Understanding the Costs & Benefits of Installing Skylight Windows in Ottawa

Skylights bring natural light into otherwise dark areas of homes and buildings. They can also provide excellent ventilation and energy-efficiency when installed properly.

But like any renovation, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of a skylight window installation so you know what to expect beforehand.

Some people may opt for a DIY installation. But when it comes to cutting open a roof and installing a skylight that won’t leak or damage the roof structure, professional installation is the best way to go.

The benefits of professionally-installed, top-quality energy-efficient windows in Ottawa will outweigh the cons.

Do Skylights Add Value to Your Home?

Home renovations can increase a homeowner’s quality of life without increasing the home value. But if done right, skylight installations can increase a home’s value.

Natural light is a big selling point for homes, as is energy efficiency. So if you install quality, leak-proof, Energy Star-rated skylight windows professionally, your skylights will likely appeal to home buyers.

How Much Does It Cost to Put in A Skylight?

Roof skylight prices and installation costs will depend on the type and size of the skylight and who is doing the work.

If homeowners decide to install the skylight on their own, the project will be considerably cheaper. But they must have the carpentry skills to do so, as well as electrical skills if they are installing a motorized skylight.

Professionally installed skylights are guaranteed to be installed properly. While it will cost more to hire a pro to do the work, it’s worth it for a reliable and dependable skylight window installation.

On average, skylight windows cost about $300 to $500. But the total cost will vary depending on the installation.

For a more accurate estimate of the costs, contact local window installation experts.

Do Skylights Lose Heat?

Skylights can lose more heat than a full insulated roof. But many skylights are insulated energy-efficient windows. These windows also have low-e coatings on the glass to reflect heat back into the home and reflect the sun’s heat away from the window.

Low-e coatings work on both sides of a glass pane, and their use will depend on the climate and location of the window. Low-e windows reduce the heat transmitted through a skylight by 40 to 70 percent.

But even though the coating is reflecting heat, it still allows visible light to pass through the window.

While skylights might lose some heat, they can also let in a considerable amount of heat from the sun. South- and west-facing skylights allow more solar heat gain, which will help keep a home warm in the colder months.

But if there is no foliage or shade blocking the sun in the summer, these skylights may contribute to overheating. As such, location is key when deciding on where to install skylights on the roof.

Skylight blinds, like cellular shades, are available to help reflect the sun’s heat on hot summer days.

How Do You Install A Skylight?

To install a skylight, a hole needs to be cut in the roof. This hole must be large enough for the window to fit in.

Some windows are narrow enough to fit between roof trusses. But for wider windows, the rafter framing may need to be altered by cutting out trusses and re-framing them.

Flashing needs to be installed, along with shingles, metal, or tile roofing.

Light shafts require shafts to be built between the skylight and the interior ceiling. The ceiling will also need repainting after the installation.

When choosing the size of a skylight, a rule of thumb is to have 1 square foot of skylight for every 20 feet of floor space.

And if the room has many windows, the skylight should not be more than five percent of the floor area. For rooms with fewer windows, the skylight should not be more than 15 percent of the floor area. Skylights might gather condensation, reducing the effectiveness of their fixtures. But proper installation will reduce the likelihood of condensation.

Skylights with interior channels collect condensation. This prevents condensation drips and allows condensation to evaporate as the temperature increases.

Here are key installation tips for installing skylight windows:

  • Make sure the skylight size is proportionate to the room size for increased light and energy efficiency;
  • Tightly seal joints to reduce moisture;
  • Skylights should be curb- or flush-mounted, depending on the roof’s slope and materials; and
  • Interweave flashing kits with roofing materials to ensure proper drainage, reduce condensation, and protect furniture and living spaces below the skylight.

What Are the Different Types Of Skylights?

Skylights come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes. These shapes include flat, arched, domed, and pyramid.

Skylight window glazing may be plastic or glass. Plastic glazing is cheap and sturdy. But it can allow more UV rays in and it might yellow over time.

Glass skylights are more expensive but worth it in the long run. These windows have long-lasting durability and can have coatings that control solar heat and UV rays.

Glass skylights are usually made of shatter-resistant glass since the location of these windows put them in the path of hail and fallen tree branches.

The following are the different types of skylights:

Fixed Skylights

Fixed skylights are windows installed into roof lines. These windows do not open but they may come with a venting option.

Fixed skylights provide additional light and a dramatic outdoor view to any room, and are ideal for out-of-reach areas. They are also available with durable plastic domes.

Vented Roof Windows

Roof windows are also known as vented, ventilating, or operable skylights. These are operational windows installed into roof lines.

Vented skylight windows usually open with an awning style pivoting mechanism and a long crank handle. Roof windows may or may not have screens, and can also be motorized and operable with a remote control.

Motorized vented skylights may also come with moisture sensors to close automatically when it starts to rain.

These skylights are ideal for any room that needs extra light and ventilation to remove moisture in the air, such as in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Vented roof windows work with high and cathedral ceilings, especially with electric operation.

Light Shafts

These walled shafts (horizontal openings) in ceilings pass through roof trusses or joists, linking the ceiling of a room to a skylight or a roof window.

The light from the roof reaches the room through the shaft, sometimes called a chase. And these are ideal for one-story homes.

Light shafts also have different styles. Straight light shafts are ideal for flat ceilings, minimal ceiling space, or for roofs that have installation obstacles.

Flared light shafts are flared at the bottom—longer than the skylight—to make the most of the sun’s path across the sky during the day.

Tubular Windows

Tube or tubular skylight windows are small bubble dome windows in the roofline that are linked to the ceiling of a room with a flexible, reflective tube. These are usually easy to install and the reflective tube is adjustable.

Tubular skylights fit into tight spaces and are ideal for hallways, foyers, and small rooms, such as a small bathroom, laundry room, closet, or pantry.

No matter the type of skylight, homeowners should always consult with a professional window installer before installation.

A professionally-installed skylight can avoid future complications while increasing a home’s natural light, ventilation, energy efficiency, and curb appeal.