Eurocell have their Skypod, Atlas have their lantern roof and perhaps the biggest of them all, Ultraframe have joined the party with their UltraSky lantern roof. The battle of lantern roof products has really begun!
In an attempt to diversify the product ranges of manufacturers and installers, roofing and system companies have set about creating a new product niche, designed to breathe life into the nation’s flat roofs. When a new glazed extension isn’t always a physical or financial option for homeowners, doing something with their previously ignored flat roofs might be. This is where the lantern roof comes in.
The market for small, easily installed lantern roofs has rocketed over the past couple of years as the industry looks for new ways to increase business and find new revenue streams. Entering the flat roof sector was a clever move. After all, how many homes do you see with flat roofs used on extensions? Plenty. Yet very few had any source of light whatsoever, often making those rooms dark and a tad lacklustre.
Even our own main reception building has a big flat roof with absolutely no source of natural light. We have strip lights that do that job, which doesn’t really give off the nicest glow, bulbs never do. But our reception buildings, as well as many others, is a prime target for one or two of these new kit-form lantern roofs to be fitted.
When you consider there is likely to be millions of existing flat roofs all over the UK, the scope for the new lantern roof market is absolutely huge. No wonder everyone is going to want a piece of it.
Different materials, different looks
The three I’ve mentioned come in different options. The Skypod from Eurocell is a PVC system, and one I have sold twice before. The Atlas lantern roof is an aluminium option which I have seen at last year’s FiT Show and did look very impressive. The aluminium option gives you maximum glass and minimal frame width. Then the new UltraSky lantern froom from Ultraframe comes in both PVC and aluminium, which could be a good move as it will cover both fans of PVC and aluminium.
Which one is better? Not a clue! I haven’t yet seen the Atlas roof fitted, although on display it did look very nice. Nor have I seen the new UltraSky lantern roof in the flesh either. We have used the Skypod from Eurocell a couple of times so far, and the end users seemed happy with their looks and finish, so no complaints from me on that feedback!
What I would say though is that if the lantern roof market is going to go from niche to fully fledged sector, they’re all going to need to come with either triple glazing as an option to upgrade, or come with triple glazing as standard. And I’m not just referring to the three products above, but all suppliers who either have a lantern roof on the market right now, or have one in the pipeline. If triple glazing is going to be the new standard bearer in the coming years, I don’t see much point in bringing out new product now that don’t have at least the option to make these roofs with triple glazed units.
Still, away from triple glazing, these roofs are going to become a very popular side product that could make installers quite a lot of money, if they’re not doing so already.
All comments welcome in the section below.
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We use the Atlas roof and have installed several, like most products there is always room for improvement but the fihished effect with the slim ridge and roof bars ‘More sky less bars’ is stunning. The advantage of being aluminium is obvious, stronger, slimmer and easier to clean and it already comes with the option of tripple glazing.
Hi guys, thanks for the comment
We don’t use the Atlas roof where we work, so my knowledge of the product isn’t huge. It’s good that it comes with triple glazing as an option. My post about current and future roofs coming with triple glazing was just a general one, not referring to one specific option.
In the interests of a balance its definitely worth looking at the Skylights that are produced at Howells Patent Glazing and also the glass pyramid from Reflex.
Thought for the day: How do you reach to clean them and should the glass be self cleaning internally as well to make that process easier?
Hi Impartial Pete
I have seen a little bit about the Howells one, not so much from Reflex, but I’ll have a proper look at both. I think the lantern roof market is one that’s going to explode over the next few years!
Thanks for your comment :-)
Good morning Jason. As you say, roof lanterns offer a potentially lucrative revenue stream. You mention triple glazing, not sure if you are aware but it is available as an option on the Atlas lantern.
Thanks for your comment. The first to comment on this post did mention that triple glazing was an option on Atlas roofs. I’m not 100% on their product so I can say I have learned something today :-)
Are you doing many lanterns at the moment?
We use and sell the Synseal Global system, effectively a conservatory roof with a flat ring-beam base. This means we can go to any size and ricing is easy. It is not the most slim-line system of course but we get to offer the full colour range to match our windows and doors.
I have recently been getting a lot of emails about flat skylights, some look quite good but i’m apprehensive to install a skylight without any kind of fall on it. Has anyone used a flat system before?
Looks excellent, at last a simple solution to a 30 plus year problem of glazing roof-lights, goodbye to butchered conservatory roofs and patent glazing bars!!
I share your enthusiasm! The market has been crying out for a proper solution, and now we get a load to choose from!
Thanks for your comment :-)
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