Real Homes

Expert advice


Jolanda de Gooijer, senior product manager for VELUX (, looks at how to pick the right roof window for your project

Q How do I decide between having top-hung or centre-pivot windows?

A It depends on where the roof window is being installed, and how you want to use the room it’s in. For instance, do you want to be able to place furniture underneath the window? Or do you want to enjoy a panoramic view and balcony-like feeling?

The manual, centre-pivot window allows furniture to be positioned underneath, and offers easy access to open it. The top-hung windows give great connection to the outside, providing an uninterrup­ted view when opened as they move up and out of the way. Both windows also come in an electric variant that allows for extra comfort and peace of mind, with a rain sensor that automatica­lly closes the window in case of bad weather.

Q What is solar gain and can I take advantage of it to heat my home?

A Solar gain, also called passive solar gain, uses sunshine through windows to warm a room. Solar radiation passes through the glass and heats the building’s internal fabric. Because radiation doesn’t pass back through the glazing, warmth accumulate­s inside. This is sometimes known as the ‘greenhouse effect’.

Q How can I clean my roof windows inside and out?

A As most roof windows are installed at a pitch, debris or dirt tends not to cling to the glazing and impose upon your view. Even VELUX flat roof window range comes with a curved glass top, meaning fewer leaves or twigs can collect on the glass. When the pitched roof windows do need cleaning, they can actually be rotated 180° – so you can clean both sides of the window from inside your home. Use a soft cloth and sponge, and clean soft water. In hard water areas, you can add a non-abrasive detergent.

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