Flat Roofs vs Pitched Roofs – How to Choose Roof Windows

Knowing the difference between pitched and flat roof windows will guarantee that you’ll make the right purchase for your house. You might be building your first home or adding a loft or an extension to it, but no matter the reason it is absolutely essential to understand the different benefits you can get from these types of windows. Let the competition between flat and pitched roof windows begin! 

Available Solutions for Pitched Roofs

When you are looking into installing skylights for pitched roof, there are a couple of factors that you need to take into account. Let’s discover all of them. 

Type of Room

The first step is to determine the purpose of the window. If you care about the aesthetics of your bedroom, go with top-hung windows. If you wish to have better ventilation in a loft bathroom, you might want to go for roof windows that will allow the room to remain private. Lastly, if you want to install a roof window in the kitchen, you should choose one that offers the most condensation protection. 

Manual vs. Electric

Most pitched roof windows are opened and closed manually, so installing them within arm’s reach is a priority. However, there are also electric options on the market that can be more comfortably operated. Electric opening/closing mechanisms are especially recommended for elderly/ less mobile homeowners, and for homes where the windows’ placement doesn’t ensure easy reach. 


Laminated roof windows are a fantastic choice when they are positioned overhead height. You need that extra protection to protect your windows from shattering when hit with an object. You don’t want any accidents where glass falls inside the house. 

Available Solutions for Flat Roofs

Flat roofs require a completely different type of windows to ensure that you get the full benefits in the space below them. Just as with pitched roof windows, there are a couple of factors to consider. 


  • Flat glass roof lights –  one of the most popular types of flat roof windows, they come in a range of shapes and sizes that will suit any house. 
  • Roof lanterns – a stand out feature for your property, providing a lot of additional light inside your house, if you want to go for a more unique look, this is the choice for you. 
  • Glass-domed roof lights – it is a combination of glazing and polycarbonate with anti-condensation properties. 
  • Polycarbonate domes – can be bought as a single, double, triple, or quadruple dome, depending on the requirements of your property; made from materials so strong, they are considered unbreakable. 
  • Walk-on roof light – the perfect solution for terraced houses. 

Opening Methods 

There are three types of opening methods that you can choose for your flat roof window. You can go for a fixed window when you care more about light than air ventilation, which offers no method for opening. Manually controlled and electric windows are the alternative to fixed windows. The difference between the two is only the user’s comfort. If you have the budget for it, the fat roof windows that can be opened seem to be the better option, as they will provide more ventilation and are easier to clean up. 

Planning Limitations

Fortunately, in most cases, you won’t need planning permission to install your new roof windows. Typically, roof widows installment fall under permitted developments that don’t require prior permission, which allow the homeowners to alternate their houses based on the following rules: 

  • No alterations can be made above the highest part of the roof. 
  • The alternations you are planning should be made no more than 15 cm from the current roof pane. 
  • Side-facing roof windows must have obscure glazing with an opening 1.7 m above the floor. 

Lifespan Prediction 

The lifespan expectancy for roof windows for both flat and pitched roofs relies on the quality of the installation. It also depends on how well it is maintained over time and the weather conditions in the area. 

Most roof windows sell their products with a ten-year guarantee. It is an industry’s standard. However, if you perform regular maintenance and ensure that any damage is repaired quickly, your windows should last far longer than one decade.  

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