There was once a time where out-of-reach windows were, well, out of reach for most architects out there. Initially, they were great – a novelty. Then, people soon began to realize that these roof windows were just impossible to live with and had massive limitations. In the summer they allowed unimaginable temperatures into a property, while in the winter they were the easiest way for the cold air to filter in and make the temperature of the whole house fall.
The main issue behind these problems was window treatments. Up until recently, window treatments were basic at best. We had curtains and simple blinds, but neither was really designed to cope with the rigors of a window that was just completely inaccessible to normal-sized humans.
Now, things have changed. Blinds are no longer the simple products they were often described as; they can now be part of hugely advanced systems that are one of the main reasons why roof windows are back in fashion.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why. Firstly, the temperature. The first example we looked at was how homes became unbearably hot in the summer months, for the simple reason that the blinds were left open all day, every day and this allowed a stream of uncontrollable heat to flow through the property. Unless you had a set of ladders handy, pulling them shut wasn’t an option. In fact, we’d go as far as saying that having blinds on these windows was nigh-on pointless – and this is one of the reasons why some households just decided to leave them untreated anyway.
So, what’s the modern day solution? It comes in the form of a motorized blind; one that can be operated from ground level. It means that you can immediately control when these blinds are being pulled shut, and when they should let a stream of light (and potentially heat) into the property. Some of these systems have become so advanced that they can detect exactly when to be open and shut, based on the outside conditions. This doesn’t just mean that the summer problems are resolved, but the same occurs at winter time.
While motorized blinds are perhaps the biggest aid for the roof window, other technologies in this industry have also made life much easier for architects who thrive on putting skylights into a property.
We’ve spoken about temperature control and how motorized products make this much easier – but let’s delve even deeper into this problem. As well as taking advantage of a motorized system, you can also use fabrics much more to your advantage. If you reside in a hot climate, a solar shade will help you no-end. It will block out those hot UV rays, whilst still allowing around 30% of sunlight through. In other words, you don’t have to cast the whole room into darkness anymore, just because you want to manage the temperature.
The same can apply to colder climates, although this time they focus on insulated blinds. As the name might suggest, these will make it much easier to keep the heat within your home. They will make it harder to escape, whilst also making it much more difficult to come in from the outside – the ultimate energy efficient solution. Again, when combined with a motorized system, the roof window suddenly becomes something that’s hugely versatile – as well as stylish.