Allowing light into our homes was the initial purpose of the window design. If you lose a couple of living room, kitchen or dining room windows to a home extension, then the area can begin to feel rather dreary and dark. This is why it can be useful to consider the type of home extension with which you should proceed. Will it be a standard ‘bricks and mortar’ extension, or are you considering a glass or conservatory extension?

Glass extensions and conservatories will increase the amount of light reaching the already existing rooms of the property. Standard home extensions utilise less glass making this more difficult but it is not completely impossible.  Consider these options from FourWalls-Group.com.

1. The Flat Roof Versus Lean-to and Gable-ended Roofs

Lantern Roofs – UCS Group

If you are opting for the traditional building option, you will have three basic roofing alternatives: the lean-to, the gable-ended and the flat roofs.

The lean-to roof tends to be the first option for most people. It is a roof-light or angled window within a pitched roof and is potentially the best means of introducing light into a new space. However, it can also reflect the light back into the current room.

There are restrictions on what a person can do with a lean-to roof. For instance, the minimum recommended pitched roof level is fifteen degrees. Moreover, dependent on the positioning of the upstairs window or how far you intend to extend the angle, a pitched roof may not be on the cards.

The gable-ended roofing option is one of the more expensive alternatives. Appearing as an inverted ‘V’ shape, this type of roofing option is a far more complicated structure with two pitches and a central ridge. A further challenge is that the pitched roof lighting will light the area below shining across the lower space and not reflecting up into pre-existing rooms.

Flat roofs are far more cost-effective than gable-ended or lean-to roofing, and they present with fewer restrictions regarding the build. A flat roof relies on the window within the extension as a source of natural daylight; however, it does have the problem that internal rooms can feel gloomy.

2. The Flat Roof Meets the Lantern Roof

A lantern roof, structural glass lighting, and roof lights are effective as a means of introducing light to new living spaces; as well as reflecting the light back up into pre-existing rooms.

A roof lantern is a type of hybrid roof solution combining the standard flat roof with conservatory roof technology to form a flexible resource. It not only maximises the flow of lighting, but it also pushes it through both new and pre-existing rooms. Image this to be a flat roof with the supporting stand, and then some glass box construction atop the stand.

The roof lantern has three distinctive benefits. Firstly, the size of the roof extension is not limited by the minimum pitch measurement as stated in the case of lean-to roofs. It is also considerably more cost-effective than a gable-ended roof using two pitches. It also offers increased flexibility similar to flat roofs while placing light into both pre-existing and new spaces.

One example of how the roof lantern can be utilised is over a kitchen island combining the central source of daylight and using it where it is needed. It is also a good tool for ventilating the area extracting odours and heat, while still acting as an aesthetic centerpiece in the kitchen.

How Much Does the Roof Lantern Cost?

As is mentioned before, there is not a great difference in cost between the pitched roof and the roof lantern extension option. Yes, the latter can be more costly to construct than purchasing a simple flat roof; however, when you have all the additional costs of the roof lantern it brings you to a similar amount. Of course, both of these costs are significantly lower than the gable-ended roof option.

Do I Need Planning Permissions?

Yes and no. The need for planning permissions typically depends on the location of your property and the area for the extension. You should always consult the local planning authority beforehand and do not extend without any permission.

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