Rooflights are a staple of bungalow conversions as homeowners look for ways to unlock the roof space without building upwards. But what do you do when your bungalow is in the heart of the Henley-on-Thames Conservation Area and your options are limited? Well, there’s only one product suitable for the project…
If you have ever had the pleasure of driving into Henley-on-Thames, you’ll understand why the sleepy town is such a sought-after location. Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is often considered one of the most beautiful towns in England, and was recently voted one of the best places to live in the English countryside. In other words, it’s the definition of idyllic. However, when you live in a place that’s like something that resembles a picture postcard, the options for developing and renovating your property are naturally limited.
This was the challenge Henley-on-Thames local and homeowner Joy Williamson faced when she embarked on a project to renovate her bungalow. Unable to add another storey, the plan turned to adding the extra bedrooms and bathrooms under the eaves. The idea being that the design would maximise the space while making planning permission consent easier to achieve and eschewing the need for time consuming structural work.
Jo worked with an architect to get the design right and to allow the necessary amount of daylight into the additional rooms. This was critical, as one of the new bedrooms and both new bathrooms would not have access to vertical windows. Instead of opting for dormer windows, which require planning permission, the architect proposed rooflights to maintain aesthetics from the outside, while ensuring good levels of daylighting. In many cases rooflights also have the added benefit of not needing planning permission because they inherently look skywards, so there is no danger that neighbours could be overlooked. However, it’s strongly recommended you check your local planning guidelines.
In total, 16 Conservation Rooflights from The Rooflight Company were specified, and it was the asthetics that really attracted Joy. “I looked at other options on the market, but the simple design of the Conservation Rooflight made it the perfect choice”, she explains. “Clean lines, great quality, and a perfect fit with our home.”
The Conservation Rooflight is modelled on the original Victorian rooflight design. Peter King, architect and founder of The Rooflight Company was practicing in London’s Hampstead Garden Suburb in the late 1980s and had many clients in exactly Joy’s position who wanted to extend into their loft space. Designed and built in Oxfordshire, this modern take on the original rooflight benefits from meeting all the requirements of an article 4 direction. So it’s a natural fit for projects in areas of outstanding natural beauty and with local conservation officers who acts as gatekeepers on these types of property renovation.
The product further benefits from a sleek design that seamlessly blends into the roof tile on the exterior and allows the plasterboard to be taken right up to the glass on the interior, giving the appearance of a single pane of glass installed with putty. No frames in sight.
The Conservation Rooflight’s modern specification means that it achieves a whole-unit U-value of 1.5Wm²K in accordance with EN ISO 10077-2:2012, making it amongst the best on the market for thermal efficiency. And the cherry on top for this project was that the rooflights in the bathroom didn’t need blinds because, naturally, they look upwards.
The end result were three bedrooms and two bathrooms added beneath the eaves, effectively doubling the floor space, and increasing its functionality. Each space is perfectly balanced by the natural light entering through the rooflights, while the exterior of the bungalow remains in keeping with its stunning surroundings.
To find out more about the Conservation Rooflight and The Rooflight Company’s full product portfolio, please visit the website.