The renovation revolution
UK homeowners have spent £295 billion on renovating their homes over the past five years, with the remodelling of kitchens offering one of the biggest investment returns according to a recent survey by Post Office Money. Sabahudin Medic, operations director at Roof Maker, explores the increasing role wall abutment rooflights are playing in renovation projects and the latest innovations.
With the continued rise in the cost of buying a new home, it’s unsurprising that the ‘improve, rather than move’ trend is continuing to grow throughout the UK. Of those Post Office Money surveyed, 59% of homeowners said they were renovating their property to simply improve its appearance, subsequently providing a long-term family home.
As part of these upgrades, many individuals are looking to increase the size of their living areas, while maximising the natural light that enters their property, predominantly in communal spaces such as kitchens and dining rooms. In urban areas where space to extend may be limited, many homeowners are choosing to have side returns, along with rear extensions, which are dominated by large expanses of glazing, such as bifold doors and rooflights.
For side returns in particular, wall abutments are an efficient and aesthetically pleasing choice of rooflight, enabling fabricators to create a ‘glass ceiling effect’ where traditional flat rooflights would be unable to be installed due to the limited surface area. Due to the streamlined construction of Roof Maker’s wall abutment rooflight, which sits on a pre-weathered upstand, the requirement for a gap between the wall and the rooflight is eliminated, enabling the product to be installed seamlessly against walls at a pitch of 5° to 15°. The construction also supports easy and fast installation as, unlike some wall abutment rooflights, a bulky lead flashing system from the wall to the glazing isn’t required.
As many period properties may have exterior and interior walls that have small imperfections or rough textures, the wall abutment features a patented cushioning technology, which moulds into the crevices to significantly reduce the risk of water ingress. This makes it ideal for professionals who are modernising old properties that may have imperfect finishes to the brick work, as this area has previously proven potentially difficult for contractors to achieve a perfect, watertight installation.
Latest advancements in manufacturing technologies are also supporting fabricators in improving the overall thermal efficiency of older properties, with wall abutment rooflights available with triple glazing as standard, offering aUg-value of 0.6W/m2K. This supports professionals in eliminating any hot or cold spots that may build up throughout the extension, as may often occur with large rooflights or bifold doors that are only double glazed. This is important for homeowners who are looking to create a complete vista of light by creating a ‘glass ceiling’ effect to their side return extension.
As no extension project is ever the same, particularly on period properties, Roof Maker’s wall abutments can be manufactured in bespoke sizes from a minimum of 400mm x 400mm to 3,000mm x 1,000mm. This flexibility in sizing supports professionals in providing their clients with a unique and contemporary solution to their extension that maximises on all available natural light. This is extremely important for side returns, where light may be limiteddue to the overshadowing of neighbouring properties.
Walk-on wall abutment rooflights are also increasingly becoming a popular choice for fabricators working on renovation projects where a basement has been refurbished into an additional living area. By installing a wall abutment that can also be walked on, professionals can not only create a glass ceiling effect that floods the basement below with light, but also enables homeowners to create a walkable feature in the interior or exterior living areas of the floor above.
Professionals can capitalise on the current renovation trend by remaining at the forefront of industry developments by recommending and installing glazing systems that offer homeowners the highest standards in aesthetics and efficiency, while providing the opportunity to maximise all available natural light throughout the property.