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Skylights | The Architect's Best Friend.

Anyone who has taken note of the country's housing stock over the years will know that architectural trends come and go. At the moment, we're in something of a contemporary era, where simplicity matters. Something else that matters is glazing although up until recently, architects have been reluctant to take advantage of roof windows.

In fact, we'll rephrase that last sentence. Roof windows were once upon a time very popular and they served as a terrific way to bring natural light into a building without invading any neighbor's privacy. Unfortunately, this same natural light brought countless problems. First of all, it was impossible to shut it out due to the accessibility issues, then came the heat which transformed any home which took advantage of roof windows into a greenhouse.

Something needed to be done. On one hand, these roof windows solved a problem, on the other they brought a load more issues which architects just couldn't deal with.

Now, we may have a solution and fortunately for architects, it doesn't involve any rigorous alterations to their blueprints. Instead, it's all about the interior designer and the power they have with window blinds.
Photo credit: Wikipedia.
Blinds for roof windows have been available for years, maybe even decades, but for a long time they just couldn't be operated. They were located far too high and while some manufacturers may have given their customers operating wands, again the situation was far from ideal. Therefore, when the motorized blind hit the market, here was a target market that was ready to lap it up. It immediately meant that all of the problems associated with roof windows could be alleviated, and architects could return to using them on a lot of their projects.

Of course, it didn't solve all of the problems completely. Just because the sun's a little too hot one day, doesn’t mean to say we all want our properties to be masked in darkness to avoid the heat that penetrates the windows. Unfortunately, this is what was still happening. This was before the solar shade came to market, that is.

This nifty system is able to block the majority of sun rays, and only allow a select few through the glazing. Ultimately, we still receive some of that elusive natural light, but there should be considerable emphasis on the term ‘some’ here. It’s not loads, and it’s certainly not enough to make the temperature of a room unbearable.

When the above solution is combined with a motorized blind, roof windows suddenly have a new lease of life. However, it’s still worth mentioning that other solutions can be adapted. Another new invention, the insulated shade, can block out even more heat than the solar blind and while it doesn’t allow any natural light through, in certain climates it might be more beneficial. Alternatively, for those households that wish to stay simple and traditional, good old fashioned roller and Roman blinds can both be combined with a motorized system to block out the heat. It’s generally down to budget – but one thing’s for sure - roof window are here to stay this time around.

8 replies:

Masshole Mommy said...

Our house is a cape, so we have to have skylights because the roof is slanted evenly on both sides.

Liz Mays said...

What a seemingly simple solution that makes perfect sense. I'm glad it's available in an array of options too.

CourtneyLynne said...

I love the concept of roof windows! I think they are so pretty :)

Erin S said...

I had never thought about having roof shades. Thanks for sharing

Christy G said...

I love the natural light that a skylight brings in but your right they didn't come up with a way to black it out if needed. I'm sure there is technology now that could make it happen.

I don't have skylights in my home. We get too many hail storms to make it worthwhile.

Jessica said...

We have two skylights in our home and I do love them. Without them in those two rooms they would be very dark. I love having the natural light and the ability to open them to circulate fresh air!

Ourfamilyworld said...

I am planning on getting skylight. I love to have natural light in my home

debdenny said...

The blinds is a good idea. I might like this.