The Sky is the Limit

Have you ever sat outside on a balmy summer evening and looked up at the night sky and thought to yourself that you’d love to be able to enjoy that view all year round? If you have then read on as, in this article, we will look at ways of getting a beautiful sky view from inside your home.

Roof Options
When it comes to adding windows to your roof there are a couple of options and it is perhaps best to discuss the differences before going into too much detail. Essentially, you can have a roof window, a rooflight or a skylight and there are differences between them.

Roof Window
A roof window is typically a single window which is fitted in the same orientation and plane as the surrounding roof, this means that it does not sit proud of the surface of the roof. These can be fixed or openable. Typically, these will be installed in a pitched roof. You can purchase standard sizes, which will be the most economical, or you can ask for a custom size to be made.

A rooflight is a variation on the same theme. Typically, they are installed with an upstand making them sit proud of the roof tiles. These can be installed in flat roofs and pitched roofs.

Although often used interchangeably with a roof window or even rooflight, a sky light is normally a larger installation consisting of multiple rooflights or roof windows next to each other to create a large glazed opening.

Planning and Building Regulations
Normally planning permission isn’t required for these types of installations as long as certain conditions are adhered to. If you are unsure in any way, then consult an expert to make sure you don’t fall foul of the rules.

You will, however, need to ensure building regulations are considered as this type of installation is considered a controlled fitting as it changes the thermal characteristics of your home. Ensure that you discuss these requirements in detail with the installer to make sure you meet all building regulation requirements. You should receive a compliance certificate from the installer at the end of the project.

Opening and Closing
Most home windows can be opened and closed and the same goes for glazing installed in a roof.  Although they can be fixed closed so that they can’t be opened, even the most inaccessible windows can be opened. If you can reach the glazing, then simply opt for a normal handle type opening system but if you can’t then you have two options: Electrical or manual opening.

 Manual Opening
There are a few options for manual opening of inaccessible windows from a manual winding gear, to a folding opener to a screwjack opener.  Talking to the installer will help you decide on which version is best for your needs.

Electric Opening
If you don’t like the idea of having to open the window using a manual mechanism, then you can opt for electrical openers. Again, there are several different types of opener for you to consider. They are more expensive to buy and install but you will be able to open your windows at the touch of a button.

As far as adding glazing to your roof is concerned you can opt for single windows of various sizes all the way to a full span across the space. Clearly going for a full skylight will be a lot more expensive but the view will be spectacular. 

Another great option to give you a spectacular view of the night sky is a conservatory. Not only will a conservatory add more space to your home, the glass roof will give you unfettered views of the sky when you are in there. You will need to check the planning permission rules for your town to see if you will need planning permission for a conservatory but normally they are classed as a permitted development right, as long as they meet certain conditions. Irrespective of whether you need planning permission, you will need to check compliance with building regulations. 

As you can see, there are a few ways of achieving a night sky view from inside your home and each has its own pros and cons so spend some time talking to installers and suppliers to help you decide which option is best for you. What you can be sure of, however, is a stunning view of the starry night on those beautiful clear winter nights, without suffering the cold.

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