The Rooflight Company’s neo rooflight brings aesthetic and performance benefits to a listed farmhouse conversion in the Cotswolds

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When it comes to converting old properties, there is almost always a trade-off between using materials that preserve the traditional aesthetic and meet modern-day expectations in terms of performance. But that’s not the case with rooflights, thanks to The Rooflight Company’s neo range.

Converting any old, characterful building into a luxury abode is demanding, especially when its historical or architectural significance needs be preserved. This was the challenge Paul Snell found himself up against when he set out to convert Tew Farmhouse & Barns, a grade-two listed farmhouse in the Cotswolds, into six luxury holiday lets.

Working with his architect, owner and main contractor Paul was able to overcome all the challenges that are part and parcel of derelict barn conversions. These included structural issues, incorporating modern insulation, pipework and cabling without causing undue damage, and setting out all the interior partitions and private areas that are required of multiple dwellings. However, as the project progressed, one last challenge remained: the rooflights.


From the outset, Paul wanted to preserve the look and charm of the farmhouse, but this was more than just a heartfelt desire, it was also a planning requirement. Being a grade-two listed building, the planning officers felt that the property warranted every effort to preserve it; keeping the design as close as possible to what was originally there. This would prove to be no mean feat as the farmhouse originally had a standing-seam zinc roof with rooflights of multiple sizes cut-in and fitted with single sheets of glazing. While this rough and ready solution would not suit a modern home, it was perfectly adequate for working farmhouses of yesteryear.

Paul explored a range of glazing options, including patent glazing and conservation rooflights. However, it proved difficult to find a product that could provide a view of the sky unobstructed by a bulky frame, while also sitting flush within the roof, and meeting modern energy-efficiency requirements. That was until he discovered The Rooflight Company’s neo range.

The neo rooflight looks like a sheet of glass in the roof. But as with many things, this elegant simplicity is more difficult to achieve than meets the eye. To appear unobtrusive and elegant from the outside and frameless on the inside, the rooflight’s compact electric openings are concealed within the frame.   Form and function are perfectly balanced as the high-quality materials used in the neo range of rooflights achieve a whole-unit U-value of 1.4Wm²K, comfortably meeting EN ISO 10077-2:2012.

Most importantly for the planning department, neo rooflights are designed to be flush with the roof and open from a top hinge. This is not only great for maximising space, but is also authentic in terms of how it would have originally been. Most importantly for Paul, the neo range comes in 14 standard sizes, but can also be made to measure, meaning the different size requirements of the farmhouse roof were no challenge at all.

“We worked with Planning Officers who encouraged us to use a roof system that was as close in design to what was here originally”, explains Paul. “Having a rooflight where the glazing goes right to the edge of the frame met this brief as they appear as a single sheet of glazing in the roof, much like what would have been in the original barns.”

With nearly 30 rooflights on the scheme, the Rooflight Company’s Oxfordshire-based, in-house design team worked closely with the roofing contractor to ensure an effortless installation within the zinc roof. In total, 28 neo roof windows in two different sizes were specified with a range of manual and cill motorised openings and blinds in varying styles and sizes. The result, as you can see, is gorgeous.

Contact Details
To find out more about The Rooflight Company or the neo range of rooflights, please visit the website.