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.
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.
October 1, 2018
Nestled in the regency spa of Cheltenham, Ruth Heslop’s Edwardian townhouse has undergone significant interior renovations to create a unique family home that really stands out from the crowd.
The three bedroom semi-detached property has been completely transformed in just six months. As a photographer Ruth has a creative eye and as such she managed the project from start to finish, overseeing the transformation from a simple terraced house to a stylish property.
Previously featuring a traditional and tired interior, Ruth completely gutted the house and added a single storey extension to the rear, which has created an open and adaptable kitchen with a final floor space of 4.52m x 4.04m.
As the heart of the home, Ruth wanted to renovate the old galley kitchen into a bright and spacious area. With this in mind, one of the key influences for the new kitchen was the ability to bring the outdoors in, which Ruth achieved with the innovative use of glazing.
She chose two custom size Luxlite™ pitched rooflights at 1.2m x 1m, from leading rooflight manufacturer Roof Maker. Once installed the rooflights worked in perfect harmony with the custom made box window to create a unique space within the rear wall.
Speaking of the renovation, Ruth said: “The old kitchen was extremely dark and narrow – I struggled to get a table into the space. That’s why it was so important to extend the area and create a kitchen where I could cook meals and enjoy the outdoor surroundings of the garden.
“I wanted to open the room up as much as possible, which led to me choosing Roof Maker’s Luxlite™ pitched rooflights. I was well acquainted with the traditional timber frame rooflights on the market, but I wanted something more contemporary, and Luxlite™ fitted the bill perfectly.”
As Luxlite™ enables up to 49 per cent more light to enter the room than traditional competitor rooflights, they flood Ruth’s kitchen with natural light, which combined with the bespoke box window, adds a real feel of the garden being an integral part of the space. The sleek aluminium frames are flush fitted against the white interior walls for a streamlined, contemporary finish that doesn’t detract from the natural beauty of outdoor space.
Ruth selected Roof Maker’s electronic opening range, which can be operated via a rocker switch on the wall, meaning Ruth can use the rooflights for ventilation when cooking. Or for thermal regulation on warm sunny days. The automatic rain sensor also provided her with the peace of mind that the rooflights would shut if it started to rain, whether she was in the property or not.
Roof Maker’s anti-glare glazing was also chosen to prevent any bleaching of the furniture and flooring in the kitchen. She chose the triple glazed option, which comes as standard, as this offered the greatest thermal efficiency, preventing any cold or hot spots from forming within the room to create a comfortable and constant environment.
Ruth finished: “My new kitchen is everything that I dreamed of when starting the renovation process, it really is the focal point of the property and a place where my personality really shines through. The use of glazing really opens up the space and provides the perfect viewpoint to enjoy the garden from.”
Find out more about the Luxlite™ 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.
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.
September 1, 2018
When Worcester based architect Nick Carroll was approached to design a Passive House 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 owners.
Boasting over 18km of sweeping hillside and woodland between Herefordshire and Worcestershire, the Malvern Hills is one of the most iconic landscapes of England’s countryside, offering uninterrupted views as far as the eye can see. With such impressive views it’s not hard to see why Worcester based architect, Nick Carroll, was approached by a client hoping to make the most of them by building a family home on the cliff face itself.
Aptly named ‘Old Hollow’, the property became a completely new challenge for homeowner, Jonathan Flewers, who had unusually never seen the plot before purchasing. A top priority for Jonathan was creating an energy efficiency space, after being heavily influenced by Passive House designs and the ecological principles it implements in a property.
The newly constructed, three-storey property features an ‘upside down’ design that maximises the sweeping views and abundance of natural light of the Malvern Hills, with living areas on the top floor and bedrooms comprising the lower floors. Designed to be spacious and family friendly, the living areas on the third floor are entirely open plan.
Speaking of the build, Nick said: “Our brief was to design a unique cliffside property that was founded upon the principles of Passive House design. To ensure we achieved the best results I took the client along to a Passive House training session. We used materials such as stone, timber and glass to achieve this. Most of the stone we used was recycled from the hill itself, which we obtained during the digging process when laying the foundations. All products were chosen especially for their thermal efficiency.”
The 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.
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 U-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 24, 2017
Roof Maker helped give a new lease of life to an 18th century miner’s cottage in Bristol.
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.
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.
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. 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.
October 26, 2016
The 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. 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.
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 U-values being achieved.”
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 U-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 U-value, the better the insulation provided by the material.