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If you are considering restoring or replacing your rooflight, you may have heard of the term conservation rooflights. Many people might still be left asking, what exactly is a conservation rooflight, and why might you need one?
In this guide, we explain what a conservation rooflight is, the reasons you may need one, the typical features of this particular style of skylight, and more.
A conservation rooflight is a specific type of rooflight that meets particular building requirements for any heritage building or listed property. Conservation rooflights help to ensure the building’s exterior aesthetic retains the character of the original building and does not interfere with the overall aesthetic of the surrounding areas, as well as the building itself.
You will need to consider installing Conservation rooflights if you live in a listed property or building that is recognised by Historic England, English Heritage or The National Trust. Listed buildings that have building standards can include both commercial and domestic properties, such as loft conversions and barn conversions. Buildings in Areas of Natural Beauty may also need to install conservation rooflights to be in keeping with the area. Residents or tenants of both commercial and residential buildings need to be aware of any permissions in place or building standards that need to be met if they are considering installing or replacing a rooflight. With window design evolving continuously over centuries, regulations are in place to help ensure these insights into years gone by are maintained for years to come, demonstrating how window design has evolved over the centuries.
Conservation rooflights are also installed by homeowners who simply enjoy the traditional design, and are looking to maintain a period look and feel throughout their home. Both traditional conservation rooflights and contemporary rooflights are enjoyed by homeowners, and with plenty of styles, designs and features available, you can easily find a bespoke rooflight design that is in keeping aesthetically with your existing property.
Historic England is a public body that works to preserve and maintain historic buildings of cultural significance to ensure they are protected for years to come to preserve their condition both internally and externally. Today, there are more than 10,000 areas across the UK that are recognised by Heritage England.
Heritage rooflights can be characterised by several design features that work to ensure the final look of the window meets the building standards of planning and conservation officers, English Heritage and National Trust requirements.
Our Conservation Rooflights from The Rooflight Company are favoured by planning and conservation officers and English Heritage; to see how our heritage rooflights have transformed people’s homes and buildings, check out our case studies.
Traditional rooflights will have been simple and basic in their design, due to the tools and technology available at the time. This means that any modern design features of recent years should be avoided; slimmer, clean lines subtly complement the building, offering a clean, simple and subtle design as typical of the era.
Conservation roof windows and rooflights traditionally feature a flush design. This means that they are placed in line with the roofline. This gives the rooflights a low profile, that isn’t imposing, or juxtaposing the current building aesthetic. This look would be opposed to ‘proud’ design, which is when the rooflight frame would jut out externally of the roofline. Flush conservation rooflights require between the rafter installation.
One of the key and most recognisable features of a conservation rooflight is the slim black glazing bar that sits in the middle of the window. Designed to emulate wrought iron casements that allow for smaller glass panes in the past, the bar is a key feature of heritage rooflights manufactured today. Typically, smaller glass panes used to be far more popular, as they were easier and cheaper to produce in a time period where materials, resources and technological advancements limited options for homeowners and builders.
The black finish is to emulate the black cast iron which was a very popular choice for traditional rooflight windows when they first emerged in housing designs in the Victorian era. All conservation rooflights should work to emulate the style of the original windows and rooflights, as different colours or contrasting white, for example, would look too modern and contrast with the overall look and feel of the building.
Conservation skylights are available in a number of different designs and finishes. Typically, conservation rooflight design includes either top-hung design or centre pivot. Top-hung conservation rooflight windows feature a hinge design, with the window opening externally outward, attached to the casement at the top. Centre pivot windows, meanwhile, are pivoted from the centre of the frame and are a popular design, however, traditionally top hung designs were more common and widespread.
Our conservation style rooflights blend a traditional aesthetic with modern advancements, meaning our windows are made to the highest of standards featuring double glazing, draught stripping, thermal lining and steel, all incorporated into a design that respected and made a feature of the Victorian cast iron model design, such a prominent feature of buildings of the era.
The original and first conservation rooflight design, our original Conservation Rooflight combines the highest modern performance standards with an authentic traditional appearance and were the first to offer the conservation rooflight design seen in so many listed buildings today.
The Conservation Plateau rooflight is a flat roof solution for Heritage and Period buildings. They are fronted with silicone to resemble putty, and have exposed hinge posts and glazing clips.
Our Conservation Pyramid rooflights offer a unique take on an original design, bringing more height and light into a room.
The Conservation Lantern rooflight style brings subtle elevation to a room, with slim design and a versatile feature for any home.
The type of installation will depend on the type of roof on your building and the window type. Most conservation rooflights will need between the rafter installation. The other installation type is on the rafter installation.
If you are unsure of what type of conservation rooflight installation you need, please contact our team. We’ll be happy to talk you through your options and help you decide the best option for your home or building.
To shop our full range of conservation rooflights, you can purchase them directly from our shop here.If you’re a professional looking for more information about our rooflight installation, you can access our resources here. Speak to us today by emailing or calling our specialist homeowner team for more information.