Let There Be A Skylight: 8 Things You Need To Know Before Installing Skylights


A house that looks bright, open, and airy is an ideal one. What better way to let more light in than installing something that mimics sunlight? A skylight, that is!

While we love the classic glass walls, windows, and doors, having a skylight is a major boost as far as the aesthetics department is concerned. They’re also one of the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly architectural features to invest in.

However, installing a skylight can be a little bit more complicated than just creating a hole in your roof. There are several things to consider when deciding whether or not to install one in your home.

Here are 8 things you should know before installing skylights.

1. Do you want your skylight to be fixed or ventilating? 

Are you planning to have a fixed skylight or something that can be opened to improve air circulation?

Fixed skylights, as the term implies, are fixed in place and don’t open to the outside. They bring in natural light and beautiful outside views but won’t provide ventilation.

Ventilating skylights, on the other hand, refer to the ones you can open to allow ventilation. These skylights are helpful in rooms with excess moisture, like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Ventilating skylights come in both manual and motorized options.

2. Small, narrow space? Go with tubular skylights

Tubular skylights, referred to as “sun tunnels” or “solar tubes”, are a modern take on the classic ceiling hole. They comprise of a clear acrylic dome on the roof that captures the natural light, a polished reflective steel or aluminum pipe that carries the light through the roof, and a flush fixture in the ceiling that diffuses light throughout the room.

Tubular skylights are small, usually somewhere between 10 to 14 inches in diameter. They’re perfect for illuminating small, narrow rooms.

3. Find the right size and placement

Will a single skylight be enough to illuminate your large room? Or will your space need more than one skylight? How big will they be?

Before installing a skylight, you need to consider these three fundamentals: your room size, your ceiling height, and your roof slope.

The rule of thumb is skylight size shouldn’t be more than 5% of the floor area in spaces with many windows. If your room has a few windows, it shouldn’t be more than 15% of the room’s total area.

4. Follow the sun

Which direction should they face? Be aware of where the sun starts to rise and where it ends up. Like windows, the amount of light may depend on your skylight’s direction.

  • North-facing skylights: Provide constant, soft, diffused illumination all day long though they won’t give you a “sun-splashed” effect.
  • South-facing skylights: Provide potential for pleasant winter passive solar heat gain, but may allow unwanted heat gain in the summer. They tend to overheat rooms too.
  • West-facing skylights: Provide afternoon sunlight and heat gain.
  • East-facing skylights: Provide maximum light and solar heat in the morning.

5. Never skimp on quality 

Installing a skylight isn’t something you should skimp on. Factors including energy efficiency, water tightness, wind resistance, load, and the sound reduction will depend on the quality of the products and installation service you choose. Settling for substandard materials and the cheapest service from inexperienced roof repairs providers can cost more in the long run when you notice problems like condensation and leaking.

With quality materials and proper installation, skylights can last for years without any maintenance.

6. Install skylights during summer

Rain and bad weather can seriously mess up the project. Ireland, for example, is a country where it rains most of the time. Even the best Dublin roofers can only do so little when moisture gets in midway through the installation process.

If the season is still wet, then you might want to postpone your skylight project until summer.

7. Glazing helps protect your furniture from fading  

Windows are glazed to protect your home from outside elements, like light, heat, and cold. The same goes for skylights.

Glazing options include plastic and glass. Plastic is a cheaper option, but it’s prone to discoloration and may not provide adequate protection from UV rays and fading furniture. Glass might have a higher price tag, but it’s more durable. For better protection against the bleaching effects of direct sunlight on furniture, you can get a gray or bronze-tinted glass that blocks the sun’s UV rays.

8. Pay attention to the aesthetics

While practical concerns are crucial, homeowners should also pay attention to how good the skylight looks from the inside and outside of their homes.

Avoid installing the skylight on a roof surface that faces the street, which can instantly ruin your curb appeal. As for the visual appeal indoors, try to align the skylight opening with a door, window, or some existing feature so it won’t look out of place.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a blogger who once dreamed of becoming an interior designer. When she’s not browsing trendy home decor ideas and DIY home projects online, you can find her writing articles about home improvement and interior design. To know more about home improvement, you may visit All Round Roofing.

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