Pros and Cons of Roof Lanterns
Roof lanterns are lovely as well as practical, and they may boost the sophistication of a room if the ‘right’ project is selected. These glazed structures not only bring beautiful light into your home but also create an elevated sense of space and drama overhead.
A roof lantern is a wonderful way to bring character to any design, especially if you are working on a single-story extension. They are particularly effective in large open-plan areas where natural light from windows and doors must reach farther and work harder to keep the area feeling fresh and bright.
Pros and Cons of Roof Lanterns: What You Need to Know
Roof lanterns are a great way to bring light and airiness to a room. These structures, typically made of glass, metal, or some combination of the two, offer a unique architectural element for your home.
Depending on the style and location of your roof, however, adding a roof lantern may be challenging or impossible. So before you get started designing your new roof addition, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of roof lanterns so you can make the best decision for your home.
If you’re in the process of renovating your home or thinking about remodeling in the future, installing a new roof can be an excellent opportunity to add features that improve its look and functionality.
A roof with additional details can significantly change how a room feels by expanding its potential uses and style. Adding a new attic or completing an unfinished crawl space is also another way to add value to your home.
What is a Roof Lantern?
A roof lantern is a glass-enclosed structure designed to sit on top of a roof. Roof lanterns are generally circular or octagonal in shape and sit directly on top of the roof deck so they don’t require additional structural support.
Depending on the style, roof lanterns can be fixed or operable. Fixed roof lanterns are designed to be stationary while operable roof lanterns are designed to be opened and closed to allow for natural ventilation when needed.
Roof lanterns are a great architectural feature for your home because they can add style, light, and functionality.
Roof lanterns can be used to redirect light into a room, bringing brightness to dark areas. They can also be used as skylights to bring natural light indoors and provide ventilation.
Another added benefit is that roof lanterns can be great for creating additional views from above.
Pros of Roof Lanterns
Increased light and ventilation
Roof lanterns can be a great way to encourage light and ventilation into a room by redirecting light and airflow through the roof. This can be especially beneficial in rooms that don’t get enough light, such as a basement or an area behind a staircase.
Improved indoor air quality
Roof lanterns can help reduce carbon dioxide levels and improve indoor air quality by increasing ventilation. Roof lanterns can be opened and closed, allowing you to control how much natural light comes in and how much ventilation is needed.
Roof lanterns can add a unique architectural feature to your home that improves overall style. If you want to bring a more modern or contemporary feel to a room, adding a roof lantern can be a great way to achieve that goal.
Increased property value
Having a roof lantern installed on your house can significantly increase the property’s value. The sleek, simple design instantly makes rooms appear larger, airier, and brighter – a perfect selling point.
Improved energy efficiency
Roof lanterns prevent excessive heat build-up and reduce energy costs by allowing hot air to escape and cold air to circulate freely through your home. Furthermore, they protect your home from extreme weather and UV rays.
Impressive overhead views
Having more sky and less roof – a dream come true for many of us! Whether you are enjoying a pleasant evening with family or holding a luxurious dinner party for friends, everyone will be wowed by the impressive sky views via your roof lantern!
No planning permission necessary
In the UK, if you wish to install a roof lantern, typically, you don’t require any planning permission. In which case you’ll be able to avoid the hassle of time-consuming planning permission applications.
The Planning Portal states that there are three limits and conditions to which roof lanterns must comply:
- Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane.
- No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
In order to be certain that your roof lantern is in compliance with building control requirements, it’s best to seek input from a structural professional.
Disadvantages of Roof Lanterns
While roof lanterns can offer great benefits and add style to your home, they can increase construction costs because they require specialised construction skills for installation and must be designed specifically for your roof.
Roof modification required
Roof lanterns might require specific roof modification, such as a skylight cutout, which can mean entire roof replacement. Depending on where you want to add the roof lantern, a roof modification may be necessary.
Wintertime heat loss
Historically, glazed extensions such as conservatories have been blamed for overheating houses in the summer and making them too cold in the winter. However, modern glazing has undergone many improvements, altering this historical notion.
Because roof lanterns are composed of a lot of glazing, they are more susceptible to permitting exterior noise to be heard inside, especially when it rains heavily or if there is a lot of traffic nearby.
These days, roof lantern manufacturers have made significant improvements in the noise-reduction performance of glass roof lanterns. The same is true for windows, as the performance of a roof lantern will depend heavily on the quality of the glazing employed.
Difficult to clean
In general, lantern roofs are quite challenging to clean, as they frequently feature areas that are tricky to clean. However, some roof lanterns are composed of self-cleaning glass, so they remain clean all year round.
How Much Do Roof Lantern Installations Cost in the UK?
These days, an ‘average’ roof lantern in the UK costs in the region of £2500. This is inclusive of installation.
A small uPVC roof lantern measuring 750mm x 750mm costs around £1,100 – £1,200, inclusive of installation.
A small aluminium roof lantern also measuring 750mm x 750mm costs around £1,300 – £1,400, inclusive of installation.
For a timber-framed roof lantern of the same dimensions, you’d be looking at around £1,900, inclusive of installation.
Installing a Roof Lantern – Brief Insights
The first step in installing a roof lantern is to determine where you want to add it to your home. Roof lanterns are best suited for areas of the roof with low pitch, such as the front of your house or the top of a garage.
The next step is to select a roof lantern that is designed specifically for your roof and meets the building code in your area.
Once you have found the right design, you can then mark the location of the roof lantern on your roof and make any necessary roof modifications. After installation, make sure any roof penetrations are sealed to prevent water damage.
Is Installing a Roof Lantern Worth It?
A roof lantern is a great addition to any home as it can add style, light, and functionality. Roof lanterns can be a great way to bring light and ventilation into a room by redirecting light and airflow through the roof.
Roof lanterns can also be a great way to bring in beautiful views and gorgeous scenery from above.
Depending on your roof and the style of your home, installing a roof lantern may be challenging or could, in fact, be an impossible task. Before you get started designing your new roof addition, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of roof lanterns so you can make the best decision for your home.