Skylights for Homes
discussing skylights for homes, the expression skylights, or roof skylights, is often
used as a “catch all” term to describe a number of residential skylight styles. Below are listed a few of these
Fixed skylights: these are the original skylights which are designed to
allow additional lighting into a room. The styles and dimensions can cover a wide range from very small to
exceptionally large, one layer or two, tinted or non-tinted. These are traditional skylights found on homes
needing extra lighting or perhaps in places where a skylight improves the view.
Venting skylights: these skylights can be opened to allow airflow from
the house to the outside. The main use for venting skylights is in bathrooms to exhaust the humid air and in
the kitchen to exhaust the heat. A ventilating skylight can be controlled by a temperature sensor, a
hand-held remote control, an electric switch, or by an automatic or hand crank. These make great skylights
for the home if you need additional, cost free, ventilation.
skylights: these are typically fixed skylights, which are
rectangular or circular in design, but can be fabricated in almost any other shape desired. Domed skylights
normally are not vented but can be purchased with many of the extra features available for fixed skylights.
Basic dome skylights can be installed without difficulty; however, if you would like a specially designed
dome skylight you would normally need a professional for the installation.
Solar tube skylights: these are relatively new to the world of skylights.
Normally they are smaller, often between ten to fourteen inches in diameter, which allows them to be
installed in places where fixed or venting skylights would be impossible to use. Even though tubular
skylights are much smaller in general than other skylights, they still can provide a significant amount of
light to hallways, closets, bathrooms, or other areas.
skylights: these are relatively new to the market and
are currently found mainly on commercial buildings.
well as different types of skylights for homes, there is an array of extra features
Single or double pane skylights: most people go with double pane
skylights since the cost for the upgrade is minimal while the insulating effect is much greater with the
double pane skylight. Triple pane skylights are also available where energy savings is important.
Insulated thermal glass skylights: this also helps retain heat in the
winter and keep cooler air in the house during the summer.
Tinting skylights: can repel UV rays and heat in general.
Skylights blinds and skylights shades: are available to open and close so
to allow or prevent light from entering the home.
Insect screens for skylights: if you have a venting skylight a pest
screen, or insect screen, would be a good idea to keep out unwanted insects when the skylight is
Acrylic skylights vs. glass skylights: there is a
difference of opinion here but generally glass skylights give a better view, are more durable, and hold out
the noise better while acrylic skylights are easier to maintain, function well in extreme weather
conditions, and are normally cheaper than glass skylights.
Skylight for homes, installation overview:
you plan to do the skylight installation yourself, there are a few things which you need to know:
In your attic, how far apart are the rafters, 16" or 24"? If possible,
get a skylight which fits exactly between two rafters, or if you need a larger one, get a skylight
which fits exactly on a multiple of 16" or 24" inches, e.g., 32" or 48", this will make installation
Is your roof covered with fiberglass shingles, cedar shakes, tile, or is
it flat? This will determine the type of flashing necessary. If your roof is flat then be sure you look
for flat roof skylights.
Self-flashing: this means that the metal necessary for flashing skylights
is already attached.
Curb-mount: this has to be built on the roof to accommodate the skylight
What type of ceiling do you have? Cathedral or regular. A cathedral
ceiling will generally not require as much work to install a skylight as one which has a large span
from the ceiling to the roofing deck.
Finally, you will need to decide
whether to use a direct shaft or a flared shaft.
Overall, if you didn't understand the above information, it may be time to call a professional
for your skylight installation. However, if you are a handyman sort, you won't find the skylight installation
job too difficult.