What are skylights?
Skylights are windows built on the roof of a building. They illuminate the interior area. Skylight windows are very for such spaces like small attics where building conventional windows is difficult or impossible. Skylights can be installed in conjunction with normal windows in other areas of your home, including, your living room, kitchen, dining area, bedroom and bathroom.
Skylights are sometimes installed as emergency exit doors. Though you may not think so, this type of window installation has quite a versatile design. Some of the popular skylight variations seen in Canadian homes include,
Conventional skylights – They are built on gable or hipped roofing systems. They could be a great addition to your penthouses, large barn style living rooms, home offices and spa style bathrooms.
Flat roof skylights – Though skylight installations are normally associated with pitched roof, it is not uncommon to install flat roof skylights in your home. You may even install this type of skylight windows in your basement area.
Sun tunnels – Sun tunnels are cost effective and useful for small spaces like loft, laundry, hallways and pantry. They bring in natural light to these spaces where building any kind or window or skylight is impossible. There are two types of sun tunnels available in the market – flexible and rigid. Opt for the rigid version when there is no obstruction to design and follow a straight path towards the roof. Otherwise, you will have to go for the flexible variety which can be manoeuvred around the obstacles.
Skylights cost between $300 CAD and $1600 CAD. Due to their quality and advanced technology, Velux windows generally cost more than the other types of skylights. Fixed curb mount skylights are cheapest and electric venting roof designs are the costliest among all types of designs. Sun tunnels cost between $600 CAD and $850 CAD.
What do I need to install skylights in a room?
To install skylights in your home, it is best to opt for the services of window installation experts. You will need windows, flashing, roofing nails, roofing paper, asphalt shingles, circular saw, lumbar to design the framework, hammer and knife for this project. You may choose from a variety of window designs. Some of the common windows styles for skylights are pivot windows, top hinged awnings, stationary windows, balcony roof windows and emergency access windows.
Skylights with pivot windows and awnings are seen in many Canadian homes. Stationery windows are more of a contemporary choice. It is ideal for terraces, kitchen extensions and extended parts of the other areas of the building. Apart from natural light, they help you to gain an excellent view of the surroundings.
Balcony roof windows have a unique design. The two sashes are hinged at the top and bottom respectively. The top sash opens like awnings and the window closes in the middle. You will also need roof lights to keep the space illuminated and avoid any kind of accident. Blinds are used to cover the glasses when needed. If you have children at home, it is better to keep your skylights locked.
How to maintain skylights?
Skylight windows generally have aluminium frames. Check the health of the frame from time to time. If you live in a coastal area, give it a coat of protective paint every alternate year. Those with solid wood frames must also be preserved properly. Oiling and varnishing the frame once in every four years or so will help you maintain the health of the window frames.
Use soft cloth or sponge to dry clean the glasses. Once you have removed the loose dust, clean the glass with soap water. Otherwise, you may leave scratch marks on the glass. Don’t use acetone or gasoline solutions to clean the glasses. It may damage the polycarbonate parts of your skylights.
Different types of blinds and shutters for skylights
Whether you are using this space as a home office or entertainment room, you will need shutters or blinds to cover the skylights. They will help you keep out the daylight and maintain the privacy of the interiors. You may buy dark blinds to completely block the entry of natural light and darken the room. Venetian blinds are simple to operate and are aesthetically pleasing.
Blinds that allow some amount of diffused light inside the room are another option for you to review. They are good fit for kitchens and dining rooms which need more diffused light in the summer months. Solar powered blinds are more popular than the blinds powered by electricity. Blinds can be operated with the help of a keypad and remote. However, you may find manually operated blinds more cost effective and simple to install. Using shutters for the skylights are rare. They are costlier than blinds, yet they don’t offer the flexibility of remote controlled blinds.
What are the commonly used technologies for skylights in Canada?
Solar powered skylights are very much in vogue nowadays. They are designed with a concealed battery and sensor. The window remains open under the sunny weather condition, but closes on its own when rain sets in. This is a highly energy efficient system. They can be opened using a remote control. The same system can be powered by electricity as well.
However, they are not as energy efficient as their solar powered counterparts and are costlier. Since they need electrical wiring to work properly, you need to spend greater amount of money to install them. Don’t forget to buy insect screens for your skylights. An insect screen will help you keep the unwanted guests away. Stylish blinds are almost indispensable for skylights. Remote controlled blinds that are more convenient to use enjoy a greater popularity.