Opening flat roof lights: VELUX Flat Roof Skylights

Which is best for my home?

From electric opening roof windows to fixed skylights, there are a number of available options to choose from when looking for the perfect rooflight for your home. The Rooflight Company offers a quality range of opening and fixed flat rooflight styles as well as bespoke solutions to suit any need or requirement. Below, we take a closer look at opening and non-opening rooflights, how they function, their benefits, any possible disadvantages, and help you decide what type of rooflight is best for your home and project.  

See our complete guide to rooflights for a more comprehensive look into the styles and bespoke rooflight options available to you.


The difference between opening and fixed shut rooflights

Fixed flat rooflights are completely sealed to your ceiling with no way of opening them. This means that you won’t be able to use them as a means of entry to the roof or for ventilation purposes. Although this may seem like a disadvantage, fixed flat rooflights could be the perfect solution for your home depending on a number of factors. For example, non-opening rooflights are typically seen as the most leak-proof, the most secure, the most affordable, and may even let in a little extra light as compared to an opening rooflight. 

Opening rooflights are oppositely very easily opened, either manually or automatically.  The ability to open your rooflight window can be a great advantage, either to allow airflow or to create access from a rooftop terrace. Automated rooflights use an electric rooflight opener, and although manually opening rooflights are opened by hand, you can choose between “in reach” and “out of reach options” – depending on your ceiling access. Quality opening rooflights can be much more expensive than non-opening rooflights, but they should match them in water resistance, security, and aesthetics.

Non-opening and opening rooflights: What to consider?

There are a few factors to consider when deciding between an opening rooflight and a fixed flat rooflight. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the perfect rooflight for you will vary depending on your project budget, your preferred style, functionality, and possible building requirements.



Non-opening windows are typically an affordable and cost-effective way to benefit from the natural light and airy aesthetics of a roof window. Fixed shut rooflights are significantly less expensive than an opening rooflight, especially when comparing them to electric opening windows. 

Either type of rooflight will inevitably reduce spending on bills by transforming your home into more energy and thermally-efficient space. Although it may require a little extra investment, and if your budget allows, opening rooflights can provide extra interior temperature control – an invaluable feature to rooms such as kitchen and bathroom extensions. 

For a more comprehensive look into rooflight price factors, see our guide, How Much Does a Rooflight cost?



One of the biggest benefits of opening rooflights is the added function of natural ventilation. Depending on the type of room you have, this ventilation is not always necessary. For example, if you plan on adding natural light to a kitchen with wide, bifold doors, you may already have all the fresh breeze and air circulation necessary to keep your kitchen cool and ventilated. Fixed rooflights are the perfect choice for any area that can benefit from natural light while not requiring any additional ventilation or airflow. 

In rooms without opening widows or spacious doors, proper ventilation from an opening window can make all of the difference. This is especially true in rooms that experience a lot of moisture, steam, or strong smells. Opening windows will enhance any room visually while allowing hot air to escape and circulate in fresh air from outside – preventing excessive condensation, mould growth in bathrooms, smoke, and odours.  



Fixed flat rooflights are completely sealed and inaccessible from the outside. Our opening rooflights are still designed to the highest standards that consider security, however, if security is of major concern then a non-opening rooflight may be the best option.  

Rest assured that all rooflights and skylights are made to meet the highest of security standards – from PAS24 certifications to fulfilling all Part Q building regulation requirements. This includes opening rooflights! 

A popular option for high-security buildings such as banks or schools is our Secured by Design-approved rooflight with reinforced structure for additional piece of mind. 

Read more on rooflight security in our blog, Are rooflights secure? 


Building regulations

Most skylight and rooflight projects do not require planning permission, but it is still important to consider the type of home you are working with and any building regulations you may have to adhere to. For example, homes built in Conservation Areas may require side-facing rooflights to be fixed shut and non-opening unless they are located over 1.7 metres from the floor level. Check with your local planning authority on whether you need planning permission or not, as ultimately this is your responsibility.

Our Conservation Rooflight range is available as both opening and non-opening and will ensure you meet every specific requirement set by the National Trust and English Heritage. You may need to also consider rooflight U values and energy efficiency. Our fixed flat rooflights and non-opening pitched roof windows are designed with energy conservation and thermal performance in mind, going above and beyond all regulation requirements. 

For further guidance on building regulations and rooflights, see our guide, Do rooflights need planning permission? Please contact a member of our knowledgeable team if you have any questions or concerns, we would be happy to help.



Rooflights of all types will enhance your home visually, with bright, eye-catching features and a light aesthetic. Most of our quality rooflight ranges offer both opening and fixed shut options, but each type may vary in its appearance and construction. This is because extra metal work is sometimes needed to support the hinge mechanisms and casement of opening rooflights. Fixed shut rooflights often have larger panes of glass and a completely uninterrupted view of the sky. 

Explore our neo® Advance fixed shut rooflight range that ensures optimal light transmittance and a view free of frames or fixings.


Bespoke non-opening and opening rooflight solutions

If you are looking for a skylight opening solution that is totally unique, the Rooflight Company can design for you a completely individual and bespoke rooflight, made specifically for your home. Take your pick of non-opening or opening features, from fixed shut to motorised opening. 

Whatever the project, our expert Rooflight Company team has the passion and industry knowledge to craft your skylight dreams into a reality. With complete freedom of choice, you can be fully involved with the design process every step of the way. If you want an opening rooflight, you can pick from four different types of electric and motorised systems and from multiple different handle types.


Explore our complete range of opening and fixed flat rooflights today. Feel free to get in touch with a member of our knowledgeable team for guidance or if you have any questions. We are happy to help.

Flat Roof Skylights and Hatches

Flat Roof Skylights

Quick and easy solutions for skylights on a flat roof

It’s a common misconception that skylights and flat roofs don’t mix, but VELUX is here to disprove that with our newly expanded flat roof products. With a VELUX Flat Roof Skylight designed to meet the growing demand for skylights in homes with flat or low-pitch roofs, you can transform and improve virtually any space with daylight. 

These new Flat Roof Skylights are fitted in a PVC curb and topped with one of two covers: CurveTech glass or polycarbonate dome. Designed with flat roofs in mind, CurveTech glass is a curved, edge-to-edge cover that allows rainwater to easily disperse off the glass. The polycarbonate dome is also built to whisk rainwater off the skylight while featuring a clean interior appearance.