What Are the Pros and Cons of Installing Skylights?

by Shelley Frost
wide shot of a residential Sun Room

Normally, a hole in the ceiling isn't something you want to see, but when it's cut for skylights, it's a different story.

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Skylight installation offers a lot of perks, particularly extra light that brightens your space. But there are also some potential drawbacks.

What Are the Pros of Installing Skylights?

If you're thinking about skylight installation, consider these pros:

  • Natural light: Since skylights are in your ceiling, they offer lots of natural light to brighten your space. This can be helpful in a dark room with no windows or small windows, such as a windowless bathroom or a finished attic space.
  • Warmth: The solar energy coming through the skylights can help warm your space naturally.
  • Ventilation: You can choose skylights that offer ventilation, which can help with air circulation and make the space more comfortable.
  • Pretty views: Imagine gazing at the stars while lying in bed or watching the clouds float by during the day. Skylights add an aesthetically pleasing touch to the room and give you nice views.
  • Variety of designs: Skylights come in a wide range of sizes and styles with varying features. You also have design choices on where you place them to determine what type of light they capture.
  • Making spaces feel larger: Adding a skylight can make your room feel larger with the added light and airy feeling.

What Are the Cons?

It's important to look at skylight pros and cons equally before you jump into this home improvement project. Some of the potential drawbacks include:

  • Possible leaks: If the skylight installation is not high-quality, the area could leak. Even with proper installation, skylights sometimes leak over time or if they become damaged. Having your roof and skylight inspected regularly can catch problems early before they cause major water damage inside your home.
  • Fading: The extra sunlight creates a bright, uplifting environment, but it can also be rough on bedding, furniture, flooring and other surfaces. The UV rays can fade those surfaces, creating an outdated, patchy look.
  • Cost: Having a new skylight installed is expensive. According to The Spruce, the cost of the window itself varies, with many options costing a few hundred dollars. You can expect to pay around $200 (CAD 266) for the hole and $200 to $300 (CAD 266 to CAD 398) for the installation. If your room requires a chase or shaft to be built to your interior ceiling, that could cost another $1,000 to $1,500 (CAD 1,328 to CAD 1,992).
  • Too much heat: While the thermal energy is nice during the winter, too much sunlight can cause the room to overheat in the summer. This might cause you to run your AC more than normal.
  • Maintenance: Unless you love climbing on your roof frequently, you might find skylights annoying to clean. It can also be potentially dangerous to climb on your roof to clean these installations.

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Is It Worth It to Install Skylights?

Are skylights a good idea? There isn't one clear answer for every person. Weighing the pros and cons of skylights is a personal decision. It requires you to think about what you really want. You probably like the idea of this addition if you're looking at skylights' pros and cons. Focusing more on the disadvantages of skylights helps you decide if you're willing to accept those negatives to reap the benefits of a window in your ceiling.

Start by making sure you have a large enough budget to buy a high-quality skylight with an adequate warranty. Professional installation from an experienced window company can help overcome potential leakage issues and skylight installation errors. Get several quotes to ensure the costs fit your budget. Working with a professional can also ensure your roof can handle the weight of the skylight, and pros can help you choose the right skylight and correct placement to get the benefits you want.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.