There are plenty of reasons to install a skylight on your home. They boost curb appeal, let in more natural light, give you a great view of the day and night skies, and so much more. If you have room in your home where a skylight can be installed, we highly recommend it, and we understand if you have a few questions.
If you are considering skylights as part of your window installation project, here are a few things you should know.
Domed vs. Flat Skylights
There are two primary “shapes” for skylights: domed and flat. Flat skylights are built with a flat pane of glass, while domed skylights are made from a sheet of curved plastic (acrylic). Some people prefer domed skylights because debris can slide off them, making maintenance simpler. Other homeowners prefer the look and durability of glass, which is far harder to damage and scratch than plastic. The benefit of flat skylights is that they do not protrude off the roof, providing a less obtrusive and sleeker look.
Which one you like better is entirely up to you.
Fixed vs. Vented Skylights
What’s the difference? Fixed skylights are permanently sealed and can never be opened. Vented skylights operate similar to regular windows in that they can be opened and closed at will. The primary benefit of vented skylights is that they can let in fresh air whenever you want, but they are also more prone to leaks. Vented skylights can also allow excess moisture and heat from a home, but they are also more expensive than fixed skylights.
If you never plan on opening your skylight, it’s best to go with a fixed model.
Finding the Right Slope
The slope of your skylight (the angle in which it is installed into the roof) affects the amount of direct sunlight (and thus heat) that is allowed into your home. The lesser the angle of the slope, the more solar heat that is allowed into the space. This can be a burden during the winter, but it can also make rooms hotter during the summer months. Vented options help cool roofs down, but they shouldn’t be open if you are running your air conditioner. Tinted glass can also be used to cut back on sunlight, but it also hinders your view of the sky and will dim the room. Make sure to discuss skylight slope with your window contractor before moving forward with your project. Keep in mind that the slope of the window will be partially dependent on the pitch of your roof.