20 Jun Loft conversions – go bold and bright with your natural light
In amongst the desire for engineered wood, underfloor heating and a spacious feeling, one consistent request from our clients – no matter whether it’s a rear extension, a refurbishment or a loft conversion we’re completing for them – is light, natural light and lots of it.
The more natural light you have flooding into your loft conversion the more spacious and contemporary it will feel, but how can you hope to achieve this in what is usually quite a restricted space. To the sides you may have party walls, above is the roof that protects your home from the elements, and let’s face it, lofts are often smaller than you’d imagine when the pitch of your roof restricts the amount of actual usable space you can stand up in.
Of course, roofs can be raised, dormers added to provide more usable space and innovative solutions found for allowing more light into your loft and it’s this last one that our article today is all about.
1. Roof windows
There’s one brand synonymous with all roof windows these days and that’s Velux. Like ‘Hoover’ has become an informal name for a vacuum cleaner, ‘Velux’ has become that for glazing in your ceilings. Velux windows come in all shapes and sizes, adding light and ventilation to loft spaces and loft conversions – bedrooms and bathrooms, studios and dressing rooms. They can even be used to add natural light to the otherwise dark and dingy stairwells that lead you up to them. Prices have come down and choice has gone up, so one or more windows are a clear and obvious solution for many loft conversions.
2. Dormer windows
Because of their orientation, Velux windows will let in far more light than your standard dormer windows, but then again, who ever said your dormer windows had to be standard. What about floor to ceiling windows to give you full advantage of the view from the highest point in your home and the most natural light possible? It is good practice to use reinforced glass in the bottom sections of such windows for safety and to check whether there are any issues with the room being overlooked. But a wall of glazing can add more than just light to a loft room – it can give a greater feeling of space and style.
3. French doors to balcony
Juliet balconies divide the nation – for some they are a beautiful aesthetic addition to the extension, for others they are a pointless two-dimensional version of a three-dimensional feature. Whatever your leaning on this question, a Juliet balcony offers a way to add more glazing and, therefore, more light in your loft room. French doors offer almost floor to ceiling glazing, though in a narrower format, and some of the best versions of a Juliet balcony we’ve seen have bifold doors that open up almost an entire wall with the Juliet balcony being the glazed safety barrier and handrail that prevents you from stepping out into space.
4. Light tunnels/sun tunnels
Most natural light enters a room through glazing, whether through windows or glazed doors, but a sun tunnel is something a little different. It’s a small unit installed into your roof that lets the sunlight in – a highly reflective metal tube lets sunlight bounce along to a frosted lens that shines light into the room of your choosing. This could be for a bathroom, bedroom or hallway – anywhere there is a need for additional natural light. There are many situations where a window just is not feasible, but a sun tunnel may be the solution.
Most building firms are formulaic – they know that if they can repeat the same designs again and again they can complete the build more quickly and move on to the next one. However, there are a few that will treat your home like the unique project it is, builders who appreciate the importance of harnessing natural light to make your loft conversion a space you’ll love to live in.
If you would like to discuss how best to flood your loft conversion with natural light to make it feel more homely, more spacious and more ‘you’, just give us a call on 0203 021 2140 or email – we’re here to help.