This guide offers useful information to assist you in selecting, buying and installing a roof lantern. There is a design out there for every style of home and most budgets.
A glass roof lantern or skylight is a stunning addition to any home, flooding interiors in natural light. Whilst not cheap, the cost to install a roof lantern is worth the investment. As a feature, it can add value to your property and make a strong statement.
A skylight or roof lantern lets in three times more light than a normal house window. The most common place to install a new skylight would be a kitchen or extension.
Kitchens are often poorly lit, and food preparation isn't easy, or you enjoy eating in the kitchen, but it is often dark and dingy. Kitchen skylights work well and are perfect for giving you the extra light you need.
Roof lanterns became popular during the Victorian era, so, understandably, the more traditional roof lanterns are often Victorian in appearance, usually deep and made from several panes of glass, featuring glazing bars or supports designed to complement the beauty of the lantern.
Modern-day roof lanterns are designed to be more minimal and sleek in appearance.
Roof lanterns are a highly desirable addition to any home. They immediately exude drama and luxury. Whether you opt for a lantern roof conservatory, rectangular roof lantern, square roof lantern, or any shape in between, a feeling of airiness fills the room.
Roof lanterns are available in many different shapes and styles, tailored to fit any roof's shape or size. They can be fitted to flat or pitched roofs, and sizes vary depending on the location.
A spectacular property may have an orangery roof lantern whilst on the other end of the scale. Depending on your budget, your property may be suited to a more simple, elegant option.
Roof lantern prices depend very much on the project's scale, so a small neat installation may be just what your property needs.
Roof lantern installation prices can vary dramatically from a 1,500mm x 2,000mm rectangular uPVC example which would cost between £1650 - £1800, to a timber option of the same size costing from £2,800 to £4,200 and upwards, should you opt for a premium oak roof lantern.
The average price for installing a roof lantern is £1,900. Remember to budget for those contingencies such as roof lantern lighting and roof lantern blinds.
It is difficult to put an exact figure for the cost of a roof lantern. Costs depend on the size, design and quality you require and whether you are paying installation costs or just supply. You can be charged under £500 to over £4,000 for a roof lantern.
Contact several companies and get quotes but make sure that you choose good quality products. If you require extras such as manual or electronically opening etc., remember there will be cost implications. Roof lantern prices vary a lot and depend on several things:
Roof lantern costs will depend on the size and style you choose. This table will give you some costs examples for the supply and installation of some common roof lantern choices.
|Type of Roof Lantern||Average Cost|
|uPVC, square, 850mm x 850mm||£950 - £1,600|
|Aluminium, square, 850mm x 850mm||£1,200 - £1,550|
|uPVC, rectangular, 1,500mm x 2,000mm||£1,650 - £1,800|
|Aluminium, rectangular, 1,500mm x 2,000mm||£1750 - £2150|
|Timber, rectangular, 1,500mm x 2,000mm||£2,800 - £4,200|
|Aluminium, Octagonal, 1,500mm x 1,500mm||£2,100 - £3,650|
These costs are based on shape and frame material:
These are prices for aluminium framed roof lanterns:
|Rectangle||£650 - £1,200||£1,500 - £2,500||£3,000 - £4,500|
|uPVC||£350 - £700||£750 - £900||£2,000 - £2,850|
|Aluminium||£600 - £650||£1,150 - £1,250||£4,000 - £4,500|
|Wood||£1,250 - £1850||£2,200 - £3,300||£6,000 - £7,500|
Remember to add a contingency amount for things that might not have been included in the quote. If you a paying for scaffolding, why not consider combining other jobs that need doing to make the most of the expenditure?
Building regulations require adequate ventilation in the room with your roof lantern. Add trickle vents to your roof lantern at an average cost of £35 per vent.
Roof lanterns are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Decide how much space you have to work with as this will be limiting. You will have more control over other decisions, but not about your available space.
Based on the traditional Victorian shape, rectangular roof lanterns are long and narrow and often placed over hallways. They work well in open-plan spaces, and the price for a small, midrange rectangular roof lantern starts at £650.
Modern in appearance and designed to be symmetrical, they can be used in smaller spaces or to highlight points within a larger room—prices for small, mid-range square roof lantern start from £600.
These many-sided roof lanterns work well in circular or unusually shaped spaces, exuding a feeling of grandeur. Small, midrange polyhedral roof lanterns start at £700.
A cupola is a second-tier that makes the lantern stand higher above the rest of the roof. They need to be custom made, so prices vary considerably.
To divide up space into a larger area of glass, several lanterns can be used.
A finial is a shaped piece that sits at the apex of your lantern. A popular option is a round ball shape. Minimal designs might look better without a finial, and the average cost is around £30.
As the most visible part of a roof lantern, your choice of frame will greatly impact and determine the final look. It will also have a cost implication.
As a lower-cost option, try a uPVC roof lantern. They come with lots of colour options and textures, such a fake wood grain. Prices start at around £350. They can expand in the heat and are the weakest option to need wider struts for support.
Aluminium is a higher-end, more modern option. It creates a modern, minimal look. Aluminium has the strength and durability to support larger panes of glass, and prices start at around £600, but its lifespan is shorter than uPVC.
A wooden roof lantern is the most expensive and time-consuming option. Although traditional and timeless, the frame has to be custom-built and requires great craftsmanship. It will need regular maintenance and prices will start at around £1,250.
Roof lanterns are very energy efficient, and you will not need to keep the lights on so much. With a better thermal barrier than the rest of your roof, they reduce your heating bills in winter, saving energy costs.
Roof lanterns are appealing features, often associated with wealth and luxury. Properties with roof lanterns sell quicker and for more money.
Your roof lantern will offer better protection from wind, rain, and changes in temperature than traditional roofing. They are very resistant to the elements.
Your roof lantern installation could be subject to building regulations. However, in most cases, you will not need planning permission, as most roof lanterns will fall under permitted development.
Building regulations will apply to several aspects of the project. Arrange an inspection once the work is completed to ensure the work is up to the required standard.
The roof must be structurally sound after the hole for the roof lantern is made. This means that adequate support is needed.
The new roof lantern requires adequate sealing to the existing roof. Silicone should be used to create a waterproof seal at the bottom of the frame.
It is a requirement that the room with the roof lantern must have proper ventilation and adequate airflow.
The roof lantern must meet basic energy conservation standards. The best indication of this is a U value of more than 1.6.
Check with your local Planning Authority. In most cases, you will not require planning permission to install a roof lantern. However, it must follow these guidelines:
Although sunlight on a bright day can be a pro and a con for some. If you find your roof lantern lets in too much sun, blinds can be installed under the roof lantern to give you a choice to block out the sun if you'd like.
Solar heating can make the room too hot in the summer months. Like most problems with roof lanterns, it largely comes down to the build quality. Specialist glazing is available on the market, reflecting up to 78% of solar heat, making the room more bearable.
Roof vents can be inserted into the structure for increased temperature control without sacrificing thermal efficiency. Blinds block out the sun's warmth and maintain a more comfortable temperature.
Glazed extensions, including roof lanterns, can be far too hot in the summer and much too cold during the winter months. Modern glazing has radically improved in recent years. U-value most commonly measures the ability to retain heat.
The lower the value, the better the warmth retention. A roof lantern can be as low as 0.7 W/m²K - 3 times as thermally efficient as vertical windows. It is also creating a space that can be enjoyed all-year-round.
A roof lantern features a large amount of glazing, which means it could be affected by external noises like traffic or rainfall. Modern manufacturing has drastically improved the glass's performance to make up the roof, providing outstanding thermal insulation and reducing exterior noise.
Roof lanterns are installed in a place that can be difficult to access, so fit glass with a self-cleaning coating so that rainwater slides off it. The coating on the glass uses the sun's UV light to destroy dirt and grime. It then gets washed away when it rains, making maintenance a far easier job.
Consider installing triple glazing for winter heat retention and low-g glass for coolness in the summer months. You can have both, but it will cost roughly 50% more than normal double glazing.
It may be worth installing roof lanterns with an opening vent. This will be useful in summer when the weather can get hot. However, this will require an automatic opening, which will add a lot to the price.
A roof lantern may require planning permission if it is being placed within an existing flat roof. By definition, it must be higher than any existing part of the roof it is set in — a key determinant of the need for planning permission.
Whilst it's nice to leave the back door open and allow the breeze to air the house, flies, wasps, and other insects do find their way inside.
Hang a fly screen, curtain or net over the open doorway to deter flying insects. Readily available in various styles, colours, and materials, from chains to clear plastic, they create a barrier that will stop insects from getting through.
This may seem like a weird idea, but a collection of fly-catching plants arranged on windowsills work wonders at keeping down the number of flies in your home.
For example, Venus flytraps attract flies with their sweet sap, then trap them and devour them. The plants are attractive to look at, and flies will find their way towards them when looking for an escape through the window.
Bug zappers attract insects with ultra-violet light and kill them using a high-voltage electric current. Portable bug zappers can be taken outside if you're enjoying the light summer evenings.
They are placed close to food preparation areas in the kitchen or during barbeques to prevent food contamination and even hung high up on your roof lantern to get rid of irritating insects.
Although not everyone likes house spiders, they do a fantastic job of keeping fly numbers down, especially in hard to reach places lie a roof lantern!
British, native spiders are harmless, and if you find spiders making webs in your roof lantern or windows, be brave and leave them alone. They will effectively reduce the number of flies buzzing around the home.
It is unnecessary to apply for planning permission to re-roof your house or insert roof lights or skylights. Permitted development allows certain roof alterations, subject to limits and conditions. Roof lanterns or skylights should not project more than 150mm from the existing roof plane.
In the UK, roof lantern installation will generally cost in the region £2500. Since this is a big job, you can expect completion within three days. Today, roof lanterns are becoming a preference among many architects, mainly because of the easy installation process.
Yes, a skylight or roof lantern will let in three times more light than a conventional window.