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What is a Skylight Upstand?

6 February 2024
Upstands play a pivotal role in ensuring skylights fit seamlessly and perform optimally. They are raised frames that create enough height between the roof and the skylight and enough pitch to protect against weather, be it rain or snow, safeguarding the integrity of the skylight and the roof.

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Skylights are a popular choice for bringing natural light into our homes. These roof windows not only enhance the aesthetics of a space but also provide numerous benefits, including energy efficiency and improved well-being. However, the success of a skylight installation relies on an often overlooked component: skylight upstands. This article delves into the importance, construction, and design considerations of these essential structures.

Upstands play a pivotal role in ensuring skylights fit seamlessly and perform optimally. They are raised frames that create enough height between the roof and the skylight and enough pitch to protect against weather, be it rain or snow, safeguarding the integrity of the skylight and the roof.

Why do I need an Upstand for my skylight?

An upstand for your skylight isn’t just a building requirement; it’s an essential component that enhances the skylight’s functionality, safety, and energy efficiency.

Structural Support

Installing a skylight requires modifying your roof’s structure to create an opening. This alteration could weaken the roof’s integrity. An upstand provides necessary support and stability, ensuring the roof can adequately support the skylight without compromising the building’s safety or durability.

Weatherproofing

The junction where the skylight integrates with the roof is particularly vulnerable to water ingress. Upstands serve as a critical barrier, elevating the skylight above the roof plane to prevent water pooling and ensuring a watertight seal. This is typically achieved using lead flashing or specialised weatherproofing kits, safeguarding your home against leaks and moisture damage.

Insulation and Energy Efficiency

Adhering to building regulations regarding insulation is crucial for minimising heat loss. Upstands play a vital role in maintaining your home’s thermal envelope, reducing heat transfer through the skylight area. This contributes to improved energy efficiency and helps keep your living space comfortable year-round.

Our skylights stand out with U-Values as low as 1.05 W/m²K. When paired with our exclusive upstands, they achieve an industry-leading U-value of 0.92 W/m²K. Our upstands alone boast a remarkable U-Value of 0.58 W/m²K, surpassing most competitors who often lack upstand offerings or fail to meet Approved Document L standards. This synergy provides unparalleled energy efficiency.

Fire Performance

The proximity of a skylight to boundary lines can have implications for fire safety. Upstands assist in meeting fire performance standards, providing an added layer of protection and peace of mind.

UK building regulations, specifically BS 6229: 1982, underscore the importance of upstands. This Code of Practice for flat roofs mandates that skylights need to incorporate upstands to elevate them at least 150mm above the roof surface whilst having a minimum pitch of 3 degrees. This requirement not only ensures proper water runoff and thermal performance but also aligns with fire safety and structural stability standards.

Why Choose Sunsquares Insulated Upstand?

At Sunsquare, we recognise the importance of precision in creating an upstand that complements your skylight perfectly. Our upstands are crafted in our factory with meticulous attention to detail, employing computer calculations to guarantee accuracy for every unique project. Delivered flat-packed with clear instructions and all necessary hardware, our upstands are designed for easy installation, making them a favourite among builders and roofers.

With over 10,000 upstands manufactured without a single return or complaint, our track record speaks volumes about our commitment to quality.

The Sunsquare Difference

Our upstands are not merely structural components; they are energy-efficient solutions designed in partnership with Warren Insulation, a leader in insulation technology. With a U-value of 0.58 and a zero percent chance of dew formation, our upstands are equipped with advanced chemical compound foam to address any flat roof scenario globally. This focus on energy efficiency ensures your skylight looks stunning and contributes to a reduction in energy costs.

We stand by the flexibility of our system. Unlike integral upstands, which are fixed to the skylight, ours are fitted separately. This design choice allows easy access to the skylight or roof window for repairs without compromising the entire roofing structure, offering a practical advantage over integral systems that often fail to meet the required height standards set by building regulations.

The intelligent, cost-effective solution

Ensuring your roof window fits flawlessly is crucial, and we understand concerns about the initial cost of a Sunsquare Upstand, starting at £200. Consider the effort in constructing your own upstand, sourcing materials, cutting, and ensuring proper installation angles — this task requires hours of skilled labour.

Given that an average roofer’s daily charge exceeds £200 for their labour alone, attempting to construct an Upstand yourself could easily surpass five hours, making it a completely false economy!

By choosing an Upstand with our skylights, you’re investing in a straightforward, precise solution that adheres to building regulations, ensuring your roof window is installed correctly, at the right angle, and without future issues.

Neglecting this could lead to significant expenses down the line. If you’re interested in a demonstration of our Upstands or want to discuss your specific rooflight needs, our approachable sales team is ready to help. Please feel free to contact us today on 01922 714087 for a chat to discuss your options or get in touch here.

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