February 17

Skylight Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know

A skylight can be a great way to add natural light to your home but having the job done right requires careful planning and expert installation. If you’re thinking about adding a skylight to your home, weighing the pros and cons is important.

The Pros of Skylights

1. Increased Natural Light
Skylights bring light into rooms that otherwise wouldn’t have natural light—for example, the bathroom in the middle of a home with no window. Sunlight offers multiple health benefits and is a natural mood enhancer.

2. Aesthetics
A skylight can change the entire atmosphere of a room. Much like mirrors, skylights add the illusion of more space. Skylights make dark rooms seem bigger, brighter, and more spacious, which appeals to both homeowners and potential homebuyers.

3. Indirect Solar Energy
Properly installed skylights can provide indirect solar energy. A skylight on the northern side of a home can provide cool, indirect sunlight. On the southern side, they can provide indirect solar heat in the winter. It’s essential to consider the placement to prevent overheating in the summer.

The Cons of Skylights

1. Expense
Skylights are expensive to install and maintain, and they can increase your energy bills. Installing a skylight as part of new construction will generally cost less than during a re-roofing project. Cutting a hole in the roof and installing a new skylight within an existing roof will involve re-shingling, re-flashing, and other expenses.

2. Increased Energy Bills
The placement of a skylight can dramatically impact your family’s comfort and your energy bills. Too much heat gain during sunny summer months, heat loss in the winter, and skylight shafts that aren’t properly insulated or air sealed can drive up home heating and cooling costs.

3. Potential Leaks
A properly installed skylight can last for many years without any problems. Older skylights are prone to condensation and leaks. The correct flashing systems must be installed and maintained to guard against potential leaks. The key to preventing leaks is to select the correct type of skylight for your roof and have it properly installed and maintained.

4. Damaged Furniture and Carpeting
Skylights increase the amount of ultraviolet (UV) energy in your home and can damage carpets, upholstery, and other materials. Selecting a skylight with a UV coating can help protect interior furnishings.

5. Potential Roof Damage
A large or improperly installed skylight can damage your roofing structure. If you have a truss roof, it’s not a good idea to modify it. A standard roof framing can handle most types of skylights. It’s important to have an experienced contractor install your skylight to avoid potential roofing damage.

In Conclusion

Energy Efficiency – Energy efficiency is an important factor for most homeowners. Your roof is a significant part of your home’s overall energy efficiency, and skylights can increase heating and cooling costs. Choosing an Energy Star-certified model will help reduce utility costs associated with skylights.

Avoid DIY Installation or Repairs – Trying to handle skylight installation or repairs on your own is a bad idea. Anytime you climb on your roof, you put yourself at risk of serious injuries from a fall. You could also be voiding any roof warranty by not having a licensed contractor install your skylight. The increased risk of leaks and, worse, severe roof damage is high with an improperly installed skylight. Only trained experts should install or repair a skylight.

Adding a Skylight to an Existing Roof is Complicated – Your existing roofing materials and type of roof affect installation. Removing shingles or tiles, cutting through the roof, and creating a watertight seal requires a high level of expertise. It’s essential to get multiple bids from experienced installers and hire a contractor with a proven track record of success.

Work With a Trusted Local Roofing Company
Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing has installed residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting.

Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our experienced professionals will arrive on time, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to detect leaks and other problems your roof may be facing. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.


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