Skylights are a no-brainer. Skylights add light, without sacrificing valuable wall space (and by extension, floor space). Skylights vent off heat build-up and moisture from kitchens and bathrooms.
Not only that, skylights are positioned so that you catch the natural light when the sun is at its highest points. No one ever said that skylight installation was easy, and it's usually recommended that you have either a window company or a contractor do the installation for you.
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Fixed Skylight: Least Expensive, Most Watertight Skylight
The most basic type of skylight is called a fixed skylight. It cannot be opened—but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Fixed skylights (as well as fixed windows) are considered the most leak-proof type of skylight you can install.
Shown here is one of the leading skylight manufacturer's (Velux) aluminum fixed skylight with self-flashing. It's designed for a rough opening of 22 1/2" X 22 1/2". The skylight glazing is laminated glass. It's one of the lower-priced skylights on the market.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Tubular Skylight: Small House Skylighting
Tubular skylights offer many advantages over conventional skylights.
Conventional skylights need to have a "tunnel" or frame built between the ceiling and roof. This is no small matter. But tubular skylights have a built-in tunnel. No need to build one.
Tubular skylights come in a range of tube diameters—from 10 inches to 21 inches.
Another advantage of the tube skylight is that the tube itself can be bent around obstructions (of which attics have plenty). While this does lessen the intensity of light into your house, it is still better than no light at all.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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Manual Venting Skylight: Manual Open for Fresh Air Infusion
A venting, or vented, skylight offers up the possibility of bringing in fresh air on demand. During Summer months, when skylights bring in too much sun, venting skylights can be opened electrically or manually to release that heat.
Also, vented skylights work great in bathrooms, where moisture build-up can cause mold and mildew. Venting skylights in bathrooms reduce the reliance on heat lamps and fans—a very "green" remodeling thing to do.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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Electric Venting Skylight: Most Expensive, Least Reliable
In the arena of vented skylights, you can either go manual or electric.
Manually operated venting skylights do offer advantages—cheaper and less prone to break-downs.
Electric venting skylights can cost up to three times more than their manual counterparts. Also, because of the complicated machinery involved, electric vented skylights have been known to break down.
But one distinct advantage of the electric skylights is that some of them can automatically close at the first drop of rain.