DAKEA WINDOWS ‘RAISE THE ROOF’ IN LEEDS LOFT CONVERSION

For an experienced property renovator undertaking a bungalow conversion in an exclusive Leeds suburb, maximising budget and ensuring quality was key. This is why, for the roof window specification, Dakea Better Safe PVC windows were proposed and installed by contractor Room at the Top – delivering superior quality and better value compared with others on the market.

Prior to the loft conversion, the three-bedroom bungalow included a typical loft space that was simply used for storage purposes. When planning for the conversion, the client had three primary objectives - to increase the value of the property, enhance floor space and maximise light within the roof structure.

The loft conversion plans were drawn up by the client’s architect to include two double bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom, and a study, effectively turning it into a two-storey property and almost doubling the floor area. To fill each room with plenty of light and allow for natural ventilation, the architect specified a total of 13 roof windows across the new roof structure.

Room at the Top was responsible for all of the structural work at the property as well as the specification of the building materials, including the roof windows. Managing Director, Jon explains why Dakea is now the company’s preferred manufacturer: “As a business we have historically used similar roof windows but from a different manufacturer, however in recent years have experienced a deterioration in the quality hence sourcing another manufacturer and finding Dakea who are our firm favourites now.

“For this project, Dakea Better Safe PVC centre pivot roof windows have been installed, mainly the M4 size (78 x 98cm) and two C2 size (55 x 78cm). The PVC option was partly selected, as they’re good for high-humidity rooms like the ensuite bathrooms, in this case, but also for the level of quality they offer. They really do offer value for money.”

Better Safe PVC ensures a very low maintenance option with the windows easy to clean, resistant and not requiring much treatment. In terms of the glazing too, the new Thermostat solution provides an excellent energy conservation performance of 1.3 W/m2K, as well as toughened external glass and laminated internal glass making them more resistant and safer in case of glass breakage.

The 20-year guarantee that Dakea supports is also an attractive proposition for clients, as Jon highlights: “We offer our own customers a 15-year guarantee on the work, so the fact that Dakea provides a 20-year guarantee is a no brainer for clients. It’s literally just a case of registering the window ID number and customer details on the Dakea website.

“This window, like the others in the Dakea range, is a great product for our customers in terms of design too. With the handle at the bottom of the window, it makes it easier to use. As opposed to having to buy an extension pole for those hard-to-reach handles at the top of some windows.

“It also features a ventilation valve and a handle with two extra locking positions for good ventilation control. And when it comes to installation, the fitting is straightforward with everything you need included in the pack, even a Roofing Underfelt Collar (RUC), which means all the elements are to hand. It’s little design details like these that make a big difference for us and our customers.”

From a customer service perspective Jon also sang the company’s praises, saying: “We all know that from time to time things go wrong, however as a business we always try to make things right for our clients, swiftly. One of the refreshing things about Dakea is they have the same ethos. So, on the very odd occasion where the customer has had to pull on the guarantee, it is dealt with quickly and efficiently.

“Likewise from a technical perspective, whenever we’ve had a question nothing is too much trouble and it’s reassuring to know there is a network of support readily available to help.”

The property owner commissioned Leeds-based Room at the Top to do the structural work, which involved a roof lift and extension of the rafters to the front of the property as well as creating a whole new back to the house. This comprised two extensions to create a C-shape on-plan, raising the pitch line of the roof and allowing for the larger roof space.

A retired tradesman himself, the homeowner completed the second fix tasks including laying the insulation and floorboards. Commenting on the roof window installation, he said: “I’ve done a lot of house renovations over the years and have to say Dakea and the windows themselves are impressive. It’s exactly the kind of quality finish I was looking for, and with the 20-year guarantee in place, that’s transferable when we sell, it really does give that extra peace of mind.”

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