There is a growing desire to add windows to pitched roof systems as the cost of purchasing a new home is more expensive than ever. Converting existing spaces provides a far more cost-effective solution.
This guide to pitched roof windows has been composed to help anyone considering installing one in their loft space. Buying the right type of window will add functionality and increased energy efficiency while providing an aesthetically pleasing finish to the roof exterior.
An Introduction to Pitched Roof Windows
Installing windows into a pitched roof instantly transforms the space inside, reducing the need for artificial lighting as the room is opened up with more natural light. Pitched roof windows are often added when a loft conversion is planned, turning an existing loft space into a habitable room with a view.
The immediate environment around the house and the direction the room and window are facing will play a role in determining how much light comes into the room. This is also true of the type of glazing used.
One important consideration that must be born in mind is what the room will be used for and how frequently it is accessed. For example, if it is being converted into a studio flat or workspace, it will make sense to allow in as much light as possible. For conversions into guest rooms that are only used on occasion, constant light may not be such a priority.
If possible, installing pitched roof windows on the south-facing side of the property is preferred as it will see more sunlight during the day. If the window is positioned on the opposing side it will receive a more subdued source of light.
The position of the sun during the day will also impact on windows positioned on the eastern and western sides of the property. The sun rises in the east, which means the room will receive more light in the morning. The opposite is true for west-facing windows.
What Options are Available?
In terms of opening mechanisms, there are two main types of pitched roof windows available. In addition, they can also be purchased in different materials and features such as the type of glazing and ventilation provided.
Roof Window Options
- Centre-pivot roof windows: These windows open 180° from the vertical centre, consisting of a single pane of glass. It can be opened and closed using the control bar at the top. The VELUX GGU 0070Q is a perfect example of what a centre-pivot window looks like.
- Top-hung roof windows: Rather than opening from the centre, top-hung roof windows are controlled at the top of the frame. The control bar is located at the bottom of the window, so it can be pushed out and upwards. Take a look at the VELUX GPU 0060 which demonstrates what a top-hung pitched roof window looks like and how it operates.
- Side-hung and top-third roof windows: As the descriptions indicate, these two roof windows offer a different method of opening the window. Side-hung opens either on the left or right side of the frame and can be used as escape routes depending on the size. Top-third is a combination of top hung and centre pivot, ensuring less sash enters the room when open. However, both styles are less common than top-hung and centre-pivot.
- Polyurethane roof windows: This is becoming the most common type of material used to mould the frame. One of its main benefits is that it ensures much lower maintenance after installation. The VELUX GPU 0066 windows are a good example, also coming with triple glazing.
- Pine timber windows: These offer a more traditional finish but are still manufactured and easy to find. The timber features a protective triple coat clear lacquer which helps to preserve the wood. The VELUX GGL 3066, which is also triple glazed, is a popular choice for this material. They can be bought with a natural pine finish, or painted white, as you can see with the VELUX White Painted GGL 2060.
Choosing the Right Glazing
In addition to the style and materials available, there are several different glazing options to choose from. Each one provides a range of benefits to suit the type of property, location and room the roof window is being installed into.
Laminated Roof Windows
This is classed as safety glazing and a good idea for windows being installed above head height. The laminated glazing ensures that if an object hits the window with some force, it would not shatter and fall into space below. At worst, it will crack and allow you time to locate a tradesman to visit and conduct repairs. The VELUX White Painted GGL 2070 offers this durability and can work on pitched roofs between 15 - 90°.
Noise Reduction Roof Windows
A popular choice for those who live in built-up, urban areas where external noise pollution could prove to be a problem. The VELUX White Painted GPL 2060 provides this type of noise reduction, working on pitched roofs between 15 - 55°. The thicker glazing helps to dampen the sound and make the room more serene.
Obscure Roof Windows
Bathrooms and kitchens benefit from this style of glazing as it adds an extra level of privacy. This glazing option is non-transparent. This means that while you can look outward, you will have peace of mind that no-one can see what is happening inside. Looking for maximum privacy? Take a look at the VELUX GPU 0034, a polyurethane option which offers just that.
Triple & Quadruple Glazed Roof Windows
As you can imagine, this type of window offers enhanced glazing beyond the more common double-glazed versions. They both ensure fantastic levels of insulation, keeping the heat in and stopping the cold. The VELUX GPU 0066 is a triple-glazed roof window made from polyurethane and also a solid alternative for spaces requiring noise reduction.
How to Maintain a Pitched Roof Window?
Most high-quality roof windows will come with a 10-year guarantee. However, with good maintenance and cleaning, you should be able to make them last far longer. This will require cleaning the various elements of the window to keep them in good condition.
Good ventilation is key to maintaining a pitched roof window as it prevents condensation from forming on the surface. This is particularly useful for bathrooms and kitchens where humidity levels tend to be far higher than other areas of the house.
When it comes to cleaning, using a combination of warm water and a regular household detergent to wash the window is ideal. If the roof window is easily accessible you can always use a standard glass cleaner to keep it clear of stains on a weekly, or monthly basis.
The air filter should also be washed every 6 - 12 months to remove any dirt and dust that may have built up. The same applies to the flashing which will need to have any leaves, debris, snow or ice cleared, depending on the time of year.
How Much Do Pitched Roof Windows Cost?
For the most up to date pricing on pitched roof window solutions, click the links in the table below or visit our roof windows & skylights section.
Roof windows come in a range of different sizes, made from different materials and with their own specialised glazing.
The table below gives you an idea of some of the options available to buy, covering noise reduction, pine, laminated, triple glazed and opaque. Each product has at least six different sizes but the information below is based on the smallest and largest sizes available, so you can assess how much will approximately need to be spent.
|VELUX GGL 3060 - Noise Reduction||94 x 140cm|
|VELUX GGL 3060 - Noise Reduction||114 x 118cm|
|VELUX GPU 0066 - Triple Glazed||55 x 98cm|
|VELUX GPU 0066 - Triple Glazed||134 x 140cm|
|VELUX GPU 0070 - Laminated||55 x 98cm|
|VELUX GPU 0070 - Laminated||114 x 118cm|
|VELUX White Painted GPL 2060 - Noise Reduction||134 x 98cm|
|VELUX White Painted GPL 2060 - Noise Reduction||134 x 140cm|
|VELUX GPL 3070 - Laminated Tough Pine||55 x 98cm|
|VELUX GPL 3070 - Laminated Tough Pine||134 x 140cm|
|VELUX GGL 3066 - Triple Glazed Pine||55 x 78cm|
|VELUX GGL 3066 - Triple Glazed Pine||134 x 140cm|
|VELUX GGU 0034 - Opaque||55 x 78cm|
|VELUX GGU 0034 - Opaque||134 x 140cm|