Loft conversions are easily the most popular type of home extension project for homeowners. This is because they significantly increase the square footage within the home without encroaching on valuable garden space, are extremely versatile in their utility, and help create the perfect private space away from the noise and bustle of the family home.

However, one of the most-loved features of loft conversions is something much simpler. It is the opportunity it creates to design a bright, open, and inviting room filled with ample natural light through the installation of carefully considered and strategically placed windows and skylights.

But with so many options comes a lot of confusion.

So, how do you decide on the perfect skylights and windows for your loft conversion? Which skylights and windows would perfectly tie in with your room design, provide incredible views and abundant sunlight, but still offer privacy?

Read on below.

What are the different types of skylights? 

Skylights are essentially windows installed on the roof or ceiling, that allow sunlight to pass through and provide illumination to interior spaces that may otherwise be lacking in natural light.

Skylights come in various types, shapes, and sizes and can be fixed or operable (able to be opened and closed). Some of the common types of skylights that are ideal for loft conversions include:

  • Fixed skylights

These are stationary skylights that do not open or close. They are typically installed for additional natural light and views of the sky but do not provide ventilation.

  • Ventilated skylights

Also known as operable skylights, these can be opened to allow for ventilation. They are often controlled manually or electronically and are useful for improving airflow and controlling indoor temperatures.

  • Tubular skylights

Tubular skylights are small, cylindrical structures that capture sunlight on the roof and channel it through a reflective tube into the interior space. They are ideal for smaller rooms or spaces where traditional skylights may not be feasible.

  • Pyramid skylights

These skylights have a pyramid-shaped design and are often used for aesthetic purposes, providing a unique architectural feature while still allowing natural light into the building.

  • Ridge skylights

Ridge skylights are installed along the ridge line of a roof, providing natural light along the highest point of the building. They are commonly used in sloped roofs and can enhance the overall illumination of the space.

  • Domed skylights

Domed skylights are curved, dome-shaped, and often used in commercial buildings or large residential spaces. They are durable and provide excellent natural light diffusion.

In addition to all these options, custom skylights may also be installed. These are tailor-made to fit specific architectural requirements or preferences. These can include unique shapes, sizes, and configurations tailored to the building’s design.

As each type of skylight has its own unique advantages and considerations in terms of installation, maintenance, and performance, it is essential to choose the right type based on your specific needs and aesthetics.

What are the different types of windows suitable for loft conversions?

As with skylights, when considering windows for loft conversions, there are several suitable types, depending on factors such as available space, architectural style, ventilation needs, and desired aesthetics. Some of the most popular types of windows used in loft conversions include:

  • Dormer windows

Dormer windows are an incredibly popular style of window. They are vertical windows that protrude from the sloping roof. They create additional headroom and floor space in the loft while allowing for more natural light and ventilation. Their large size means they also add a design feature and are an attractive option.

However, dormer windows add to the complexity of the loft structure, which may translate to additional costs, a need for planning permission, and an increased duration of the build.

  • Gable windows

Hip-to-gable style loft conversions typically feature the addition of a gable wall to a pitched roof. This triangular wall between roof pitches can be an incredible location to install a window.

Gable or gable-end windows are installed vertically into the gable end of the loft space, providing ample natural light. And though they require planning permission, the addition of floor-to-ceiling glazing at the gable end is an aesthetic design feature that floods the room with light, thereby creating a platform that offers panoramic views.

  • Casement windows

Casement windows are a common type of window that is hinged at the side. They allow for incredible light, ventilation, and views, but are often restricted due to safety concerns.

  • Juliet balconies

Juliet balconies are not traditional windows but can be incorporated into loft conversions to provide access to outdoor spaces while maximising natural light and views. They consist of a safety railing or balustrade installed in front of full-height French doors or windows, creating a balcony-like experience without the need for a protruding structure.

Balcony windows are not a common feature in most loft conversions due to safety concerns, the added expenditure involved, and the complexity of the installation. But they can be an impressive design feature in loft rooms.

With small children or pets around, it is advisable to use toughened glass for these windows for added protection.

  • Bi-fold or Sliding doors

For loft conversions with access to a flat roof or outdoor terrace, bi-fold or sliding doors can be installed to create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. These doors offer expansive views, plenty of natural light, and flexibility in opening options, enhancing the overall usability and aesthetics of the loft.

What are the benefits of incorporating skylights and windows into your loft?

Incorporating skylights and windows into loft conversions offers several obvious and not-so-obvious benefits, enhancing both the aesthetics and functionality of the space. Some of these advantages include:

  • Increased natural light

Naturally, the best reason to install skylights and windows is because they allow natural light to flood into the loft, reducing the reliance on artificial lighting during the day. This not only creates a brighter, more inviting living environment but also one that helps uplift moods and improve productivity.

  • Improved ventilation

Windows and skylights also provide opportunities for cross-ventilation, allowing fresh air to circulate through the space. As proper ventilation is essential for maintaining indoor air quality, reducing moisture build-up, and preventing issues such as mould and mildew, skylights and windows are directly responsible for creating a better environment within the loft space.

  • Expansive views

Well-placed windows and skylights can offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape, skyline, or garden, depending on the loft’s location. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the space but also creates a connection to the outdoors, making the loft feel more spacious and open.

  • Enhanced aesthetics

Skylights and windows can add architectural interest to a building’s design, providing visual appeal both indoors and outdoors. They can also create unique lighting effects and contribute to the overall ambience of the space.

  • Enhanced energy efficiency

As with any modern build, energy efficiency is a vital factor. High-quality windows and skylights with energy-efficient glazing help to minimise heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. This can lead to reduced heating and cooling costs, making the loft more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

  • Maximised space utilisation

By bringing in natural light and ventilation, windows and skylights can make the loft feel larger and more functional. They can also help to highlight architectural features and design elements, such as exposed beams or lofted ceilings, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the space.

In areas where floor space is limited, skylights, in particular, can be a space-saving alternative to traditional windows, allowing natural light to enter without taking up valuable wall space.

  • Compliance with building regulations

Incorporating windows and skylights into loft conversions can help meet building regulations regarding natural light, ventilation, and fire safety. This ensures that the loft conversion is safe, comfortable, and legally compliant.

  • Increased property value

A well-designed loft conversion with ample natural light and ventilation can add significant value to a property. Potential buyers are often willing to pay more for a bright, airy living space with attractive views and modern amenities.

  • Improved health and well-being

Exposure to natural light has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including boosting mood, increasing productivity, and regulating sleep patterns.

Quite simply, incorporating skylights and windows into loft conversions not only enhances the aesthetics and functionality of the space but also contributes to a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

What are the planning and design considerations when installing windows and skylights?

While the decision to incorporate skylights and windows into your loft conversion is an obvious one, the integration itself is not so simple.

This is because when planning and designing the installation of windows and skylights in a loft conversion, several key considerations should be taken into account to ensure optimal performance, safety, and compliance with building regulations. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Building regulations and permits-

Before installing windows and skylights, it’s essential to check local building regulations and obtain any necessary permits or approvals. Regulations may specify requirements for factors such as size, placement, fire safety, and energy efficiency.

  • Orientation and positioning-

Consider the orientation of the loft space and the path of the sun throughout the day. Position windows and skylights to maximise natural light and minimise glare, taking into account the loft’s layout and any potential obstructions.

  • Ventilation requirements-

Ensure that windows and skylights provide adequate ventilation for the loft space. Consider factors such as airflow direction, prevailing winds, and opportunities for cross-ventilation to maintain good indoor air quality and prevent issues such as condensation and mould growth.

  • Energy efficiency-

Choose windows and skylights with energy-efficient glazing and frames to minimise heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Consider factors such as U-values, solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC), and air leakage ratings to maximise energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs.

  • Safety and security-

Incorporate safety features such as toughened or laminated glass, secure locks, and restrictors to prevent falls and unauthorised access. Ensure that windows and skylights are installed correctly and comply with relevant safety standards to minimise the risk of accidents or intrusions.

  • Aesthetic considerations-

Select windows and skylights that complement the architectural style and design of the loft conversion. Consider factors such as frame materials, finishes, and profiles to achieve the desired aesthetic effect while enhancing the overall appearance of the space.

  • Privacy and glare control-

Consider the need for privacy and glare control when choosing window treatments such as blinds, curtains, or tinted glass. Balance the desire for natural light with the need for privacy and comfort, especially in bedrooms and bathrooms.

  • Accessibility and maintenance-

Ensure that windows and skylights are easily accessible for cleaning, maintenance, and repair. Consider factors such as window size, height, and opening mechanisms to facilitate safe and convenient operation.

  • Integration with other design elements-

Integrate windows and skylights seamlessly with other design elements such as interior finishes, lighting, furniture placement, and storage solutions. Consider how natural light will interact with different surfaces and materials to create a cohesive and visually pleasing interior environment.

By carefully considering these planning and design considerations, you can ensure that the installation of windows and skylights in your loft conversion is successful, functional, and aesthetically pleasing, creating a bright, airy, and comfortable living space.

Incorporating skylights and windows into different areas of the loft

Incorporating skylights and windows into different areas of the loft conversion requires thoughtful planning and consideration of each space’s specific functions and needs. As the design and function of each space vary, so do the window and skylight requirements.

Here are some tips and suggestions on how to seamlessly integrate windows and skylights into various areas of the loft in a way that enhances the design of the space without compromising its functionality:

Living area –

If your loft space is to be transformed into a living area, it would be ideal to install large windows to maximise natural light and provide expansive views of the surrounding landscape. Consider incorporating floor-to-ceiling windows or sliding glass doors that help create a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Skylights too, could be strategically placed to bring in additional overhead light and create a bright, airy atmosphere.

best flexible home extension ideas

Bedroom –

Bedrooms require additional privacy, therefore, consider installing windows with features such as frosted glass or blinds to maintain privacy while allowing natural light to enter.

You could position skylights above the bed or seating area to provide a relaxing view of the sky and stars at night. Similarly, installing roof windows with blackout blinds could enhance sleep quality and comfort.



Bathroom –

As with the bedroom, incorporate windows or skylights to provide natural light and ventilation while maintaining privacy. Consider installing high windows or skylights with frosted or obscured glass to allow light in without compromising privacy.

Also, it is crucial to ensure that the windows are properly sealed and equipped with appropriate ventilation to prevent moisture build-up and mould growth.

Home office or study –

For a cosy, comfortable, and quiet home office, incorporate windows or skylights to create a well-lit and inspiring workspace. Position windows to minimise glare on computer screens and maximise natural light without compromising privacy.

Also, consider installing skylights with motorised blinds or shades for adjustable lighting and glare control.


Storage area –

Install small windows or skylights to provide natural light and ventilation in storage areas such as closets or built-in cabinets. Consider incorporating translucent or frosted glass to obscure views while still allowing light to enter.

Ensure that windows are properly sealed and secure to prevent moisture and dust infiltration.

moving boxes in domestic room

By incorporating windows and skylights into different areas of the loft, you can create a bright, airy, and comfortable living space that maximises natural light, views, and ventilation while maintaining privacy and functionality.

All things considered, deciding on the right windows and skylights for your loft conversion is probably thought of as a small detail, but it is no less crucial.

This is because they play a major role in the eventual design of the room, as their size, shape, type, and placement are all vital factors that can influence the overall aesthetic and functionality of the space. Not only that, but it is also essential to consider other factors such as insulation, ventilation, safety, and compliance with building regulations to ensure a comfortable, functional, and visually appealing living space.

Therefore, it becomes clear that this seemingly minor decision requires careful consideration and the expertise of the best loft conversion specialists who can help you create a beautiful, bright, bespoke space that not only meets your needs but also complies with local regulations.

This is where Good Design and Build stand out. We offer you a complete solution, from design to build, including helping you to determine the most suitable window options based on your specific requirements and the structural characteristics of your loft.

For more ideas on creating the ultimate loft conversion, see our recently completed projects, get inspired, and start your dream home journey with us today!

Author: Amol

Amol is an architectural designer and has worked on hundreds of residential projects in London since 2008.Having done his M.Arch from the Glasgow School of Arts he gained valuable experience in London working in the construction industry managing high-end residential projects, before founding Good Design and Build in 2015.You will meet him for initial consultation and work closely with him during all stages of your project