Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Skylight for Your Home
A skylight can add instant sunshine and brightness to any room of your home, and it's a good choice for darker rooms in which you don't have much natural light coming in through the windows. Skylights can also be opened and, in turn, provide ventilation for a home. When choosing skylights, your contractor can give you recommendations as to what would work for your home, but note a few basic to factors to consider before your discussion as well.
1. Fixed versus vented
A fixed skylight is just a pane of glass or piece of plastic that allows in light, whereas a vented skylight can be opened with a crank or remote. The vented skylight is often more expensive, especially if you have a remote control for it, and it may be more prone to need repairs because of its added moving parts. However, the ventilation can be a good choice if your home seems very stuffy in the summertime because of poor insulation or because you tend to cook a lot. Rather than running the air conditioning or installing new insulation, you can open the skylight. This can make up for the added cost of installation, so consider this option carefully.
Glazing refers to the type of pane in your skylight, meaning either glass or plastic. It may seem that glass would be less durable, but most glass used for skylights is very thick and very resistant to hail, falling tree branches, and the like. Glass is also less likely to crack along the sides the way some plastics might.
On the other hand, plastic is often cheaper than glass for your skylight and may be more lightweight. If you want a manually operated vented skylight, the plastic may be easier for you to open and close. You may also prefer a tint or coloring to your skylight to filter the light, and this might be more affordable on a plastic glazing than on a glass one.
Most skylights come in a set width to accommodate the standard space between roofing studs and beams. However, if you want a larger skylight that provides more light and ventilation, note that its installation may be somewhat complicated. Rafters would need to be cut and braced so that your skylight doesn't affect the overall strength of the roof. If you roof is weakened due to age or other damage, you might opt for a dome skylight, which is much smaller and more lightweight and which can more readily be supported by the roof without risk of added damage.