How do you make a smaller space appear more spacious?  The answer is to open it up, add volume, and increase light.  I’ll talk about this last factor today.

If possible, it is best to increase both artificial and natural light.  Generally, natural light has  softer and more natural characteristics, which makes this type of illumination very desirable.   This type of light needs to be considered during the initial phases of a construction project.  Although it is possible to add natural light sources to a completed projects it is both easier and more cost effective when you plan ahead.

I am doing a major renovation on a townhouse in Naperville.  Like many townhomes, this one shares a wall with another unit which limits window placement.  However, there is a second potential light zone in many homes, the roof.

Skylights have been around for generations.  They are popular because they allow natural light to enter into spaces, but they are unpopular because they can leak.  I have been installing skylights for decades and I have discovered the main reason why they leak. What is that reason?  Poor installation.  Skylights have flashing kits that provide a barrier that keeps rain water out.  It takes a little time and some expertise to install these kits properly, but when done correctly they do their job well.

You may see some skylights from the past that were made from polycarbonate plastic.  These yellow and crack over time.  Velux skylights are glass with an aluminum cladded wood frame, and will not yellow.  Skylights come in two mounting styles, curb and deck mounts.  Generally, curb mounts are used on flat roofs and deck mounts are used on sloped roofs.

Skylights can have many different features, some open, others are fixed.  Some use a crank, others use motors to open.  Some are solar powered, others have to be wired into the home’s electrical system.  It is possible to find a skylight to fit every need. Lastly, you can often retrofit a skylight with a remote controlled shade if you sometimes need to reduce the light in a room.

I’m adding a total of seven skylights at my townhouse project.  I have already vaulted the ceilings, and the skylights will add additional “openness” to the project.  I’ll have three in the home’s main living space, two in the loft area, and one in each bedroom.  Some of the skylights will be fixed, others will open.  Together, along with windows, they will create an open and inviting living space.

If you would like me to install, or replace skylights in your home, give me a call and we can set up a free appointment.

Flashing the skylight the right way.
Four skylights can be seen here.
Three skylights over the main living space.
Interior view of five of the seven skylights.
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