Our clients in Emerson Valley Milton Keynes wanted quite a simple rear extension a few years ago, and so this is what we gave them. After a simple misunderstanding made by the planning department about the roof, we nearly had our planning application refused, but once that was resolved it went through. Like many single storey extensions, we looked at the option of providing natural light from above by inserting a roof light rather than adding to their electricity bills with artificial light.
Following the subject of loft conversions from last week’s blog post, we thought we’d discuss a particular aspect which clients need to think about when getting a loft conversion, and having a room in the loft space. Should you get a skylight or a dormer window installed?
You can buy various types of skylights, or velux windows, in a wide variety of designs. They’re angled towards the sky which means that they allow much more light into a room than you might get with a dormer window because, unlike a dormer window, there are no extra walls or a roof to exclude any light from entering the room (but sometimes a velux can let too much light into the space). Although if you’re putting an extra bedroom in the loft space, you may want to think about the noise of the heavy rain hitting a skylight during the night as well as how much light it will allow. Velux windows are usually cheaper than a dormer, and usually don’t need planning dependant on the size of the window, the external aesthetics and a few other points. If you have young children around then a velux might be safer than a dormer window because it is higher and therefore not as easily accessible to young curious minds.
One of the major positives of having dormer windows installed is that they maximise headroom in the loft space. Dependent on the surroundings your property has around it, it may also facilitate a nice view out of the window. As stated earlier, one of the downfalls of the dormer window is the lower amount of light being allowed into the space as you would get by having a skylight. Dormer windows are usually more expensive than skylight windows, and most also require planning permission as they alter the exterior of the house.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, if you’re currently trying to make this decision and are unsure about which to go for, then why not ask your designer/architect for their opinion?
Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.