European Roofs vs. American Roofs

Skylights aren’t as popular here in the United States as they are in Europe. It’s not because Skylights aren’t great, it’s more about the style of buildings they’re going into. It is much easier to have a home built here in the US than it is over in Europe due to the amount of land available, building restrictions, and other factors. Because of this, construction here in the U.S. costs significantly less and takes much less time.

In Europe, cities were built from the center, often without taking transportation by car or train into account. Over the centuries, Europe became more populated. The problem is that many old buildings populate those city centers and demolishing them for taller skyscrapers that can fit more people is incredibly costly. As a result, many 2-4 story buildings remain in European city centers, severely limiting the amount of space that people can live in there. It’s for this reason that many European buildings have converted their attic storage spaces into actual living spaces. These living spaces wouldn’t be very livable were it not for VELUX Skylights.

You’ve probably been up in an attic. There’s a reason they’re frequently used in horror movie settings. Left alone as a storage space, a regular attic isn’t a place you’d want to live in unless you had to. But if you clean up the dust and cobwebs, clear out a space for living, and you’ve got yourself an apartment. An apartment wouldn’t be anything without windows, which is where a VELUX Skylight is perfect. Normal windows won’t work correctly when installed in roofs, but VELUX Skylights do. In fact, we even carry VELUX Roof Windows to make that space feel less like an attic.

Let’s take the Cabrio Balcony for example. With one of these installed, it makes any attic look like it was meant to be used as a living space. Some say it even feels like living on the first floor!

Here in America, since we have much more space to build on, we use it! Often this leads to a relatively luxurious 2-story home. Since these homes are built with all of the living space needed in the first 2 stories, the attic is resolved to a storage space. We’ve already written a blog on finishing your attic, but here’s a small recap:

  1. Increase your home’s value
  2. Insulate your home better
  3. Create extra space for living or working

Many people turn to converting their attic when expanding their family. The arrival of a new child can certainly cramp a house because that newborn will soon need an entire room to his or herself. Many homeowners find it significantly less costly and more rewarding to renovate their attic instead of going through the strenuous process of listing your home, negotiating, selling, and moving. Not only does this add value to your home for when it’s actually the right time to sell it, but it also makes your home more energy efficient.

An attic is typically kept very hot in order to retain heat in the floors below it. When an attic is finished and insulated like the rest of the house, the attic doesn’t need to be kept as hot. This, on top of natural light and air, helps create a highly efficient space in the highest story of your home. Many people who convert their attics barely notice the difference in their energy bill, all while practically adding another story to their home!

So the Europeans are a little ahead of us on this idea. Don’t you think it’s time we caught up?