How to Choose the Right Details for New Skylights in Your Home

23 August 2017
 Categories: , Blog


A skylight can be a great choice for any room where you want to bring in more natural sunlight, but don't want to add larger windows. Operational skylights, meaning those that actually open, can also allow in more fresh air, while also letting out humidity that's trapped in the home. When you're ready to start shopping for skylights, you may actually see more choices and options than you realized were on the market, so note a few details to consider, and this will ensure you're happy with your new skylight installation.

Glass versus plastic

Both glass and plastic are very durable, so you don't need to choose one or the other if you're worried about breakage. Glass does offer a clearer view and more sunlight, and the colour of plastic may tend to fade over the years. On the other hand, plastic can often be fabricated and formed into more shapes, so if you're looking for something oversized, very small, or otherwise not a standard shape or size, plastic may be the better option.

Raised versus flat

Domed skylights may let more sunlight into the home, as the sun will shine through those raised sides. They also allow snow to easily side off the skylight surface, so these are better in areas with lots of snowfall. Pyramid shapes also offer more sunlight, but not as much wind resistance as domed or flat options, so avoid this shape if your area gets lots of heavy winds.


A fixed skylight is simply a solid sheet of glass or plastic, which doesn't open or close. A mechanical skylight has a vent and also a fan at the top of the glass or plastic, for when you want more circulation in the home.

A passive ventilation skylight will have a permanent, ventilated strip that goes around the outside of the skylight, for consistent fresh air circulation. This can be good for bathrooms, where you always want steam and humidity to escape. Operable skylights open and close on a hinge, like a door. These can be good if you want to actually go through the skylight and sit on the home's roof!


If you choose a glass skylight, you need to decide on the glazing, just as you would with home windows. Double-glazing is almost always recommended, for added insulation inside the home. Triple-glazing can help to block noise from the outside, so choose this option if you live near a busy roadway or airport, or otherwise need some sound insulation in the home.