The Tiny house Blog

Are Skylights Worth It?

Updated on:
March 27, 2024
are skylights worth it

Image Source: Canva

Yes, skylights can be valuable. They're crafted to boost natural light, improve aesthetics and potentially lead to energy savings. Through enhanced air circulation, you get fresh air while adding a distinct aesthetic appeal to your interiors.

It's essential to install them correctly to avoid challenges such as overheating, heat loss, and lower energy efficiency. Don't forget the variety in design, too. Skylights come in different shapes and sizes, allowing you to personalize to complement your home. There's more to discover about the benefits, types and installation considerations of skylights, which you'll appreciate as you delve further.

What is a Skylight?

A skylight, simply put, is a roof opening covered with transparent or translucent glass or plastic, designed to let in natural light and fresh air, regulate building temperature, and enhance the aesthetics of your home. It's more than just a window on your roof. It's a functional architectural feature that can transform your living space in ways you hadn't imagined.

Now, you're probably thinking, 'What does a skylight do for me?' Well, let's break it down. Skylights can greatly brighten up dark corners, adding a sense of spaciousness to cramped rooms. They're a sustainable lighting option, leveraging the sun's energy to illuminate your interior, reducing reliance on artificial lighting and, in turn, your energy costs.

But it's not just about light. Skylights offer excellent ventilation, allowing hot air to escape and fresh air to circulate, creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment. Plus, the natural light they let in can improve your mood and productivity.

And let's not forget the aesthetic appeal. A well-placed skylight can highlight architectural details, bring a bit of the outdoors inside, and even increase your property's resale value. So, when you think about it, a skylight is more than worth considering.

Parts of a Skylight

Appreciating the different components of a skylight will help you grasp its functionality and the intricacy of its installation process. Fundamentally, a skylight is composed of three primary components: the frame, the glazing, and the flashing.

The frame, typically made from wood, plastic or metal, holds the structure together. This component can be in different shapes and sizes, depending on your preferences and the architecture of your home. The glazing is the translucent or transparent component of the skylight that allows light to enter. It can be made of glass or plastic, with different qualities such as tinting or UV resistance.

The flashing is particularly important as it guarantees the skylight is watertight and prevents leaks. It's usually made of sheet metal and is installed around the skylight, on the roof. When correctly installed, it directs water away from the skylight and towards the roof's surface.

Understanding these components will help you communicate better with your installer and ensure a successful installation. Remember, the effectiveness of a skylight depends largely on its components and how well they're assembled.

Types of Skylights

When you're considering installing a skylight, it's crucial to understand that there are several varieties to choose from, each with its unique features and benefits.

The most common types are ventilating, fixed, and tubular skylights. Ventilating skylights, also referred to as roof windows, can be opened to allow fresh air in, making them ideal for kitchens or bathrooms. They're excellent for not only illuminating a room but also improving ventilation.

Fixed skylights, conversely, can't be opened. They're designed to bring in more light and can be a great asset in hallways or stairwells. They're often the preferred choice for adding a bright, airy feel to spaces where extra ventilation isn't necessary.

Lastly, tubular skylights are a more modern innovation. They channel daylight into a tube, diffusing it into your room. They're perfect for smaller rooms or closets, where traditional skylights may not fit.

Each type has its advantages, and the most suitable one for you will depend on your specific needs and the characteristics of your home. So, it's worth spending some time considering which type of skylight will most effectively improve your living space.

Things to Consider When Building Skylights

Having explored the different types of skylights, it's now time to focus on the key considerations you should keep in mind when planning to install one in your home.

Firstly, think about the room's layout and the skylight's placement. You want to make sure that it adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of your space, without causing glare or overheating.

Next, take into account the climate in your area. If you live in a region with harsh winters, you'll need a skylight that's well-insulated to prevent heat loss. Conversely, if your area experiences hot summers, a ventilating skylight can help expel hot air and cool down your house.

Another factor to ponder is the skylight's size and shape, which should complement your home's architecture. Also, consider opting for energy-efficient models which can help save on your energy bills.

Lastly, don't forget about installation and maintenance. Make sure you hire a professional installer who understands the nuances of skylight installation. Regular maintenance is essential too, to prevent leaks and ensure the skylight's longevity.

Advantages of Skylights

You might be surprised at how skylights can benefit you. Not only do they allow more natural light into your home, they can also lead to significant energy savings. Let's not forget the fresh air they circulate and the major design impact they create - transforming your space into a brighter, healthier, and more aesthetically pleasing environment.

More Natural Light

Ever wondered how skylights can dramatically transform your home's lighting? Imagine bathing your space in a wash of natural light, creating a brighter, more inviting atmosphere. Skylights offer unmatched illumination, balancing the light in your rooms, and eliminating harsh shadows. They can make your home feel more open and airy, accentuating the aesthetics of your space.

Not only do they liven up a room, but skylights also give a sustainable source of light throughout the day. They can define your room aesthetically, bringing the outdoors inside and making it feel larger.

Even in smaller spaces, tubular skylights can provide a significant amount of natural light. It's a game-changer, bridging the gap between functionality and design, and enhancing your living experience.

Energy Savings

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, skylights are a powerful tool for energy savings in your home. By utilizing the natural light from the sun, they decrease your dependence on artificial light during the day. It's a simple, yet effective way to decrease your electricity bills. Additionally, during winter months, they let in the warmth of the sun, acting as a passive heat source. This reduces the need for constant heating, saving on energy costs.

But it's not just about immediate savings. Over time, these energy efficiencies contribute to a reduction in your home's overall carbon footprint. So, you're not only saving money but also playing your part in environmental conservation.

Fresh Air

While energy savings are a substantial benefit of skylights, let's not overlook the advantages they offer regarding ventilation and fresh air. Installing skylights can greatly improve the air quality in your home. They act as natural ventilators, expelling stale air and drawing in fresh air, reducing reliance on artificial air conditioning.

In rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture and odors accumulate, skylights aid in their expulsion, creating a healthier living environment. The constant air circulation helps to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature as well, reducing the need for fans during warmer months. Additionally, this natural ventilation can contribute to your overall wellbeing.

So, as you can see, the benefits of skylights extend beyond just aesthetics and energy savings; they also play an essential role in ensuring a fresh and healthy indoor climate.

Image Source: Canva

Design Impact

Skylights can greatly alter the design and aesthetic appeal of your home, adding a unique touch that not only enhances its visual appeal but also increases its value. When thoughtfully placed, they can accentuate architectural details, making spaces appear larger and more open.

Skylights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing you to personalize the design to suit your specific needs. They bring the outdoors inside, creating a natural, lively atmosphere. This sense of openness can effectively enrich the overall mood within your home.

Plus, they can balance light in a room, reducing the need for artificial lighting and contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. Overall, skylights are a worthwhile investment for these design benefits alone.

Disadvantages of Skylights

While skylights can offer numerous benefits, you must also consider their potential drawbacks. These can range from issues like overheating and heat loss to challenges with installation and insulation. They're also typically more costly than conventional windows, which might make them a less feasible option for some homeowners.


One major downside you may encounter with skylights is the potential for overheating, particularly if they're placed in an area that receives direct sunlight most of the day. This could lead to an uncomfortable increase in room temperature during hot seasons. The solar heat gain, while beneficial in winter, can be troublesome in summer, adding to the load of your air conditioning system, and thus, raising your energy bills.

Additionally, excessive sunlight might cause fading of your furniture, carpets, or artworks over time. While shades, blinds, or UV-blocking glazing can mitigate these issues, they add to the initial installation cost. Hence, it's important to carefully consider skylight placement and choose energy-efficient models to minimize overheating issues.

Heat Loss

Despite their many advantages, you should also be aware that skylights can potentially contribute to heat loss in your home, particularly during the colder months. The glass or plastic used in skylights is usually thinner than your insulated walls, making it easier for heat to escape. This can lead to increased energy bills as your heating system works harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Additionally, improper installation can worsen this issue. While some modern skylights are designed with energy efficiency in mind, featuring double-glazing or low-emissivity coatings, these can add to the initial cost. It's important to balance the aesthetic and natural light benefits of skylights against their potential for heat loss.

Poor Insulation

In addition to the potential for heat loss, another disadvantage of skylights is poor insulation, which can have a substantial impact on your home's energy efficiency. If your skylight isn't well-insulated, it can let out a significant amount of heat during the winter months, and allow heat to seep in during the summer. This can lead to higher heating and cooling costs, negating any potential energy savings from natural light.

Poorly insulated skylights may also contribute to condensation problems. In cold weather, warm indoor air can condense on the cold surface of the skylight, leading to dripping water or frost. This not only damages your interior finishes, but also, over time, can weaken the structure of your skylight.

Installation Issues

Skylight installation can be tricky, and if not done correctly, you may face a host of issues including leaks, drafts, and structural damage. Missteps during installation can lead to water pooling, which can cause rot and mold growth. It's important to hire experienced professionals who understand the complexity of installing skylights.

Incorrect placement can also result in more sun exposure than you bargained for, leading to excessive light and heat, which can fade your furniture. Additionally, if a skylight is installed without considering the structural integrity of your roof, it could potentially weaken the overall structure. So, while skylights may be an appealing addition to your home, you should be aware of these potential installation pitfalls.

More Expensive Than Traditional Windows

While skylights can offer numerous benefits, you should consider that they often come with a higher price tag compared to traditional windows. This is due to the complex installation process, which often involves modifying your roof structure, and the higher quality materials usually used in skylights. Not to mention, the cost of professional installation can add greatly to the overall expense.

Moreover, if you opt for added features like blinds, ventilation, or solar-powered models, the cost can increase even more. In addition, skylights require regular maintenance and may need more frequent repairs due to weather exposure. So, before deciding on skylights, it's essential to weigh these costs against the benefits to determine if they're a worthwhile investment for your home.


So, are skylights worth it? Ultimately, it's your decision. They can bring light, beauty, and energy savings, but also challenges like potential leaks or extra heat. The type of skylight and professional installation are key factors.

Weigh the pros and cons carefully, consider your home's specific needs, and consult with a professional. Skylights could just be the perfect addition to your home, offering a unique blend of functionality and aesthetic appeal.

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