Skylights are one of the most effective, least expensive and easiest ways to make over both the exterior and interior appearance of your home. For many homeowners, skylights are immensely popular, because they impart roominess to the interior and add a beautiful view of the sky above into the house. To get the maximum impact from this design element, it is important to understand the size, position and design of skylights. Many people tend to choose the biggest skylight possible, but it’s ideal to keep the size to no more than 5 percent of the floor space if the room already has good sized windows. In rooms with no or small windows, skylights can be up to 15 percent of the floor space.
Most common skylights are rectangular, however, there are many variations of colours, shapes and sizes available. The shape, of course, should have an impact on the look and design style of the room. The type of material you choose for your skylight has a direct impact on the efficiency and the look of it.
Popular glazing materials for the skylights include plastic and glass. Plastic doesn’t break easily and it’s cheap; however, it may eventually show scratches and become discoloured. Glass doesn’t fade and resistant to scratch, but glass skylights are more expensive and they can shatter easily when subjected to hard impacts.
Location is essential if you want to get the benefits of solar heating and natural lighting from skylights. Expect to get consistent lighting when your skylight faces north and maximum illumination and solar in the morning when facing east and in the afternoon when it faces west.
Fixed or Ventilated Skylights
There are a wide range of skylight styles to choose from. Fixed skylights are perfect for family rooms and attics as they provide extra light and are available in many different varieties of shapes. You could also choose ventilated skylights that you can open and close to allow the smooth passage of air. They are more appropriate for kitchens and bathrooms, and can be controlled by motorized cranks, a wall switch, remote control or automatically by temperature sensor. The newest style is tubular skylight, which is small and can be placed in a spot where a normal full-sized skylight won’t fit. For the most affordable option, you could also choose a domed acrylic skylight.
Skylights are a decorative and functional design element that can be added to the design of your new home, or as an addition to your current one. When choosing to add a skylight to your home, consult with an architect who can answer your home design questions.
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