Large Format Bespoke Stella Rooflight Enhances Sensitive Grade 2 Listed Home Renovation


Set in 10 acres of surrounding countryside in an isolated location some 2 miles from the village of Markyate, Nr St Albans, Little Woodend Cottage forms the south part of a pair of cottages dating circa 1734. The cottage, originally part of the nearby Beechwood estate, was listed Grade II in 1987.

The house was extensively extended and altered in the C19th, changing what was an old Hertfordshire long barn into suitable family accommodation. Further less significant changes were implemented in the C20th, which included the addition of a lean-to conservatory to the rear of the property.

Today, owners Mr & Mrs Humbert have recently completed further renovations, which not only achieves a living space fit for 21stcentury living, but also retains the historic legacy of the building.

A Transformation Of Space

The renovation works included the complete replacement of the rotting 1970’s lean-to conservatory structure, and the additional of a new living space, hallway and entrance. The original conservatory, with its shallow mono pitch roof clad in felt, and small timber clad porch of lightweight construction was of poor construction and took little account of the historic plan and materials of the earlier building. Internally, however, the surviving timber framing on the east flank wall offers a great deal of character to the inside. As such it was a stipulation of the Conservation Officer that the wall be visible from the outside to passers-by.

In order to achieve this, it was necessary to install a large area of roof glazing which would not only reduce the perceived scale of the new structure and allow the historic timber framed wall to remain visible, but also provide a feeling of space and light from the inside.

A focal point for the home

The Humbert’s were keen to find a solution that also maximise the thermal efficiency of the new space, which would be used a family dining area and key focal point for the home. Clearly, with such a large, glazed area required, an off the shelf solution was not an option, so the Humbert’s approached bespoke conservation roof window specialists, Stella Rooflight for help.

High Quality Bespoke Design

Stella worked with the Humbert’s to produce a bespoke fixed design rooflight, constructed from stainless steel with an internal rafter size of 4100mm (w) x 1900mm (h). The rooflight consisted 6 6mm toughened self-clean high specification double glazed units with 5 glazing bars, offering both the traditional appearance required by the Conservation Officer, and the exceptional thermal performance essential to the renovation.

From the inside, the rooflight is finished with a hand made solid American Ash liner, painted in RAL9010 white to blend in with the ceiling.

Excellent service and quality

Homeowner, Jonathan Humbert said: “We have completely transformed what was an old, dilapidated room, into a bright, welcoming space, which is in no small part thanks to the large Stella rooflight. The new conservatory area is now not only much more sensitive to the building’s historical fabric, but serves as a central hub for our family home, which is flooded with light and accessible for use year round.

We have been really impressed with the Stella team throughout the whole process and we are extremely pleased with the quality of the rooflight.”

Rooflight Specification

Bespoke Stella Conservation Rooflight (Between Rafter Design)
Manufactured From 316L Stainless Steel Internal Rafter Size 4100mm (w) x 1900mm (h) Single Outer Frame
5 x Glazing Bars / 6 x Double Glazed Units Fixed Design (Non-Opening) Black Powder Coat Finish In C5 Marine Application
American Ash Interior Liner (Painted In RAL9010 White)
1 Bespoke Lead Flashing Kit (Slate Size TBC)

Glazing Specification:
6mm Toughened BioClean Self-Clean,
Solar Control Outer
20mm Black Warm Edge Spacer (Argon Gas) 6mm Toughened Planitherm One Inner