What Are the Different Types of Loft Windows?

Andrew Kirmayer

Typically installed near the end of converting an attic to a loft living space, loft windows can make use of natural light in a previously dark space. The types of windows chosen can depend on the structure; for example, whether it has a gabled or sloped roof. Some match the contours of the wall and roof, while other loft windows feature particular opening patterns that may be based on personal preference. Often a single window or a series of them can be placed together. There are also products with specialized glass that can absorb sound, block ultraviolet light, or reduce the overall intensity of sunlight as it passes through.

Skylights may be used as loft windows.
Skylights may be used as loft windows.

The home's overall style is sometimes helps determine what types of loft windows to choose. Even older houses can have a loft apartment, including cottage style structures with gabled roofs; these often require specialized windows that can be expensive. An older structure may need to be converted to accomplish this, while newer ones can be renovated to accommodate loft windows as well.

A top-hinged roof window allows for escape in case of emergency.
A top-hinged roof window allows for escape in case of emergency.

Depending on the shape of the roof, loft windows can include glass on the upper wall as well as on the slope of the roof. Called an L-shaped window, this product is often available with a mechanism that prevents it from opening to unsafe widths. Top windows, on the other hand, are typically installed along the slope of the roof and can even take on different shapes, such as rectangles, triangles, and ones with rounded edges. Different shaped windows can also be combined to add a unique quality to the loft living space.

While many loft windows are single panes of glass, others can be purchased in a dual vertical configuration, in which two of them are placed together. More light generally comes into the room and the product can allow for a better view outside. Escape windows are another variety that usually open all the way and which allow access to the roof. Other varieties come in choices of sizes, and widths in which they can open; custom sizes and shapes are sometimes available as well.

Other kinds of loft windows are designed to absorb sound, while others can block ultraviolet light from the sun. Radiation blocking products often prevent heat from building up too much in the summer. There are also ones that can reduce the brightness from the sun; design patterns are sometimes added to one side, while a choice of color is often available as well.

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