Skylights are an excellent way to increase the natural light that enters your home. They add beauty and value to the home and are often very easy and inexpensive to install. Skylights give you 30 percent more natural light than standard windows and can make even a small room seem much larger. If you have rooms in your home where standard windows are not an option, skylights will give you beautiful natural lighting without the need for extensive remodeling.
Of course with any home improvement project, it is important that you understand the job you are undertaking. Knowing the benefits of skylights is important but knowing how to purchase and install the right skylights for your unique home is essential. You have many models from which you can choose and a couple of different styles. Fixed models for instance will give you natural lighting and can be dome shaped or flat. Ventilation models give you the ability to open and close the windows using a wall switch, hand crank or remote control. Some more luxurious models even offer an automatic temperature sensor that opens and closes the skylight based on your temperature preferences.
When they are opened, ventilating skylights can help to dispel hot air. Bathrooms are good rooms for installing ventilating skylights because of the steam and hot air that accumulates. Laundry rooms are another good choice for ventilating units. Open or ventilating skylights help you to keep hot air from your home much like air conditioning units provide cooling.
Traditional skylights were normally just a piece of glass surrounded by a window frame. Today however, designs are much more advanced. There are a number of tints and coatings that are designed to dispel UV rays and make your home more comfortable. Units are rated for thermal efficiency much like windows so you have the option of comparing their U and R values when buying. If you are not a fan of tinted glass, you can also purchase blinds or shades that can cover the skylight when you do not want natural lighting filtering through. Many ventilating units also offer screens that will eliminate insects from entering your home, much like traditional windows.
Size is something that you will need to seriously consider when purchasing a skylight. There are a number of sizes available and if you find that a larger skylight is too big for a smaller room, there are also tubular units available that give you the same natural lighting. These tubular units range in size from 10 to 18 inches and offer the perfect solution for rooms that do not have direct roof access. They use a clear dome that is place over a reflective shaft. This shaft is installed into the ceiling and has a sealed diffuser that filters natural lighting into any room. They are perfect for smaller rooms where larger skylights simply are not an option.
Consider the various shapes and sizes before you purchase. Standard sizes run from 14 inches to more than 4 feet but there are sizes that are even larger than this. Unlike traditional units, today’s skylights also range is shape from square and rectangular to tubular skylights. If you want a larger skylight effect but cannot install a larger size, you can run several smaller models together to achieve a beautiful and functional look.
There are no set rules for the size of skylight that you should have installed. Many companies tend to recommend that you size the skylight to take up 5 percent of the floor space for regular activities as well as 10 percent for more regularly used areas or 15 percent for larger areas like kitchens, living rooms and family rooms.
Cost is something else that you will need to consider when purchasing your skylight. Just as there are many different styles and sizes, you will find a wide range of price tags. The material for building the skylight normally comes to about $250 per 2 foot square units that have plastic domes and more than $1,000 for larger units that have a number of special features. (If you’re building a garage and would like to add on skylights GaragePrices.com offers a calculator to factor in the costs of skylights.) You will need to determine what you can afford to spend and then take some time to learn more about the special features of each unit that you are considering. You may need to take the time to contact dealers to get a clear picture of what you can expect to pay. Installation typically costs around $400 on average for smaller units and can cost several thousand for larger units or more difficult installations. Contact a dealer in your area or spend some time researching various dealers online to get a better idea of what your skylight will cost. Remember to include installation charges as well as material costs when determining the total price.