The Skylight Debate: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Considering Skylights

Posted on: 22 September 2015

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If you need to get your roof repaired or replaced, you may find yourself considering adding a few upgrades to your home. Skylights allow natural sunlight into your home, which can brighten it and help prevent seasonal affective disorder during the dreary winter months. However, before you order a skylight installation kit, you should consult with your contractor about the way skylights will affect your overall life. 

Are you prepared for extra cleaning and maintenance?

Skylights do not require a lot of extra cleaning and maintenance, but they do require slightly more than standard roofing. You will have to regularly clean the interior of your skylight to prevent a buildup of dust. While regular rainfall may keep the exterior of your skylight clean, you will occasionally have to clean and wax it for optimum performance. Additionally, you may have to deal with cracks in acrylic skylights and paint the casings of your skylights to prevent decay. 

While maintenance and cleaning should not take a lot of time, you will have to be comfortable using a ladder and accessing your roof, or be willing to pay a professional for these services. 

Do you have proper ventilation? 

Skylights create a slick, surface in direct contact with the exterior of your home where condensation can collect, creating a drip in your room. This most often occurs in wet rooms, such as bathrooms or kitchens, when there is inadequate ventilation. It is important to make sure you install a proper ventilation system before considering a skylight. Alternatively, you may consider a self-venting skylight that adds to the overall ventilation in your home. 

How will the sound and light affect your quality of living? 

While sunlight during the day may be beneficial to you, you may underestimate the amount of natural and artificial light a skylight can let into your home at night. If you are installing a skylight in an area where you intend to sleep or would like complete darkness for watching movies, you should think about installing automatic or manual shades with your skylight. 

Skylights are also known for being loud during rainstorms. If you are sensitive to noise, you may want to forgo the skylight or consider a double-pane glass skylight filled with Argon gas to reduce external noise. 

How will your decision affect the cost of your roof repair or replacement? 

Installing or repairing roofing around a skylight will cost more than installing roofing without obstacles. The average cost of roofing a single-family home is $2,187, while a home with skylights will cost closer to $2,342 on average, without including the cost of installing the skylights. However, if you are repairing a large area of your roof, it is a good time to install the skylights, as you will save compared to fixing your roof now and installing skylights at a later date. 

Also, keep in mind that many contractors will recommend replacing your skylights completely during extensive roof repairs, as opposed to simply reflashing the casings, which could be an added future expense. 

Can your contractor properly install skylights? 

Skylights require specialized installation in order to create a waterproof seal with your roof. While some contractors are experienced installing skylights, not every roofing contractor will be able to provide quality work. It is important to check your contractor's references specifically regarding their work with skylights. 

Skylights can add value to your property and make your home more pleasant for everyday activities. However, they are a long-term commitment with significant cost. For this reason, you should consult with your roofing contractor before making any decisions about installing or removing skylights, and try to bundle your installation or removal with other necessary roofing maintenance or repair. Talk with a roofing contractor like Palmer Roofing to learn more about roofing options.