Rooflights are a perfect way to introduce natural daylight into any room, whether that’s to brighten a living space or flood a bedroom with light.
When considering how much does a rooflight cost, it very much depends on the size and specification of your project.
Here at Stella, we don’t make a one size fits all roof window, so it stands to reason that there is no standard pricing for our rooflights. There are so many different options to consider when it comes to our conservation rooflights that affect the price that it’s important to understand what choices are available so you can not only make the right decision for your home and lifestyle but also understand how these affect the cost of the window.
WHAT MAKES UP THE MAJORITY OF THE COST OF A ROOFLIGHT?
We all know too well how the cost of most building materials have increased over the past 12 months or so and unfortunately the main materials involved in the cost of manufacturing a conservation rooflight (glass, steel and timber) have been some of the most severely affected.
The most significant cost of a roof window will be the manufacture of the steel frame. In addition to the sheet metal cost, the manufacturing process involves precision engineering equipment such as laser cutting, metal pressing and highly skilled welding.
The next biggest material cost is the glazing. With the huge increases the UK has experienced in energy costs, glass has become extremely expensive to manufacture. Unfortunately, as energy prices continue to soar, glass prices are unlikely to reduce any time soon.
A major consideration when it comes to the cost of a rooflight, will be whether or not they need to open. Opening rooflights are much more expensive to manufacture and can range in price depending on whether they need to be manual or electronically operated. You can also add to the cost with add-ons such as wind or rain sensors.
All steel rooflights will be finished in a specialist paint coating to offer additional protection. Again, this requires a skilled tradesperson to apply the coating and adds an additional layer of cost to the manufacturing process.
To a lesser extent, the liner of your rooflight will also contribute to the overall cost and there are an abundance of options to choose from here as well.
Ancillary costs, such as rubber seals, silicone, screws, and even the packaging that the product arrives on will be factored in to the overall cost of manufacturing.
As you can see, these costs all start to add up!
ARE BESPOKE ROOFLIGHTS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN STANDARD ROOFLIGHTS?
In short yes. This is due to the fact that bespoke rooflights are made to order and are one offs. They will require individual cad drawings and bespoke manufacturing. Making one of anything always costs more money.
WHY DO SOME ROOFLIGHTS COST MORE THAN OTHERS?
The obvious starting point here, is to consider the size of the rooflight required. It stands to reason that larger rooflights will cost more, as more material is required to make it.
That being said, rooflights start out life as a flat sheet of steel, so if a rooflight is 1m in length or 1.2m in length there will be little difference in the price. However, a 4m long rooflight will certainly cost more than a 1m long rooflight.
Type of rooflight material
Another really important factor in the cost of conservation rooflights is the type of steel they are made from. Stella only ever manufacture rooflights from marine grade 316 stainless steel. We are the only rooflight company to do this as standard, however, due to the significant risk of rust faced by mild or carbon steel, we feel it is worth the extra investment. It is worth noting that stainless steel is typically 20-30% more expensive than mild or carbon steel.
Some rooflight companies will try and pass off other materials, such as aluminium or even plastic, as a conservation rooflight. While these might offer a cheaper alternative, they will rarely satisfy the Conservation Officers, who prefer the slender lines and flush fit offered by steel.
When it comes to glazing, there is also plenty of choice which will impact price. All rooflights must comply with Part L of the Building Regulations, which govern thermal performance. However, each customer can choose whether they require double or triple glazing, or options such as toughened glass. All Stella rooflights incorporate the highest quality double glazing units with genuine self clean and solar control glass. These are expensive units to manufacture, but will ensure the best possible thermal performance, while offering a low maintenance option for customers.
Fixed or opening rooflights
We have already discussed the cost difference between opening and fixed rooflights, but its worth also noting that winders for manually opening rooflights vary considerably between manufacturers. While some use cheap imported winders, Stella use high grade solid brass, which no only provides peace of mind that they won’t fail when lifting the heavy glass units, but also look fantastic.
There is also a hug difference between manufacturers when it comes to the quality (and subsequent cost) of the internal liners. While some use cheap plastic or soft wood, Stella allows its customers to choose any hard wood of their choice. The most common choice being American Ash. This not only provides a stunning natural finish, but also enhances the thermal performance. Of course, the cost of hardwoods has also rocketed in recent months, but at Stella, we belove the internal appearance is just as important as the outside look, if not more so.
While paint coatings will typically be either a powder coat or wet spray finish, there are still differences in the quality of paint used. Even though our rooflights are made from stainless steel and wont rust, even in if they are situated in a coastal location, Stella use a marine grade paint to provide additional protection, but mainly for aesthetics.
UK manufactured rooflights
Another big difference to take into consideration when considering the cost of rooflights, is where they are made. As with most things, you won’t be surprised to find that the cheaper rooflight products on the market are manufactured in Eastern Europe or Asia. However, Stella prefer to keep everything much closer to home so that we can oversea every element from the design stage, right through to manufacturing, assembly and distribution.
When it comes to delivery, packing our product is just as important as the manufacture of the rooflight itself. We take such care in the manufacture of our roof windows and we to we want to ensure it is protected during transit. That is why we individually design and build bespoke pallets for each and every rooflight we make. We even have a dedicated employee, responsible solely for designing and building pallets!
We simply won’t risk our products with any pallet network. While this will be a much cheaper option than arranging a dedicated delivery vehicle, we know from experience that when dealing with precious cargo, the only way to ensure
THE LOCATION OF THE ROOFLIGHT AND INSTALLATION
Most rooflight companies, including Stella, are supply only. This means that the cost to install a rooflight is additional to the rooflight purchase itself. Larger, heavier rooflights will also cost more to install, which needs taking into consideration when working out your budget. If you have a large rooflight the chances are it will require specialist lifting equipment, such as cranes or forklifts. It may even be necessary to apply for road closures to ensure the crane or lifting equipment has suitable access.
It’s always a good idea to check installation costs with your builder before ordering your rooflight.
You can watch our video on installing a conservation rooflight. This has been produced for Stella by the Association of Master Roofers, and provides a step by step guide to help guide your builder or roofer understand the process.