Consider these basics before installing a skylight

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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When extra light and some fresh air is the order of the day but your house doesn't naturally lend itself to adding too many more windows, what can you do? For a cost effective solution we think that skylights are hard to beat but there are a lot of questions to be answered before you take the plunge.

Are you sure it will work in your house? What are the potential disadvantages and what style will work best? These are all valid queries so we thought we should write you a checklist of things to consider before you really go for it and hire a contractor.

Why should you install one?

South Park 3 SW6: modern Living room by CATO creative
CATO creative

South Park 3 SW6

CATO creative

There are multiple reasons why you should consider adding a skylight to your home but the primary one is that it allows a lot more light in than a conventional window. Clearly illumination will be a key motivating factor so why settle for something that won't do the job as well as you want? 

Cato Creative have put together a stunning room here and, while it would still be fabulous if there was a little less light in it, the fact that there is a full width skylight in place certainly doesn't hurt. Drowning the room in sunlight, we think this is all the inspiration you'll need to install skylight heaven in your home.

What advantages do they offer?

While conventional windows or glazed walls offer lots of fabulous sunlight they can't quite compete with roof installations. Regardless of the angle of the sun's rays or time of day, a skylight will always allow great swathes of sunshine to pour on in and don't forget about the night-time show, too.

How would you fancy a starlit kitchen or a twinkling bedroom roof? These are both possible if you install skylights. Plus, any space that has some of these magical light traps will automatically feel much larger. Now that really is an advantage!

Are there any disadvantages?

We've racked our brains trying to think of some disadvantages that skylights bring but we can only think of one, which is that they might be a little more awkward to clean and operate than standard windows. Given that they are located up in ceilings, you might have some height to contend with.

Even though cleaning and operating might be a little more tricky, we think that telescopic poles and easy to use catches will eradicate this one small problem we identified a potential for, but we couldn't think of anything else. Can it be? A near perfect product?

Which is the best room to have one in?

Vauxhall House:   by TLA Studio
TLA Studio

Vauxhall House

TLA Studio

While this might not be a very helpful answer, it is the most honest one: any room! Think about it and you'll see that there isn't a single room that wouldn't make a great recipient for a skylight. In the bathroom you'll have no worries about privacy, unless people climb up on your roof. The kitchen can always use more light and your bedroom and living rooms would look fab, too.

We can't think of a single spot in the house that wouldn't look great and be dramatically improved through the choice to install a skylight. Can you?

Can you install it yourself?

modern Bathroom by in_design architektur
in_design architektur

Introvertiertes Familienbad mit Oberlicht

in_design architektur

There is every chance that a keen DIYer or hands on person would be able to easily install a skylight themselves but if you are unsure or have doubts about your abilities, we recommend that you hire a professional. After all, you don't want the hole in the roof in the wrong place, do you?

For someone who knows what they are doing, installing a skylight could be just a one day project but for a newbie or someone just having a go to try and save some money, we think it will take far longer. It's a case of weighing up cost over time.

What type of design should you choose?

Roland Gardens :  Corridor & hallway by BTL Property LTD
BTL Property LTD

Roland Gardens

BTL Property LTD

As with any architectural element, if you can picture it in your head there is probably a way to make it happen in reality so the question is: what type of design do you want?

If you want something that stretches the full width of a room we have already seen that is possible. If you want something small and easy to operate, that's doable, too. It really isn't a case of what is and isn't available; it's all about what you want and where you are going to put it. 

For more window inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: A Sky High Extension. Why just have a window when you can have a whole glass box?

Are you considering a skylight? Which room would you like to install it in? Share your reasons with us!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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