Home Improvement: Things to Know Before Installing Skylights

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Many homeowners are looking for ways to brighten up and aesthetically improve their living spaces. One easy way to do that is through skylights. Not only this window type can change the illumination and aesthetics of the room, but it also offers more than that. Adding the right skylights to your house is ideal for ventilation, energy savings, solar heating, and increased home value.

Used in architecture for many years now, skylights are no doubt good investments to make. But while this type of window is an attractive addition, there are things you should know first before installing one. Discover what these are below.

  1. Professional installation

Some handy homeowners opt to install their skylights to save a few bucks, which is fine. However, if you don’t have the relevant skills and knowledge about skylight installation, it’s better to hire a professional to do it. When you go DIY, you’re not just putting yourself in danger, but it can lead to big and expensive problems.

Experienced home builders offer general services such as skylight installation. They can help you choose the right type and model to install, check if your roof can fit the window, and figure out if you’ll need a support structure. Save yourself from extra costs and leaky installation by hiring an expert.

  1. Glazing options

Skylights can be made up of metal, vinyl, or wood frames to support the glazing. When it comes to this light-transmitting part, you can pick from a plastic or glass glazing. If you’re in for a cheaper expense, plastic glazing is the one for you. They are less likely to break compared to glass, are lighter, and are available in acrylic or polycarbonate varieties.

They are also sold in different shapes like arched, flat, domed, and pyramidal. However, this glazing type is typically only available in standard sizes, blocks little to no UV light, and becomes easily discolored over time.

If you have a bigger budget, glass glazing is your best bet. There are available glass insulation options that block out nearly all UV rays and better retain indoor heat during the winter. Glass is also impact- and scratch-resistant and offers a much clearer view. Unlike plastic glazing only sold in standard shapes and sizes, glass offers custom shapes and sizes. Double-paned is the most durable option you can go for.

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  1. Fixed or vented

Another thing to consider when installing skylights is if you want to let in air. There are skylights in a fixed variety that can only transmit light and stay closed. They are designed to keep the moisture and heat out. Plus, they are less prone to leaks and usually more energy efficient. However, they are better for rooms with good ventilation as they can help with air circulation.

If you want to give your stuffy room some natural light and fresh air, a vented skylight is the best option. They are available in manually operated and motorized varieties. The downside is that they are more likely to get leaks. If you’re opting for a vented type, only work with an expert installer who can guarantee leak-free installation.

  1. Placement

When installing a skylight, you need to figure out the best location in the house. Consider how much natural light you want to come into your space. If you cannot find a spot wherein the light isn’t too invasive, you can invest in window blinds that you can shut off when you need a shade or more privacy.

On the other hand, don’t place it in a spot where nearby taller obstructions block the view. You can position it under a large tree for a more desirable view and shade. Also, remember that a dark finished room isn’t always appropriate for a skylight installation. The installer will need to first inspect if the space meets the minimum slope requirements of your chosen window type.

  1. Regular maintenance

You don’t necessarily need to check and clean your skylight every other day or every week. But they do require deep cleaning at least twice a year regardless if you have a plastic or glass skylight. Doing so can remove the accumulated films and debris. You’d also want to keep an eye for spider webs and ducts in your skylight’s interior. To ensure that the skylight’s features won’t be damaged, seek the help of professional window cleaners.

A home with skylights can take advantage of better access to natural light, aesthetics or curb appeal, and energy efficiency. You’re not only improving your living space but also helping out the environment by consuming less electricity. Furthermore, natural light is proven to boost mood and creativity. Ensure proper installation to get these benefits for yourself.

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