Aluminium Flat Rooflights - A Buyer’s Guide

14.10.2021

Rooflights, also known as skylights, bring daylight into a room from the ceiling above and are also used for ventilation in some cases. Rooflights come in a huge range of designs and styles. Aluminium rooflights are a great option as they come in many sizes, styles and colours and offer a wide range of options to choose from, including the type of glass. Aluminium rooflights are also high performing when it comes to the safety, security and weather endurance.

Types of aluminium flat rooflight

Aluminium flat rooflight types: 

  • Aluminium fixed Flat rooflight
  • Aluminium multi-pane (multi-section) rooflight

Fixed Flat rooflight

Fixed Flat rooflight, as the name suggests is ideal for areas that need natural light but do not require additional ventilation. These are one of most popular rooflight type in the market, but the idea is to look for high standard rooflights and the ones that are made to the exact size of your roof aperture without compromising the visible glass area to make the most of your investments. These rooflights are suitable for flat roofs with enough space and one that is slanted at an angle between 0 and 15 degrees. Rooflights by some manufacturers come with built-in LED lights in varied colours.

Aluminium multi-pane (multi-section) rooflight

The Multi-Section or multi-pane flat rooflight is an extension of the regular flat rooflight. its simplistic design forms clean, contemporary lines. The Multi-Section Flat Glass Rooflight sections that form this entire composition can be joined in different ways.

  • Glazing Rafters are low profile, powder coated aluminium rafters, required to support the glass. These are ideal for a contemporary house.
  • Glass Fins are environment friendly which harness the light and refract it round the room and offer the same structural support of a regular aluminium rafter.
  • Glass to Glass Joints are structurally bonded glass to glass joints, with which there is no need for an aluminium glazing rafter. Perfect for a minimalist home.

Aluminium hinged openable flat rooflight

Hinged Flat Glass Rooflights provide you with natural ventilation along with filling your rooms with natural daylight.

Sliding Flat Glass Rooflights, operated by chain actuators are ideal for providing natural ventilation and accessibility to the roof, especially in areas where high wind loadings may make a hinged rooflight unsuitable.
Frame design and configuration
Most fixed aluminium rooflights have a minimal frame, providing maximum light. Multiple other specifications offering smooth glass edges, for minimum sightlines are available from quality roofmakers, with many who offer their own innovations. For instance, products with only one jointed corner, achieved using continuous acrylic seal.

Thermal performance

It is crucial to choose a rooflight that’s energy efficient. Inferior thermal performance weighs heavy on your wallets as well as the environment. A product that is not energy efficient will result in leakage of warm air in the winters. Find a rooflight that exhibhits superb energy efficiency i.e. lower Ug value. Apart from picking a low Ug-value, there are other additional specifications available that will increase the energy efficiency of your rooflights. Low maintenance solar reflective toughened glass and low-emissivity coating are a few examples.

Glass features

A wide range of glazing features is available to suit the requirements for your house. It may be noise reduction or higher levels of security. The glass you choose for your rooflight will make a huge difference.
Following are the choices you will be presented with in the market, you could choose one of them or a combination of more than one features:

  • Energy glass: It offers exceptional thermal insulation.
  • Solar Performance glass: Reduces the solar gain.
  • Acoustic Performance glass: It reduces the external noise.
  • Security Performance glass: It is extra tough glass for enhanced security.
  • Ultimate performance glass: It is designed for passive houses.

To choose between double or triple glazing can be difficult. Triple glazing has three panes, as compared to the two panes in double glazing. Triple glazing, which was earlier more common in cold climates, such as Scandinavia, has increased popularity across the UK.

Below is a table to compare the performance of different types of triple glazed glasses.

Installation

Ideally one should be able to install a rooflight with the help of a few friends with minimum difficulty. With the help of readymade kerb and upstand, installation is smooth and hassle-free.
Kerb is a timber frame that sits beneath a flat rooflight. It helps in creating that required 5 degree pitch, if not already in place and thus allowing for smooth water run. The upstand will provide enough height to ensure that the rooflight remains watertight that complies with most building regulations.

Security

The type of glazing option you choose will have a direct impact on the security of your premises. Privacy, along with security becomes a major concern if you have an overlooking property. Aluminium rooflights are one of the most secure options but is advisable to consider all the available choices in terms of glazing and additional features, to enhance the security of your rooflights. Toughened or laminated glasses offer increased levels of security in comparison to conventional glass types. The key is to purchase a Rooflight from a reputable manufacturer who performs stringent tests on their Rooflights, in all conditions.

Guarantee

Companies that manufacture their own rooflights are confident in the quality of the material in the product and also offer the best warranty and guarantee deals. The best ones offer a 20-year unit seal warranty and a 10-year glazing system warranty. Some also give an extra 12-month warranty on electronic motor components.

Price

The glazing specifications, additional features, delivery system, installation and your manufacturer, will all affect the overall cost.

Invest in a good rooflight from a trusted manufacturer, rather than looking for a cheaper option. Going for the most expensive rooflight in the market is not required, but it is advisable to be wise with your decisions, considering this as a lifetime expense. A long warranty is worth more than the money it saves you. It is an assurance for peace of mind