Choosing Skylights for Homes

This article helps MOTHER readers when choosing skylights for homes, including types of skylights, self-curbing fixed skylight, and a list of skylight manufacturers.


| January/February 1987


Give your home a window to the heavens.   

Choosing Skylights for Homes

A skylight can bring subtle, natural illumination to a light-starved room. In addition, a well-planned installation can provide warmth, ventilation, and a fresh new look to nearly any part of your house.

Small spaces are especially suited to natural overhead lighting for two very good reasons. First, properly directed daylight gives even a cramped area a welcome, open feeling. And, just as important, a skylight's out-of-the-way location allows room planning flexibility and privacy too.

In the past, buying a skylight was a risky proposition. Units intended for new construction were improperly used in retrofit installations. Inferior glazing plastics showed their true colors after only a few years. And, worst of all, heat loss and condensation buildup often offset any aesthetic gains.

Most of today's offerings, though, are practical and attractive, but there's enough choice to leave plenty of room for confusion when choosing skylights for homes. By being able to recognize the features and differences in skylight products, you'll be able to match your purchase to your needs.

One of the first considerations is the mounting system you'll be using. Essentially, your choice will depend upon the skill and experience of the installer. A contractor, or a seasoned do-it-yourself homeowner, would most likely choose a curb-mounting model to save money; this type usually has an insulated glazing frame, but the curb (a box around the skylight to raise it off the roof slightly) is not included. That part must be built into the roof during installation.

Norel Jed
8/31/2012 11:55:56 AM

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