Skylight / July 16, 2018 / Baptiste Allain
For one thing skylights are positioned in such a way that they are inaccessible unless they are operated by remote. Even in cases of motorized skylights which are easily manipulated there are still some disadvantages that are inherent to skylights that are not present or minimized in windows. Vertical windows lose less heat by convection when compared to skylights. Also since windows are generally protected by overhangs or shrubs they lose less heat by radiation. On the other hand skylights are directly exposed to the sky. Thus they lose more heat by radiation. Proper insulation can reduce this heat loss to a large extent. In the summer season skylights are more exposed to the direct heat of the sun than windows.
Skylights may seem inexpensive at first glance since a quality 2x4 foot skylight along with a flashing kit costs anywhere from $100 to $400. However you need to consider adding another $3000 for installation costs. That being said you first need to carefully evaluate if installing a skylight is the right thing for your home. Till recently having a roof slope determined if you could install a skylight. Flat roofs or those which were too steep required special tools and techniques. However many of the skylight kits available today include a comprehensive installation kit and procedures which permits it to be installed on all types of roofs.
If the room you intend to illuminate with the skylight has an open ceiling with no attic space above you can install the skylight without needing to construct a light shaft. This is by far the simplest installation and it offers the maximum amount of light and a view of the sky. For ceilings with an attic space above a light shaft must be constructed that connects the skylight to the room. Skylight shafts take one of three forms: Straight in which the shaft drops vertically from the roof to the ceiling and is the same dimension as the skylight itself. This type is the easiest to construct but because of its offset angle relative to the skylight offers the least amount of light.