Skylights are the perfect addition if you want more natural light in a room far away from your windows. While the skylight hardware is relatively inexpensive—running a couple of hundred dollars for a base model—a skylight installation is a labor-intensive process that requires expert knowledge and specialized equipment.
A skylight alternative called a solar tube allows natural light in without the view—it captures sunlight, reflects it down a polished tube, and delivers it into your home.
But for this article, let’s assume you’re interested in a standard skylight, a window in your roof. We’ll go over skylight installation considerations, discuss the skylight installation process, and review available skylight types.
Ideally, your skylight installation will add a skylight directly to the roof and filter light into an upper-level room or finished attic. If not, you’ll need to add what’s called a “chase:” a tunnel that transports the light from your roof, through the unused space, and into the desired room. Chases are usually finished with drywall and painted.
Your roof framing type plays a significant role in the potential for your skylight. If your trusses are spaced close together, your size options are limited. Keep in mind, cutting through trusses isn’t advised since it weakens the roof’s structural integrity.
The skylight itself costs a few hundred dollars. The labor is the source of most of the skylight installation costs. A trained Dayton roofing contractor at Possert will cut through your roof and reseal the surrounding area against future leaks. They’ll also cut into your ceiling, which requires re-painting after the skylight installation.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Ideally, skylights face north. Take a look at the orientation of your home and determine if this is possible. South is the second-best option. Facing east results in a warm house in the morning, and a west-facing skylight warms the home in the evening.
Skylights come with protective glazing or films that reduce the total amount of light that passes through. These cut down on heat, glare, and brightness in the target room.
A less-permanent option for light regulation is motorized skylight shades. Keep in mind that a skylight installation involving this added component increases the total cost.
Skylight installation requires cutting a hole into your roof and replacing it with a window. There are leak considerations associated with a skylight, particularly the seals around the edges. Because of the potential for damage from a roof leak, regular maintenance is strongly recommended.
Additionally, because skylights are on an angle, debris and pollen accumulate faster than traditional windows, requiring more frequent cleaning.
The area in your roof that a skylight installation removes will need new shingles, flashing, and sealing around the skylight. Roofing considerations are why choosing your Dayton roofing contractor at Possert is the best choice for installing your skylight so that they can handle the roofing portion as well.
The slope of your roof will have an enormous impact on the amount of sunlight that enters through your skylight. The angle of the skylight also affects how much debris settles onto the skylight. For example, rainwater can sit on a flat skylight on a flat roof and affect the glass’s finish.
Windows are the primary source of heat loss in the winter and additional thermal radiation in the summer. Complete roofs are a consistent source of cooling shade and temperature control. By replacing a portion of your roof with a window, you’ll sacrifice some of your home’s climate control capabilities. Making up this slack will fall on your AC and heating units.
The skylight installation from above involves cutting out a hole in your roof and installing the skylight hardware. After this step, your Dayton roofing contractor will address the surrounding roof area, ensuring that there is no potential for leaks.
Skylight installations typically take about half a day, but more intensive projects can take as long as three days.
Skylight installation from inside includes painting and drywall work. Sloped ceilings are easier than flat ceilings, requiring less drywall work and therefore less time.
Like any drywall work, there are dust and debris considerations for the interior of your home. Your Dayton roofing contractor will take every precaution to minimize the effect the work has on your home.
There are two main types of skylights: fixed and fresh air.
Fixed skylights don’t open. They are purely for light and serve a similar function as solar tubes.
Fresh air skylights open and allow air inside the home. There are two types of fresh air skylights: electric and manual. Manual costs less than the electric version, but there are instances where reaching the skylight isn’t possible—electric is required in these scenarios.
When adding a skylight to your home, determine what you want to get out of the home improvement. This decision will inform many of your other choices, such as which type of skylight you’ll purchase.
Then, take a look at your home—the roof, the orientation, and the ceiling. Determine what kind of labor might be needed, so you’ll have an idea of what’s coming down the line when you talk to your skylight installation professional.
The Dayton roofing contractors at Possert have years of experience with skylight installation. Give us a call or reach out via our contact form, and we’ll discuss the next steps needed for your new skylight!