Brighten Up Underutilized Space In Your Home
Poorly lit attics and bonus rooms tend to be underutilized areas in many homes. But
with additional natural light and fresh air from venting skylights or roof windows, gloomy
spaces can easily become more inviting and productive.
“Whether as a playroom, home office, or extra bedroom, finishing or remodeling
your bonus room with venting skylights, or with roof windows, which open wider to
provide egress, could be the highest value, yet lowest cost per square foot option you can
choose,” says Joe Patrick, who heads national product management for VELUX America.
Patrick says that converting upstairs areas and adding more natural light with
energy-efficient skylights makes expensive dormers unnecessary. “Labor and material
costs can be reduced,” he says, “and finished attics and bonus rooms typically appraise at
100 percent of the value of other living space while basements typically do not.”
Denver-based Architect Doug Walter, AIA, observes that many property owners
dismiss the idea of a conversion on the grounds that the space available seems too small.
“In their search for suitable areas, particularly for children,” Walter says, “they should
reconsider. Children don’t require large areas with soaring ceilings. On the contrary, the
sloping ceilings of small attics and the little hideaways they make are particularly
appealing to youngsters.”
Walter says that a light, bright area is a must for a child’s room. “Skylights bring the
sun into an attic space under the sloping roof without it losing its appealing tent-like shape,”
he says, “and many a childish dream can come true under the sloping roof without the need
for large amounts of space and without too great an outlay.”
Patrick says that skylights admit 30 percent more light than vertical windows in
dormers, and provide the drama of a sky view that can’t be achieved with vertical windows.
“And ENERGY STAR® qualified skylights, whether fixed or venting, can be fitted with
blinds and shades and are highly energy efficient in addition to offering much more privacy
than vertical windows,” he says.
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Patrick adds that modern skylights make one of the biggest concerns of homeowners –
the fear of leaks - a thing of the past. “Quality units offer matched, pre-engineered flashing
kits for shingles, tile or metal roofing materials,” he says. “They are designed and engineered
to prevent leaks over the full life of a roof and, properly installed, simply don’t leak.” In fact,
Patrick’s company has introduced a new ENERGY STAR@ qualified product line, marketing
it as the No Leak Skylight. “These units offer many new energy saving features plus three
layers of water protection and are fully warranted,” he says. “They also carry an industry-
first ten-year installation warranty in addition to product coverage.”
Patrick says that the growing availability of trained and certified skylight installation
specialists also adds to the dependability of modern skylights.
And he points out that today’s skylights contribute to energy efficiency with light and
heat control as much as with ventilation by offering easily installed accessories to adjust and
control light, as do vertical windows. “Venetian blinds are available to adjust light, as are
roller blinds to diffuse light and blackout blinds to block light,” he says,” and the accessories,
as well as the units themselves, can be operated by remote control.” Solar blinds are also
available that qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit.
For skylight selection or installation information visit veluxusa.com. For government
information on window and skylight energy efficiency visit energystar.gov, and for
independent agency information visit nfrc.org or efficientwindows.org.
Image caption – You can easily bring additional natural light and ventilation into an attic
bonus room with skylights or roof windows.
VELUX America Information Series No. 27/10/F – Brighten Up Underutilized Space In
Your Home - Apx. 600 Words
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