Loft conversion

Adding roof windows to your loft conversion

This sponsored content article is provided by Velux

Bring the light in - how roof windows can transform your home

VELUX asked for your top questions regarding natural light, roof windows and more.

Do you need planning permission to replace an existing (small) skylight with a larger window in a loft conversion?

You don't usually need planning permission to install a roof window, especially when replacing an existing window of the same dimensions. Typically, you will only require roof window planning permission if you're making very visible changes to your property. However, we recommend that you check with your local planning authority before starting work.

Replacing an old roof window can give your room a new lease of life – and it’s quick and easy to do. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring even more daylight into your space, and you’d be surprised how much brighter a room can be if you make your roof windows even slightly bigger. Or, if you add a second roof window alongside the one you are replacing you can get twice the amount of daylight into your room.

The same standard VELUX sizes are available and they can usually be replaced from inside the room without disrupting the current internal finish.

For a brighter, contemporary look we recommend switching pine roof windows for white ones. White roof windows reflect more light back into the room than darker surfaces. You can also replace your manual roof windows with VELUX INTEGRA® electric or solar roof windows, which are perfect for out-of-reach areas.

In loft conversions, you can also change centre-pivot for top-hung roof windows and enjoy uninterrupted views.

Are there any advantages to VELUX over dormer windows? I’m about to start a loft conversion and a bit confused with the pros and cons.

With the cost of moving soaring, extending your home with a loft conversion is a great way to add space and value to your property.

Dormer windows and roof windows can be used in tandem, if your build allows, to create a bright, light and spacious loft conversion.

If you have a low roof you may be squeezed for enough headroom to make a comfortable conversion. If that’s the case a dormer will create more usable floor space and headroom within the property.

However, there are a number of reasons why choosing VELUX roof windows could be a better choice over dormers.

  • Roof window loft conversions can cost less than dormer loft conversions. If you already have enough usable head room, it makes it a far better investment option. VELUX roof windows can be fitted flush to the existing roof so that the dynamics and aesthetics of the exterior of your home aren’t altered.
  • Unlike a 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 roof window on your roof. This means that you can choose to add ventilation and daylight exactly where you need it most. VELUX top-hung roof windows open outwards, adding headspace to a room, and provide uninterrupted views.
  • Dormers are more likely to require planning permission as they can be considered to overlook a neighbour’s property. Roof windows are far less likely to require permission.

What about condensation? Are windows in the roof a problem?

The external condensation you see on your vertical glazing during autumn and winter is actually a reflection of the high performance of your window. Your outside window pane should remain cold when the outdoor temperature drops, and as the air warms in the morning, condensation will form.

Condensation on the inside of your window is a different issue and relates to humidity levels in the home. However, there are ways to overcome this. A simple option is to ensure your room is properly ventilated throughout the day, which will allow any moisture in the air to escape.

But a clever way to avoid condensation on the inside of your windows is to consider the installation itself. At VELUX, we recommend splaying the lining opening, which essentially means that your window is not ‘boxed in’ from an internal perspective. This allows air to better pass over the glass and reduce condensation.