There is nothing more scenic than inviting the outdoors into your living space with the perfectly-sized skylights and roof windows. You get a chance to enjoy attractive views, brighter rooms, better ventilation and, of course, great savings on your energy bill.
However, the right installation – size, angle, type – is the key here. A wrong choice could leave you squinting or worse make your room stuffy and uncomfortable.
If you are considering a skylights and roof windows installation in Durbanville, here are 8 things you should speak to your contractor about.
Does your roof support skylights and roof windows?
To start with, the type of roof will dictate whether you can install a skylight or not.
Roofs fashioned with well-spaced rafters are best suited for skylights, as they can be set between the rafters. Truss framed roofs aren’t usually eligible for skylights. They leave very little scope for roof structure modifications and have less space between beams.
Yet another thing to consider is the slope of the roof. Flat roofs have water collecting while sloped roofs let it slide.
Skylights or roof windows in Durbanville feature a light-transmitting panel mounted onto a wooden or metal frame. Glass and plastic are the two popular choices.
Plastic is cheaper than glass. Plastic glazing could be an acrylic variety or polycarbonate material. It is more durable in that it does not scratch or crack easily. However, glass is known for its higher visibility and crisp views.
Exposed to weather elements, plastic gets discolored and requires frequent replacements. Overtime, it could crack or buckle under heavy weight.
Plastic does not offer too much customization as compared to glass. Glass skylights and window roofs offer the best temperature regulation with their double-insulated tempered or laminated glass. The low-E coatings block UV rays.
Shape of the skylight
Skylights are designed in different shapes – square, rectangular, flat, domed, pyramid, circular, triangular and diamond.
The shape influences the way the light falls. A straight, flat skylight or roof window creates a more focused column of light. Flared shapes that widen progressively at the bottom, spread light evenly over a larger area.
The flat shapes are preferred for their ease of installation. However, leaves and other debris could collect over it, blocking the light. The curvature of dome-shaped skylights and roof windows let the leaves slide off.
Size of Skylights and Roof Windows
This measurement is relative.
Some homes in Durbanville have a decent number of windows that allow the natural light to stream in. Others have windows, but a wrong placement leaves the room dark and dingy.
Consider the number of windows already present and how well lit the room currently is before deciding.
Adding Shades and Tints
Skylights and roof windows bring in more light and heat while also creating an illusion of a larger space. However, it might add some glare and compromise your privacy. Too much glare can be discomforting.
A shade or filter will help control the glare by shielding the skylight panel. Shades can be operated manually or could be motorized. Thus, you can decide how much of visible light filters in.
A colored window tint or film is another option available to homeowners looking to reclaim their privacy. The tint dials back on the amount of light; the colours help create the ambience you want, too.
Fixed or vented
The functions of skylights and window roofs are multifarious. They bring in light; they could also bring in a breath of fresh air.
It depends on the design you choose.
Fixed skylights are sealed in place. They transfer light, but lock the heat and moisture out. This makes them highly energy-efficient and prevents leakage. We recommend fixed skylights and roof windows for spaces that are well-ventilated.
Opt for a vented skylight if you want a dual function – natural light and fresh air. Vented skylights open outward to release hot air. The motorized options ensure more operational convenience. There are others that can be opened and closed manually by means of a crank or lever.
The only drawback of vented skylights and roof windows is that they are prone to leaks, heat loss and heat buildup.
Factor in the local weather of Durbanville when fixing skylights and roof windows.
An area that sees too much rain might not benefit from a vented design due to leaks. Water could leave stains on plastic glazing too affecting clarity. Glass glazing is built to withstand the impact of rain, snow and sleet.
Time of Installation
As a standard, it takes around one to three days to install a skylight and roof window in the Durbanville area.
However, there are other factors that could come into play. This includes the structure of the roof, the shape and position of the skylight and the number of skylights and roof windows to be fitted.
Speak to a professional skylight and roof windows installer to get a reasonable, safe and value for money installation.