Domestic conversion is not always suitable for old farm buildings. Where it's the only way to secure an old barn's future, ensuring the detail of the conversion work is sympathetic will be crucial to the scheme's success. Sympathetic detailing is also likely to be a condition of consent, if the barn is listed or in a conservation area. New openings should generally be kept to a minimum and should be of a simple form that respects the farm building's character. If rooflights are needed the Local Planning Authority will normally require a flush-fitting type.
There are specialist rooflights that are manufactured for the heritage property market. Conservation rooflights are easily recognised by their low profile which means they sit flush and remain unobtrusive to the building's original architecture. Another characteristic is their slender appearance as conservation requirements stipulate that a minimal amount of framework should be visible, particularly if rooflights are placed next to each other. All of our traditional conservation skylights have a genuine glazing bar. This particular design feature is integral to the rooflight and not only provides a more authentic look but offers increased strength for the opening section.
Other manufacturers of conservation roof windows have opted to remove the traditional bar in favour of sticking something to the double glazed unit. Whilst this may provide a minimal benefit to the thermal performance, we at Lumen believe it significantly detracts from the appearance and moves the product even further away from the original.