Find a Window Pro for
Long Lasting Result in Skylights
everyone likes skylights. They let in light and warmth, provide
a convenient place to hang indoor plants, and simply brighten up
an entire room. Properly installed, roof skylights can add a touch
of class to even a rather drab kitchen, bathroom or other room in
your house. However, old and leaking, or incorrectly installed roof
skylights are a never ending nightmare that will have you swearing
never to have another skylight in your house.
Skylights come in many
shapes and sizes, and may be traditional glass or the lighter weight
vinyl skylight with plastic glazing. They can be flat or domed,
and you can combine multiple skylights for a lighting effect that
will reduce your utility bill. Even if you have an attic, you can
still have skylights in the form of tubular skylights which use
long metal tubes—also called "sun tunnels" to reflect
the light down into your room.
When you purchase a skylight,
it will usually come with everything needed to install it except
the tools and the carpenter. The smaller skylights, especially the
tubular skylights, look deceptively easy to install, but we do not
recommend installing them yourself. You might pay a professional
a few hundred dollars to do it right, but cutting a hole in your
roof is not something for an amateur to do. If you accidentally
cut in just slightly the wrong place, cut the hole the wrong size,
seal the flashing incorrectly, or damage any of your roof tiles
in the process, you will wish you had never thought about skylights.
And if a skylight leaks, you can not only end up replacing your
roof, but also the ceiling beneath it along with the insulation
or anything else that the water was able to reach. Correctly installed,
however, a skylight will be as stable and dependable as the rest
of your roof, and you will enjoy the ambience for many years.
The following tips will
help you find the right skylight and the right contractor to put
them in your home.
- Consider the design
and location of your home. If you are in a southern climate, you
probably won't want skylights on the south side of the house unless
you also install some sort of reflective blinds. Otherwise, you
will have both light and heat, driving your air conditioning bill
up during the summer. In colder climates with more moderate summers,
the blinds are and option.
- Ask the contractor
for references. How many other skylights has he installed? Try
to contact people who have used his services and look at their
skylights. If you can't arrange an opportunity to inspect installed
skylights in other homes, at least get some reactions from other
customers. Would they use that contractor again?
- What warranty is offered?
If there is any problem with the skylight once it has been installed,
will the contractor return to fix it? For how long? What is the
warranty on the skylight itself if it happens to be defective.
(Although it can happen, a leaking skylight is seldom the result
of defective material. Ninety percent of the time, a leaking skylight
is the result of improper installation or of taking shortcuts
in an attempt to save time and money.)
If you already have a
skylight and just need to replace it—and there is no need to replace
the roof itself—the task will be simpler and less expensive. If
you are installing a new skylight, it will obviously cost more.
However, save up the money and have it done correctly the first
time. You will never regret erring on the side of caution.
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