“If you buy cheap, you buy twice”: It’s a home truth that’s often borne out in everyday life, but while taking a faulty bargain kettle back to the shop can prove an inconvenience, cutting corners when it comes to sourcing your rooflights can have a significant and lasting impact on your home.
As competitive pressures ratchet up the need to do more with less, builders and architects will always seek new ways to make budgets stretch further, and all too often the finishing touches to your home can suffer as a result of over spending on the early stages of a project.
If you are trying to achieve that high end look, then its so important to budget properly for those finishing touches, particularly when it comes to rooflights as they can be the crowning glory on your home. Making a wrong choice with your rooflights, can be something that you may come to regret for many years to come.
Here are a few things that you should consider when choosing a rooflight for your project:
1. Don’t compromise on the external appearance of your home. Of course, if you live within a conservation area or own a Listed property, then you’ll most likely be governed by building control regulations and will need to install a conservation product. However, not all “conservation” are the same and careful consideration must be given to the specifications for these also. We’ll write another blog covering conservation rooflights at a later date.
2. Consider the actual thermal performance of your rooflight. The old adage, you get what you pay for is certainly true here and there are huge variances between the best and worse performing products. Things to look out for are of course U Values – and even these can be confusing as not everyone compares like for like (whole frame value vs pane U values can be misleading). Some companies band about ridiculous figures when it comes to U Values so don’t be afraid to challenge them on these and seek proof of the figures they are quoting. Also check to see if the unit is Argon gas filled and if so how much gas is used – this can make a big difference.
3. Make sure you are comparing like for like when it comes to the main components that make up your rooflight. Obviously plastic framed rooflights will cost less than steel ones, and a high quality finish with hard wood linings and quality glazing comes at a price. If you are confortable with cheaper plastic products then that’s fine, but these do no and must not be compared to products made using higher quality materials. Also, beware of cheap imported products, worryingly, we have seen components, such as winders, that are simply not up to the job and would likely snap under the weight of the window.
4. Finally, and most importantly of all, think really carefully about the amount of natural light you would like to enter your room. The thickness of rooflight frames may at first appear trivial, but its impossible to understate the difference this makes when it comes to the light penetration. After all, the whole point of a rooflight is to let the maximum amount of light into a room, so why would you want a thick frame – much like your new 55 inch tv – the better quality ones have a sleek almost unnoticeable frame, which makes the viewing experience more pleasurable.
Taking these points into consideration will help you make an informed decision on your rooflight purchase. After all, there’s nothing inherently bad about buying cheap, so long as you realise that cheaper products will not look as good or last as long. Of course, with all these things it all comes down to budget, and it will come as no surprise that as a manufacturer of high end rooflights, we are bound to say that stretching the budget is worth the investment! Ultimately the choice is yours, just be aware that all rooflights are not created equal.