Frequently Asked Questions


SO YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT SKYLIGHTS? PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ SOME COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


Q. Why should I consider skylighting?
A. You'll love them. You'll save energy and improve the appearance and resale value of your home.
A. INVITE THE SKYLIGHT INTO YOUR HOME

MANY STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THE ADVANTAGES OF LIGHT ON A PERSON'S ATTITUDE. LET'S ADMIT IT, WITHOUT LIGHT, LIFE WOULD BE COLD, DREARY AND DEPRESSING. ACCORDING TO A REPORT BY THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE IN SNOWMASS, CO INCREASED NATURAL DAYLIGHT RESULTED IN FEWER DAYS LOST TO ABSENTEEISM WITH FEWER ERRORS AND DEFECTS. ANOTHER STUDY ON NATURAL LIGHTING BY CANADIAN EDUCATORS SHOWS THAT EXPOSURE TO NATURAL LIGHT RESULTED IN 3.5 FEWER ABSENTEE DAYS FOR STUDENTS, THE STUDENTS HAD NINE TIMES LESS TOOTH DECAY AND GREW 3/4 OF AN INCH MORE IN TWO YEARS.

NOW WITH HOMES BEING BUILT CLOSER AND CLOSER TOGETHER WHAT BETTER WAY TO HAVE PRIVACY AND STILL LET LIGHT IN THAN INSTALLING A SKYLIGHT. THEY BRING THE OUTDOORS INDOORS, CONSERVE ENERGY (SAVING YOU MONEY), HOMES ARE BRIGHTER AND CHEERIER THAN EVER; YET WONDERFULLY PRIVATE.

WITH THE BENEFITS THAT STUDY AFTER STUDY SHOW, YOU WILL KNOW YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CHECK-BOOK.

Q. How large of a skylight should I install?
A. Studies show skylighting should equal not less than 10% - or - more than 16% of the square footage of the area being lighted. Example: a 4' x 4' skylight is suitable for a room of up to 360 sq. ft.

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Q. Should I use the acrylic domed shape or flat glass skylights?
A. Although domes can be used at any pitch, they are best suited for low pitched or flat roofs.

Q. Why they are best suited for low pitched or flat roofs?
A. Domes slope about 25 degrees and will stay reasonably clean even on a flat roof. Flat glass needs a 6/12 pitch (23 degrees) or more to be self washing. Flat glass is not recommended for under a 2/12 pitch (10 degrees).

Q. Which is easier to clean?
A. Flat glass, It won't scratch.

Q. Which is better to look through?
A. Flat glass. The optics are better through flat glass than through the bubble shape of the domes.

Q. What color lens or glazing should I use?
A. 1) Use clear transparent glazing is you want direct sunlight in your room. You'll get the maximum solar heat gain but remember, direct sunlight fades what it hits, so consider what is in the area and where the sun will strike. 2) Use white translucent glazing if you want lots of light. True, you can't see through it but you get more useable light than you do through clear and no hot spots or fading either. 3) Use a bronze or gray glazing and you'll reduce glare, heat, and fading and up to 30% of available light depending on size and color selected. If you are concerned about the light loss you may want to increase the size a bit. Please contact us for more information on other alternate types of glazing.

Q. How do I know I am buying a good quality skylight?
A. Look for the following features. You'll find them common to all well designed units: 1) Extruded aluminum frame with a condensation gutter vented to the roof top. That is important. All skylights will, under certain circumstances accumulate condensation. Be sure the one you select drains outside to the roof. 2) All corners of the frame should be welded to assure against leaks. Expansion and contraction can cause mechanically joined corners to separate. 3) Domes should be genuine acrylic with UV inhibitors. Other plastic products used by some manufacturers are more easily scratched and may discolor, become cloudy or yellow in a year or two. Acrylic stays clear. 4) Flat glass must be safety type and must have the manufacturers stamp etched on all pieces. 5) Energy concerns? Use a thermo-break frame.

Q. How about the all plastic skylights that do not have an aluminum frame? They are a lot cheaper aren't they? A. Are they? Initially, but 1) They are not code legal, a knowledgeable Building Inspector will reject them. 2) Generally there is no provision in their design for expansion, either between domes or at mounting points making failure much more likely. 3) They do not have a condensation drain out system so condensation must soak into the wood curb causing rot, soak into the sheetrock and do damage and/or drip into the room below.

CONCLUSION:

Go ahead and light up your home, you'll be glad you did. Buy a quality product from a reputable dealer and be sure it is installed properly. Then sit back and enjoy natural lighting. It may be the last thing on earth that's free.