January 24, 2014

Skylights- What You Need to Know

Installing skylights in your home’s roof and inner ceilings can be refreshing, bringing natural light to the ambience of a room. Skylight installation can be done by the homeowner, however when dealing with the structural integrity of a roof and ceiling, it is best to contact a professional to do the work properly.

The type of skylights that you choose should depend on the space in which you’d like to put it. The smaller, tubular skylight is ideal for a small space, such as a bathroom. These round skylights are flexible and smaller in diameter, ranging from 10 to 21 inches. The smaller size and flexibility of these skylights makes them ideal for fitting in between joints and rafters. Usually there is no need for extensive carpentry or remodeling work. The homeowner cannot see through the tubular skylights to the sky. Light is reflected into the room from a highly reflective coating along the shaft of the tube, which can bend and flex to maneuver around pipes and support beams in attic spaces.

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The traditional, larger skylights can be in the shape of a rectangle, dome, pyramid, or bubble, and are made of glass, plastic, or acrylic. This is often referred to as the glazing. Many homeowners prefer glass glazing since it is resistant to scratches and has more design options, such as shaping. Some homeowners prefer acrylic and plastic because it is lightweight and more affordable, however the drawback with this choice is that there are limited design options since it has to be molded.

The glazing used for either glass or plastic options can be single, double, or triple, and can be constructed with a layer of argon gas to assist in energy efficiency. Some can be coated with protectant to help block UV rays, which will help prevent fading of fabrics in areas exposed to the light.

The frame around the outside of the skylight, on the roof, is usually made of wood or aluminum, but a combination of different materials is becoming more popular. Installing flashing is important to protect from water leaks. The frame on the inside of the ceiling, called the shaft, is made of solid wood or vinyl. The direction of each side of the shaft will determine the direction of the light.

Whichever type of skylight you choose, you are sure to add a touch of style and freshness to your home.

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