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Let There Be Light: All About Skylights

May 6, 2021 9:00:00 AM

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Skylights are a great way to introduce more natural light into your property. But many people aren't using skylights or are under-utilizing skylights. You can install skylight windows in almost any property—you just need the right design and the proper permits. If you're considering adding more lighting or more windows, you might want to learn more about how skylights work.

Here's an introduction to the types of skylights, advantages of skylights, and where they should be put.

What Are Some Types of Skylights?

You're probably familiar with the most basic type of skylight; a skylight that's just a window pane above a room. But there are also skylights that have ventilation. You can open them and close them to improve air circulation. In addition to that, some skylights have covers, so you can also cover them (to not let light in) and remove the cover (to let light in). This can be an advantage if it's a room that does need to be dark sometimes.

A tilt window skylight has a hinge, so the window can open at an angle. An "escape window" has a hinge on the bottom exterior side, so the window can be thrown outward. And there's always a fixed skylight, which cannot open at all.

The materials may also matter. Most skylights are glass, but there are some distinct advantages; glass can shatter. The glass has to be glazed properly so that it's protected against the weather. Some skylights are plexiglass instead because that is less likely to shatter. But plexiglass is more likely to scratch and cloud, and consequently may need to be changed out once it starts to get damaged.

What Are the Advantages of Skylights?

Skylights let natural light in. 

That can be an advantage in many ways. First, it improves the look and feel of a room. It can be used to create a semi-green room, with indoor plants. It makes the space feel larger and more welcoming and makes the space more relaxing. Skylights that can be opened will also improve ventilation.

The majority of people who add skylights are those who want more natural light in their home. If the rest of the windows in a property aren't sufficient, skylights can be a great way to get in more sunlight.

Of course, there can be downsides, too. Skylights need to be kept clean and well-maintained. They can reduce the amount of insulation in a room if they aren't installed properly. And they can be expensive and difficult to install if not handled by a professional.

Where Should You Put Skylights?

Skylights are often used in attics, because they make them brighter and airier. If you're converting an attic into a room or an office, a skylight can make it feel brighter and more welcoming. Many converted attics don't have any windows at all. Adding windows and skylights can make it feel like more of a living space.

Otherwise, skylights are often put into enclosed patios because it makes them into a green room, sunroom, or sitting room. Skylights can be put in offices to keep the office feeling more open or in living rooms to make the living room feel more welcoming. A skylight in a bathroom can make for a relaxing spa day that allows you to get in touch with nature. Skylights shouldn't be placed in areas that need to be dark occasionally, such as an entertainment room or a bedroom.

Where you put your skylights may also be controlled through the permitting process.

Skylights aren't right for everyone. It is complicated and you do need permits. Because it alters the exterior of your home, it's a bit of a more significant modification than just putting in different windows where windows are already installed. But for the right home, a skylight can dramatically improve its appearance. 

Are you interested in learning more about skylights? Browse our website to explore possible options and feel inspired!