Keylite: What to consider for an attic space

Keylite: What to consider for an attic space

Colin Wells, Head of Technical at Keylite Roof Windows, looks at the top five considerations when creating a well-lit, functional and habitable attic space. 

In recent years, the trend of converting loft spaces has seen a remarkable surge in popularity. This surge comes down to a dramatic shift in people’s lifestyles, for example, a change in working patterns with an increasing number of individuals choosing to work from home. As people spend more time within their own four walls, homeowners are looking to loft conversions as an affordable means to create additional living and working spaces. 

Beyond the immediate advantages of extra space, loft conversions offer long-term benefits. Not only can they enhance quality of living, but they can also significantly increase the value of a property. On average, a well-executed loft conversion can boost a property’s value by a substantial 21 per cent.1 This becomes a crucial consideration in the current fluctuating housing market. 

These spaces, which are typically dark and unusable, can be completely transformed with the correct specification and installation of pitched roof windows or skylights. 

What to consider?

1. Natural Light

Roof windows are an excellent source of natural light, making any loft space brighter and more inviting. Contractors should consider the orientation of the roof and the placement of windows to maximise natural light throughout the day, picking a place with optimum sunlight is great for reducing the need for artificial light. 

Large expanses of glass and roof windows which allow natural light to flood into “room-in-roof” spaces are always going to enhance the kerb appeal of a property, but it’s the quality of finish and the extra details that often make a loft conversion project stand out.

2. Roof pitch and size

If you’re installing roof windows, then it will be important to consider how these align with the whole building envelope. Products that protrude from the building may look cumbersome compared to those with a flush or less obvious finish.  

Every Keylite roof window is recessed as standard, sitting lower in the roof than other windows on the market. The recessed fit is achieved with standard flashings, enhancing the overall appearance of the roof and improving the thermal performance of the window.

3. Thermal comfort

Roof windows are normally installed with a 20mm gap around the edge to allow for adjustments and ease of installation. This gap should be filled in after installation, otherwise it can contribute toward heat loss. If this area is not insulated, then this can lead to cold bridging and condensation on the frame of the roof windows, which can eventually lead to mould growth.  

Some manufacturers have designed additional products that reduce the possibility of this occurring, ensuring products are designed in such a way that contractors don’t have to consider this gap. These features help eliminate thermal bridging, which reduces the risk of non-compliance and delivers a renovation that is closer to the expected energy performance. 

One such feature is Keylite’s patented Integrated Expanding Thermal Collar, which ensures the thermal integrity of the window and roof is as designed, thus removing the reliance on contractors to fit an additional thermal collar and helping achieve Approved Document L requirements. It also improves airtightness and Psi Values for SAP, further helping contractors meet regulations.  

4. Breath of fresh air 

With several changes made to Building Regulations in England and Wales last year, including ‘Approved Document F: Ventilation’, builders have been looking for products that take the headache out of compliance by ensuring they meet current requirements. Now, when contractors install new windows in homes, trickle vents must be installed, or sufficient background ventilation must be provided by other means. 

The latest Part F requirements for background ventilation are supported through Keylite’s cleverly designed top handle, allowing for controlled trickled ventilation when the window is fully closed and securely locked. National House-Building Council (NHBC) will not accept other window types that provide background ventilation by being latched in the partially opened position. 

5. Ease of install 

The gap between as-designed and as-built is often caused by incorrect installation, and this isn’t always the installer’s fault but often poorly designed products. Being mindful to opt for patented design and installation features is always a good start.

Keylite’s roof windows are designed so that they can be fitted from the inside of a building, with the glazed sash already in place – thanks to Keylite’s patented Flick-Fit brackets and sash hinge finger springs. In fact, an expanding thermal collar and Flick-Fit brackets are integrated as standard on all Keylite roof windows, leading to safer, faster and cheaper installation. 

For more information on Keylite loft ladders, visit Loft Ladders – Keylite Roof Windows.

If you would like to know more about Keylite roof windows visit Keylite Polar White PVC Roof Windows | Keylite Roof Windows.

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