Installation of a skylight is becoming a popular operation these days, particularly in light of the eco-friendly energy-conservation movement afoot in many countries today. The addition of a quality-made skylight to an existing structure or in a new construction project lends not only an aesthetic look and feel to a home or office building, but also lowers daily energy consumption, provides a cheerier environment, and can even improve productivity and concentration. Additional benefits include:
- Improved health and beauty from regular exposure to natural sunlight and fresh air
- Improved ventilation
- Added value to an existing structure
- Effective treatment for those suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
- Free light
While some believe that cutting a hole in the roof of your house and sticking a window it may compromise its structural integrity or cause ongoing problems such as leaking and condensation, the fact is that these problems only occur in cases where a low-quality product or a substandard installation is involved. Today’s cutting-edge skylight manufacturing technologies produce products that are strong, crystal clear, easy to operate, and no more difficult to install than an ordinary vertical window. What’s important is to only deal with the top of the line units and to ensure that proper installation is accomplished.
For those possessing a fair amount of home repair do-it-yourself skills, installation of a skylight is something that can be tackled without much trouble. Top manufacturers of roof window units supply the materials necessary to complete the job properly and are good about offering the detailed instructions needed to complete the project. Those who are not sure about their capabilities for such an endeavor can go online to manufacturers’ websites to see what’s required before deciding whether to try the DIY route or to hire a professional installer. Some of these websites even offer listings of quality installers available in different locations for those who would prefer to take that approach.
Skylights come in two basic configurations – curb-mounted and frame-in-place. The curb-mounted variety extends above the surface of the roof, with the curb added first, below the window or with the curb already built-in as an integral part of the unit. The frame-in-place variation sits flush with the roof surface and, of the two, involves a slightly easier installation procedure.
For sloped or pitched roof installations, either type can be used. Proper skylight installation of the required flashing components is critical for having a tight, weatherproof seal around your skylight, and the two basic varieties each have their own particular method of flashing configuration. In an area that receives a lot of snow during wintertime, opting for a curb-mounted unit may be the best choice, thereby adding an additional barrier between the opening and the elements.
Installing a window on a steeply pitched roof can make opening the unit more difficult, in which case optional assisting springs can be added. Some units designed for steeply sloped roofs can also include a built-in balcony, which adds even more functionality. They may also be designed to act as a secondary emergency escape exit.
Directional placement on the roof is also something to consider. A north-facing skylight will provide a cooler illumination throughout the day while a west-facing unit will allow maximum light and heat during the afternoon. An east-facing placement will bring in morning light and heat. The best all-around choice may be a south-facing placement, which allows for the greatest amount of passive solar heat in the wintertime.