously, anything that detrimentally impacts your health isn’t good, which is why any measures that bring more natural light into your work environment should be encouraged.
Using Rooflight Health Benefits to grow your productivity
Lighting also has the ability to influence your efficiency and productivity. For example, one study found that people who work in predominantly artificial light are more likely to feel tired towards the end of the day than those who work in environments flooded with natural light. As a result, workers in environments with lots of natural light are able to continue working for longer.
A strong correlation has also been found between exposure to natural light during work hours and sleep, activity and quality of life.
The study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine in June 2014 found that employees with windows in the workplace got 173% more white light exposure during their working day and slept 46 minutes more each night, on average. Workers without windows also reported lower scores when it came to quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality than their counterparts with windows.
Improve your mood
In addition to being more productive, employees who work in environments with more natural light are happier too. Indeed, research from Swiss scientist Mirjam Müench shows that exposure to sunlight makes people happier and more focused and attentive.
Exposure to sunlight has also been linked to lower levels of depression and stress. That’s why installing rooflights in your home office is becoming increasingly popular among homeworkers and those wanting to add a feeling of greater space and light into their home generally. So it is true, there is such thing as rooflight health benefits!
Finally, sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, which is an essential mineral for everyone. It has numerous benefits, including body weight maintenance, immune system regulation and asthma symptom control. It can also help to keep our brains working more efficiently in later life, but more about that later….
Rooflights are one of the best and most cost-effective ways to let more natural light into your home.
To find out more about Roof Maker’s extensive range of rooflights and get a free quote, call our product experts on 0116 269 6297
Introducing: The Roof Maker Passive House Flat Rooflight
March 22, 2018
Roof Maker’s new Passive House Flat skylight has set a new standard in energy efficient rooflight design, achieving the prestigious Passive House standard and accreditation from the Passivhaus Trust.
If you’re wondering what all this means and how it could benefit your property, read on.
What is Passive House?
Passive House is an aspirational standard of energy efficiency, designed to dramatically reduce a building’s ecological footprint.
The standard originated in Europe, back in 1988. Its name comes from the German term, Passivhaus. The first Passivhaus residences were built in Germany in 1990.
The Passive House standard
Achieving the Passive House standard is no mean feat. To do so, a product like an energy efficient rooflight must pass rigorous testing and meet strict criteria.
Two of these criteria are that the building must:
- Prevent heat loss, achieving a set limit on the amount of air that can leak out
- Maintain a comfortable temperature, achieving set limits on its heating/cooling requirements
The importance of Passive House
Passive House standards:
- Keep your energy bills to an absolute minimum
- Reduce your CO2 emissions by reducing your use of fossil fuels
- Help to counter the threat of climate change
- Save our limited natural resources, giving us more time to find renewable alternatives
The cost of installing Passive House elements is generally outweighed by their energy saving potential.
Roof Maker is a world leader in green innovations
Since 2001, Roof Maker has been designing innovative, contemporary products that combine outstanding energy efficiency rooflight performance with timeless style.
To avert climate change, we understand the need to cut carbon emissions and conserve our precious natural resources. While UK Building Regulations have tightened to meet these ends, we have always strived to do better.
Through ongoing research and development we have created products that far exceed the requirements of the Building Regulations, offering superior insulation and significant energy savings.
Impressively the rooflight has achieved Passive House standard with a three-pane triple glazed unit, rather than the four or five panes you might expect. Keeping the number of panes to a minimum results in a lighter unit that transports easily and is quicker to fit.
Listening to our customers
At Roof Maker we work closely with our customers, using your feedback to continually research and develop better products.
When it comes to rooflights, you have told us you want:
- To increase the natural light in your home
- Classic designs that will suit your property — whether it’s old or new
- Glass that is easy to keep clean
- A manageable unit that is quick and easy to fit
- A built-in upstand, prefabricated to the optimum angle
- A durable product, guaranteed to last
But you don’t want:
- Your heating bills to increase
- Your rooflight to create a ‘greenhouse effect’ in hot weather
- Chunky frames that collect dirt and obstruct the light flow
- Sun damaged fabrics and furnishings
The Passive House Rooflight fulfils all these criteria.
Benefits of the Passive House Flat Energy Efficient Rooflight
The Passive House Flat Rooflight:
- Features a contemporary frameless design to let in more natural light
- Offers exceptional insulation to prevent heat loss, draughts and condensation
- Retains the warmth from your heating appliances in cold weather
- Keeps your heating requirements and bills to a minimum
- Has Solar Control to keep your room cool and comfortable in warm weather
- Blocks harmful UV rays and prevents your furnishings and fabrics from fading
- Has a self-cleaning coating, which reduces the need for manual cleaning
- Is triple glazed for a lighter, more manageable unit that can be moved easily
- Has a built-in upstand for quick and easy fitting
- Carries an industry-leading 20-year unit seal warranty and a 10-year guarantee against frame discolouration, cracking and shape deterioration
Energy saving potential
Like many Roof Maker products, the Passive House Flat Rooflight is triple glazed as standard. The unit comprises three 6mm panes of glass, separated by argon-filled cavities.
Research has shown that replacing single glazed or old double glazed units with triple glazing can cut your energy bills by 50%, if your home is properly insulated.
Find out more
Roof Maker is a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of high quality rooflights and bi-fold door systems — including the new Passive House Flat Rooflight.
Our premium glazed products are designed to transform your living space into a bright, comfortable and energy efficient space you will enjoy for many years to come.
Should I get an extension or move to a new house?
March 14, 2018
Deciding whether to get an extension or move to a new house you depends on your personal circumstances.
Moving house can be stressful, so it’s not surprising that some people prefer to extend their home instead. But having builders working on your house can be expensive and cause disruption too.
In this blog, Sameena Nawaz shares her experience of extending her home. She explains why extending was the right decision for her family and shares her tips for anyone considering doing the same.
Sameena lives with her husband and two children in a 1920’s semi-detached property in Jesmond, Newcastle. Her family has lived at the property for 23 years. She works in the family business with her husband from their home. Like many people, they had to make a decision on whether to build an extension or move to a new house. They decided on the former.
They started working on their extension in 2015 and finished six months later in 2016 but it was something they had thought about long before then.
“We’d thought about it for 10 years. It took a while to sort the finances, get the right people and find what we want.
“We wanted something different that would add character to the house. If we’d rushed it, we would have ended up with something standard. It was also important to make it work for us because we work and live at home.
“We have a nice big garden, so we could extend the property out without losing too much outdoor space. We extended out three metres and over the entire width of the property.
“We knocked through the utility room and toilet to create one large kitchen and dining room but we kept the living room wall for privacy for granny who was living with us at the time.
“We also converted the garage into a study with a window on the roof which lets in lots of light in the summer,” she said.
The use of glass is one of the most striking features of the property but it also serves a practical purpose.
“My main concern was the darkness. I wanted a room with lots of light,” Sameena said.
To add plenty of light to their home, the extension includes three glass sliding doors which measure three by three metres. Roof Maker also made a sleek nine metre glass panel for them which runs the length of the new roof extension.
Despite all the glass, the rooms still remain at a comfortable temperature all year round because Roof Maker’s windows are designed to keep you cool in the summer and warm in winter.
The couple were able to create such an impressive extension because they were committed to realising their vision.
Sameena said: “We spent twice as much as we’d planned to but we thought if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it properly, so that five years down the line we don’t regret it.
“So we saved up - we had no more holidays for the next few years and no more takeaways.
“In the end, we got something we thought we would never have. It’s just very tranquil, especially in the summer. It’s so peaceful looking into the garden. It’s also made such a difference when we have family and friends over.”
For the couple, moving wasn’t a consideration. Sameena said: “We’ve been here for so long and it was just the home we’ve always wanted.”
Her top tip for others looking to build an extension is to invest time in doing your research first.
“My advice is to do your homework, create storyboards, calculate how much it will cost and find a good architect and builder - it can save you a lot in the long run.
“We had a very good relationship with our builder, ” she said.
As part of their research, Sameena and her husband visited home building and renovation exhibitions throughout the country for almost a year. She also advises shopping around and bartering to find good deals.
Your long term plans also matter. “Consider where you live and how much is worth investing if you want to sell the house in the future. You don’t want to spend more than the house is worth.”
Their patience and hard work clearly paid off because Sameena says the extension has been “a dream come true.” Either way, irrespective of whether you want to build an extension or move to a new house, a rooflight could bring benefits to your project. Why not select a rooflight to get your quote from Roof Maker?
Installing Pitched Rooflights
March 11, 2018
The first thing you need to know when installing your rooflight is how flat your roof is. To do this, you need to measure the slope in the roof which is known as its pitch.
Rooflights need to be installed at an angle to encourage rain water to run off instead of pooling.
If water pools, it can cause dirt to collect on the rooflight which could also cause staining. That’s why our rooflights have an Easy Clean glass coating to discourage dirt from sticking.
There is also the risk of the membrane being damaged if any pooled water freezes.
It is therefore best to install your rooflight at an angle of at least five degrees.
Measuring your roof pitch
When measuring your roof pitch there are three types of measurements to make:
- Run - the horizontal distance between the peak of the roof and the wall.
- Rise - the height of the peak above the wall.
- Span - the distance between the walls. It may be helpful to measure this too.
Measuring from the rafters
When there’s no roofing material to cause an uneven surface, measuring from the rafters should give you an accurate measurement.
You can measure the roof pitch from the rafter in the attic, or from the overhang of a rafter in the roof, or even from a barge rafter at the side of the gable.
To do so, follow these steps:
- Position one end of the carpenter’s level against the underside of the rafter, and adjust it until the bubble is centred between the two lines.
- Find the 12-inch/30cm mark on the carpenter’s level. If yours doesn’t have markings, use a tape measure to mark on where 12-inches is.
- Measure the vertical distance from the carpenter’s level to the rafter. When you measure the distance from the 12-inch/30cm mark to the underside of the rafter, make sure your carpenter’s level stays in position.
- Work out your roof pitch, which is the ratio of the rise to the run.
Measuring from the roof surface
You can also measure your roof pitch on the roof surface but you’ll need to make sure it’s safe to walk on and be careful not to injure yourself.
Once you’re safely on the roof, you’ll need to measure as follows:
- Place your carpenter’s level against the roof and adjust it until the bubble is between the two lines. If your roof is particularly bumpy, then try laying a flat board down so that you can get an accurate reading.
- Measure the vertical distance from the roof to level by holding the 0-mark of the tape measure against the roof and extending upwards, so it’s perpendicular to the carpenter’s level. Once the tape measure has reached the 12-inch/30cm mark, write down the vertical distance measurement.
- Work out the pitch slope, which is the rise over the run.
If you don’t have a calculator to hand, you can use a roof pitch calculator online instead.
How to install a flat rooflight
If your flat roof has been built with a pitch greater or equal to five degrees then you can proceed with a standard installation.
This video shows you how to create the right angle and install your rooflight too.
If you have further questions, one of our experts will be happy to advise you. Just call us on 0116 214 7151.
Modular Rooflights Create a Spectacular Glass Ceiling
February 8, 2018
Imagine your room with a ceiling made of glass.
Look up at the stunning feature, created to your own design.
Marvel at the spectacle of natural daylight, spilling in and brightening every corner.
Be amazed as you learn this is all possible, using a modular rooflight system.
What are modular rooflights?
Standard flat rooflights consist of a single glass panel. The size of the glass panel can vary, but will be limited to the size that can be manufactured. A modular system allows you to create a larger design by joining glass panels together in a line. Each panel is added to the line using a minimal aluminium support, which strengthens the structure without compromising the light flow.
Why should I choose modular rooflights?
A modular rooflight system provides significantly more scope for transforming a space than you would get from a single unit. The rooflights create an architectural wow factor, designed to excite and inspire. The system offers natural lighting solutions for potential problem areas such as corridors and hallways, large or extended areas and rooms where conventional windows are not an option. For more details about the other types of rooflight we offer, or to learn more about choosing a rooflight in our handy guide.
How do modular rooflights work?
Your modular configuration will depend on the size and shape of the roof area you have available. For example, if you want to brighten up a narrow room or dark hallway, a single line of fused panels may be sufficient. If your room is larger, you may need multiple lines of panels to create a glass ceiling effect.
How can I achieve the look I want?
As the modular system is bespoke, the possibilities are endless. Within reason, you can create whatever configuration you can imagine. By varying the size of the glass panels and the length of each line, you can design a unique feature specifically for your property. You will find the additional light also offers more options for decorating and customising the space. For example, you can choose from a full spectrum of colours when choosing your furnishings and fabrics, rather than dismissing some because they might be too rich or too dark.
And those colours will keep their vibrancy, thanks to a special UV coating on the rooflight glass. The coating blocks the harmful rays that cause fabrics and furnishings to fade.
How can natural light improve my living space?
Natural light is one of the most valued commodities in the home. It makes your living area feel more spacious and creates the best task lighting for indoor activities such as reading, cooking and working. Sunlight is also linked to a number of positive health benefits. In research it has been shown to increase seratonin levels in the brain. This can help to improve your mood, sleep patterns and capacity for learning.
What if my property is overlooked?
If you are concerned about privacy, you can have a translucent coating applied to the glass panels. This will stop people seeing in without compromising the light levels.
What if the sun gets too much?
When the sun’s rays are particularly strong, solar control glass helps to maintain a comfortable temperature in the room.
On bright days you may want some control over the amount of light coming in through the rooflights. For such occasions there are blackout blinds, which can be fitted to the rooflights and closed, or partially closed, using a remote control.
Would you like to learn more about Roof Maker's modular rooflights? Read more about them here, or call our product experts on 0116 269 6297
Maintaining Your Rooflights: Roof Maker Guide
February 8, 2018
Maintaining your rooflights might seem like an unnecessary chore, especially when Roof Maker rooflights have a life expectancy of 30 years, but to give them the best possible chance of lasting that long whilst looking their best, you’ll need to do a bit of easy maintenance.
Rooflights are naturally more prone to dirt such as bird mess, air pollution and rainwater; but our easy clean glass coating helps to protect your window from this. The coating means that when the rain hits, it spreads out into a large sheet, instead of forming into droplets. The water then runs down the surface of the glass, wiping the dirt away with it.
While this means you won’t need to clean your rooflights as much as usual, there are still things you can do to care for them. Here, we’ll go through a step-by-step guide on how to make maintaining your rooflights a simple and easy job.
Cleaning the glass
Every six months, we recommend that you manually clean the interior and exterior of your glass. When cleaning the inside, start off by dusting away any cobwebs or dirt; then use a squeegee to clean the glass, with either soapy water or a glass-cleaning product. Avoid using any harsh chemicals, as that could damage the glass. To get a clear, streak-free finish, dry the glass with a lint-free cloth.
You can clean the exterior of the glass in the same way; just make sure you access the roof safely with a ladder, and never stand or lean on the rooflight unit.
You can find out more information on how to clean your rooflights here.
One thing to watch out for is condensation, which occurs when there is a drastic difference in temperature outside, compared to inside.
Condensation can be caused by everything from cooking to showering and drying clothes – essentially anything that creates moisture in the air. Over time, condensation can damage window frames, cause mildew and result in peeling or blistered paint.
To prevent condensation from occurring, use the extractor fan in your kitchen and bathroom, and avoid drying clothes in the house whenever possible.
Check your rooflight for leaks
Leaks become apparent when it rains; and they’re typically caused by damaged, deteriorating or incorrectly installed tiles. Other causes include improper flashing or siding installation, or damaged windowsills.
If your rooflight has a leak, then you’ll need to call a roofer to fix it. Another cause of leaks are ice dams, and these can be prevented in the first place. Ice dams are created when warm air escapes your house and melts the snow on your roof. If you see icicles hanging off the edge of your roof, then that indicates you may have an ice dam.
To reduce the amount of warm air escaping your roof, you need to make sure your home is properly insulated. Approximately 25% of heat escapes from an uninsulated roof, so it’s never too soon to insulate your attic.
Essentially, the easy clean coating on our rooflights means that they don’t require as much maintenance as others, to keep them well looked after. However, you do want to ensure that you follow the above steps every six months or so, to keep your windows at their best and you make sure that maintaining your rooflights doesn't become a too-regular chore.
Would you like to install some skylights in your home? Take a look at the different types of glass we offer here, all featuring their own unique benefits. Alternatively, if you have any further questions, get in touch with us on 0116 269 6292.
Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing: Making the Right Choice
January 22, 2018
If you’re looking to replace your windows or have a rooflight installed, it can be difficult deciding whether to choose double or triple glazing. Each carries their own benefits, so it’s more down to personal preference, as opposed to a right or wrong answer.
Read on as we uncover five tips to help you decide whether you should go for double or triple glazing.
What Is Triple Glazing?
Triple glazing is exactly what it sounds like: it contains three panes of glass within a sealed frame, as opposed to the traditional two found in double glazing. In between the panes of glass you’ll find air, or insulating gas such as argon.
Triple glazing is most popular in cold climates, such as Scandinavia. However, they’re growing in popularity across the UK, as many people are looking to reap the benefits from it.
High Insulation Levels
Both double and triple glazing will help to keep heat in the house; but with its extra layer of glass, triple glazing goes one step further.
To determine insulation levels, you can compare something called a Ug-value: the lower the Ug-value, the better insulated the window is. As a benchmark, a brick wall has a Ug-value of 2.0; whereas double glazed windows are 1.2, and a triple glazed window is 0.6.
If you’re looking to keep as much heat in your house as possible (helping to slash those energy bills), then triple glazed windows are the way forward. That’s not to say that double glazing isn’t effective at keeping heat in – it’s just that it doesn’t do it as well as triple glazed windows.
Find out more about the Ug-values in our different types of glass here.
It’s not just cold weather that homes across the country are trying to combat: come summer, many are prone to what is known as the “greenhouse effect”. This is particularly common in houses with south or west facing windows, where the sun shines in, making the room unbearably hot.
“Solar gains” in glass can help to reduce this heat, through temperature control. You can determine how well a window is at this with its g-value: the lower the percentage, the more effective the window is at controlling the temperature.
If you suffer from increasingly hot rooms in the summer, then triple glazing may be the ideal choice for you. Whereas double glazed windows have a g-value of 73%, triple glazed windows are between 35% - 63%.
Both double glazing and triple glazing offer unique benefits when it comes to costs; but it’s a question of how much you’re willing to initially invest.
The installation cost for double glazing is lower, but if you can pay the initial higher price for triple glazing, then you can reap the financial benefits later. Research has shown that if you replace single or old double glazed windows with triple glazing, you could cut your energy bills by 50%.
However, it’s important to take the rest of your house’s insulation properties into account, when working out the cost. If your home is old and poorly insulated, triple glazed windows won’t be as effective at cutting your energy bills.
If your home is already well insulated, or you will be taking steps to improve it; then cost-wise, triple glazing carries real benefits, as you won’t have “cold spots” (areas where heat is lost), like you would with double glazed windows. This will keep hot air trapped in, allowing you to use your heating less, and save money.
Condensation occurs when there is a drastic difference in temperatures. For houses that are well insulated, this is a contrast to the cold patches that double glazing creates, where heat escapes. That contrast can cause interior condensation.
Triple glazing on the other hand, reduces the likelihood of condensation: because it has a higher Ug-value, it means that there is less of a temperature difference between the glass and other areas of the house.
When deciding on double or triple glazing is especially important if your home is prone to condensation, especially as in the long-run, it can cause issues to window frames and paintwork. As condensation is caused when there is moisture in the air, activities like showering, cooking and drying your clothes inside can all be contributing factors.
As triple glazing is naturally thicker due to its third pane of glass, this carries both advantages and disadvantages, which should be taken into account when deciding between the two.
Thicker glass means your home is more secure, as it’s harder to break. It’s also more effective at blocking out noise – making triple glazing ideal if you live by a main road.
There is a downside to this however: triple glazed windows are heavier than double glazed. If you live in an older building, you’ll need to consider this, as the weight could potentially cause damage to your wall.
When comparing the two, triple glazing appears to be building on the benefits of double glazing. However, each carry their own advantages and disadvantages, which is why it can be difficult deciding between double or triple glazing.
Find out more information on our double and triple glazed rooflights here, or if you’d like to speak to an expert, simply give us a call on 0116 269 6297.
Review of the Year: Our 2017 Highlights
December 22, 2017
2017 has been an exciting year for us. From new product launches to interactive sections on our website, we really do have something to celebrate. We wanted to take a look at our Roof Maker 2017 highlights, as we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved… and we’re looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings us!
Launch of Our Interactive Map
How much time do you spend rushing around, oblivious to the beautiful architecture around you? We’re all guilty of it.
That’s why we wanted to celebrate some of the UK’s most stunning glass roofs, with our interactive map. From Liverpool Central Library to Birmingham New Street train station and Crystal Palace, these iconic buildings have beautiful glass roofs that are designed to let natural light flood in.
With our map, you can click anywhere in the country and see a selection of the UK’s most iconic glass roofs. But not only that, we wanted to see where in the country our rooflights were most popular: so, you can also see how many rooflights we’ve sold in different cities. We think it makes for some interesting viewing!
Interactive Rooflight Selector
We didn’t want to just stop there with the interactivity, so we also created an interactive rooflight selector.
Rooflights are a big investment, and we want to ensure that you choose the right ones for your home. With our skylight picker, you can now easily identify which window is right for you, depending where you want to install one in your home, and what your roof is like.
Simply click on each area of the interactive house to find out about our range of different skylights, and where they’re best suited to. Of course, if you have any more questions then just get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.
Four New Glazing Options
When it comes to purchasing your rooflight with us, you don’t just select the frame. In 2017, we launched four different types of glass for you to pick from.
Each type has been developed to combat a distinct need: energy saving, temperature control, noise pollution and security.
No matter which glass type you opt for, you can be sure that it will filter out up to 100% of harmful UV rays, and are low maintenance; featuring a special coating to protect against sources of dirt such as air pollution and bird mess.
Take a look at our four types of glass, and get started with building your own bespoke rooflights.
Our Most Popular Product: Fixed Flat Rooflights
Sometimes the simplest designs are the best. This year we launched our lower priced double glazed fixed flat rooflights, and they’ve since become our most popular product.
Providing exceptional heat insulation, noise reduction and light insulation, we can provide these non-opening rooflights in bespoke sizes at no extra cost.
Rise of Our Pitched Rooflights[caption id="attachment_1651" align="alignnone" width="900"] Luxlite on tiled roof[/caption]
We’re pleased that our pitched roof windows have been so popular, with a surge in sales over 2017.
If it’s a contemporary feel you’re after, then these are the rooflights for you. The inside view is frameless, allowing up to 49% more natural light to enter your home.
Our pitched windows were shortlisted for the “Best Roofing System or Product” at the BuildIt Awards 2017, and we’re really proud of the recognition they’ve achieved.
2017 saw an exciting collaboration for us with Reynaers, the industry-leading door manufacturer.
Their bi-fold doors all feature heavy duty hinges, premium handles and thermal insulation, which is perfect for the colder months.
The best part? They perfectly match our range of rooflights, so you can mix and match for a sleek and sophisticated feel in your home.
As 2017 draws to a close, we’ve enjoyed looking back and seeing the achievements we’ve made as a company. We’re also equally looking forward to the year ahead. What will 2018 bring us? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Leaking Skylight or Condensation? We Help You Decide
December 22, 2017
Leaking skylight or condensation? How to diagnose before getting a builder in
Condensation can easily be confused for a leak but in order to fix the issue, you need to know which of the two is causing water to drip into your home.
If you tend to notice water dripping during extreme temperature changes, rather than when it is raining, then it is likely that condensation rather than a leak is responsible.
Condensation is a sign that you have excessive moisture in your home. It’s most noticeable when there is a big temperature difference between the inside and outside of your home, like during winter.
Condensation may be affecting other parts of your home, like the walls or ceiling, but the window is one of the easiest places to spot it. Other signs of condensation include mildew and peeling or blistered paint.
You can prevent condensation by improving the insulation and ventilation in your home.
If you realise you have a leak, you need to know what is causing it because this will determine how it’s fixed.
If you notice the leak when it is raining, then this is likely to be caused by tiles being damaged, deteriorating or being installed incorrectly. Improper flashing or siding installation could also be responsible, or perhaps your window sills have been damaged. To fix the problem you need to hire a roofer.
Ice dams are another possible cause of leaking. They are created when warm air escapes into the attic and melts snow on the roof which later solidifies into an ice sheet like a glacier. You may notice you have icicles hanging off the edge of your roof when you have an ice dam.
To prevent ice dams you need to reduce the amount of warm air escaping and melting snow on the roof.
Frost or condensation build up
Another option to consider is that you may have frost or condensation building up in your attic. This is easy to mistake for a leak.
To fix this, you need to prevent air leaking into the attic and improve the insulation and ventilation, so moist air can escape from the roof.
For more information, talk to our experts
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your rooflights maintenance, please call 0116 214 7066 to speak to one of our experts.
The Roof Maker Guide to our Four Glass Types
December 6, 2017
Did you know that when you have your Roof Maker rooflights installed, you can pick from four different types of glass? Each one has its own unique features, and can be combined to fit your precise requirements. Energy saving, temperature control, noise pollution and security: which ones will you choose? Here's a guide to our four glass types in a handy infographic "The Roof Maker Guide to our four glass types"
Don’t forget that they’re all low maintenance, have been built to last, and filter out up to 100% of harmful UV rays. If you have any more questions, then get in touch with us today – we’d be happy to help. Or, if you want more help choosing a rooflight, why not try out our Rooflight Selector.
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Should you get a new rooflight when you replace your roof?
November 30, 2017
Should you get a new rooflight when you replace your roof?
Deciding whether to get a new rooflight when you are replacing your roof can be a tricky decision, as can deciding which rooflight you need.
You can either keep your existing rooflight and reflash it, or replace it with a new one. Although keeping your current rooflight may appear to be the more cost effective option, this may not be the case once you take into account how reliable the end result will be.
Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:
How long before you’ll need a new rooflight
If you are experiencing any leaks or condensation then you probably need a new rooflight anyway. You may consider fixing rather than replacing your rooflight but the cost involved means you are better off paying extra to get a new one instead.
It’s also worth considering how long the seal on your rooflight is likely to last. If it’s not going to last much longer, that’s a good sign you need to replace your rooflight.
How long before the warranty runs out
If your warranty is about to run out, then it’s not worth keeping your existing rooflight and you should probably change your rooflight when you replace your roof.
Getting a new rooflight, with a new warranty, means your two warranties will be synchronised, so you can do any future work at the same time.
Risk of leaks and breaking the seal
Re-roofing is bound to disturb the area around your rooflight and could damage it too.
Reflashing can also be risky and increase the chances of breaking the seal, or causing a leak. Such damage could invalidate your warranty, so you’ll end up needing to pay for a new rooflight anyway.
Benefits of the latest technology
If you bought your rooflight a while back, there’s likely to be new technology that’s emerged since then.
Re-roofing is a good opportunity to upgrade your rooflight, so you can take advantage of the latest technology.
You can get much more energy efficient rooflights, which will help keep your home warmer in winter and save money on your energy bills. You can also get handy features like a rain sensor that triggers your window to close automatically and keep your home dry in wet weather.
Given the risk involved in reflashing, we generally advise replacing old rooflights when you replace your roof.
You’ll save money in the long run and minimise the risk of damage.
How do I Stop Condensation on Rooflights?
October 31, 2017
How do I stop condensation on rooflights?
Your home is bound to hold some moisture produced by everyday activities like cooking and showering. Even breathing adds to moisture in the air.
When there is a big temperature difference between the outdoors and indoors, like during winter, this can result in condensation on windows.
You may notice condensation on your rooflight window because warm air, which holds more moisture, tends to rise and then liquefy when it comes into contact with a cool surface. This doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your rooflight but it is worth checking it has been installed correctly.
When your rooflight is installed, felt should be added between the frame and rough opening to help prevent condensation. When this is not done, you may notice water dripping because of moist air from your room coming into contact with cladding and you need to act swiftly to stop condensation on rooflights.
Signs your home has too much condensation
A few signs can indicate that you have excessive condensation in your home, including:
- Mildew on walls and window seals
- Bubbling or peeling paint
- Damage to floor tiles
- Deteriorating furniture
- Rotting in the structural wood in walls
If your house has condensation, you are better off tackling it before it becomes a bigger problem. It may even be causing problems you can’t see.
The best way to prevent condensation in your home is to make sure it is properly ventilated and that air is allowed to circulate. You can help do this by taking the following steps:
- Open your windows for an hour or two every day
- Open your curtains and blinds to allow air to circulate
- Use thick curtains to make windows warmer
- Use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom
- Install double glazing
- If you have a furnace, make sure it is letting in fresh air
- Use a dehumidifier
- Insulate your home
- Use a ceiling fan
- Ensure moist air is vented properly from appliances like washing machines and tumble dryers
- Avoid drying clothes indoors as much as possible
How our rooflights help prevent condensation
At Roof Maker, all of our Reflex® glass units are constructed with super spacers and the frames themselves make clever use of insulation and thermal breaks. This reduces cold spots on the inside of the rooflight, which helps prevent internal condensation.
For more information, talk to our experts
If you require further advice or would like to discuss any how to stop condensation on rooflights or any other aspect of your rooflight’s maintenance, please call 0116 269 6297 to speak to one of our experts.
Rooflight Installation Guide: Can I install rooflights myself?
September 12, 2017
Can I install rooflights myself?
Yes, you can either fit our rooflights yourself or get them fitted by a builder.
If you choose to install them yourself, you’ll need to ensure that the hole in your roof has been prepped so that the rooflight can slot securely into place. You can do this by applying silicon to your timber upstand, before fixing the aluminium cap down to the roof.
Once that has been done, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:
Assemble the frame
Start by bolting all glazing bars to the ridge ends, using an Allen key to tighten if needed.
Remove the yellow backing film from the security glazing tape on the central ridge and hip, then glaze with a toughened glass unit. Be careful not to break this – you can use the 1mm packers provided to protect the edge from touching the aluminium.
Use structural silicon to fill the gaps at the top and base of the ridge, followed by 100mm up and down the sides of the glass unit. You’ll need to ensure there are no gaps, otherwise water can leak through. The silicon sets quickly, so make sure you’ve clicked the thermal breaks into place in time. This can be done by either hand or mallet.
Now you can screw the frame together at the bottom of the hip caps, making sure not to screw too tightly.
Slide the aluminium covers into place from above, followed by the ridge covers and hips. You can apply more silicon to the ridge end to fill in the gaps between the aluminium – this should ensure that the ridge and covers are fixed firmly into place.Finally, apply structural silicon to the underside edge, filling the cavity under the corners. Screw the hip glazing bar and cages into place, then flash the rooflight to help it with weatherproofing.
Join the glass
Once the frame has been assembled, you can join the glass. Start with the h-section as you place it onto the frame. Once that’s been aligned, you can glaze the remaining panels, before applying structural silicon along the h-section and vent (if you have one).
Apply the gasket onto the h-section cover strip and fix into place. You can use a mallet to fix this firmly into place, but you may need some additional support on the other side of the glass.
Now you just need to remove any leftover tape and clean the rooflight, then it’s ready to be fitted into your roof.
Rooflight Installation Videos
We have a selection of installation videos on our YouTube channel, including slimline installation and flat roof installation guides.
For more information, talk to our experts
If you're still wondering 'can I install rooflights myself?' or if you have further questions about anything you have read here, Roof Maker’s expert team will be happy to advise you. Just call us on 0116 269 6297.
How do I Measure Roof Pitch? The Roof Maker Guide
September 12, 2017
How do I measure roof pitch?
Before you get your rooflight installed, it’s important you measure your roof pitch. Roof pitch simply means the steepness or slope of your roof.
When you’re measuring roof pitch you’re working out the ‘run’, which is the horizontal distance between the peak of the roof and the wall, and the ‘rise’, which is the height of the peak above the wall. Sometimes you might even measure the ‘span’, which refers to the distance between the walls.
If you're ready to measure roof pitch, there are a couple of ways to do this – both of which are fairly simple.
Tools required to measure a roof pitch
- Carpenter’s level – a straight bar of metal with a spirit level in it.
- Tape measure
- Calculator (or a good head for maths!)
Measuring from the rafters
As there’s no roofing material here to cause an uneven surface, measuring from the rafters should give you a very accurate measurement. You can either take the roof pitch measurement from the rafter in the attic, the overhang of a rafter in the roof, or even a barge rafter at the side of the gable.
Position one end of the carpenter’s level against the underside of the rafter, and adjust until the bubble is centred between the two lines.
You’ll now need to find the 12-inch/30cm mark on the carpenter’s level. If yours doesn’t have markings then don’t worry: just measure it with a tape measure and draw on the 12-inch mark.
Now you need to measure the vertical distance from the carpenter’s level to rafter. When you measure the distance from the 12-inch/30cm mark to the underside of the rafter, make sure your carpenter’s level stays in position.
Now you can work out your roof pitch, which is the ratio of rise to run.
Measuring from the roof surface
The alternative option to measuring your roof pitch in the rafters is to measure it on the roof surface. Be careful here and make sure that it’s safe to walk on, you don’t want to injure yourself!
Once you’re safely on the roof, place your carpenter’s level against the roof and adjust until the bubble is between the two lines. If your roof is particularly bumpy, then it’s worthwhile laying a flat board down so that you can get an accurate reading.
You’ll then need to measure the vertical distance from roof to level, holding the 0-mark of the tape measure against the roof and extending upwards so that it’s perpendicular to the carpenter’s level. Once the tape measure has reached the 12-inch/30cm mark, write down the vertical distance measurement.
Now you can work out the pitch slope as rise over run.
If you don’t have a calculator to hand, then a quick Google search will bring up loads of roof pitch calculators that you can input your measurements into.
For further advice, talk to the experts.
If you have further questions about how to measure roof pitch, or anything else you have read here, Roof Maker’s expert team will be happy to advise you. Just call us on 0116 269 6297.
What are the Maximum Allowable Ug-values in the Latest Building Regulations?
September 12, 2017
What are the maximum allowable Ug-values in the latest Building Regulations?
As the cost of energy continues to rise, so does the demand for effective insulation.
High-performance insulation is a sustainable solution to the problem of heat loss. It retains the warmth generated by heating appliances and prevents it from escaping through walls, doors and windows.
What is a Ug-value?
The Ug-value of a product is a measure of its insulation properties. The lower the Ug-value, the better the insulation.
Ug-values are measured in Watts per square metre, per degree Kelvin (W/m²K).
As a guide, here are some products and their typical/average Ug-values:
|Solid timber door||3.0 W/m²K|
|Solid brick wall||2.0 W/m²K|
|Cavity wall with no insulation||1.5 W/m²K|
|Insulated wall||0.18 W/m²K|
|Single-glazed window||5.3 W/m²K|
|Double-glazed window||2.8 W/m²K|
|Triple-glazed window||1.0 W/m²K|
|Roof Maker double glazing||0.6 W/m²K|
You can see how the Ug-value comes down with each layer of insulation.
There is a demand for high performance.
Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for their energy.
As prices have increased, many consumers have become savvier about finding ways to economise and make the energy they use go further.
For example, they understand that having effective home insulation means their heating appliances don’t have to work so hard to maintain a steady temperature.
To meet this demand and to satisfy environmental objectives, building standards have also tightened, calling for Ug-values to be continually reduced.
What are the maximum allowable Ug-values?
The current Building Regulations were last updated in 2016.
The maximum allowable Ug-values are specified in Approved Document L, which deals with the conservation of fuel and power.
The following maximum Ug-values are taken from Table 2, which can be found on page 15 of the Approved Document L1A.
|Party wall||0.2 W/m²K|
|Swimming pool basin||0.25 W/m²K|
|Roof windows, glazed rooflights||2.0 W/m²K|
|Pedestrian doors||2.0 W/m²K|
Notional domestic building Ug-values.
The Building Regulations also set out Ug-values for the notional domestic building.
If a home is constructed entirely to these notional specifications, it will meet the CO2 and fabric energy efficiency targets and the limiting values for individual fabric elements and buildings services.
These Ug-values are substantially reduced when compared to the maximum allowable.
The Ug-values for the notional domestic building are as follows:
|Party Wall||0.00 W/m²K|
|Roof windows, glazed rooflights||1.40 W/m²K|
|Glazed doors||1.40 W/m²K|
Roof Maker Ug-values. So now we know the maximum allowable and notional Ug-values, let’s see how Roof Maker products compare.
|Product:||Maximum Ug-value:||Notional Ug-value:||Roof Maker Ug-value:|
|Roof windows, glazed rooflights||2.0 W/m²K||1.40 W/m²K||0.6—1.0 W/m²K|
|Glazed bi-fold doors||2.0 W/m²K||1.40 W/m²K||0.6 W/m²K|
As you can see, Roof Maker’s glazed products have extremely low Ug-values — even lower than the notional specification suggested in the Building Regulations.
For builders, there is peace of mind that the product complies with current regulations.
For homeowners/buyers there is the benefit of exceptional insulation, which will keep heating bills down.
For more information, talk to our experts
For further information on our rooflights, glazing options or the maximum allowable Ug-values, please call 0116 269 6297to speak to one of our experts.
How do I keep my rooflight clean? The Roof Maker Guide
August 23, 2017
Rooflights can be more at risk of dirt from bird droppings, tree sap, vehicle pollution and rainwater. So keeping rooflights clean is a common concern.
Easy clean glass as standard.
All Roof Maker rooflights are supplied with an easy clean glass coating.
This special feature helps to keep rooflights clean for longer.
How does easy clean glass work?
The coating works in two ways: using light from the sun and water from the rain.
When the sun’s rays shine on the glass, its coating attacks any organic, carbon-based dirt on the rooflight and breaks it into small particles the rain can wash away.
As rain hits the coated glass, instead of forming into droplets, it spreads out into a large sheet. The sheet of water runs down the surface of the glass, like a squeegee, taking the dirt with it and leaving you with a sparkling, streak and smear-free rooflight.
Cleaning your rooflight.
In addition to the easy clean coating, it is recommended to manually clean you rooflight every six months.
To clean the interior of your rooflight:
- Where possible, move your furniture from under the rooflight and spread plastic
- sheeting to catch dirt and spills.
- Begin by dusting to get rid of loose dirt and cobwebs.
- Clean the glass using a squeegee with warm soapy water, or any glass cleaning product
- Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
- Dry the rooflight with a soft, lint-free cloth for a clear, streak-free finish.
To clean the exterior of your rooflight:
- Always use a specialist roof ladder to access the rooflight safely.
- Never stand or lean on the rooflight unit.
- Add mild detergent to a bucket and carry the bucket to the roof before filling with warm water from a hosepipe.
- Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
- Clean the rooflight, its surround and fixings using the soapy water and a nonabrasive cloth or squeegee.
Always use ladders correctly and with extreme care.
If you are not confident working at height, we recommend hiring a professional.
For more information about keeping rooflights clean, talk to our experts
If you require further advice or would like to discuss any aspect of your rooflight’s maintenance, please call 0116 269 6297 to speak to one of our experts.
Setting the right pitch for your flat rooflight
August 23, 2017
If you're wondering "What pitch should my flat rooflights be?", we recommend that our flat rooflights are installed with a minimum five-degree pitch to comply with building regulations and help preserve your rooflight and property.
The pitch is important because it allows rain or standing water to drain from the roof, which works in partnership with our easy-clean coating to keep your rooflight looking perfect for longer. And, or course, if you've chosen an opening rooflight, this pitch will help prevent water dropping down into your property if you open it before standing water has had chance to evaporate.
If you don't have a pitch and your rooflight is completely flat (or at a pitch of less than five degrees) rainwater will pool instead of running off into drainpipes or gutters. Once the pooled water evaporates, it can leave dirt behind which can stain the glass.
Creating a five-degree pitch
If your flat roof doesn’t have a pitch of five-degrees or more , then the angle will need to be achieved by creating a small timber frame. It doesn't cost much to construct and is relatively easy to do. You, or your installer, will just need to make sure it is of the correct size and has the required pitch built into it, from front to back, so water runs off it easily.
Don't forget - unlike some of our competitors, our rooflights also have an Easy Clean nano coating which encourages dirt to run off rather than stick to the glass.
For further advice, talk to the experts
If you have further questions about anything you have read here, check out our rooflight selector or give us a call. Roof Maker’s expert team will be happy to advise you. Just call us on 0116 269 6297
What sizes should I measure?
August 23, 2017
Before ordering your Roof Maker products, it is essential that you understand how to go about measuring for a rooflight, and make sure you have the correct sizes.
The general process for measuring for a rooflight is described below. However, there are additional considerations for certain products. These are explained underneath.
- The measurement we work from is the size of the internal hole — so measure the size of the hole you want to create and we'll make a rooflight to fit
- If you want to leave the black aluminium frame showing, you should include finish plasterboard. If not, give us the size of the hole before plastering.
- Rooflights are designed using a 70mm wide aluminium kerb detail profile, which can sit on a minimum 70mm wide x 25mm deep timber frame.
Fixed flat rooflight
This can be supplied as a modular product, which joins together in modules of 2000mm x 1200mm. This will allow sizes of up to 10,000mm x 1200mm or 10,000mm x 2000mm.
O-lite round rooflight
The maximum size we currently offer for this rooflight is 1500mm.
Pitched roof windows
If you are ordering the hinged version of our Luxlite rooflight, make sure you allow an additional 130mm between your rafters for the rooflight to fit into.
TIP: Bear in mind that a sliding window will also need an equivalent space to one side of it, so it has space to slide open safely. You do not need to include this in your measurement when ordering.
For more information, talk to our rooflight experts
We hope that you found this guide useful and informative. Don't forget, we always here to assist, so if you require further advice on measuring for a rooflight, or if you need help choosing, please call 0116 269 6297 to speak to one of our experts.
Will my rooflight be noisy if it rains?
August 23, 2017
A question we're sometimes asked is "are rooflights noisy when it rains?". We all want our home or workplace to be quiet and peaceful most of the time, so we totally understand that sound insulation is important when choosing a rooflight. That's is why we've carefully designed our rooflights to minimise noise from rainfall. We do this through a number of innovative manufacturing techniques and a thorough analysis of all of the component parts we source from around the world prior to assembly in our UK factory.
Designed with noise insulation in mind
When designing our rooflights, decades of experience has given us all the evidence we need to judge which characteristics are crucial to minimising noise:
- Using extra panes of glass where possible, which incidentally improve the rooflight's energy efficiency too
- A greater distance between panes of glass, giving us the opportunity to use a greater amount of harmless gas between them
- Thicker panes of glass than many of our competitors
- A secure sealing between the window and roof
Unlike most of our compeititors, Roof Maker's rooflights have the following high-quality specifications:
- Triple-glazing as standard on several products, including our Slimline roof lantern
- 6mm toughened safety glass instead of the 4mm industry standard
- 16mm gap between the panes
- Double argon filled cavities to further minimise noise and reduce heat loss
- Foam spacer to reduce noise and provide extra thermal insulation
- Built-in structural upstand with three insulating cavities
Bi-fold doors noise insulation
Although we know longer sell them, existing customers should be reassured that we used the same glazing in our bi-folding doors.
For further advice, talk to the experts.
If you're still worried about whether rooflights are noisy when it rains, or for further information about whether on any of our products, please call 0116 269 6297 to speak to one of our experts. If you're unsure which is the best rooflight for your property, why not try our rooflight selector?
What guarantees and warranties do Roof Maker offer?
August 23, 2017
When you buy directly from us you will enjoy all the benefits of one of our full manufacturer Roof Maker Guarantees.
The warranty you’ll receive is for the product itself, as opposed to the installation. However, if we install your roof lanterns or doors, we are likely to offer the same length warranty for the installation, as for the product.
We are so confident in the quality of our products, that we offer some of the best guarantees and warranties on the market.
This quick-reference guide will help to answer any questions you may have about your Roof Maker Guarantee
Our double and triple-glazed units offer exceptional durability and are designed to stand the test of time.
Unit seal warranty
All Reflex® and Reflex+ double and triple-glazed units are supplied with a 20-year unit seal warranty from the date of invoice.
The sign of a unit seal failure is a build up of condensation, or mist, within the sealed cavity. If this happens within the 20-year warranty period, the unit will be replaced free of charge provided that:
- The original glass unit is returned to our factory for a full examination; and
- The seals have not been damaged during fitting or glazed incorrectly
Roof Maker Guarantees have a credit-on-return policy, which means payment for the replacement glass unit is made first. Then, if the faulty unit is examined and it is agreed that a seal failure has occurred, a refund will be issued for the cost of the unit and delivery charge.
Please note that Roof Maker is only responsible for replacing the faulty unit and not for any other consequential costs.
All rooflight and roof lantern glazing systems are covered by a 10-year guarantee against discolouration, cracking, shape deterioration and component failure.
Please note that the glazing bars and aluminium frames will not be covered if they have been subject to any sort of aggressive chemical cleaning.
Aluminium sections are guaranteed against bending, cracking and breakage under normal use and within normal environments.
Please note that installation, sealing and waterproofing are not covered by the guarantee and are the responsibility of the installer or roofer.
Electrical components within the roof, such as motors, switches and climate control units, are supplied with a 1-year guarantee. If they fail within this period, they will be repaired or replaced free of charge.
Consequential costs of these failures are not covered in any event.
Full Roof Maker guarantees and warranty information can be found on our website.
For more information, talk to our experts
For further information on any of our products, please call 0116 269 6297to speak to one of our experts.
What are your payment terms?
August 23, 2017
Roof Maker payment terms offer two different options, depending on your order, and a range of payment methods. This makes it easy for you to buy the products you want.
Roof Maker payment terms for normal orders
The Roof Maker payment terms for normal orders are strictly pro-forma.
The payment methods we accept are as follows:
- Bank transfer
TIP: Paying by Visa or Mastercard will insure the product and your risk. Depending on which card you have, it will also give you up to 60 days free credit.
For larger orders
If your order is larger, or does not require immediate delivery, you can pay a 50% deposit at the time you place the order, then pay the remaining balance just before your product is delivered or collected.
For more information, talk to our experts
If you require further advice before you place your order, please call 0116 269 6297 to speak to one of our experts, or use our 30 second product selector.
What glazing types do you offer?
July 26, 2017
Roof Maker glazing types are made from 6mm toughened safety glass with argon filled cavities separated by an Edgetech foam spacer. Our rooflights are supplied with triple or double glazing which offers excellent thermal and noise insulation.
The combined cavities in the double glazed windows are 24mm wide in total and those in the triple glazed windows are 50mm wide.Take a look at our infographic to find out more:
What is the largest size skylight you could make for me?
July 24, 2017
If you're looking for the biggest skylights, you've come to the right place. Roof Maker are known across the industry for producing a very wide range of sizes, shapes and types of rooflight.
For example, if you're looking for a pyramid or stretched pyramid rooflight, our slimline roof lanterns can go up to 2000mm in width with a corresponding length of 4000mm.
To give your rooflight or skylight tremendous thermal and noise control performance, we use triple or double glazed glass. To support the weight of this high quality product, if you need a lantern between 4000mm and 6000mm, the maximum width is 1600mm. Similarly, for rooflight units more than 6000mm in length, the maximum width is 1200mm.
Our circular rooflights make a real statement in a contemporary property, and give an instant 'wow' factor. That's why we can make a Roof Maker O-lite round rooflight with an impressive 1500mm diameter.
If you're looking for a simple flat rooflight, but want to create a 'sky roof' effect with multiple panes of glass letting light flood in, you don't need to order multiple rooflights and have them installed in close proximity to each other. Instead, we also offer our fixed flat rooflight as a modular skylight. In other words, a single frame with glazing bars to support separate panes of glass. We can do this rooflight up to some incredible sizes, so why not phone our sales team on 0116 214 5839 for advice on the maximum sizes.
Please note, larger roof lanterns require additional glazing bars.
For more information about the biggest skylights we offer, talk to our experts
If you have further questions about anything you have read here, try our product selector or pick up the phone. Roof Maker’s expert team will be happy to advise you. Just call us on 0116 269 6297.
Do your rooflights come in different colours?
July 20, 2017
Here at Roof Maker we offer a wide range of different skylight colours for their frames, and indeed different tints across our wide range of glazing options.
Whether you can have your exact requirements can depend on the model you're looking at. But remember, our rooflights do come in a number of different tints and frame colours that you can choose from.
All our rooflights are available in following tints:
- Clear Tint - Standard free option and our most popular choice
- Light Blue Tint - Prevents the sun’s harsh glare and protects furniture from fading over time. It can also be a bit easier to live with if you're sensitive to strong light
- Privacy Tint - Provides privacy because you can’t see through this glass from either side but natural filtered light is still let in. Perfect for bathrooms, windows overlooking busy areas or perhaps if live next to a tall block of flats
Aluminium Frame Colours
Our fixed flat rooflights are available in the following two frame colours:
- Satin Black (RAL9005)
- Satin Grey (RAL7016)
For the slimline rooflights, you can choose any RAL colour combination you wish to have. Just get in touch with us to find our more details.
You’ll also find more information on the different options for skylight colours and how much they cost in each of the individual product descriptions. Or, if you want more help deciding, get in touch or use our handy product selector.
For more information, talk to our experts
If you require further information about skylight colours, or anything else, one of our experts will be only too happy to help. Simply call 0116 214 7117 to speak to one of our team today.
Can I see your products in person?
July 18, 2017
Yes, our Roof Maker showroom in Leicester welcomes both trade and residential customers. Here you can see our range of products and our manufacturing facilities.
Our experienced sales team will be on hand to take you around the Roof Maker showroom and answer any questions or demonstrate the product features - such as the manual or electric opening roof vents which provide natural ventilation. Their specialist knowledge and advice can help you choose the perfect product to transform your home.
You will also have the opportunity to test our Walk on Glass Rooflights.
Where is your showroom?
Our state-of-the-art Roof Maker showroom is currently based in a landmark building in Leicester.
The address is:
1 Pinfold Road
What are your opening times?
We are open Monday to Saturday at the following times:
Monday to Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Can I make an appointment?
Of course, our team will be more than happy to schedule an appointment for you. To arrange this, call us on 0116 269 6297.
How do I cover my rooflights to keep out unwanted light?
July 14, 2017
Rooflights are a stunning addition to your home and are a great way to maximise daylight. However, for those extra sunny days, when you want more control over the light coming into your room, we have you covered.
Blackout rooflight blinds
Roof Maker offers you the option to add blackout blinds to your rooflights, which block out all incoming light.
They can also be stopped at the point you choose, so you can have a partial or a full blackout.
How do the rooflight blinds work?
The blinds are powered by a supplied mains adapter and come with a wall mountable remote control which has open, close and stop functions. You can also program a “favourite” position for your optimum comfort.
What styles are available?
These rooflight blinds can be fitted with all of our available rooflights. To ensure the blinds fit in with the interior design of your home, we offer two colours - black or white.
Our blinds are 100% polyester and made of a pleated material with matching motors and internal trims.
Do the blinds have warranty?
Yes! Our blinds’ electrics have a unique 5 year guarantee.
For more information, talk to our experts
If you have further questions about anything you have read here, Roof Maker’s expert team will be happy to advise you.
Can my opening rooflight have rain or window sensors fitted?
July 14, 2017
An opening rooflight gives you two distinct benefits: natural daylight and fresh air. But what if it rains suddenly and you are not around to close it? And how can you be sure your rooflight is secure? You need an automatic rain sensor.
Rain sensors fitted as standard.
Each opening rooflight in the Roof Maker range has a built-in rain sensor. The rain sensor will close the window automatically as soon as rain spots are detected.
So, if you haven’t noticed it’s raining or you don’t have immediate access to the controller, the rain sensor will do it for you.
Window sensors work with your alarm system.
Roof Maker rooflights are designed to be robust and secure. For your added security and peace of mind, your rooflight can be fitted with a third party window sensor, which will link to your security system. Please note, we don’t currently supply window sensors as an upgrade, but they are available from 3rd party vendors.
If the rooflight is opened while the security system is equipped, the sensor will send a signal to the main control panel and the alarm will sound.
How do window sensors work?
Most window sensors comprise two pieces. One piece attaches to the rooflight frame and the other to the opening window.
When the rooflight is closed, the two component parts should sit next to each other. If the rooflight should open, the two parts will separate from each other and this will activate the alarm.
The sensors can be wired into the alarm system or run wirelessly using batteries. If you choose the battery option, you should check the batteries regularly to make sure they are not low on power.
How do the sensors attach to the rooflight?
The sensors can be fixed with adhesive, but some adhesives can break down over time — or as a result of exposure to humidity and the sun.
Are other sensors available?
You could also consider installing a shatter sensor. This infra-red sensor is triggered by the sound and vibrations of the window breaking.
For further advice, talk to the experts.
If you have further questions about anything you have read here, Roof Maker’s expert team will be happy to advise you.
Take the LuxliteTM challenge and win £150 off your order!
July 6, 2017
Why compromise on one the most important decisions when improving your living area and lifestyle by fitting traditional wooden or PVC roof windows?
ROOF Maker’s LuxliteTM aluminium rooflights for pitched roofs are designed to give a frameless finish providing up to 49%* more natural light than other traditional roof windows! LuxliteTM is also the most energy efficient pitched roof window on the market with a Ug-value of just 0.6!
We are so confident in our product that if you find a frameless design with a Ug-value of 0.6 or better we will give you £150 off your order!**
Call us on 0116 269 6297or view our LuxliteTM product here and get a quote online today!
The Luxlite challenge is based upon finding a frameless design (no frame visible from the inside) with a Ug-value of 0.6 or better. When you present your evidence please make sure:
- That the price and rooflight specification are visible. This can take the form of a screenshot from a competitor website or a formal quote in the form of a PDF document.
- The LuxliteTM challenge offer excludes delivery costs.
- Once you’ve made a purchase with us, the Luxlite challenge no longer applies.
- Make a claim by calling our sales team on 0116 269 6297
*49% more lights transmission is based upon a 500x 500 LuxliteTM rooflight vs other like for like traditional pitched rooflights**Terms and Conditions
How to choose the right rooflight
July 4, 2017
Installing a rooflight can transform your property, flooding dull or dark rooms with beautiful, natural light, but a lot of people need help to choose the right rooflight.
We have developed this handy guide to help you choose the right Roof Maker rooflight for you, your needs and your property.
Understanding the features and options.
Flat roofs and pitched roofs
The type of roof you have will choose the right rooflight for you.
Fixed flat rooflights are designed for use on flat roofs and can brighten up any flat roof extension. For an even more stunning architectural feature, you could consider a pyramid rooflight, slimline roof lantern or circular O-lite design.
Our LuxliteTM roof windows are designed specifically for tiled or slate pitched roofs. Adding a pitched roof window can help transform your loft into valuable extra living space.
Single and multi-pane glass panels Flat, single-pane rooflights are a good choice for flat or pitched roofs and opening options are available for both.
Multi-pane rooflights have a number of angled glass panels, which draw in light from all directions. These rooflights are specifically for flat roofs and some designs can also open up to ventilate your room.
Glazing options Triple glazing offers you the very best in heat insulation and noise reduction. All rooflights are available with triple glazing and some models are triple glazed as standard.
Opening rooflights Some of our rooflights are designed to open, giving you the benefit of increased daylight and ventilation. Opening rooflights are ideal for warm rooms, like kitchens and bathrooms, where they can also help to remove steam and cooking smells.
Two opening mechanisms are available: hinged or sliding. Hinged opening rooflights are chain-actuated and open via a wall-mounted rocker switch. Slide opening rooflights are operated by a remote control which allows either full or partial opening.
Glass coatings Standard coatings help to keep your rooflight clean and block damaging UV rays, which can fade your fabrics and furnishings. Additional coating options include glare-reducing tints or an opaque finish for privacy if your roof is overlooked.
At a glance product guide
This table makes it easy to compare the features of the products in the range:
What to do next
For full product information and a FREE QUOTE:
Simply click on the images below:
|pyramid rooflight||fixed flat rooflight|
|[caption id="attachment_1849" align="aligncenter" width="150"] O-Lite round rooflights[/caption]||sliding roof lantern||hinged opening rooflight||
For further advice or help to choose the right rooflight:
Call 0116 269 6297 to speak to one of our highly experienced advisors, or to book an appointment at our Leicester showroom.
To see our rooflight range up close:
Visit our Leicester showroom to experience our products in person.
Roof-Maker Ltd 1 Pinfold Road, Thurmaston Leicester, LE4 8AS
Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm Saturday 9.00am to 4.00pm Sunday Closed
Planting tips for a gorgeous roof garden
June 16, 2017
Roof gardens are a great option for getting a little closer to nature if you don’t have enough outdoor space. They can create a little haven for you and for wildlife like birds and butterflies too.
Here’s how you can set up your own roof garden and pick plants that will thrive in it:
Setting up your roof garden
To begin with, you need to make sure your property can safely handle the extra weight of having a garden on top of it. A structural engineer can tell you if this is the case.
If you don’t already have access to your rooftop, you might want to install an opening rooflight, such as one of our sliding rooflights.
If you do have access to your rooftop then perhaps you might consider a walk-on glass rooflight. These are made from toughened glass so they can deal with the weight of people walking over them. Walk on rooflights can add that wow-factor to your roof garden, as well as providing additional light into the room below.
You also need to make sure you are not breaching any local building regulations. Then there are the practicalities of maintaining a roof garden. Consider if you have a good water source and sufficient drainage.
Roof gardens tend to be exposed to windy conditions, so you need containers that won’t be toppled over easily. Opt for containers that are low and wide rather than tall and thin. You may also need to fix them. To help with the wind exposure, you can use a wire mesh around your garden. You can also use windbreak plants like certain waxy cuticles or climbers.
Choosing the right containers will also help keep your plants alive and healthy. The wind and sun exposure on roofs means plants are likely to lose moisture quickly, so containers made from non-porous materials, like metal or plastic, are better than others like terracotta, which lose moisture. You can also use containers with drainage holes in their base.
Using soil and compost
Because roof garden plants have less access to nutrients, your compost needs to provide them with plenty of nourishment. To retain moisture, you can also mix materials like perlite into your compost.
Choose lightweight soil specifically for rooftop gardens.
Plants that grow well on roof gardens
Plants that naturally thrive in sunny and windy settings, like coastal or mountain areas, are your best bet.
The Rock Rose (Cistus) is a colourful aromatic evergreen plant that blossoms in hot sunny weather but can also withstand colder temperature of up to -5°C.
Other aromatic evergreens like rosemary and thyme also do well in sunny, dry and windy conditions. When it’s hot, the oil from the plants give off a lovely scent. Oregano, a Mediterranean rocky hill native, is another wonderfully fragrant choice.
Grasses and succulents
Ornamental grasses can help add a touch of drama to your roof garden. Juniper and phlomis, which are common on Mediterranean hillsides, are a good choice as are pinks and thrifts, which do well on rocky coastal landscapes.
Succulents are particularly trendy at the moment but they have always been a staple for roof gardens. Stonecrop (Sedum spp) is the most established roof garden succulent and comes in a huge variety of colours.
Although flowers require more maintenance than other plants, the colour they add makes it worth it for many gardeners. Gazanias, also called the African daisy, comes in a variety of colours from yellow to red and is sometimes two-toned. The only care they need is being watered occasionally, even though they are generally drought-proof.
Swiss trailing gereniums are popular around Europe, where their vividly coloured pink and red flowers can be seen tumbling down balconies and hanging baskets.They require little care apart from being watered and occasionally cutting off wilted flowers.
Fuschias do well in containers and can even survive in full shade which makes them a great choice for adding some vibrant colour to your roof garden.
If you prefer the look of wild flowers, Aster alpinus is a gorgeous choice with its thin purple petals and yellow centre - butterflies love this alpine flower too. Yarrow, another wild flower, is commonly used as a medicinal plant and is a great choice for rooftop gardens because it is very hardy. When in bloom, between June and November, it creates a beautiful bed of white flowers. You’ll need to buy cultivated yarrow since wild yarrow is a weed.
If you’d like to get more than beauty from your garden, there are several vegetables that will do well on rooftops. Lettuce, courgettes, spinach, kale and swiss chard are all good choices. You may also have some success with cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Glass Roof Designs Around the UK: An Interactive Map
May 9, 2017
So much of our lives are spent rushing around that we rarely take the time to appreciate the spectacular architecture around us. Have you ever noticed some of the impressive glass roof designs all around the UK?
Some of our most iconic glass roofs designs can be seen at public places like train stations and shopping malls, where they are designed to let the natural light flood in through a wide variety of sizes, shapes and glass options.
We've mapped out some of the most stunning glass work designs in a selection of the UK's cities. From beautiful Victorian iron and glass roofs, to magnificent modern glass structures, we’re sure you’ll be inspired to look up next time you’re out and about. And because we’ve sold our lantern, pitched and flat rooflights all over the country, we were curious to find out where they’re most popular. Seeing how the numbers vary regionally was quite an eye opener!
Simply click on each city to see the iconic glass roof designs and how many rooflights we've sold in that area.
If you’d like to increase the natural light in your home, why not contact us to find out how we can help?
The Effects of Natural Light on the Human Body
May 5, 2017
Did you know that rooflights can have a positive effect on your health of the human body? It's because of the natural light and ventilation they let into your living or working environment.
From strengthening the immune system to helping treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), your mind and body can both benefit from this simple addition to your home. We’ve summarised some of the key benefits of our rooflights in this infographic:
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Do I Need Planning Permission to Install a Rooflight?
May 5, 2017
Planning permission is a key concern for many when installing a rooflight. We break down the regulations and requirements.
Rooflights are a great way to improve your home. They bring in more light and create a sense of space which can completely change the character of a room. Of course, though, they’ll also alter the outside of a building, which leads many to question whether they need planning permission.
So, whether you’re just starting to consider a project or want to confirm the facts before you get any further, you’ll need to fully understand the planning regulations surrounding rooflights.
What Are the Government Guidelines?
In England and Wales, you won’t need planning permission for most skylights. However, the rules in Scotland are stricter, and planning permission will be required for skylights.
The Government’s Planning Portal states that in England and Wales, the following conditions apply to rooflights:
- They mustn’t protrude more than 150mm beyond the plane of the roof
- They can’t be higher than the highest part of the roof
- If it’s a side facing window it must be obscure-glazed. If it’s an opening window it must be 1.7 metres above the floor level.
As long as your new rooflight complies with the above, there’ll be no need for planning permission. However, there are some exceptions that you’ll need to consider.
Rooflights in Listed Buildings or Conservation Areas
Before undertaking any skylight project, you should check with your local planning authority that there’s no Article 4 Direction on your property. An Article 4 removes the right to carry out a permitted development, such as a rooflight. They tend to be in place on buildings of acknowledged importance, so it’s common for Article 4s to be in conservation areas.
If you do want to install a rooflight on a building that’s under an Article 4, you’ll need to apply for planning permission.
Although skylights are primarily an aesthetic improvement, it’s essential to ensure that the roof continues to work as required. For this reason, even if you don’t need planning permission, you must consult the Building Regulations.
Parts J and L of those regulations cover requirements relating to energy efficiency, thermal insulation and the protection of the building against fire. Your rooflight will need approval under the regulations for the following reasons:
- The roof structure often needs altering to install a rooflight
- The roof will have to carry the weight of a new skylight, or be strengthened
- If a skylight’s close to a boundary, you must consider its fire performance
- The rooflight must have sufficient insulation properties to protect against heat loss
Regulations require buildings to be heat efficient, and Ug-values measure how much heat is lost through a building, with a higher figure meaning more heat is lost. Part L of the Regulations sets a maximum Ug-value for any building work. Our skylights have a U Value of just 0.6, meaning they’re incredibly heat-efficient, and fall well within the requirements.
Wherever you live, before installing a skylight, it’s worth consulting your local authority to deal with any potential planning issues before work has begun.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about how our rooflights can improve your home.
How rooflights can save you energy and money
March 29, 2017
When you install rooflights, you’re adding a host of benefits to your home. Rooflights can be installed in tight spaces where traditional windows cannot, they flood rooms with natural light and can be tailored to fitted in any home, in a wide variety of styles too.
But did you know the difference they can also make to your outgoings every month? When installed correctly, rooflights can have a positive environmental impact on your home and reduce your energy bills.
The natural light effect
Rooflights are the most effective way to fill your home with natural light, in fact, they provide up to three times more natural light than standard windows. So how do rooflights and the light they expose your home to, help you save money on energy bills?
Reduce artificial lighting
Maximising natural light means less need for artificial lighting which can dramatically reduce the cost of your energy bills. Of course, the amount of daylight will be dependent on building type and positioning of the rooflight. To get the maximum exposure for your home, speak to an expert about where you should position your rooflights.
Cut your Co2 emissions
Research has shown that rooflights, when installed correctly, will help to dramatically reduce the amount of Co2 emissions your home produces. The need for artificial light is unavoidable and consumes a lot of energy. However, increasing natural light reduces the reliance on artificial lighting, which dramatically cuts energy use, therefore reducing the CO2 emissions resulting from artificial light.
Lower heating costs
Passive heat or solar heat gain will reduce the need for central heating or other artificial heating appliances. In fact, recent third party product testing revealed just how good the Ug-value calculation (a measure of the rate of heat loss of a building component) is for our latest triple glazed rooflight product. Demonstrating just how effective our triple glazing and composite product design are at keeping in heat over standard double glazed rooflights supplied by others.
Ventilating skylights open outwardly at the bottom and help release the hot air that naturally accumulates near the ceiling. Allowing fresh air in your home is far healthier than using energy abusing purifiers and air conditioning units too.
Advanced energy saving
You can now install triple glazed rooflights which help keep the heat in but still allow optimum natural light – especially useful during the winter months.
A more eco-friendly home
Research has proven that installing rooflights, covering usually 15-20% of the total roof area, will usually reduce your overall energy consumption compared to buildings without rooflights installed. Find out how our rooflights helped this Bolton eco-home work towards its energy efficiency goals last year.
A positive effect on you
Allowing more natural light to flow into your home will also have a more positive effect on everyone that lives there. Numerous studies have shown that some of the benefits include increased focus, reduced stressed levels, improved moods and better sleep patterns.
Attractive and practical
Installing rooflights is a great way to improve the appearance of your home, add value and importantly, reduce your energy consumption too.
To ensure you’re making the most of your rooflight’s energy-saving potential, make sure you have them installed correctly. Why not contact us today and speak to one of our installation experts?
Case Study | Bolton Eco Home
March 3, 2017
If you're looking for a brilliant rooflight case study - then this contemporary and carbon-neutral home wass flooded with natural light with the help of Roof Maker's products.
We were proud to see our skylights complement this property, which in 2016 featured on Grand Designs.
Situated on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Bolton’s beautiful countryside, this eco-home was the work of builder Paul Rimmer. The quality and finish of the property highlights how in his career, Paul has honed his expertise on many home-building projects.
Building on experience
A bricklayer by trade, this traditional craftsman hasn’t shied away from modernity. From the timber frame to the large and open-plan living areas, this is a property which oozes modernity and style.
Such a contemporary finish couldn’t have been achieved without our fixed flat rooflights, which allow natural light to accentuate the clean lines of the sharp white interior.
Stairwells and landings are traditionally hard areas to light, but the effective use of large dual flat rooflights has helped solve this problem. Instead of a stairwell lacking in sunlight, it instead has windows not only on both sides, but also above. This creates an area which effectively traps natural light, and is sure to be a feature-piece of this outstanding property.
A perfect setting
Close affinity with the surrounding idyllic countryside was the overall aim of this environmentally-friendly home. What better way for this to property to blend with its surroundings than to allow sunlight to stream in from all angles?
As well as complementing the look of the home, our skylights help it work towards its energy efficiency goals. With natural light flooding in, there’s less need to use electric lighting, and the thermal performance of the rooflights is second to none. Their triple glazing performs up to 40% better than regular double glazed rooflights. As in this case, large areas of space can be devoted to skylights without concern that they will lead to heat loss.
It was great to see our rooflights contribute to this zero-carbon home, and we’re eagerly awaiting the chance to work on more similar projects in the future. Do you have one of our products and would you like to help us with a similar rooflight case study? Why not get in touch.Wondering what's special about Roof Maker's skylights? Why not download our guide the selecting the best rooflight supplier?
Case Study | Bristol Miner’s Cottage
February 24, 2017
Roof Maker helped give a new lease of life to an 18th century miner’s cottage in Bristol, and gave our readers a fantastic skylight case study.
This traditional miner’s cottage in Bristol required extensive renovation work to bring it into the 21st century. The period features of the home are undoubtedly charming, but natural light was lacking from this originally dark but cosy cottage.
Sensitive restoration work meant that the cottage has retained many period features and fixtures. It’s respectful not only of the history of the house, but of the heritage of the wider area
Upon entry into the kitchen extension, this sense of history meets the contemporary, as you’re greeted by swathes of natural light flooding in from above and ahead.
Period brickwork and traditional-style furnishings are illuminated from above by a large fixed flat rooflight. The light from the skylight plays around the room nicely thanks to the filtering effect provided by the wooden beams.
More than just beauty
The benefits aren’t purely aesthetic though. The cooking and dining areas are bathed in natural light, which is practical for any household.
Perhaps the most striking element of this extension, though, is the bi-fold doors. These really work to connect the interior to the outdoors. Providing not only vast amounts of natural light, they also operate to extend the living area by allowing ready access to the decked patio.
Taken together, the rooflights and bi-fold doors create a sense of space which can be hard to achieve in such historic properties. As the images show, this was done in a way respectful to the traditional feel of the miner’s cottage; our contemporary rooflights complement its historic character, they don’t overpower it.
Fit for the future
Our products are effective at preventing cold spots near doors or under skylights. With triple-glazing as standard and a U Value of 0.6W/m2k, the room is sure to stay warm in winter.
The skylight and bi-fold doors were a key part of the renovation of this property.
Lydia Robinson, of architecture company Design Storey, said that ‘The rooflights have both achieved and exceeded our ambitions by capturing an edited section of sky which provides delight and light’.
We’re looking forward to working on many more projects as exciting as this one, and hopefully turning them into an equally-brilliant skylight case study. Whether it’s a centuries-old cottage like this, or a modern London apartment, it’s great to see our skylights and bi-fold doors proving so integral to renovations.
Wondering what sort of rooflight is right for your property? Roof Maker has produced this handy guide to the top 15 things to consider.
7 examples of natural light transforming living spaces
January 30, 2017
Have you noticed how sunny days brighten up everyone spirits? Even the odd freezing, but bright and sunny winter day seems so much better than the grey and miserable days we’re used to at this time of year.
Skylights are a great way of letting that sunshine and natural light flood into your home, which not only brightens up your space and your mood, but also saves you money on energy bills! Here’s a few examples of how our skylights have transformed living spaces.
Fixed flat light floods stairwell with sunshine
This Bolton Eco Home appeared on Grand Designs in 2016, and our roof lights played an important role in lighting the space.
Stairwells can be tricky to light, and often end up being dark areas. As you can see, the use of fixed flat skylights avoided this!
Slimline rooflight adds space and style
Keeping up the theme of television architecture and design shows, this home appeared on Building the Dream, hosted by architectural designer Charlie Luxton.
A slimline rooflight brings a great sense of space by adding height to the room, and really enhances the quality of the area by bringing in not only light, but style too.
Natural light enhances small room
Installing skylights in bathrooms can be a fantastic way to flood relatively small rooms with natural light. They can also be used instead of regular windows if you’re after that sense of privacy, but don’t want to sacrifice any natural light.
Here we can see that the placement of the pyramid skylight means you could look up at the stars whilst in the bath – what a relaxing way to end the day!
Roof lantern transforms kitchen
Natural light reaches every corner of this vast space thanks to a kitchen roof lantern, which lets natural light cascade into the room and complements the contemporary design.
This is a great example of how a skylight has reduced the amount of electric lighting necessary – and just look at how it illuminates the dining area!
Hinged opener skylights provide sunshine and ventilation
Not only is it important that your kitchen is brightly lit, but also that it’s well-ventilated.
These Luxlite Hinged Opener skylights, with one either side of the cooker, ensure that both needs are met.
Bifold doors bring the outdoors in
This beautiful, traditional cottage has benefited from both bifold doors and flat rooflights.
The bifold doors act to extend the living area by ensuring that the room remains visually connected to the exterior – in this case, the lush greenery, trees and light outside.
Striking contemporary rooflight complements modern home
From a traditional miner’s cottage to the other end of the spectrum, this state-of-the-art contemporary home has similarly benefited from the vast amounts of natural light which a skylight brings.
A modern design statement, this fixed flat rooflight allows natural light to pour into the stairwell and bounce off the white walls. The result is an area truly immersed in sunlight.
Whether your home is traditional or modern, small or large, you can be sure that more natural light will transform the space. Skylights and bifold doors are a great way to do this, as well as adding a sense of space, style and connection with the outdoors.
Get in touch with us today to discover how our rooflight products can help transform your home with natural light.
Call us on 0116 269 6297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 Amazing Rooflight Projects from Roof Maker in 2016
January 19, 2017
The end of the year is a time for reflection. As we look back on our successes in 2016, and start to plan for 2017 and beyond, a few projects stand out in our minds. Here's our top 3 skylight projects
1. Pannal Water Tower – as featured on Channel 4’s Restoration Man
This was a very exciting project to work on – restoring a stunning period building in Yorkshire. The 46ft water tower was originally built in the 1930s by Harrogate Corporation Waterworks Department to serve the nearby village of Kirkby Overblow.
After the tower fell out of use and into a state of disrepair in the 1960s, planning permission was obtained for conversion to a dwelling in 2010 and the tower was put up for sale.
Carol and Majid Nadry purchased the tower and laid out their vision for its restoration. This included restructuring to flood the building with natural light and offset the tower’s industrial features. Our Roof Maker 2 x 1 metre fixed flat triple glazed rooflights with energy efficient glass helped to achieve this goal.
The end result is a striking, contemporary dwelling which we are proud to have been a part of.
Featuring on Restoration Man was certainly a highlight for us in 2016.
2. Contemporary Flat Extension – Sheffield
Another project we’re particularly proud of is the contemporary flat extension we worked on in Sheffield this year.
The aim here was all about getting as much natural light into the property as possible, which happens to be our speciality!
Natural light can improve your mood, as well as help to save money on energy bills. Our skylight installations in this compact, beautiful home helped to bring a warming glow to the space, whilst maintaining the chic, contemporary aesthetic.
We used our SlimlineTM roof lanterns to achieve this effect, which added height to their living space and helped to draw the outside in, creating a harmony between the garden and living areas.
3. Bolton Eco House
Another great project and an easy entry into our top 3 skylight projects list - this home we worked upon was featured on Grand Designs. We were thrilled to have our work showcased on this brilliant platform.
The project in question was based in Bolton, creating a beautiful, energy efficient home for Paul and Carol Rimmer. Paul is a former builder, and put his years of experience on construction sites to good work in designing and building this dream home for his family.
The Rimmers converted a traditional stone barn in Bolton’s idyllic countryside. Our fixed flat product helped the building to blend in with the natural surroundings and bring in plenty of natural light, which was crucial to the design.
The result is a bright and airy modern property, which retains a natural feel with the use of stone walls and wooden cladding. Respect for the environment was key here, and we think that has certainly been achieved.
Are you planning a renovation or restoration project for 2017? Get in touch with us today to discuss your vision, and discover how our rooflight products can help your vision to become a reality. Maybe next year, your home will be in our top 3 skylight projects list!
Call us on 0116 269 6297 or email email@example.com.
Epic Thermal Performance
January 10, 2017
We are very excited with the recent third party product testing that revealed just how good the whole product Ug-value calculation is for our latest triple glazed rooflight product. Demonstrating just how good our triple glazing and composite product design are at keeping in heat over standard double glazed rooflights supplied by others and allowing us to bring you the best Ug-performing rooflights.
While other rooflight suppliers try to talk down the advantages of triple glazing, we know and understand the real advantages, this is why we make Flat and Luxlite products Triple glazed as standard at no extra price.
When you consider the performance improvements are up to 40% better than normal double glazed rooflights (0.7 W/m2k V’s competitors 1.2 W/m2k) the insulation reduction is obvious! Our design team have created the optimum in rooflight thermal performance, blending aluminium skimmed profiles with hardwood, softwood and phenolic foam to create composite material design for the very best energy savings.
Exceeding building regulations by miles and future proofing properties with epic thermal performance. Buying direct from us as a manufacturer allows us to impart years of product knowledge and advice for your design project.
Looking at the image below the areas shown in REDidentify the heat staying inside the room on the material surfaces being insulated by the GREEN composite material selection and triple glazing, with the cold BLUE and PURPLE remaining external.
Independent product analysis proves that triple glazed rooflights far exceed that of double glazed rooflights, allowing much larger expanses of glass to be included in project plans and building designs and creating the best Ug-performing rooflights. We can even offer Quad glazing in some of our products with glazing Ug-values down to 0.2 W/m2k which is comparable to house walls and ceilings.
Many of our Reflex performance glass units feature Krypton gas within the cavities for optimum thermal insulation, most feature argon gas which reduces the convection currents within the glass itself reducing heat loss through the glazed area. Our Leicester factory holds cryogenic, liquid supplies allowing us to switch between these remarkable gasses for the various triple glazed units that we manufacture.
With more and more emphasis on energy performance and heat loss reduction in buildings now it is vital that triple glazing be used to attain the very best results in any building project with overhead glazing. Heat rises and escapes through the lower performing areas in a building such as a glass rooflight so the reduction of cold spots when standing underneath overhead glazing is also a factor in comfort ability during cold winter months.
Lookout for further updates as we expand our R&D and evolve product design, to demonstrate how Roof-Maker is leading the way in energy saving rooflight design and bringing the best Ug-performing rooflights in the UK.
Boxy or Slimline® contemporary roof lantern design?
January 10, 2017
Looking for the best lantern rooflight available? Finding one can be difficult - the word 'contemporary' gets banded around a lot of these days in the home improvement market, with more design orientated customers viewing Home improvement TV shows featuring more and more cool products with clean lines. So it's no wonder many companies are jumping on the band wagon trying to cash in on this popular look calling their products contemporary or minimalistic, especially in the glazing market where the emphasis is on maximising natural light with slimmer glazing profiles.
There are a number of roof lantern systems all pertaining to have contemporary looks and claiming to be the 'best lantern rooflight', but pretty much all of these systems are traditional conservatory roof systems painted grey to give them a modern appearance. They still have chunky and clunky components with intrusive internal bolsters under the ridges and glazing bars that resemble the old fashioned timber roof lanterns.
These systems look out of place with the modern minimalistic projects currently in vogue in the UK. They block much of the natural light that we are trying to flood into our homes and many have cheap plastic end covers to finish off the powder coated aluminium ridges and glazing bars, detracting from the quality of a true aluminium roof system. Aluminium components are now widely accepted as the material choice for premium roof systems, PVC is associated with the budget systems on the market today.
Only one roof lantern system really deserves the true contemporary roof lantern badge, our Slimline® aluminium system features super slim, minimal aluminium glazing components which cleverly follow the glazing lines and keep close to their surface without boxy cappings. From the inside the finish is even neater, no chunky bolster profiles, simply minimal clean lines, out HIP bars protrude 3mm into the room. Take a look at this example of how much slimmer our glazing system is to others on the market today. Our Ridge is over 150% slimmer than any other aluminium kit form system on the market today.
Slimline® Contemporary Roof Lantern with clean lines and frameless glass for clean water run off. No chunky internal ridge or glazing bar bolsters.
With the super aesthetics that a stepped back painted glass unit achieves, water simply runs cleanly off the glass without hitting obstructive and unit seal damaging glazing end caps. Giving the perfect finish to the roof, when flashed up against the built in kerb and flashing lip, the glass roof lantern looks to be floating on the roof membrane, giving a very impressive, clean finish to the installation. Only Slimline® roof lanterns and rooflights feature this premium super contemporary look. So if you are looking for the best lantern rooflight, then look no further than the Roof Maker Slimline.
Slimline Pyramid Stepped Units
January 10, 2017
Stepped glazing rooflight or skylights have long been considered the Rolls Royce in rooflight orangery glazing at the luxury end of the market, often found in hardwood, timber framed orangery and pool houses costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Stepped insulated glass is a common feature in architectural and commercial glazing applications and costs considerably more due to the increased complexity in manufacturing.
But why are stepped units so much better than basic glass units? The answer is simple! It’s all about the EDGE: The longer/stepped edge keeps water away from the seal as the Achilles heel to any glazed unit is water damage to seals. Unit seals sitting in constant moisture will breakdown and fail, no matter how good the adhesive or seal depths. Unit seals also become damaged by Ultraviolet rays from the sun without proper shielding.
If water is left to sit on the seals they will eventually perish and fail with condensation appearing in the unit cavity. The step moves the edge out away from the seals allowing water to run off cleanly and further protection to the seals from UV is given via a cloaking border.
Now most stepped glazing rooflight systems on the market are derived from low cost PVC systems due to copycat designing and easy low cost sourcing of glass units. These units usually have an exposed seal which is capped off with a basic extrusion supposed to protect the ends of the unit. Instead the unsightly trims often gather water and channel it along the unit seals eventually their drainage slots block with debris that wash off the roof.
Unsightly algae and even grass can often be seen growing from these trims, they require constant maintenance to insure longevity of the units. Often the units are held in place with primitive end caps that can allow the glass units to slip into the guttering and sit in water speeding up unit failure, the seals can also very easily be exposed to the suns damaging rays and the finish to the eaves of these roof systems is usually chunky and fiddly.
With a stepped glazing rooflight unit system, water is taken clean away from the seal area which stays set right back underneath behind a patented UV blocking border. Keeping it high and dry and well protected with a very clean and neat finish to the glazing. The unit cannot slip as it sits protected, flush within the aluminium kerb system. This makes obvious sense yes? So why don’t all rooflight manufacturers use this system like the top end firms? Like most things it is down to cost! Pretty much every rooflight firm buys in their glazed units from a double glazed unit supplier and these suppliers charge a premium for stepped units! So they use the cheaper, more primitive units in their sloping roofs that require securing in place with fussy, untidy end caps. We often have to replace these units from older rooflights as the true longevity of the non stepped unit is a fraction of our stepped UV blocking units.
With third party testing we know that our stepped UV protected sealed units are good for 30+ years due to their unique construction. Our extensive R&D in this area is backed up by top industry consultants and test houses. So it’s good news that our Slimline pyramid system features frameless stepped edges at the bottom to give the ultimate finish. Clean, minimalist lines ensure that rain water and debris runs clean off the glass without any obstruction from ugly trims. Using a patented UV blocking resin paint system we give these stepped units a very aesthetic border that colour matches the aluminium framework of the roof, black, grey or specialist RAL colour. We give the stepped glazing rooflight the perfect finish that not only hides any gaskets or fittings but stands it apart from the other products on the market. Our frameless Slimline stepped units create the best looking and best performing pyramid rooflight on the market today with true premium stepped glazing rooflight units to give you total peace of mind!
Triple glazed success celebrated with 15 years of continued success!
January 10, 2017
Roof Maker has made it into the finals of Build It Awards under the categories of Best Windows and Best Roofing Product and secondly in the London Construction Awards for Innovation of the Year which means a possible success of three awards for the Fixed Flat rooflight.
This is an unprecedented year of success as Roof maker celebrates 15 years in business delighting customers all over the UK with an innovative range of rooflights and more recently with bifold doors. New innovation in 2016 of the Luxlite rooflight has added to the portfolio for customers seeking a premium pitched rooflight with similar qualities to the current rooflight range.
The fixed flat rooflight has shone through as one of the flagship products for Roof Maker with market leading thermal performance and minimal glazing bars to give a flood of natural light. The key features of this product that are:
- Minimal aluminium frame design so you get no obstruction and more sky view
- Triple glazed as standard with unrivalled thermal performance also reducing outside noise
- Easy clean external glass coating protection aids the cleaning process stops build up of mould?
- UV blocking safety glass as standard protecting you and your furniture house contents from harmful sun rays
- 20 Year unit seal warranty and 10 year product guarantee ensures products are made to last using highest grade materials with stringent environmental performance
- No extra charge for bespoke sizes which means you can get exactly what you want.
The Build It Awards recognised that Roof Maker focuses on creating high performance glazing that harness the natural light with market leading super insulating properties to fit every domestic self build or renovation project. This means translating light to lifestyle, solving the need for customers wanting to connect their lifestyles with the harmony of natural light and a seamless link to the outside for an enhanced living environment.
Our triple glazed Flat Rooflight features a market leading U Value of 0.6W/m2k and this is up to 60% better at reducing heat loss than the very best A rated double glazing, ensuring your room stays warm and preventing cold spots near the doors or under rooflights.
When you consider just how much heat can be lost through high performance A-rated double glazed rooflights the decision to go triple glazing is clear. If you stand near double glazing you can still feel the cold spot as heat is still being lost through the glazing. Condensation is also a risk on cold nights when you turn up the heating but with triple glazing this is eliminated. Roof Maker fixed flat rooflight products come with Triple glazing as standard giving you great thermal performance.
If you would like to see the products that so impressed the Build It Awards, then why not book a showroom visit now or alternatively we will be exhibiting at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show in London 23-25 September and we still have a limited number of free tickets!
The Correct Pitch for Flat Rooflights
January 10, 2017
Just how flat is your flat roof? It may sound like a silly question, but knowing the pitch angle of a roof is critical when it comes to fitting a flat rooflight. You need to make sure you have the correct pitch for flat rooflights
If a flat rooflight is fitted completely level, or at zero degrees pitch, then rain water will soon pool. Overtime, when this water slowly evaporates it will leave behind any impurities found naturally in the rainwater. This will inevitably result in dirty and possibly even stained glass. With the correct planning, this can be very easily avoided.
To ensure you're using the correct pitch for flat rooflights, we recommend that ours are installed with a minimum of five degrees pitch. This angle is enough to ensure that any rain water will not pool on the rooflight. Instead, a five degree angle is enough to encourage run-off before any larger pools of water can form. This can be achieved in two ways…
Flat roofs are often built with a slight pitch for drainage purposes. This is because there is a risk of the membrane being damaged when any pooled water freezes. If this is the case, and the flat roof has been built with a pitch greater or equal to five degrees then you can proceed with a standard installation.
If however, the roof itself does not have at least a five degree pitch then a larger angle will have to be created. This can very simply be achieved with a small timber frame.
In addition, at Roof-Maker we coat every single glass unit we manufacture in our factory with an Easy Clean nano coating. This acts as a non-stick coating, which actually encourages dirt and dust to run off the surface of the glass with every rain fall.
So, with a combination of a correct installation pitch and our Easy Clean glass coating, your Roof-Maker rooflight will look clean and fresh for many years to come.
Protect your investment with Easy Clean glass
January 10, 2017
Why do you need easy clean glass? Because every surface is eventually subjected to dirt and weathering, especially surfaces that are exposed to the outside elements.
Air pollution from traffic is especially a concern for unprotected glass. Just like rust on metal, the surface can become corroded and contaminated, damaging its appearance and increasing its maintenance.
Glass appears smooth to the touch and eye but if you look at the glass under a microscope, the surface reveals a different story. That it is not smooth but made up of tiny potholes and crevices which gather contaminants both organic and inorganic.
This ongoing surface deterioration makes it harder to clean the glass over time, with eventual reduced visibility and sometimes staining. When glass is freshly manufactured it comes straight out of the various processes completely clean but with unprotected surface that is open to the environments for contamination. Unless this is shielded straightaway during the glass unit manufacturing process the glass surface will start to be attacked and deteriorate, especially after it leaves the factory. It is vital that this protection is done before it arrives on site for fitting in order to form a barrier against alkaline chemicals, pollution and organic contaminants such as bird mess and tree sap.
Every single glass unit we manufacture in our factory is protected on the external rain surface with an invisible Easy Clean glass 'nano coating'. After this has cured, this unique polymer glass protection chemically bonds into the pitted surface of the glass to form a permanent UV stable, cross-linked chemical bond. This super strong and durable shield creates a non-stick surface, promoting dirt run off with rain fall and protecting the glass from stains and corrosion, helping to keep it looking new and fresher looking just like the day it left the factory.
Want to know more about our products? Why not see which one is best for you?
Is rain noise a problem with rooflights?
January 10, 2017
One of the most common concerns we hear from customers who are considering adding a flat rooflight to their extension is how much rain noise they can expect to hear.
We totally understand the concern about rain noise. We’ve probably all been in a conservatory and had to move to another room when it started to rain because we were struggling to hear the person sat next to us. Most conservatories are only double glazed as standard, and whilst some do a good job of controlling heat loss, generally they are quite noisy rooms when a downpour starts.
An extension is a big investment and likely to be a new communal area, or more family space. The last thing you want is to have to vacate that beautiful new space every time the weather takes a turn for the worse. And let’s face it, in our part of the world – rain is a certainty all year round!
When it comes to sound insulation and glazing, there are several important factors:
- The distance between the sheets of glass, larger being better for sound insulation
- The number of panes of glass, with noise levels being reduced with each additional pane
- The thickness of each pane of glass
- How well the window is sealed against the roof
Heat and sound insulation was a key part of the design principles of our fixed flat rooflights, and we think it shows in the high quality specification:
- Triple glazed as standard with a 16mm gap between panes (total 50mm)
- 6mm toughened safety glass (The industry standard is 4mm)
- Double Argon filled cavities reduce heat and noise transmission further
- Foam spacer chosen to reduce noise pollution and improve thermal insulation
- Built-in structural up-stand manufactured with 3 insulating cavities
This all amounts to a really significant reduction in noise pollution from any source, including rain. The up-stand also means that installing and sealing our rooflight is a very simple job.
We use the same high quality glazing units in our bifolding doors.
When installed and sealed correctly, and manufactured by a trusted company such as ourselves, your rooflight will be focal point of your new space, and a feature to take pride in, in any weather.
For more information, talk to our experts
If you have further questions about anything you have read here, Roof Maker’s expert team will be happy to advise you. Just call us on 0116 269 6297.
Roof-Maker blows the roof off by raising over £20,000 for Kids Out charity event
January 10, 2017
Through a recent Roof Maker charity event, the company proved it is committed to making a positive difference to communities in which they do business as part of their corporate social responsibility charter. This includes environmental policy which includes a strict recycling policy and use of solar panels to generate electricity.
Helping good causes forms a key part of the policy with staff getting involved in fundraising initiatives such as Children in Need. In addition for the second year in a row Roof-Maker was the leading donor at the annual Kids Out Question of Sport event in London on 21st April.
Scott Nicholas and Rachel Owen, founders of Roof-Maker, donated the main auction prize and the company also hosted a table. In total they contributed over £20,000 of the £100,000 raised on the night for underprivileged and abused children across the country.
Scott Nicholas said:
“We are committed to being a socially responsible organisation and the work that Kids Out do year on year touches all our hearts and feel very proud to be supporting such a worthwhile charity”
Read more of our news articles.
Triple Glazing and Ug-values – Keep Warm In The Winter
January 10, 2017
A products Ug-value is the measure of its thermal conductivity i.e. how good it is at preventing heat loss, so the lower the Ug-value, the better the insulation. Better insulating products, like a triple glazed rooflight, not only save you energy and thus money on your heating bills but more importantly keep you physically warmer in winter.
As temperatures drop during the winter months (especially at night) so can comfort levels if the correct performing glass is not used to prevent cold spots.
Improving comfort levels is even more important when you consider adding large amounts of glazing to a room. A room with floor to ceiling Bifolding doors and possibly one or two large rooflights should include triple glazing as an absolute minimum to improve comfort levels on colder days and nights. When you consider just how much more heat is lost with conventional double glazing, triple glazing becomes the sensible choice.
In our opinion triple glazing should be the standard when you consider how good your walls and ceilings are at keeping heat in.
Our triple glazed rooflight range features a Ug Value as low as 0.5W/m2k this is up to 60% better at reducing heat loss than the very best A rated double glazing, insuring your room stays warm and preventing cold spots near the doors or under rooflights.
When you consider just how much heat can be lost through high performance A-rated double glazed doors and rooflights the decision to go Triple is easy! Standing near double glazing you can still feel the cold spot as heat is still being lost through the glazing. Condensation is also a risk on cold nights when you turn up the heating but with triple glazing this is eliminated. Our ThermFold® and Fixed Flat rooflight products come with Triple glazing as standard giving you great thermal performance.
It makes no sense at all to super insulate roofs and walls but leave large expanses of glass as the weak link for heat to escape, especially overhead glazing where heat energy rises with convection currents and goes straight out of the rooflight with double glazing. April the 6th 2014 saw the introduction of Part L building Regulations with new improved insulation Ug-values for buildings. Your roof must have insulation that gives a Ug-value of 0.13 with walls being 0.18 which is pretty good but why then fit double glazed Doors with Ug-values of 1.6?!! It makes no sense at all when the glass technology is now available to get Bifolds down to 1.0 around 40% better as is standard with our ThermFold® Bifold doors!
Roof-Maker uses Reflex® Easy Clean glass coating protection as standard in our product range. Reflex® 0.6 Ug-value glazing featuring Argon or Krypton gas filling (dependant on unit thickness for either Flat or Pyramid rooflights) manufactured in house for glazing in both our ThermFold® Bifolds and market leading rooflight systems. We also glaze our opening rooflight products as standard with Kite Marked, Heat-Mirror glass units featuring a Ug-value of 0.5W/m2k, that’s market leading thermal performance!
We don’t charge any extra for a triple glazed rooflight, in fact it is standard on many of our products because we consider this a necessity when you consider how good your walls and ceilings are at keeping heat in.
Case Study | Central London
October 26, 2016
This London rooflight case study concerns a fashional apartment in the very heart of the city.
London property market is on average eight times the national average and central London properties are very much reserved for the wealthy. The central suburbs have grown in popularity and this has lead to many house conversions to studio flats and luxury apartments.
Apartment living in the central suburbs of London areas is very much in vogue now with the professionals and with many over the half a million pound mark – making good use of limited space can be a challenge.
However apartments on the top level of a building give ample opportunities to open up the roof space to allow extra light coming into the property amplifying the perceived space considerably. This is exactly what one architect did for a property development in the Battersea area, and why we wanted to make it a landmark London rooflight case study.
The property is an apartment in a converted Victorian terraced property with one bedroom, shower room and open plan kitchen. To the outside there is a large seating area overlooking the views of Battersea.
The project involved putting a fixed flat roof light over the kitchen area so that it allowed the light across the whole of the open plan living space giving a lighter and roomier feel. The minimal look of the roof light enhanced the architectural finish of the apartment providing a great source of natural light, as well as ample night time star gazing opportunities.
Thomas and Spiers Architects are a London, Suffolk and Hertfordshire based Architectural practice, specialising in individual residential designs, with high attention to detail, and strong environmental performance, working on both renovating and extending existing buildings and creating new and exciting homes.
Performance and aesthetics
Paul Thomas comments on the conversion using Roof Maker rooflights “Being very aware of environmental and fabric performance, we were impressed by the triple glazed units, measures to reduce risk of overheating, together with the overall Ug-values being achieved.”
As shown in this London rooflight case study, environmental performance is a key measure used in Roof Maker rooflights with industry leading U values* and 30 year life expectancy of products covered by a 20-year unit seal warranty. This why many architects and interior designers look toward our products when specifying for clients.We can currently achieve a Ug-value of 0.6W/m2k for Triple and as low as 0.3W/m2k for Quadruple glazing using phenolic foam in our Flat slide open rooflights!
* A U value is a measure of heat loss. It is expressed in W/m2k, and shows the amount of heat lost in watts (W) per square metre of material when the temperature (k) outside is at least one degree lower. The lower the Ug-value, the better the insulation provided by the material.
Case Study | Pannal Water Tower
May 26, 2016
A watertight project in a unique setting – Pannal Water Tower roof window case study, as featured on Channel 4 Restoration Man.
Restoration of period buildings can be great projects to work on especially when combining the old with the new in design and functionality. The proportion of time taken to buy the building, get planning permission and then the appropriate resources to fulfill the desired end result is a project management task not to be taken lightly - a worthy subject matter for a roof window case study that might help you avoid some potential pitfalls.
A recent Yorkshire water tower project became the subject of Channel 4’s Restoration Man – making a mammoth 46ft tower in the middle of a prosperous residential area your home is tall order for anyone.
A unique opportunity
This must be one of the last brick, public water supply towers built, as reinforced concrete was being extensively used for water towers at this time. The water tower was built by Harrogate Corporation Waterworks Department to serve the village of Kirkby Overblow. The brick tower used to support a sectional cast iron tank of 37,500 gallons and the tower went out of service and fell into a shabby state. Eventually Yorkshire Water became the owners of the tower, obtained planning permission for conversion to a dwelling in 2010 and put the tower up for sale.
The tower was purchased by an couple who have a bold plan and have combined an ultra modern light emitting design to offset the overpowering features of the tower to give a sympathetic transformation to a domestic dwelling.
An intriguing puzzle
The internal layout of the Pannal Water Tower includes a ground-floor living kitchen, mezzanine sitting area with stairs to two bedrooms and a bathroom, while the fourth floor is taken up with a fabulous master suite and a spiral staircase to the converted tank. The couple are also planning to light and fit a removable glass top to a 300ft well on the ground floor.
There is an extension to the middle floor to create a side annexe which is transformed by extra light using energy efficient glass and two Roof Maker 2 x 1 metre fixed flat triple glazed rooflights. This will allow n incredible 4m2 of natural light to flood in from above - making it the perfect roof window case study for prospective customers like you.
Are you facing a similar challenge on an ambitious build? If you're struggling to choose the best skylights for your project, why not download our handy 15-point guide to choosing a rooflight?
Case Study | Contemporary extension: Sheffield
January 26, 2016
Planning for enough natural light is important for the functionality of a home and Roof Maker skylights help the clients of this extension in Sheffield create a bright and enjoyable space.
Abundant natural light in a home not only saves electrical energy but also creates a positive effect on the mood of you and your family, brightening your day and bringing a welcoming feel to your living area
At this stunning extension in Sheffield, award winning Whitshaw Builders, chose two Slimline® roof lanterns and a fixed flat rooflight to help create a contemporary and minimal design, and giving us the perfect opportunity to bring you this roof light case study.
The extension is in keeping with the character of the existing dwelling and respectful of the surrounding vernacular. The proposal is traditional in its form however the use of a flat roof and roof lanterns create a really contemporary feel.
Bringing the outside, inside
As shown in the roof light case study, the client wanted to create a more habitable space that all the family could share together which had a strong connection to the garden. The main feature of this design and build is the use of the glass roof lanterns.
The full height glazing and roof lanterns also help create better interaction with the garden to encourage inside and outside living.
We love incorporating rooflights into the designs of our projects, they are a great way of letting light in and allow us to create a really modern look.
We have used continued to use Roof-Maker skylights since the initial project at Kensington Chase in Sheffield, not only are their products great but also because they offer value for money and the service we receive from the team is second to none.
James Shaw | Whitshaw Builders