Let's talk roof lanterns

Not sure what I mean by roof lanterns. It was only recently that I discovered their proper name too. We were at the Homebuilding and Renovating Show at London's Excel recently and there were lots of them there. They're the raised lantern - or mini greenhouse - shaped structures that you quite often see on flat roofs. And are a great way to bring more light into a space.

And now you know their name, like me no doubt you'll start seeing them everywhere. They quite often feature in one of my all time favourite TV programmes - Grand Designs - and I can see why. I mean who wouldn't want a nice, bright space flooded with natural light.

Like every home improvement though there's lots to consider before taking the plunge. Functionality, design and cost are likely to feature high on that list but I thought it'd be interesting to explore things you might not immediately consider.

1. Frame size 

Let's face it the reason you're considering a roof lantern is to let as much light into your space as possible, so logic follows that you want a frame size that fits with the brief. Many frames are thicker than you'd expect, but looking around for the slim aluminium roof lanterns in your budget will really pay off in the long term.

You might think that it won't make a noticeable difference, but every time we have the trees in our back garden pollarded I'm surprised at suddenly how much more light floods into our window-less dining room. And they're not that close to the house.

Photocredit: Roof Lantern Solutions

Photocredit: Roof Lantern Solutions

2. Heat loss and green credentials

Another consideration has to be making - and keeping - your space warm, without all of your heat going through the roof. Don't skimp on the insulation your provider recommends, it's much better to pay once for the proper insulation than every quarter when your energy bill arrives. Skimping really is a false economy, and besides a naturally warm and cosy room is much more appealing than a cold and damp one isn't it? 

3. Cleanability

We're back to light levels again really. Dirty glass will dull your space, so the self cleaning glass is well worth considering. When we replaced our bathroom windows shortly after moving here in 2002 we opted for that, it came a slight premium but it's definitely worth it. And I'm sure with advances in technology it's even better than then as well. 

The alternative is a pair of steps, a hose, some wellies and a mop. In our house that's MOH's job, while I am the glamorous window cleaner's assistant passing the tools for the job up to him and darting out of the way before he tries to soak me.  

Photocredit: Roof Lantern Solutions

Photocredit: Roof Lantern Solutions

So, if you have a roof lantern, is there anything else you'd add to the list to consider? And are they as good as they seem?


* This is a collaborative post but all views and opinions are my own.