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Choosing the Best Skylight for Your Home

Kyle Brink

05 October 2017

I’ve been planning to install a skylight, and I guess the plan is perfectly fine. Skylights are available in various versions, and I believe I can even find the one made of plastic. Some say it produces loud noises during a rainy day and it increases the temperature of your home. The glass version is also available but are there more options to choose from? What are they? Can I find the glass version that won’t produce too much noise and is equipped with heat filtration system?

If you are in dilemma just like me, first of all, you can find varieties of skylights. Now we are going to discuss about some of them.

The use of skylight provides a quick and easy way to transform the atmosphere of a room so that it becomes lighter and brighter. Additionally, it can create a sense of openness and airy atmosphere. Skylights with ventilators are ideal for the kitchen and bathroom. They provide additional lighting, and they’re open in nature. The ventilated version can be managed via a number of ways, be it temperature sensory controller, remote controller, power switch, manual handling and a motor-induced hand crank.

Take note though, that a fixed skylight is only meant for providing additional light. It is perfect to be used in the attic, an extra room or anywhere else that you want to illuminate without using controlled movement of air. It’s available in various sizes, examples are domes and rectangles. The ones made of glass, plastic and acrylic are also available.

A tubular skylight is considered a new product on the market. It is small in size, thus it can be the perfect option when you need to illuminate certain areas that regularly-sized skylights aren’t able to enter. A hallway, bathroom and closet can benefit a lot from a tubular skylight. This skylight has the capacity to produce ample lighting needs regardless of its small size. It requires similar installation needs to that of the ordinary skylights. The only difference is that it has an enclosed tunnel made of a substance that can reflect the light. This option is also available in various sizes where the smallest ones are around ten to twelve inches whereas the bigger versions are sized around twenty-four inches.

The flat glass skylight version is often placed in metal frames, and it requires an extra step in the curb construction. When you cut a hole, the installation of a skylight can be done easily by attaching the frame to the roof sheathing. The completion of the project can also be done on a DIY basis, and you only need to refer to the flashing kit. Many people adore the skylight as it’s easy to install, it provides top notch insulation quality, is unlikely to leave traces behind due to scratching and has a clean appearance. A glass skylight is also produced with several options of accessories. Examples are such as tempered, laminated, wireglass, shades, blinds and tints. Proper ventilation is also present due to the use of skylight.

A domed acrylic skylight is often reasonably priced and not as expensive as glass skylight. A domed acrylic skylight is normally framed with aluminum and then mounted on a curb or box. When the cutting of the hole is done, the construction of the curb is done on the site so that the skylight can be raised higher than the position of the sheathing. The curb will then be sealed by using industrial made flashings or those custom-made by roofers. If you are looking for a domed skylight you can find it in clear, smokey, bronzed and tinted versions. Some of them are made of plastic and these are flush-mounted. In other words, both the lens and flashing pieces are comprised of plastic and these are typically installed on your roof with no curbs. Domed acrylic skylight comes with one apparent disadvantage though. It produces loud noises when it rains and it is vulnerable to damages that come in the form of leakage.

When you are planning to illuminate a room that comes with an open ceiling and there is no attic above it, the skylight can be installed as it is as it doesn’t need the construction of any light shafts. Indeed, this type of installation is considered the easiest, and you can enjoy maximum illumination and a nice view of the sky.

If your room has a ceiling and an attic, you need to construct a light shaft to connect the skylight to your room. In general, you can find skylight shafts in three varieties:

1. Straight. A straight skylight has a light shaft that falls in a vertical manner starting from the roof and ending at the ceiling. The dimension of the light shaft is equal to the skylight’s dimension. This is a very popular option as it’s the easiest one to install and construct. However, the angle seems rather offsetting when compared to the skylight. As a result, minimal illumination is likely to be produced.

2. Angled. This option requires the position of the shaft to be parallel to the skylight’s pitch. The dimension of the shaft should be equal to the skylight, similar to the ‘straight’ version. Angled version seems to produce more illumination compared to the straight version. Additionally, angled version connects two different locations which are unlikely to be aligned by using any other methods. The need for an angled skylight arises when you want to install a skylight in a specific spot, such as somewhere in the middle of a couple of trusses. Angled skylight is also beneficial when the opening of your shaft is pretty limited to one specific spot on the ceiling and that it’s not positioned in a parallel manner beneath the skylight.

3. Splayed a.k.a. pyramid. This is an option to be used when the opening of your ceiling is bigger than the opening of your skylight in terms of its width, its length, or the combination of both. Splayed skylight is quite difficult to install and construct, but is also considered the most popular. This is due to the fact that this option uses a smaller-sized skylight but it has the capacity to light up a bigger area.

When the skylight is already fastened to its place, you have to identify the ceiling’s opening and mark its position. Some of the factors to consider are such as your room size and how much illumination you want to create for the room. Then, choose the position and size of the hole as desired. When the installation of the skylight is complete and the hole on the ceiling has been created, the next step is to connect both of these with the shaft which is normally made of lumber with a size of 2x4 or 2x6. The process of creating the angle is rather complicated as you need to deal with confusing framing work. If you are not sure on how to get this one completed, it’s a good idea to hire a skilled carpenter.

When the construction of the frames is done, you need to cover the shaft interior with either wood or drywall. You should also insulate the attic to reduce the loss of heat.

You can enhance the volume of illumination in your room by painting the shaft interior with white colored gloss or semi-gloss paint.

A glass skylight is way much better than a plastic skylight. The finest quality of glass skylights should be surface mounted. All the flashings, curbs and lens are typically produced in the same batch. You won’t find any parts that are separated or moving individually. This results in a better seal and the likelihood of leakage is reduced to a great deal; at the same time when it rains it doesn’t produce any loud noises.