Pitched Roof Window Buyer's Guide
There are a number of ways to breath some new life into a room, though few are quite as effective as buying pitched roof windows. Not only are they able to introduce a tremendous amount of natural light but, used correctly, they can make any space feel larger – perfect for a converted bedroom or bathroom.
‘Used correctly’ however, is a phrase just vague enough to be the bane of any DIYers, both fledging and expert. Beyond picking out the right location, you will have to decide how you want the window to open, what is the best way for it to operate, the glazing and finally the frame.
Whilst there was once a time when these decisions were straightforward, the benefit of technological advancement has since made them a tad more complicated. To help cut through the jargon and get your new window as quickly as possible, we’ve used the below as an opportunity to answer the most pressing questions.
Making the most out of Natural Light
It may be an obvious thing to state but simple sunlight boasts a whole host of extraordinary benefits. It helps our bodies produce essential vitamin D, helps our sleep cycles and has even been shown to improve our moods. What it isn’t however, unlike artificial light, is controllable. The sun will inevitably rise in the east and set in the west and so the direction of your window will immediately determine how much light you will benefit from.
South-facing windows will let in light throughout the year. A great choice for shared living spaces, bedrooms, or any other location where you intend on spending the bulk of your time. North facing, on the other hand, will receive far less. That’s not to say it will be nothing, though the light will be far more muted – better for storage spaces or bathrooms if you are limited on space.
East facing is the best direction for bedrooms. With a bright light shining in the morning to help wake you up, fading around noon for those lazy afternoon naps. Opposed to this you have west-facing windows, which get the bulk of the light in the evenings. Not ideal for resting, but perfect for family rooms and dens.
What Type of Window Do I Need?
One of the most popular choices, Centre Pivot Windows offer a great deal of versatility – opening, as you might have guessed at the centre. Either by the top or bottom of the sash, leaving half the window to intrude into your room. These types provide a great deal of light and ventilation and can be far less of a burden on your wallet. Though, it is worth remembering that they don’t provide much space once installed, making them preferable for less furnished rooms, an en-suite for example.
Top Hung Windows provides an even greater level of light, in addition to a fantastic view. Seeing as they don’t intrude upon the interior of your room at all, they are perfect for living rooms and bedrooms – allowing you complete freedom over how you furnish and decorate. A safer option than centre pivot windows, top-hung styles also provide a means of escape in the case of an emergency.
Much like Centre Pivot windows, A High Pivot design opens on an axis with a key difference being height. An ideal in-between, they still provide ample space for furnishing whilst being easy to clean from the inside. This pairing makes them ideal for bedroom-converted lofts.
What Type of Glazing Do I Need?
A classic and well-known choice, double glazing provides not only a greater insulation performance but also additional noise reduction and thermal efficiency – able to save up to and over £125 a year on your energy bills. Double Glazing is ideal in virtually any environment.
Triple & Quadruple Glazing
With one added pane and two pockets of argon, xenon or krypton gas Triple Glazing provides even greater benefits than double. A greater thermal efficiency, greater noise reduction and greater savings year on year. Naturally, Quadruple Glazing is further efficient still. These glazing options are the more expensive option, but well worth the extra investment.
As the name would imply, Safety Glass has been reinforced to resist damage from high winds and impacts. They are naturally ideal for areas subject to such conditions and see common use in commercial settings – especially in critical areas close to the ground. Safety glass, when broken will also commonly break into far smaller pieces, preventing the risk of large, jagged edges causing serious harm.
Energy Efficient Glazing
Designed to vastly improve your home's energy rating, this efficient glazing offers excellent thermal performance. Not only is energy-efficient glazing double (or even triple) glazed but it also makes use of low-emissivity glass to prevent heat from escaping.
Noise Reducing Glazing
With thicker glass, this glazing specialises in preventing excess noise – an ideal choice for those living near high-traffic areas or train stations. If your home is located within these highly built-up areas, Noise Reducing Glazing can be all but essential for those looking to create a relaxing den or when refurbing a bedroom.
How Should My Window Open?
The simplest, most common and friendliest to your purse strings, manual windows offer reliability over the long term. They are ideal if your windows are installed at eye-level, though can also be used with an opening rod should the window be out of reach.
If your windows are not easy to access or you are looking for the simple convenience of being able to sunlight in across your home all at once, electric windows are ideal. Tending to be installed higher up, they can easily be opened with the flock of a switch or button – though can require a bit more extensive work if needing to be repaired. Many VELUX windows can even be operated with your phone, using the Velux Active app.
Solar Windows operate in the same way as electric alternatives, however, without the need for complex wiring. However, this lack of reliance on wired electricity means they can be limited in their use. Depending on how often you want them open, they would need to be installed on either the south or east facing side of your home.
What Frame Do I Need?
With a stunning traditional finish and long-lasting durability, Pine frames have remained as a popular choice for window fittings for decades. Suitable for virtually any interior, with a sleek and unobtrusive appearance. However, this appearance will not last unless properly maintained and, even then, are still susceptible to water damage making them unsuitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
Boasting all the same durability of standard timber frames, but with an added coat of polished white paint, these frames tend to make your interiors brighter – reflecting light back into your home. Ideal for a recently converted bedroom loft.
Whilst made with a core of timber, white polyurethane frames have been finished with a further protective finish – working to maintain their stylish appearance over the long-term. In addition to a longer-life span, this finish also provides some additional moisture-resistance making them an ideal choice for bathrooms.
Pitched Roof Windows Brands
There is a complete range of windows, ladders, blinds and accessories and FAKRO is dedicated to providing innovative and hassle-free lighting solutions. Designed and built to make the often tedious task of converting a loft far simpler. With decades of experience under their belt, a range of glazing options and numerous choices between top-hung and centre pivot models you can rest assured, not only are FAKRO windows made with quality in mind but also security, energy efficiency and reliability which makes them suitable for almost any application.
Having spent 70 years honing their craft, VELUX proudly stands at the forefront of technology and innovation - taking their passion for daylight and fresh air and combining this with durable designs to introduce the benefits of natural light to homes all over the world. Known for their reliability and stunning aesthetics, you’ll find VELUX windows suitable for any style and scale of project, further leading the way with solar powered models in their VELUX Integra.
Installing Pitched Roof Windows
To make the most out of your windows (and avoid unnecessary complications down the lines) it is essential that your pitched roof windows are installed correctly. Make no mistake, this is a complex and delicate jobs, often requiring significant time and expertise. It’s precisely for this reason that the fitting should never be undertaken DIY unless you are completely confident in your skills.
When installing the first step will always be to consult the manufacturer’s installation guide and follow it to a tea. Often the process starts with the removal of your tiles/slate to create a suitably sized aperture to fit your window. Once this is done you can install the insulation collar before detaching the window frame from its sash, screwing compatible brackets into the frame and lifting it into the opening. Once secured, with the sash reattached, you can then fit your underfelt collar and install a gutter at the top of the frame to ensure rainwater can run off without issue.
Next comes the installation of tiles under your window, along with flashing, before replacing the tiles up both sides. The final step, before glazing that it is, is to then dress your vapour barrier into the internal lining to prevent any moisture from reaching your roof.
As we said, the process can be quite complicated so if you are looking to opt for the safer route of hiring a qualified installer instead, these are the average prices you can expect.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Window Installed?
£250 – £700
£490 - £800
£290 - £1100
£370 - £950
£210 - £450
£180 - £940
Whether you are in need of some specific advice or are looking to find yourself the right window for your next project, our award-winning customer service team is here to help. Simply call us on 01295 56565 or get in touch using the chatbox below.