If we were to poll homeowners on what the most important end product of a home extension should be, other than the obvious answer of space, coming in at number 2 and 3 would likely be appearance and practicality.
Appearance and practicality are hugely important when it comes to home renovations. You can have all the space in the world but if your new room is not pleasing on the eye or makes certain parts of home living more awkward, it will naturally lose a lot of its appeal.
In recent years, the inclusion of roof windows and rooflights have become an increasingly important component of pitched and flat roof extensions respectively and an effective means to improving the look of your room. While good-looking in their own right, roof windows make everything else in the room more attractive as the sunlight which flows through them brings the entire contents of a room to life.
OK, so if decorating an extension with roof windows is a solution to appearance, what about practicality? While everybody wants their roof windows to be ideally situated on the roof, people do not necessarily want to have to move furniture and cabinets around to accommodate them.
Of course, the way around this is to install the window higher up, but again, this might cause difficulty in opening and closing the window for some. Although widely available accessories like opening rods can help in this regard, the smartest solution to this problem and perhaps the best way of making your new room spacious, aesthetically-pleasing, modern and practical is with the installation of electric roof windows.
As the name suggests, electric roof windows do not need to be manually opened and closed as they are operable by either remote control or a switch on the wall. This clever yet simple operation enables you to have the entirety of your roof to choose from when deciding where to place the windows. So if you wanted, your cabinet or book shelf could sit directly underneath the window causing no obstruction or loss of light at all.
Electric roof windows are easy to connect to electricity circuits- all that is required is a bit of wiring. The wires can be easily hidden away behind plaster board, while with solar windows installation is even more straighforward as not even wiring is required.
A lot of the benefits of having an electric window can be missed on people at first. However, some of the features attached to electric windows make them ideal for modern living and a practical solution to a lot of life’s small annoyances. One such handy feature is a rain sensor, something which comes as standard with most electric roof windows.
Whether you have gone upstairs for a bit or popped to the shop with the windows open, the rain sensor will detect the first sign of a downpour and automatically close itself, thus protecting your possessions and floor from getting soaked. Even if you have not left the house but have jumped on that rare opportunity to put the washing out to dry and then sat down to watch the TV, though you might not hear or see the rain yourself, your window will quickly give you the heads-up.
Though sceptics might label them unnecessary or a ‘lazy window’, electric windows are highly practical for a number of reasons. If you are cooking away in the kitchen and want to let the fresh air in or the fumes out, there is no need to turn away from the stove to go and open the window as a simple click of a remote control can do this for you. Or, if you are having a much-needed relax on the sofa that is just too good to interrupt, one simple press can close the window or lower the blinds if the glare from the sun gets too much.
If you are worrying about electric windows pushing up your bills, don’t. Remember, roof windows and rooflights are naturally energy efficient meaning you should actually save money on your bills as the window's insulation properties lessen the need for heating while the flow of natural light dramatically reduces the need for artificial light during the daytime.
Electric operation is available on pitched roof windows and rooflights. Here are a few of the best and most affordable options available at Sterlingbuild:
VELUX INTEGRA roof windows
VELUX INTEGRA are one of the smartest roof windows on the market. The INTEGRA range encompasses a large variety of choices, all of which are available at Sterlingbuild, the UK's largest supplier of VELUX windows.
VELUX eletric windows come with an easy-to-use, programmable remote control. The remote comes with 8 pre-defined programmes for you to use immediately: Indoor climate, Ventilation, Energy balance, Sun screening, Good night, Good morning, Leaving home and On holiday.
To better enable you to match the décor of your room, VELUX electric windows come in pine and white internal finishes, along with four different shades of external finish.
VELUX INTEGRA windows come in a host of sizes, with pine, polyurethane and white paint frames all available. All windows are made in a centre pivot opening style.
If keeping out the noise is one of your biggest priorities, our double glazed windows are available with special noise reduction. We also have triple and quintuple-glazed windows for sale that reduce outside noise pollution and keep your room fully insulated. VELUX’S integrated motor means you will not hear a peak from the window itself.
FAKRO Z-Wave roof windows
FAKRO electric windows all come fitted with the Z-Wave system, FAKRO’s electronic response to INTEGRA. Z-Wave uses low power radio waves to operate a range of devices including lighting, air conditioning and roof windows.
FAKRO electric windows offer all the same internal finish options and frame choices as INTEGRA windows, with all windows built with laminated glazing as standard. Available in double glazing and triple glazing, FAKRO roof windows come in a centre-pivot opening style.
If you are seeking a replacement window and would like to upgrade your manual roof window to an electric window, the FAKRO Z-Wave conversion kit makes this possible.
FAKRO electric blinds are available in a number of different styles, including the ever popular blackout blinds and roller blinds .
Though there is not much in it in regards to price, Z-Wave windows have the slightly better U-values starting at 1.2 W/m²K, one of the lowest, and therefore best, values on the market.
ECO+ flat glass rooflights
ECO+ is one of the fastest growing rooflight brands in the UK. ECO+ have quickly become known for their stylish, contemporary rooflights at prices way below the average.
With 11 sizes of electric flat glass rooflight available, the ECO+ electric rooflight requires no wiring, arriving at your door ready to be installed and enjoyed.
As is standard with all ECO+ flat glass rooflights, the electric option is fully insulated with a self-cleaning argon-filled glass unit. In addition to this, the exterior pane is toughened with a low E coating and a extraordinarily low U-value of 1.1 W/m²K.
If that was not enough, ECO+'s flat glass electric rooflights all come with a pre-fitted, 150mm high, insulated PVC upstand that will dramatically improve the thermal efficiency of your roof, keeping the temperature in your home comfortable all year round.
This rooflight is a great match for most types of extension but is ideally designed for single storey extensions and kitchen extensions. Though already the cheapest electric rooflight on the market, to save your further we have knocked £100 off our entire electric range.