Adding skylights to your new addition

Skylights can add value to your home as well as sunlight and warmth.  But, are they worth the expense and with the past reputation of leaks are they also worth the hassle?  Let’s take a look;

Velux Solar Powered Venting Skylight

Velux is the leading brand of skylight developers and they also make solar powered skylights that open and close as weather and temperature permits.  That’s a pretty fantastic feature.  They come complete with weather sensor technology and a solar panel that sits below the window which uses the sun to recharge a highly efficient battery powered operator and control system canceled inside the window.  You don’t have to use any electrical power to use this window.  Wow!  This system works amazingly well but they also come with a hefty price tag.  All of this is well and good but do they leak?  And the answer is, no!  They do not leak as the new skylights are made from much better materials that are leak-proof and they guarantee that it won’t leak.  That is worth the $1,400 price tag in my opinion.  Although that does not include installation but we can help you with that.  There’s also an added benefit of a federal tax credit for using solar powered skylights of 30%.  That helps.  This window comes in both a deck mounted installation, as well as a curb, mounted installation.  (See below for the differences between the two installation types.)

Electric Venting Skylights

This electric skylight is the perfect light solution for overhead applications. The electric version allows for in the same amount of natural light as the solar version, and with the touch of a button, opens to let in fresh air.   This unit is hard-wired into your home and is controlled by a panel that is mounted on the wall.  But, if you forget to close it during a rainstorm, a rain sensor will shut the skylight automatically.  Beautiful!  The cost is a little less than the solar version but you have to wire this unit to operate it.  If wiring is something you can do yourself then it’s a wonderful option but if not then you have that added cost of hiring an electrician to install it.

Manual Venting Skylights

The look and functionality are the same as the other two Velux Skylight versions and it’s cheaper but this is a manual unit where you have to crank the handle to open the skylight.  I am not a fan of that as I like the “cool factor” of most things and this seems a little old school to me and kind of a hassle as you have to store the pole somewhere and if you have a tall ceiling that pole now has to be assembled to use.  However, if this is not a problem for you then it’s an easy choice to make.  This unit runs about $1,100.

Fixed Skylights

Well, if all you want is light from above coming into the room then this is the model for you. Hmmm… If I was adding on to the back of our house and had the option of  putting in a skylight I would want it to open, but that’s just me, according to Kenny Habul Greenwich, CT.  Spend the extra money and allow the skylight to open so you can enjoy all the benefits it can provide.


Velux also offers a variety of window blinds that are made specifically for Velux skylights.  They offer remote control blinds as well and those definetely fit into my cool factor requirements.

Curb mounted skylight

The skylight is mounted on a wooden frame, known as a curb, that the installer builds around the opening on your roof. Curb mounted skylights are ideal for flat roofs up to a pitch of 60 degrees. For curb mounted applications there are two types of flashing kits: One for both asphalt and shake type roofs and a high profile/tile roof.

Deck mounted skylight

The skylight’s deck seal is nailed directly to your roof deck for a low profile, energy-efficient installation. Deck mounted skylights are best for roofs with a pitch between 14 and 85 degrees. Deck mounted skylights offer flashing kits for shingle or shake roofs, tile roofs, and metal roofs as well as combi flashing which combines multiple skylights for a seamless look.