Pros & Cons of Skylights: Is it a Good Idea?

In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of skylights, helping you make an informed decision about whether they are the right choice for your home.

What are Skylights?

Skylights are roof openings that are covered with transparent or translucent glass or plastic to allow natural light into a space. Skylights are more than just an architectural feature; they are a connection to the outside world. Their ability to harness natural light and channel it into your home creates a remarkable sense of space and a unique ambiance that artificial lighting simply cannot replicate. By maximizing the use of daylight, skylights reduce the need for electricity during the daytime, making them an eco-friendly and energy-efficient choice.

Skylights are available in various shapes and types, including ventilating, fixed, and tubular skylights.

Types of Skylights

  1. Ventilating Skylights:
    These skylights can be opened to allow fresh air to circulate and help with ventilation. They are a great choice for rooms that require additional airflow, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  2. Fixed Skylights:
    These skylights are non-opening and provide a fixed source of natural light. They are a popular choice for rooms that don’t require ventilation, such as hallways and living rooms.
  3. Tubular Skylights:
    Tubular skylights are smaller in size compared to traditional skylights and are often used in spaces where a larger skylight may not be feasible. They are designed to capture sunlight and redirect it into the room using reflective tubes.

Now that we have a basic understanding of skylights, let’s dive into the pros and cons of installing them in your home.

Pros of Skylights

1. Increased Natural Light

One of the main advantages of skylights is the increased natural light they bring into a space. Natural light has numerous benefits, including improved mood, increased productivity, and better overall well-being. Skylights can make a room feel brighter and more inviting, creating a positive atmosphere.

2. Energy Savings

Skylights can contribute to energy savings by reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. By utilizing natural light, homeowners can reduce their reliance on electricity, leading to potential cost savings on energy bills. Additionally, skylights can help with heat gain during the colder months, reducing the need for heating.

3. Design Flexibility

Skylights offer design flexibility, allowing homeowners to create unique and visually appealing spaces. They can be placed strategically to take advantage of environmental factors, such as capturing the morning or afternoon sun. Skylights can also be designed in various shapes and sizes to complement the overall aesthetics of a room or home.

4. Improved Ventilation

Ventilating skylights provide an additional source of ventilation, helping to improve indoor air quality. They can be opened to allow fresh air to circulate, especially in areas like bathrooms and kitchens where proper ventilation is important. Ventilating skylights can help remove odors and prevent the buildup of moisture, reducing the risk of mold and mildew.

5. Aesthetics and Value

Skylights add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space. They can enhance the visual appeal of a room by bringing in natural light and creating a sense of openness. Additionally, skylights can increase the value of a property, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

Cons of Skylights

1. Overheating and Glare

One of the main drawbacks of skylights is the potential for overheating and glare. Depending on their orientation and size, skylights can allow too much sunlight into a room, making it uncomfortably bright and causing glare. This can make it difficult to work or relax in the space during certain times of the day. Installing shades or blinds can help mitigate this issue.

2. Heat Loss

While skylights can help with heat gain during the colder months, they can also contribute to heat loss. Glass, the main component of skylights, is not as effective as insulation or concrete in preventing heat transfer. This means that skylights can allow heat to escape from the inside to the outside. Insulated glass skylights with thermal breaks can help minimize heat loss.

3. Installation Challenges

Proper installation is crucial for the performance and longevity of skylights. Improperly installed skylights can lead to issues such as leaks, water damage, and structural problems. Flashing, the material used to seal the skylight to the roof, is a common weak spot that can cause leaks if not installed correctly. It is important to hire experienced professional roofers to ensure a proper installation.

4. Poor Insulation

Skylights require a shaft to be built between the ceiling and roof, and if the installation is not done properly, it can result in poor insulation. This can lead to increased energy costs as heat or cold air can easily escape through the skylight shaft. Hiring a reputable roofing company with attention to detail is essential to ensure proper insulation and prevent energy loss.

5. Moisture and Leaking Issues

Skylights are vulnerable to leaks, especially during extreme weather conditions such as hail storms or heavy rain. Cutting a hole in the roof can potentially create areas where water can penetrate if not properly sealed. Quality skylights and professional skylight installation can help minimize the risk of moisture and leaking issues.

Skylights offer numerous advantages, including increased natural light, energy savings, design flexibility, improved ventilation, and enhanced aesthetics. However, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks, such as overheating, heat loss, installation challenges, poor insulation, and moisture issues. Careful planning, proper installation, and regular maintenance can help mitigate these concerns and ensure the benefits of skylights outweigh the drawbacks. 

Skylights are the key to welcoming the beauty of natural light into your living spaces. In a world where we’re constantly seeking ways to bridge the gap between our interiors and the great outdoors, skylights have emerged as a remarkable solution. These carefully designed roof openings, generously adorned with transparent or translucent glass or plastic, effortlessly transform your home by infusing it with the warmth and radiance of daylight.

If you are considering installing skylights in your home, consult with a professional roofing company in North Vancouver like Above All Roofing to ensure a successful and hassle-free installation.


1. Do skylights weaken a roof?

When installed correctly, skylights do not compromise the structural integrity of a roof. However, improper installation can lead to leaks and other related issues. It is important to hire experienced professionals to ensure a proper and secure installation.

2. How much weight can a skylight hold?

Skylights are required to withstand a pressure of at least 200 pounds, as stipulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additional safety features such as skylight safety screens or guardrails may be necessary to meet this requirement.

3. Are skylights worth it?

Skylights can significantly enhance the aesthetics and functionality of a room by bringing in natural light and providing ventilation. They can also increase the value of a property. However, it is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider factors such as installation costs and potential maintenance issues before making a decision.

4: Does adding a skylight add value?

Yes, adding a skylight can potentially increase the value of your home. It enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home and can improve energy efficiency by allowing more natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day.

5: Are skylights high maintenance?

Not necessarily. Like any feature of your home, skylights require periodic maintenance to ensure they are functioning optimally. However, they are not considered high maintenance. Regular checks for leaks and damage can help keep your skylight in top condition.