Learning About Glass Repair And Replacement

Designing Effectively To Minimize Problems For Your Custom Skylight

by Christopher Snyder

If you're designing your dream home with custom skylights galore, it's critical that you avoid catastrophe by using best practices for skylight installation and placement. Knowing something about these essentials before you start deciding where the skylights will go can help you get a concrete grasp on how best to use skylights in your building design. Here are some tips to help you with your skylight installation planning.

Install at an angle 

Glass skylights need to be installed at an angle, while plastic ones can sometimes be installed flat. However, a slight angle is still best for energy efficiency even if you use plastic material; if your skylight is just steep enough, it can collect less heat in summer and lose less heat in winter. If you're planning on installing your skylight in a relatively flat roof, you (or the installation specialists) can use a curb and build up one end to get the skylight to be more slanted.  

Use a curbed skylight

Even if your roof is already at the ideal angle for the skylight you want to install, using a curbed skylight offers critical functions such as better drainage. This reduces the chances that your skylight will have a critical malfunction such as leaking through the flashing at the uphill end of the skylight. The curb allows your roof's collected rain to drain around the skylight more efficiently rather than washing against the seal around the skylight day in and day out.  

Glass vs. plastic

You'll need to carefully consider whether glass or plastic is a better choice for your installation. Glass must be installed at an angle; however, it also has plenty of pros despite also being more expensive. Pros of glass include a much longer lifespan, better resistance to damage and to cleaning chemicals, better chances of crack repair, and lots of choices of protective coatings. Plastic offers plenty of available types of materials, but doesn't offer the coating options and shouldn't be cleaned with windows cleaner. And while some consider plastic to be more formable, glass offers plenty of unique custom shapes as well. In addition, if you want stained glass, plastic shouldn't be an option; it only comes in a very few colors, whereas glass can be custom-ordered in practically any color you can imagine.  

These factors will help you make essential design choices about where you'll place your skylights, how they'll be installed, and what type of material you'll use for each skylight. Talk to your custom glass maker, someone like Sound Glass Sales, Inc., for any other suggestions.