In this post, we are going to look into the different types of roof windows. If you are willing to spruce up your home by adding more light, you should examine your options. There is a huge range of quality roof windows to choose from but before you do that, you need to make sure you're looking at the right kind. We can help you with that.

Key Takeaways on Skylight Window Accessories and Types

  • The market offers a wide range of roof window options that can suit any taste and preference
  • The types of skylight units can be divided into two major groups: pitched and flat roof windows
  • They also differ in the opening mechanism; there are manual and electric opening options

Types of Pitched Roof Windows

Let’s dig into the types of windows for pitched roofs. These windows are mounted to a sloped roof. They can be double or triple-glazed. The majority of these windows are suitable for roof pitches between 15° and 90°. There is a wide range of products in stores that offer both comfort and safety in the roof window sector.

Centre Pivot vs Top Hung Velux Windows

The difference between these two is in the position of the hinge. With centre pivot windows, the hinge sits in the middle of the frame, whereas with top-hung roof windows, it’s at the top of the window. In the first option, the window swings open outwards, which means you can place furniture beneath it.

In the second, the window can be opened wide. For this type, you should keep furniture away so that you can reach over to open and close it in a breeze.

Balcony Windows

Balcony windows are a great way to enhance any room without the need for planning permission. No special steps have to be taken during installation and no building is required. At the same time, they can give the illusion of more space. There are a variety of styles for any roof design. These windows allow more light than a normal window.

Conservation Windows

This is a term denoting a type of window designated for conservation areas, meeting the requirements of local authorities. As you know, when you live in such a place, you are often restricted as to the changes you can make to the exterior of the building. Conservation windows are available to make your life easy. They are often black and designed to fit with these buildings.

What other benefits of pitched windows will I get?

Without a doubt, there are a plethora of benefits of roof windows and pitched types especially. For one, they open up the room and add more light, which creates positive vibes. There is also the advantage of getting additional space. And the view that you can get is impressive. Moreover, pitched skylights add value to your home. And finally, they provide more ventilation options in the room they are installed.

Types of Flat Roof Windows

There are different flat roof windows that you need to be familiar with before you make a decision to purchase one.

  • Roof lantern. As the name implies, these have a lantern shape. Currently, they are one of the most popular choices. It’s strong and thermally efficient.
  • Flat roof apex system. If you are looking for the most secure option, here it is. These units are unbreakable. They offer moisture resistance with flashings and upstands. There also are electrical options. The flat roof apex system is ideal for living rooms, kitchens, and loft spaces.
  • Flat roof system. These come with an insulated timber upstand and are perfect for warm roofs below 15°. Electrical control is also available.
  • Flat roof dome. The main material is polycarbonate. It has an impact strength that is 250 times greater than glass and is basically unbreakable. There is a full range of access and ventilation.
  • Flat glass rooflight. The unit provides both electric and manual opening options. You can get it in a fixed shut as well. It has a toughened outer pane with a double-glazed finish.
  • Combi flat roof system. This one comes completely prefabricated which makes it easy to use. It’s perfect for two to three windows. There are different finishes to choose from. Installation is easy - just check out our installation guide.
  • Openable vs flat roof windows. Fixed flat roof windows are ideal for roofs that can be accessed by burglars. Openable roof windows offer great ventilation. For example, they fit best bathrooms and kitchens where condensation control is more than crucial.

Manually Opening Roof Windows vs Motorised Opening Roof Windows

Manually opening windows are exactly what the name implies. Every home has them. They come with an operation rod or handle that lets you control the unit. There is a wide range of sizes and shapes.

One reason you want to install motorised opening roof windows is that they have to be mounted beyond reach. The electric mechanism enables users to quickly and easily operate the unit with the help of a wall-mounted switch or a handheld remote control. Some of these models can also be opened manually.

Windows with Raised Axis of Rotation

These come with an axis of rotation that is affixed above the centre of the frame but away from the top. In addition to the abundance of light it provides, it also allows people to walk up to it easily.

Windows with Raised Axis of Rotation with Lower Transom

The axis of rotation is positioned above the centre of the frame and the upper sash opens like a pivot window. As for the lower sash, it doesn’t open. This one offers a wide view, amazing ventilation potential, and heaps of illumination.

How Many Roof Windows Do I Need? And What Size Roof Window Do I Need?

The number of roof windows depends on a slew of factors that need to be considered beforehand. First and foremost, it’s the size of the premises, width and depth, and your particular needs. Next comes the total size of the glazing. Last but not least, you should take your budget into account.

As far as size is concerned, again this will depend on many factors, such as the shape and size of the rooflight and the amount of natural daylight you are looking to get. You need to measure the floor-to-ceiling height. The shortest size of VELUX windows is 55 cm and the tallest is 180 cm. The slimmest size runs 47 cm and the widest option is 134 cm. As you can see, there are a lot of choices.

Which Roof Window is Best? How do I Choose a Roof Window to Suit my Place?

There are no roof window types that are better than the others. The best option will differ from case to case. It entirely depends on the needs of your property and your preferences.

If you are after a modern interior, you might want to get a PVC-pitched roof window, moisture-resistant polyurethane, or white-painted roof windows. The latter has a coat of white paint and a water-based lacquer which keep moisture and dirt at bay. For a traditional look, natural pine roof windows give that vibe.

Are you into innovations? For improved airflow, you should choose a unit with an automatic air inlet. Concerned for your safety? Go with an anti-burglary system. Need an extra fire exit? Get a VELUX balcony. Or you can get custom windows in a variety of styles.

Here are some more tips on how to choose the best roof window or skylight for you:

  1. Skylight vs Roof Window: Skylights (round, square, rectangular) are functional light sources with a reflective shaft and diffuser. Roof windows are clear-glazed, installed with an open shaft and can be manual or electric for light and air circulation in spaces like kitchens or bathrooms.
  2. Positioning: Proper skylight positioning affects the amount of light entering the room. Consider roof structure, and electrical wiring before installation and add blinds/dimming devices for bedrooms.
  3. Space: Skylights bring natural light and depth to small or large spaces, separating and making them feel more spacious.
  4. Shape and Size: The shape of the skylight affects the home's theme. Consider a shape that reflects your style, and tubular skylights can be installed in "off-centre" positions.
  5. Glazing: Skylights come with acrylic/polycarbonate domes or single/double-glazed Low-E glass. Choose a product with low U-value, SHGC, and high VT for energy efficiency.

If you need advice about adding a window to your property, feel free to get in touch with us. You will get a free quote and our undivided attention.

Frequently Asked Questions on Types of Roof Windows

Why should I install roof windows?

New roof windows available on the market offer plenty of benefits. First of all, they can add more space in a loft (especially if you choose a skylight balcony).

Second, they bring natural light and ventilation into the room without unnecessary heat loss, reducing your energy costs in the cold months.

Third, they will add value to your home in case you are looking to sell it. Not to mention, fixed flat roof windows are often mounted in hard-to-reach locations and are perfect when vertical windows aren’t a good option. You should hire an installer to get the job done properly and safely.

What is the difference between a roof window and a skylight?

In the majority of cases, roof windows don’t offer the same versatility as skylights. While you can mount a rooflight to a curb, you should install a roof window in the same plane and orientation as the roof.

Can you walk on flat roof windows?

Flat roof windows are safe to walk on. If you plan to walk on them often, though, you should consider laying boards across to ensure you don’t damage the felt.

What is skylight flashing?

Flashings are the weatherproofing part of the skylight and roof that protect them from water which can lead to a leak. They are usually made of aluminium. In a word, this is what makes your roof watertight.

What is the difference between a skylight and a VELUX window?

VELUX roof windows are a brand of centre-pivot windows and rooflights that features a grey aluminium exterior as standard. These require recessed flashing kits and are ideal for a loft conversion. There is a range of windows in that category.

Is FAKRO as good as Velux?

Truth is, both are great but roof windows from FAKRO may have the upper hand when it comes to the quality-price ratio. FAKRO roof windows are made from aluminium, plastic, and wood that are expertly engineered. VELUX windows come with quality parts as well. There are different types available and both manufacturers offer the best products out there.

Can a roof window be used as an access point?

Some designs allow the window to open and close in a similar fashion to a door, making it possible to use it as a fire escape just like a standard window. For instance, a side-hung window opens pretty much like a door. Keep in mind that if the window is operated via a remote control, it may not be a suitable option.

How can HiSky help you?

Ready to enhance your home with natural light? Let HiSky Limited help you choose the right roof window for your home. Our blog provides valuable information on the different types of roof windows available and how to choose the best one for your needs.

With our expertise in custom unit skylights and skylight roof systems, we are the leading supplier of high-quality triple-glazed skylights in the UK. Contact us today and let us help you make an informed decision on the right roof window for your home.