Ask architects and design experts and they’ll tell you skylights are excellent ways to add interest and value to your home. For one thing, adding skylights is a way to bring natural light into your home, which can boost property value. But where should you put your skylight? Positioning is key to getting the correct final result, with the best light distribution.
Here’s what you can consider and discuss with the experts installing yours.
It’s easy enough to select the room. Some of the most popular places skylights are installed include the:
- Living and dining areas
- Above staircases or in hallways
Whether in a bathroom, kitchen or staircase, your skylight position will determine the amount of light. But you can’t simply put it anywhere. Features like plumbing, wiring or trusses mentioned above may influence the exact placement. This requires talking to an expert, such as the team at Belle Skylights.
Which Direction Works?
If you are opting for a roof window there may be additional things to consider about the placement. Such as avoiding positioning them where your view could be obstructed by other taller buildings, tall trees, or other objects that will obstruct your stream of daylight.
There’s not necessarily a best direction. Rather, consider your biggest need for light and pick accordingly. For example, for the morning sun you can consider looking east, while a skylight facing west may light up a dark room in the afternoon. If facing north, you’ll most likely get the benefits of light during most hours of the day.
Spacing and Multiple Skylights
Determining the best size and spacing of your skylights and roof windows means there are a few numbers you need to consider. For example, a floor-to-skylight area ratio of 3–5% is normally used, however, a smaller percentage is sufficient for high-performance tubular skylights.
The spacing between your skylights in a large room is crucial. In larger spaces, you may need more than one skylight.
Our experts will be able to help you determine the best placement, but as a general rule of thumb Your Home’s guide to passive design suggests that to find an even light distribution, the distance between your skylights should be approx. 1.5x the height between the ceiling and floor.
Image: Rule of thumb for spacing skylights to help achieve uniform lighting image from yourhome.gov.au
Consider the Type of Skylight
There is a range of skylights you can choose from, from roof windows to tubular skylights. The one you end up getting will be based on your specific requirements from the device and any potential limitations your space may present. At Belle Skylights we have an excellent range of products from reputable daylighting brands, such as VELUX, Belray, Solatube and much more!
Not All Roofs were Created Equal
Skylights need to be installed at the roofline beneath the roof shingles. The roof must be able to support the skylight to be able to install it. There are two main types of roof frames:
- Stick framed: This structure is built with various individual rafters. Usually, this structure is perfect for skylights because there is enough space to cut between the rafters.
- Truss framed: Here you’ll see prefabricated triangular units. Trusses are not meant to be cut after they have been installed because they can compromise the structural integrity of the roof. The structure isn’t ideal for a skylight, so speak to our experts to ensure you are getting a practical installation. In some cases, they will suggest adding smaller skylights that can fit between the beams.
Next, consider the slope of your roof. If you have a gable, shed roof, or hip roof then you can easily install a skylight. These shapes divert water downwards and away from the skylight. Flat roofs offer more challenges such as pooling water, but luckily with products like VELUX, you can have a skylight on this type of roof as well.
Now you have an idea of what’s possible with the ideal skylight placement. And our friendly staff members are waiting to discuss your installation, giving you all the advice you need for the best outcome.
For assistance and expert feedback, contact Belle Skylights at 1300 168 374.