How to choose the perfect windows for your loft conversion?

A child's room with a bed, a crib, and a window. (Keywords: window)

If you decide to convert your attic, you get an opportunity not only to gain more living space for your family but also to make it the most comfortable and relaxing area of your home. That’s possible because when designing a loft, you can take advantage of certain conditions no other room in your house has access to. Since it’s located at the very top of the building, you can enjoy great views, and by adding the right windows, you’ll be able to create a beautiful and sun-filled space that will be the envy of many.

Types of loft conversions

Before you start planning any specific changes you want to implement in your loft, you need to know what type of conversion will be the most suitable in your case. And if you already have at least a vague idea about how you’re going to use this space, it’ll be much easier to make a decision.

  • Internal conversion

If an attic has a sufficient amount of headroom (the minimum height, set by the building regulations, is 2.4 m), there will be no need for extensive construction work. This will make the whole process of converting it much easier and cheaper. In many cases, to successfully complete an internal conversion, all you need to do is adding roof windows of your choice.

  • Dormer conversion

It gets a bit more complicated if you don’t have enough headspace. While it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to transform such a space into a habitable area, it means the cost will get higher. One of your options is extending the roof by constructing a vertical wall and installing dormer windows.

  • Hip-to-gable conversion
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In many properties, the area available for a loft conversion is limited by a hipped roof. You can gain more room by replacing one of the sloping sides with a vertical wall to create an extension of your attic space.

Choose the right windows for your roof

An attic bedroom with windows and a bed.

The first thing to remember is to always choose reliable solutions, like f.e., Fakro roof windows. And the second most important thing is to make sure they’re installed properly. This will help you prevent unpleasant surprises, like leaks and condensation, later on. But before it comes to any of this, you need to find the right windows for your roof type.

  • Flat roofs (0° and 15°)

You can find many solutions on the market that are designed to fit flat roofs. For example flat-glass rooflights or roof lanterns. If you choose windows with a flat surface, remember to install them with at least a slight pitch to stop water from gathering on top.

  • Pitched roofs (over 15°)

When choosing windows for sloped roofs, you need to think about how much space you have available and what you want to gain. It’s also important to consider whether you want options that will enable you to enjoy unobstructed views or subtler ones to maintain privacy.

Opening options

You can choose between opening and non-opening options, and it shouldn’t be a decision you take on a whim. Lofts are great, but they can heat up easily on hot summer days. In such situations, ensuring proper ventilation can save you a lot of trouble. If you don’t have any ventilation system installed yet, your windows will have to serve this purpose, so you’ll need to be able to open them easily. In case they are difficult to access, you can look for electric opening systems to solve this issue.

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In most cases, you won’t need to get a permit to install roof windows, but it will depend on the area you live in. Generally, it’s advisable to consult with your local council to make sure there aren’t any laws limiting your options. This way, you’ll avoid any potential problems and will be able to enjoy your newly converted loft without any worries.

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