Best Price Guarantee
Best Price Guarantee We will never be beaten on price
Nationwide UK Delivery
Nationwide UK Delivery Fast Delivery Nationwide UK
Designed & Manufactured
Designed & Manufactured in the UK

Roof Windows: Complete Guide

Roof window

Read our helpful guide to roof windows to learn what they are, how they differ from other similar products, key benefits, and more.

You can also view our impressive collection of roof windows.

What is a roof window?

The term ‘roof window’ typically refers to glazed units that are installed to the pitch of the roof, and can feature either manual or electric opening. Roof windows, unlike fixed flat rooflights, must be CE marked and adhere to particular standards for withstanding the weather and natural wear. Roof window manufacturers should also submit a declaration of performance, which shows that the roof window is able to withstand adverse conditions such as storms and heavy rain. Roof windows are also typically smaller than rooflights, and there is less flexibility with regard to shape and size.

What are rooflights and skylights?

While the terms ‘rooflight’ and ‘skylight’ are often used interchangeably, there are some differences between the two. Roofllights are types of windows often fitted to flat roofs, although they can also be added to pitched roofs. Rooflights tend to be flush with a roof. In comparison, skylights are more akin to a traditional window. They’re often fitted onto pitched roofs and will usually protrude outwards from the roof.

Learn more in our ultimate guide to rooflights and skylights.

What’s the difference between roof windows and rooflights?

The main difference between roof windows and roolflights is that roof windows are usually fitted to pitched roofs, while rooflights are used more on flat roofs.

There’s a lot of crossover between terms related to rooflights within the industry, meaning they’re often used interchangeably. However, knowing the differences will help you choose which feature is best for you. 

If you’re considering buying a roof window or rooflight, you need not become an expert on the topic yourself. Any reputable firm specialising in the products, like Toughened Glass Systems, will be happy to lend their expertise to help you find the right solution.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions – our team of product and industry experts will help you find the answers and information you need.

What is a roof lantern?

Another popular ceiling window is named a ‘roof lantern’. Despite the name, these have nothing to do with artificial lighting. A roof lantern is a large roof window that extends sharply from your ceiling, adding a large angled window to your ceiling, commonly covering a large amount of roof space.

View our complete guide to roof lanterns, and to decide whether a roof lantern is right for you, read our article on rooflights vs roof lanterns.

What’s the difference between roof windows and roof lanterns?

The main difference between a roof window and a roof lantern is that roof windows are generally flat features that are fitted to a pitched roof, while roof lanterns tend to be protruding features fitted to a flat roof. Roof windows are more minimal and discreet than roof lanterns, as roof lanterns are generally more ornate and extravagant.

Types of roof windows

Common types of roof windows include:

  • Pitched roof windows: Designed for pitches ranging from 15 to 19 degrees, pitched roof windows come in various types, including centre pivot windows, top-hung roof windows, and high pivot windows.
  • Top-hung roof windows:Ideal for installation near uncluttered areas, top-hung roof windows allow great views and increased airflow, improving ventilation.
  • High-pivot roof windows: High-pivot roof windows open at the centre, and also increase airflow and provide fantastic views.
  • Conservation windows: A specific type of roof window that are designed to fit the profile necessary in conservation areas
  • Fixed roof windows: Often called fixed rooflights and non-opening roof windows, fixed roof windows are a popular choice due to the amount of light that they can add to any room.
  • Walk-on roof windows: An ideal addition to homes with a flat roof. Walk on roof windows add a lot of light to a room and, as the name suggests, they’re suitable for walking on.

Learn more about the different types of roof window in our helpful guide.

Roof windows: Key information

Roof window benefits

The benefits of roof windows are very similar to the benefits of rooflights and skylights. These include:

How much do roof lanterns cost?

There are two key factors related to cost you’ll need to consider: how much it costs to buy and how much it costs to install.

Cost to buy

The very first cost, and the one that will represent the bulk of the installation cost is buying the roof window itself. The cost of the roof window will depend on its design, its size and the type of glazing that you’ve chosen for the pane. For example, TGS’ electric and manual opening rooflights have a price range of £579.74-2346.30. 

Cost to install

Installing a roof lantern will likely take around 6-8 hours of billable time for two roofers, in addition to supplies. 

All in all, this will likely cost around £325, but it will vary depending on where you live, costing more in London, for instance. 

Our blog on the cost of roof windows covers this in more detail.

What size roof window do I need?

The size of your roof window will have a direct effect on the amount of natural light in your room, in addition to your room’s feeling of spaciousness. It’s commonly recommended that your roof window constitutes 20% of your room’s floor area.

View our wider guide on rooflight and skylight sizes for more information on getting the best size roof window for your space.

Can roof windows add value to your home?

Roof windows are a desirable feature, adding natural light and giving the appearance of more space in your home. Both these benefits are appealing to potential buyers, increasing home value.

Learn more ways roof windows can increase home value.

Are roof windows noisy when it rains?

There will be some ambient rain noise if it rains, but it will not be too loud, and there are many ways to counteract it. We’ve previously explored how you can stop rain noise on a skylight.

Do you need planning permission for a roof window?

Roof windows will generally fall under the purview of ‘permitted development’ in the UK, meaning that you will not need to seek permission to have one of these windows installed, provided they meet certain energy efficiency and safety standards.

Learn more about building regulations and planning permission for roof windows.

Choose Toughened Glass Systems for your roof windows

We are industry experts, with years of experience helping businesses and individuals find their perfect feature. We offer an impressive collection of roof windows, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. We also stock a variety of rooflights, skylights, and roof lanterns, including:

Contact us today if you have any questions – we’ll be happy to help.

More helpful blogs


What is a window in the ceiling of a house called?

Windows in the ceiling of a house are often called roof windows, rooflights, skylights, or roof lanterns. Read our guide to windows in ceilings for more information.

Based on 210 reviews
Bob toploft
Bob toploft
I am the owner of Top loft company ltd, after reviewing reviews from various companies I ordered 2 juliet balconies from tgs arrived within 3 weeks, comunications and help was brilliant. Thanks for all your help.
Jim H
Jim H
Great service from the team. Easy to order, good buying guidance and clear install instructions for my builder. Rooflights look absolutely great! The team at TGS couldn't have been more helpful in organising a smaller delivery vehicle to help with restricted access. Highly recommend TGS.
Jack Smith
Jack Smith
Great service from a very knowledgeable company. Thanks team Toughened Glass Systems.
Paul Smith
Paul Smith
I was spending a lot of money on several rooflights so I wanted to make sure I got it right and I did. The professionalism, expertise and the quality of the roof lanterns really set Toughened Glass Systems apart.
Tyrone Eldridge
Tyrone Eldridge
There are no complaints about the experience with TGS. The entire process of ordering, supplying and delivering was flawless. I would really recommend you order your flat roof sky lanterns from these guys.
Robert Childers
Robert Childers
Best place for rooflights, they supply many different types and options. Thanks for all your support Toughened Glass Systems!
John Smith
John Smith
The glass balustrade gives us an amazing view onto the lake outside. So happy we ended up going for the frameless glass balcony from Toughened Glass Systems instead of one with posts
Louise Newsome
Louise Newsome
My job is to design the interiors for a lot of houses and a lot of times the hardest part was when the client wanted some really inexpensive rooflights that should look like some contemporary ones as well. That until I found Toughened Glass Systems and started working with them more and more. They have a lot of this kind of stuff at a very decent price, a price for anyone I can say. If you’re looking for cheap skylights for flat roofs or any types of roof lights, they probably have something for you.
Krystina Taylor
Krystina Taylor
Always kept us up to date with our order even when delayed by a few days. Great service from the start and good quality glass balcony delivered.