Skylights are great for a number of reasons. They allow additional natural light into spaces that may be drab and dark otherwise, they provide privacy in spaces like bathrooms while still making the room feel as large as possible, and, in some situations, they can reduce energy bills by allowing warmth in during the winter months. If you are thinking about having at least one skylight installed in your home soon, you probably found this guide while researching the shopping and installation process.
Many homeowners, especially those who have never had skylights in any of their previous residences, don’t realize that there are actually multiple types of these windows on the market. Picking the style that is right for your space is key to getting the most out of your new skylight window. As you continue reading, you will discover some great tips that will help you select a skylight model that ideally suits your upcoming remodeling project. The more you know about skylights, the easier it will be for you to feel confident you are making the right choice when the time comes for you to buy.
Understand the options you have
There are dozens of variations of skylights that today’s homeowners can choose from. Before you officially start shopping, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the options you are likely to come across. There are, for instance, operable (able to be opened) and inoperable (fixed position) skylights, skylights that come with electronic shades or blinds and skylights that are clear, and even some skylights that have ultraviolet blocking glazes to prevent sun damage in your home. If any of these features sound appealing to you, make note of them.
Know what a light shaft is
If you want to install a skylight in a room that has an attic above it, you will undoubtedly hear your contractor talk a great deal about light shafts. There are several different light shaft shapes, each of which uniquely control how natural light will be filtered through your new skylight. A light shaft that, for example, has four flared sides will direct light beams over the widest part of the shaft. A perpendicular light shaft with straight sides, on the other hand, will direct light beams in a straight, downward line. If a light shaft is needed for your project, your installation contractor will assist you in figuring out which shape is best.
Learn about various ratings
When you start browsing skylight styles, one of the first things you’re likely to notice is that they all have a variety of ratings attached to them. These ratings each mean different things and are all likely to play important roles in your final decision. Therefore, it is imperative for you to spend some time learning about each of them.
The U-value of a skylight tells consumers like you how much heat flow is allowed through the unit’s glass pane. This is especially important information for Carolina homeowners who live in chillier, mountainous regions. The lower the U-value of a skylight is, the more effectively the model functions. There are several things that can impact U-value, including whether the skylight is single- or double-paned and whether or not it has a special coating, such as a bronzed finish or a dark tint, on the glass.
The R-value of a skylight, like the R-value of conventional home insulation, lets consumers know how well window panes provide insulation. In regard to skylights specifically, the very best models that have the highest R-values are crafted from two low-e glass panels with argon gas trapped between them. Remember, R-values of windows will always be lower than home insulation R-values.
If any of the skylight styles you’re considering have VLT, or visible light transmittance, ratings, the number is meant to inform consumers of just how much natural light will penetrate the window panes. Tinted windows, for example, tend to have much lower VLT ratings than completely clear versions.
Hopefully, this guide has helped to point you in the right direction as you embark on your upcoming search for the perfect skylight. If you have additional questions or if you are ready to schedule an installation appointment, call the Hatch Homes office at your earliest convenience. We look forward to helping you add this fun feature to your house!