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Inaccessible Velux windows - does anyone have one and if so how dirty does it get?

(15 Posts)
HiDBandSIL Mon 17-Oct-16 19:48:06

I'm at the design stage of a loft conversion. I'd really like a roof light over the staircase but it's a flat roof (dormer) and the builder has suggested a roof light that doesn't open and I'm worried it would look dirty all the time. Would it?

It would be seriously difficult to clean from the outside (would a window cleaner go up on top of a dormer loft conversion?). The alternative is a window that opens just a little bit (doesn't spin around - can't use that type on a flat roof without fitting a kerb thing that would need planning permission) and costs an extra £400. I'm not even sure if I'd manage to clean the window through the gap.

Sprig1 Mon 17-Oct-16 19:54:43

I wouldn't do it for two reasons. It will either be dirty all the time and look awful or you will have to spend a fortune paying someone to go on the roof and clean it. The other reason is that flat roofs are terribly prone to leaks anyway and I wouldn't make that more likely by cutting another opening in to it.

glitterandtinsel Mon 17-Oct-16 19:56:23

We've got them in a sloping roof. They are dirty. I'd like to know how to clean them.

conscientioussuicidee Mon 17-Oct-16 19:58:46

Same. Slightly sloping flat roof. Velux has leaked and is filthy.

However it does allow a lot of light into what would be a dark area of kitchen it would be a whole lot lighter if it was clean

Weigh up pros and cons.
Having light is massively important. iMO.

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Mon 17-Oct-16 21:02:08

Can you go for a small roof lantern instead? You'd still have issues cleaning it, but with sloping/vertical sides, it wouldn't get anywhere near as dirty. You could also get a vented one (operated remotely) - great in summer for letting out excess heat from the house. We converted the loft in our last house and had a Velux over the staircase (pitched roof); the difference that being able to open that window made to the whole house in hot weather was incredible.

FlamingoSnuffle Mon 17-Oct-16 22:18:00

If you are just after light what about a sun tube thing?

We have a velux on a sloping roof extension. It does get fairly dirty. Some Velux windows allow you to open them and completely turn it so the outside is inside and has a locking bolt to hold it in that position whilst you clean it from the inside. Mine sadly doesn't grin

Luckily mine is accessible from an upstairs bedroom window and Dh has long arms to be able to clean it with a long handled brush.

Or go for an opaque window, it will still get dirty but you won't see it as clearly.

HiDBandSIL Tue 18-Oct-16 09:10:01

Thank you everyone that's really helpful. We don't have the height for a roof lantern and want a view out which rules out sun tunnels. I wasn't sure how much of a benefit ventilation would be so that's interesting to hear. I'm so keen to have the light because it would bring light down to our first door landing that has no window (as well as making the loft landing feel brighter and more open - we've not got much head height so it would help with that too).

I'm thinking we should pay for the opening version of the roof light (and fashion some kind of double jointed cleaning brush that we can use whilst balancing on the bannister).

HiDBandSIL Tue 18-Oct-16 09:12:30

Although I am now worried about leaks!

treaclesoda Tue 18-Oct-16 09:14:30

There is an inaccessible velux window in my parents house and to be honest it is so high up that you can't see the dirt on it. It probably depends on the weather too - it rains a lot where they live, so it gets a good rinse quite regularly. If you're in the south of England and it might realistically be dry for weeks at a time over the summer, it maybe wouldn't work so well?

conkerpods Tue 18-Oct-16 09:29:02

I'm also planning a loft at the moment. One of the companies I'm looking at do a roof dome above the hallway/landing. I think that might get less grubby than a slanted Velux??
Anyhow,still haven't decided which company to go for yet which is really on my mind!!

HiDBandSIL Tue 18-Oct-16 09:36:45

Oooh conker who are you choosing between? I've another thread asking for advice on our options. We've had Charles Grosvenor, Access Loft Conversions and Loft Plan in so far, just about to book Econoloft and a local builder.

HiDBandSIL Tue 18-Oct-16 09:41:18

In the South East and the window won't actually be that high up from the inside (low ceiling in loft) just very high up from the outside and flip around windows are out because it's a flat roof. I think a dome would push us into needing planning permission (which I don't want to apply for because of the big windows/juliet balcony we're putting on the back).

conkerpods Tue 18-Oct-16 23:05:36

Hi Hid
Did you PM me earlier?I have replied but not sure if you as it says User 36472847284!
We have had quotes from Outlook,Selcom,South L Lofts and Econoloft.
Outlook was the most expensive £43k and SLL and Econoloft the cheapest at around £36k. Still none the wiser a few days later shock

HiDBandSIL Tue 18-Oct-16 23:25:47

No that's not me! Interesting though - I keep hearing about Econoloft coming out cheapest. For what it's worth, I've heard that the individual build team you end up with makes the biggest difference to your experience and that within the big loft companies you get good and bad teams. As you don't get to choose a good team I feel as though we'll go with the cheapest of the big companies and just hope for the best. The one thing I feel strongly about is that I want to go with a loft specialist because we've got limited head height and I think they'll do the best job of squeezing every centimetre out of it!

conkerpods Tue 18-Oct-16 23:46:51

Sounds like a good plan!The team my friend is using (Econoloft) are brilliant so far she says so we may well request that particular team if we go with them. We're not in a rush so don't mind waiting.

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