So you’re thinking about getting a skylight installed in your home, but you’re not sure if it’s the right investment. Just like getting your roof replaced or choosing new gutters, there are several considerations.
As professionals, we understand the pros and cons of having skylights and how to avoid the pitfalls — particularly by choosing the right equipment and approaching each situation with the homeowner’s best interests in mind.
No skylight installation is the same because each person considers them for different reasons. Maybe you’d like more natural sunlight in your bedroom or bathroom? Or better ventilation? Or maybe you’d like to add solar generated heat to a frigid living space?
Either way, we’ll walk you through the common advantages, objections and questions our customers ask before installing a skylight (or deciding to go another way).
Benefits of skylights
Rooftop windows and skylights can give a number of advantages to homeowners. They can increase the overall value (equity) of your home, and they can solve certain issues in stuffy, cold or dark rooms.
Adding natural light (and solar heating) to your spaces
The biggest benefit of skylights is how they let natural light into your space. And with that light comes solar heat. Why does that matter for you? Natural light is known to improve mood and even help with performance in workplaces. And heating your home with sunlight can save on heating costs during the chilly seasons.
Letting in fresh air and better ventilation
Skylight windows can open to let in the fresh air. This helps with cross ventilation in stuffy rooms, freshens up the air and cools down your living spaces without turning on the air conditioner.
Saving on energy costs (electric and heating)
As we mentioned above, sunlight can heat up your spaces and cross ventilation can cool them down. Each can cut down on your energy costs (just make sure to install a skylight that’s leak-proof and has laminated glass!)
Aesthetic changes add to the resale value
Cosmetic changes like skylights can add equity into your home, upping the resale value and giving certain rooms an attractive, natural light atmosphere.
Natural views and “adding space” to a room
Similar to adding mirrors on the walls, skylights can make a room “feel bigger” and more spacious. Plus, you can get a view of night sky or nature during the day.
Disadvantages of skylights
Every cosmetic change to your home has potential disadvantages and skylights are no exception. As professionals who have installed numerous skylights for homeowners, we can tell you that many of the drawbacks come from poor (or uneducated) decisions before the skylight is installed.
- Investing in poor quality equipment without solid warranties
- Choosing the placement of your skylight without proper consultation
- Hiring a service professional without experience in skylight installations
- Doing it yourself (no offense to those hardcore DIY-ers out there)
- Cost to replace or repair a bad installation
The list can go on and on. However, most of these issues can be avoided by doing the exact opposite — quality equipment, proper consultation, and choosing a reputable skylight professional for the job.
If you’ve covered all of your bases by making the right choices (as mentioned above), then the disadvantages become conditional to your unique situation. Here are a few to consider:
- Losing heat through the skylight if it’s not properly installed or done with poor-quality equipment. (This is one of the main reasons we only install No Leak Velux Skylights, industry’s finest warranty – click here for specifics.)
- Placement of skylight brings in too much light or too much heat during the day. That’s why a proper consultation is a good idea, so you install a skylight in an area that will fit your needs without letting the natural benefits get out of control.
- The features of the skylight fall short of your expectations. Do you want to be able to open the window remotely? Or have your windows close automatically before a rainstorm? These types of features are important considerations (usually thought of after the fact!)
- What if a tree limb falls on the skylight and shatters the glass? It’s possible, but it doesn’t have to be a dangerous situation. We recommend our customer purchase laminated glass in case of breakage. This type of glass is covered with a thin film which holds the broken glass in place, instead of shattering and falling into the house.
Should you purchase curb-mounted or deck-mounted skylights?
There are two main types of skylights available for purchase and installation: curb-mounted and deck-mounted.
Curb mounted requires a box structure for the unit to set upon. When replacing a skylight, these can be used without needing to re-flash the skylight at the same time as long as flashing is in good condition.
Deck mounted skylights are a more recent design, and have a lower profile because there’s no box structure underneath. These hug the roof and are considered a more energy efficient choice because of this.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our pages on Velux Skylights or read more on our blog!