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Skylights tend to be one of those home features that people feel strongly about; some love them while others loathe them. This difference in preferences makes it challenging for people to find unbiased opinions about whether they should invest in this home upgrade.
If you dream of staring at the stars above your bed, here are some important pros and cons of installing skylights to consider first.
Pro: Adds Natural Light
The main benefit of skylights is that they introduce more natural light into the home. Natural lighting impacts everything from the perceived size of a room to the occupants’ moods and well-being.
Skylights are an asset in areas of the home where light exposure is minimal, such as bathrooms or hallways. For many homeowners, having skylights reduces the need to turn on overhead lights, which contributes to lower power bills.
Con: Impacts on Roofing Needs
The major downside to installing skylights is the implications for your roof. While adding skylights won’t cause structural damage, it’s a big job, and it will alter your roof and attic.
Consider the fact that you’re adding an opening to your roof. Like your chimney or the edges of the roof, you’ll need proper flashing and insulation installed to prevent leaks (source: https://abrooksconstruction.com/).
Depending on your type of roof and where the skylight is going, the additional barrier in the attic could impact your airflow and ventilation. It’s worth finding an installation service that’s also skilled in roof repair and replacements to ensure everything is done properly.
Pro: Increases Aesthetic Appeal
Adding skylights could impact your resale value by creating better aesthetic appeal. As mentioned previously, natural light impacts how a room is perceived. To the right buyer, having skylights is a huge asset.
Cleaning your windows can be a challenging chore; now consider those windows being on the roof. One of the biggest pitfalls of installing skylights is keeping them clean.
To clean the interior from dust and debris, you’ll likely need a ladder. Cleaning the exterior means climbing on the roof. Both of these endeavors could be dangerous.
It’s worth noting that some installation providers also offer a maintenance package in which they’ll clean your skylights a few times a year.
Some roofing services will roll this offering into an annual roof maintenance visit as well. If you’re seriously considering skylights, investing in this add-on is well worth it.
Pro: Versatile Options
Not all skylights are alike. Rather than the traditional skylights that are prone to leaks and moisture issues, you can invest in a light well.
These tube-like structures rely on smaller openings and use reflective tubes to distribute light from outside down through the ceiling. While you likely won’t have a view of the sky, you’ll get natural light with lower costs and upkeep needs.
There are also different types of frames to choose from, as well as skylights that open and close, making it easy to find a skylight that fits your home.
Con: UV Light Exposure
Another downside of installing skylights is increasing UV light exposure during the summer months. This increased exposure could have health implications and could increase the degradation of certain materials in your home (fading textiles and photos, for example).
It’s also more difficult to block the light from the skylight as you can’t just pull a curtain across.
Pro or Con: Could Impact Heating and Cooling Costs
Depending on your location and the placement of your skylights, they could impact your home heating and cooling costs— either negatively or positively.
A well-placed skylight can provide heat from the sun during the winter months, helping to offset home heating costs. If placed in the wrong area, however, the light from the summer sun could drive up home cooling costs.
It’s also important to consider that heat rises and windows account for a significant amount of heat loss during the winter months. Whether your skylights positively or negatively impact your heating and cooling costs depends on several factors.
Are Skylights Worth It?
Determining whether skylights are a worthy investment ultimately comes down to personal preference, long-term goals, and the style installed. If you dream of having skylights in your forever home, it’s worth considering.
If you’re planning to sell, adding a few light wells to darker areas could be a worthwhile investment.