Can you have glass rooflights for flat roofs?

Yes! Glass rooflights for flat roofs are just as effective as the pitched versions. They’re a brilliant means of improving the levels of natural daylight within your home or office. In addition, they can provide much needed ventilation in stuffy, possibly windowless rooms. Increasingly common on flat roof extensions, such as a single storey kitchen extension, they can completely transform the feel of a room.

Advantages Of Using Glass Rooflights For Flat Roofs

Rooflights are also referred to as skylights, thanks to the beautiful uninterrupted view they provide of the sky. At night you can even do a spot of stargazing! Furthermore, you can enjoy this view in the complete privacy that a flat rooflight provides. The lack of angle means that you can enjoy maximum sunlight without anyone being able to look in.

As well as boosting the amount of natural daylight, glass rooflights for flat roofs can also assist in ventilation. It is a well-known fact that hot air rises, so on a hot summer’s day the quickest way to cool a room down can be opening up the rooflight. Many rooflights are now fitted with electric opening systems powered by the mains electricity or solar cells. The more advanced of these use sensors to detect rainfall and close automatically.

If you’d rather try and keep as much heat in as possible, we’d recommend choosing triple glazing. In addition to providing excellent heat insulation, triple glazing can also help to deaden sound. That’s a significant plus during heavy rainfall!

The Technicalities of Glass Rooflights for Flat Roofs

When we speak to people about the possibilities of glass rooflights for flat roofs, their major concern tends to be water pooling and accumulating debris. That is why we would always recommend using a very slight, barely noticeable pitch to assist in rainwater run-off. This pitch can be created through use of a protruding upstand, a raised edging that separates the rooflight from the flat roof. In the UK, an upstand tends to be a minimum of 150mm tall.

To solve the issue of dirt build-up we would recommend choosing a self-cleaning glass. This specialist glass reacts with sunlight to begin to breakdown any dirt, which can then be more easily washed away during the next rainfall.

Another concern we often hear regards the water-resistant capabilities of glass rooflights for flat roofs. In addition to the subtle pitch of our rooflights we would also suggest that you use waterproof flashings.

In order to comply with UK building regulations, your rooflight should be made from a toughened glass. Not only is it far stronger than standard glass, it also shatters into less jagged smaller pieces which are less likely to injure any unfortunate person stood below.

If you live in either a listed building or a conservation area you will almost certainly require planning permission from your local authority before installing a rooflight.

Selecting You Style

Glass rooflights for flat roofs are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, each suitable for different environments and uses. For example, a lantern rooflight is raised high than other rooflights. Comprised of multiple glass panels that are pitched to meet in the centre and held in place by slim supports, it can provide a 360 degree view.

A popular trend in urban areas is to install an access rooflight. Essentially a lantern rooflight that contains stairs and an opening, it allows you to transform your roof into a gorgeous terrace. Rural homes could also introduce the same idea, creating the perfect elevated area from which to view the countryside or coast.

When considering the framework of a rooflight you have three main options: metal, PVCu or timber. Timber has been traditionally used for this job but it requires the greatest amount of maintenance to ensure water tightness. PVCu is a low maintenance alternative but can look a bit bulky. Our top recommendation would be a metal framework, either steel or aluminium. Both are a slimmer alternative to PVCu, require less maintenance and have longer estimated service lives. Local authorities will generally insist on a metal framework in listed buildings.

Glass and Stainless can design and create bespoke glass rooflights for flat roofs. Contact us today to discuss your specification.