Skylights can be a great addition to your home or office roof.  These unique additions create extra natural light, giving your space a brighter, more open and vibrant feel. 

However, skylights are not appropriate for every home or building.  A significant amount of problems can arise, and some people find out too late that their home or business is not a good candidate for skylight installation. 

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE INVESTING IN A SKYLIGHT INSTALLATION

1. SKYLIGHTS DON’T WORK ON ALL ROOFS

Not all roofs are good candidates for skylights.  Certain roofs are not the right shape or material to accommodate these additions.  Stick Frame roofs are the best style for skylights, since the beams are far enough apart to install the window without disrupting the structure.  Poured concrete roofs are costly to modify for skylights, and roofs with high parapets may not receive enough light to provide sufficient interior benefit.

2. YOU CAN VENTILATE YOUR SKYLIGHT

Skylights do not have to only let in light—in fact, many modern models open as well.  This allows you to have breeze and airflow along with added light.  This can significantly affect the temperature in a room, and make it comfortable.

3. YOU MAY INADVERTENTLY ADD HEAT

In hotter climates, such as Arizona, a skylight can significantly heat a room.  The sun coming through the window warms the space.  Though ventilated skylights can help increase air flow, be prepared for the room to increase a few degrees in temperature.  Heat gain can be mitigated by avoiding clear skylights, installing either opaque or tinted, or if glass, installing a skylight with insulating gas between the panes.

Generally, the increased comfort gained in a living space by added natural light can be considered to offset any minor heat gain as a result of a skylight.

4. SKYLIGHT INSPECTIONS ARE KEY

Having your skylight inspected and maintained is a must.  Without careful upkeep, the skylight can leak and break, causing significant, expensive damage to your home.  If you are installing one of these features, be sure to account for the fact that you will need professional maintenance done.  Be sure that at least once a year you have your skylight checked for visible damage.  The internal seals will eventually break down, with the first sign of this typically being an interior leak. 

5. THEY’LL NEED TO BE REPLACED

If and when you get a roof replacement, it is a smart idea to also have your skylight replaced.  Not only is it an opportune time for such a task, but the replacement helps you avoid skylight roof leaks.

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