Are you looking to create a bright, daylight-filled home? Daylight makes a room feel not just brighter, but also bigger and more welcoming. If you are renovating your home, building an extension or a loft conversion, we can give you some ideas of how to make the most of natural daylight.
Open plan rooms to allow light to flow
Knock through walls to create an open plan layout that will allow the darker of the rooms to benefit from the natural light from the other side. Introducing windows on two sides of a room will not only create a double aspect, but it will also ensure that the space is well lit throughout the daylight hours.
If you still want the feeling of separate zones, try dividing the space cleverly. Use a half wall, or three-quarter-height stud wall if you want a visual barrier, or even use furniture to break up the space.
Create a welcoming hallway
If you have a dark hallway, it could be because you have a solid door and no windows. Investing in a new front door with glazing will bring natural light in. You may also want to consider a side window for extra light.
Open up to the garden with large glazed doors
Whether you select bi-fold or sliding doors, or more traditional French doors, opening up the back of the house to the garden will make the room brighter. It will also connect your room to the garden year-round; making the most of your outside view.
Add skylights to flat or pitched roofs
Skylights can easily and quickly be installed in both flat and pitched roofs. They allow far more light to come into the room than vertical windows. You will also benefit from more light throughout the day. A top light, (skylight) can let in three times more brightness. So, whether in an extension, over a hallway, or in a utility room, adding a skylight will make your space feel bright and airy. We recommend spending the extra money on ‘self-cleaning’ glass.
Add new windows or enlarge existing windows
If you are adding an extension or doing a renovation. Think about how your house is situated and how to get the most out of the sun that shines on your home. If there's an opportunity to add new windows to catch the sunlight, this should be considered. Bear in mind that this job, while worthwhile, will be considerably more expensive.
Building regulations for windows
Planning permission to replace, alter or add new windows to introduce more natural light into your house is not normally needed, but we recommend checking with your local authority. There is one new important restriction to remember: any new side-facing first-floor windows will have to be frosted windows, to protect the neighbours’ privacy.
Windows and doors that are completely replaced in existing homes, must comply with the up-to date building regulations – you can find out more from your local authority.
Whether you are undertaking the work yourself or using a builder, your local authority must be notified, so that they can carry out an inspection. On completion, you will receive a certificate of compliance. If you are using a FENSA registered glazier, then the company can issue a certificate of compliance itself under the self-assessment scheme.
Create light and brightness around your staircase
Installing an open-tread staircase, especially for a loft conversion, is an option to keep light flowing around the first-floor landing. The work well in both modern and traditional homes.
If you have wooden staircases, banisters or spindles, painting them a bright white will help reflect the natural light coming in.
Hang mirrors wherever possible
Mirrors can be hung in any room: bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, bathrooms… Even kitchens can benefit from hanging an appropriate mirror on a wall. Rather than a functional mirror, add a mirror that creates a feature. Mirrors will help bounce light around the room.
Replace internal solid doors with glazed ones
Change solid doors for those with frosted or clear glazing. This can work particularly well in dark hallways, where the natural light from the rooms will reach into the hallway.
Lightweight fabrics and blinds
Net curtains can take away a lot of natural light from the room, so use them only if necessary. Using sheer, lightweight fabric for large windows will allow natural light to flow through your rooms.
Choosing blinds, or shutters will allow natural light to stream in, whilst at the same time offering privacy.
Use our guide to window shutters to choose the best for your space.
If you would like to add more natural light to your home feel free to get in touch with Essex Building and Carpentry Services. We can advise you of on the options that are available. We cover homes in Havering, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Billericay. Call us today on 01708 578 014.