No matter what time of year, the addition of natural light into a living space can do more to boost the spirits of its occupants than just about anything else. For a dark kitchen, a gloomy study or a bedroom that lacks that special something, a skylight can bring that natural light into the mix and help completely transform a room. As an unquestionable bonus, skylights can offer, too, a window into a summer sky or a star-filled night.
“Skylights are a wonderful thing to light up a room,” says Mary Lou Hughes, owner of Nature Vue Skylights in Jacksonville, Florida. “They make a home more valuable, and you get your money back, if not more.”
Best of all, as new technologies have developed, skylights have become less expensive, easier to install and nearly maintenance free. “For a long time, skylights were plastic,” says Hughes. “Now they’re double-paned glass. They are so much more energy efficient and durable than plastic. The interest in skylights has really grown because they are more energy efficient and are better products now.”
Finding the Best Match
There are skylights to meet the tastes and design standards of just about any homeowner. “VELUX is the most popular manufacturer on the market,” says Rick Music, residential project manager at All American Exterior Solutions in Lake Zurich, Illinois. “They offer skylights in multiple sizes and different types, including deck-mounted, curb-mounted and sun tunnels.”
Music estimates that the majority of skylights he installs in residential buildings are deck-mounted. That means they are nailed directly into the roof deck, which is the foundation that serves as a base for the whole roofing system. By contrast, curb-mounted skylights are mounted on a wooden frame—called a curb—that is built around the opening on the roof. The VELUX Sun Tunnel skylights are basically capped tubes that are inserted in the roof and create a “tunnel” through which light enters the home.