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Simple and discreet, the roof windows provide natural light in rooms in the attic. Available in many formats, they are suitable for all configurations.

Test: eight roof windows

Natural light is the condition sine qua not to make a room comfortable and pleasant to live. In the attic, the solution remains the integration of one or more roof window (s) according to the budget available and the authorization that can be obtained from the town hall. Even if the technologies and the offer evolve, all the roof windows are based on a basic principle that has largely proved its worth: an opening frame coming to pivot in a dormant frame previously integrated into the roof. Their installation requires to respect precise rules of implementation and to intervene on the frame to create a trimmers.

At each roof his window

Roof windows are available in standard or custom sizes. The regulations in force in the new one suggest that a room is equipped with one or more glazed surfaces whose surface is at least equal to 1 / 6th of the habitable surface. Square, rectangular, all formats are possible. The height of the window is conditioned by the slope of the roof. The steeper it is, the more its angle of illumination is open. Conversely, the lower the roof slope, the higher the window should be. Depending on the region, one must also think about protecting oneself from climatic hazards. Sun, driving rain, hail, snow, brightness... everything must be thought to make the parts livable.
To overcome the problems that result (heat, impact noise, etc.), it is necessary to accessorize these windows with suitable glazing, blackout blinds, sunshades, mosquito nets, etc. Although these can be integrated after the installation of the joinery, other options must be taken into account from the moment of purchase. This is particularly the case of the type of glazing. Essentially proposed with standard double glazing (argon gas), we must not neglect acoustic windows, with reinforced insulation (double or triple glazing), self-cleaning...
Comfort also means maneuvers. Conventionally, a roof window opens and closes manually. Nevertheless, many configurations, such as high ceilings for example, make their handling difficult. Even though a telescopic rod can solve the problem, a automation with remote control proves more practical (but more expensive), especially if the engine is coupled with a rain detector and / or that it embeds a domotic protocol identical to the automatisms of the shutters.

Roof window projection or rotation?

There are two large families of roof windows. Those whose opening is made by projection and others whose maneuver is said by rotation.
Like the format, the choice of mechanism depends on the slope of the roof. If both types of windows provide a 180° opening necessary for the maintenance of the outside face of the glazing, projection windows are rather reserved for low slope roofs because they do not encroach on the living space and offer an unobstructed view in the open position.
Rotating windows are suitable for all configurations. They allow to place a piece of furniture underneath without hindering their handling thanks to the handle positioned on the top of the opening. Anyway, only one rule must be respected, that of the wall of lighter. The latter, located between the finished floor level and the window sill, must be at least 90 cm high to avoid the risk of falling. It can be as well composed of building material (masonry with doubling) that take the form of a fixed or projectable glass wall to create a balcony.

What the law says about roof windows

The installation of one or more roof windows must respect the planning rules like, opening with view or no view of the neighborhood. When working on the exterior appearance of a house, a statement in town hall is a must. If, in most cases, a simple "declaration of work" is sufficient, it is possible that a building permit filing is required, especially when creating a floor area of ​​more than 20 m² (or 40 m2 in a municipality covered by a local urban plan) or when the house is close to a classified site.
For more information: service-public.fr

Attention to implementation

Implementation of a roof window

Even if the installation of such carpentry remains accessible to organized do-it-yourselfers, it requires a few precautions. Intervening on the roof and the roof is not an innocuous act. The manufacturer's instructions with respect to dimensions of the trunk to create (and therefore the section of the woods) and choose well its connecting elements that ensure the seal between the roofing material and the window. Whether you are in the presence of tiles or slates, the installation accessories are different.
Attention, they are often offered as an option, as well as dressing kits for interior finishes.

Dimensions of roof windows

It is difficult, if not impossible, to choose the dimensions of a window yourself. They depend directly on the slope of the roof. A 98-cm-high window does not offer the same view of a 50-degree roof as a 20-degree roof. To avoid errors, it is advisable to inquire of a professional who will define with you the optimal dimensions.

Roof window accessories

The integration of a roof window requires the use of the accessories offered by the manufacturers. While some are not mandatory, but participate in comfort (motorization, sunshade, awning, etc.), others are essential. This is the case of connecting elements without which it is impossible to guarantee the tightness of the window. To properly define a budget, you have to take them into account.

Privilege certified products

Choose a certified roof window

It is recommended to choose a window certified or labeled. It can be the AEV classification, a certification, such as Acotherm or Cekal, or even a NF quality mark...

  • The AEV classification certifies the airtightness of the joinery to air, water and wind. These letters are accompanied by a number attesting the level of performance for each criterion.
  • The Acotherm certification certifies the thermal (Th) and acoustic (AC) performances of an exterior joinery. The products are characterized by their thermal classification (Th), graduated from 5 to 11 (at least to the most efficient) and by their acoustic classification (AC), graduated from 1 to 4 (from the lowest to the highest).
  • For single glazing, Cekal certification guarantees acoustic insulation (AR) expressed in dB and thermal rating (TR) expressed in W / m².k which contributes to the heat transfer coefficient of the joinery.

Joinery adapted to a roof terrace

The roof window is not reserved for sloping structures. Joineries adapted to rooftop terraces are numerous. You just have to adapt your vocabulary: you do not talk about a roof window, but a dome, a lantern, a dome, etc.

Comparative table of 8 roof windows

Comparative of 8 roof windows


Click on picture to enlarge

Brico Dépôt roof window

Brico Dépôt roof window

Maker: Brico Depot
Reference: 676613
Roof slope: 15° to 90°
Dimensions (L x H)

  • 54 x 78 cm
  • 74 x 98 cm
  • 114 x 118 cm
Material (int / ext): Wood / aluminum
Finishes (int / ext): Raw / dark gray
Opening: Rotating
Accessories / options: Roof gasket, blinds
Standards and labels: None
Price ** 134 €
10 years warranty
The strong points
The price
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.

Fakro roof window

Fakro roof window

Maker: Fakro
Reference: FPP-V PreSelect
Slope of roof: 15 to 55°
Dimensions (L x H)

  • 78 x 98, 118, 140 cm
  • 94 x 118 or 140 cm
  • 114 x 118 or 140 cm
  • 134 x 98 or 140 cm
Material (int / ext): Wood / aluminum
Finishes (int / ext): Varnish / dark gray
Opening: Rotating or Projection
Accessories / options: Roof gasket, sunshade, blind, shutter
Standards and labels: German TÜV certificate
Price **: 445 €
10 years warranty
The strong points
Has a 100% PVC version
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.

Lapeyre roof window

Lapeyre roof window

Maker: Lapeyre
Reference: 2224210
Roof slope: NC
Dimensions (L x H)

  • 55 x 78 cm
  • 78 x 98 or 118 cm
  • 114 x 118 cm
Material (int / ext): Wood / aluminum
Finishes (int / ext): Varnish or white / gray
Opening: Rotating
Accessories / options: Roof gasket, blinds
Standards and labels: PEFC *
Price ** 175 €
10 years warranty
The strong points
Thin sections offering a large glazing
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.

Leroy Merlin roof window

Leroy Merlin

Maker: Leroy Merlin
Reference: Artens
Roof slope: 15° to 55°
Dimensions (L x H)

  • 78 x 98 cm
  • 114 x 118 cm
Material (int / ext): Wood / aluminum
Finishes (int / ext): Gross / gray
Opening: Rotating or Projection
Accessories / options: Roof gasket
Standards and labels: Ancun
Price ** 349 €
10 years warranty
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.

Roto Frank roof window

Roto Frank roof window

Maker: Roto Frank
Reference: RotoQ-4
Slope of roof: 20 to 90°
Dimensions (L x H)

  • 55 x 78 or 98 cm
  • 78 or 134 x 98 cm
  • 78 or 114 x 118 cm
  • 78, 114, 134 x 140 cm
Material (int / ext): Wood / aluminum
Finishes (int / ext): Varnish, white / anthracite, zinc-titanium pre-finished, copper
Opening: Rotating
Accessories / Options: Roof gasket, shutters and blinds, insulation block and vapor barrier
Standards and labels: NF, Cekal
Price ** 400 €
10 years warranty
The strong points
Clipping assembly
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.

Tryba roof window

Tryba roof window

Maker: Tryba
Reference: FT84
Slope of roof: 20 to 80°
Dimensions (L x H): Customized from 46 x 98 cm mini to 142 x 156 cm max
Material (int / ext): 100% PVC
Finishes (int / ext): Wood look, white / gray or brown
Opening: Rotating or Projection
Accessories / options: roofing, motorization, rolling shutter
Standards and Labels: Cekal
Price ** € 1,091
15 years warranty
The strong points
The warranty period
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.

Velux roof window

Velux roof window

Maker: Velux
Reference: GGL / GGU
Roof slope 15 to 90°
Dimensions (L x H)

  • 55 x 78 or 98 cm
  • 78 x 98, 118, 140 cm
  • 114 x 118 or 140 cm
  • 134 x 98 or 140 cm
Material (int / ext): Wood, polyurethane / aluminum cover
Finishes (int / ext): Varnish, white / dark gray
Opening: Rotating
Accessories / options: Roof gasket, awning and electric sunshade, mosquito net, spotlights
Standards and Labels: Technical Notice, NF, QB (Quality for Building)
Price ** 488 €
10 years warranty
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.

Vial roof window

Vial roof window

Maker: Vial
Reference: Isotop
Slope of roof: 15 to 90°
Dimensions (L x H)

  • 55 x 78 cm
  • 78 x 98, 118 cm
  • 114 x 118 cm
Material (int / ext): Wood / aluminum
Finishes (int / ext): White / anthracite
Opening: Rotating
Accessories / options: Roof gasket, blind, shutter, awning
Standards and labels: FSC *
Price ** 179 €
10 years warranty
* PEFC and FSC: wood from sustainably managed forests.
** Price in 74 or 78 x 98 cm and double glazing.


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