If you’re thinking about adding a skylight to your home, you might want to weigh the benefits against possible costs. Before getting a professional to come out and design a skylight for your roof type, check out some tips from Custom Home Remodeling & Roofing about the pros and cons of skylights.
Pros of Getting a Skylight
One of the biggest advantages of a skylight is the addition of lots of natural light to your home. It also adds a sophisticated modern appeal to your roof from the inside and the outside. They can add to the resale value of your home, so if you’re considering selling in the future, a skylight may be just the thing!
In addition to natural light, skylights can also provide better ventilation — especially if you can open it up to let a fresh breeze in. Remote operated skylights are best for this purpose, as you can close them easily at any time.
Cons of Getting a Skylight
One of the biggest disadvantages of a skylight is that they’re not particularly energy efficient. Since heat tends to rise, a home with a skylight will typically lose 35 – 45% more heat than a window that’s installed along the side of a house in the winter. Even worse, when the heating in your home touches the cold window, it will cause almost perpetual condensation which could impact the waterproofing of your home and cause a lot of damage and leaks over time.
If you’re thinking winter is your skylight’s worst enemy, summer comes with its own frustrations. Since skylights let in more natural light, they also let in more heat — which means your air conditioner may be working overtime to keep your house cooler.
These are the major pros and cons of skylights that you should consider. The type of skylight you choose and the design of your home may also complicate things a little bit.
Types of Skylights
There are several different types of designs, each with their own set of pros and cons for your skylight. Explore how fixed, tubular, or vented skylights may work in your home.
A fixed skylight doesn’t open or close and does not provide any ventilation. It works best in hard to reach areas to provide rooms with additional light. The fixed skylight is particularly durable, as there are no complex moving parts.
Tubular skylights are meant for hallways, foyers, closets, and other enclosed spaces because they fit into tight and awkward areas. They are simple to install and the tubes are generally adjustable.
Vented skylights, also known as roof windows, are those that can open and close. They can provide much needed ventilation for rooms that generate a lot of moisture, like kitchens and bathrooms. Since they open, they’re easier to clean.
When designing a skylight to fit your home, you need to think of the structure of your home, protection for your skylight, and your roof shingles and tiles to fully comprehend the pros and cons of skylights.
You can’t simply put a skylight anywhere you want, as there are other features in your home (like rafters) that may be crucial support elements. You’ll need to find a place that doesn’t compromise the structural integrity of your building.
Since skylights have lots of leakage issues if poorly installed, you’ll need to subject the skylight and the areas surrounding it to comprehensive waterproofing treatments. Scheduling regular maintenance after heavy storms is also suggested.
Like with supporting structural elements, the material your roof is made of also affects where you can place your skylight. You’ll have to be able to remove shingles and metal tiles before cutting through your roof, as well as choosing a place where you can place a watertight seal.
Pros and Cons Of Skylights: Final Tips
- Skylights need to match room size for better energy efficiency.
- Seal and waterproof joints to reduce probability of leaks.
- Allow for consistent air circulation to decrease condensation buildup.
- Build ceiling fans into the building to reduce condensation.
- Choose motorized operations for vented skylights to make operation easier.
- Consider flashing for vented skylights to interweave the skylight with roofing materials for more protection.
Finding a Trusted Roofing Specialist
When you’re trying to find someone to help you install a skylight, you should trust in the expertise of the team at Custom Home Remodeling & Roofing. We have the knowledge and experience you need. We can suggest the best skylight type, find the best place to put it, and properly install and seal it against harsh weather and other environmental effects. Reach out to our team today to learn more about our service areas, as well as the pros and cons of skylights!