Category Archives: commercial skylight contractors

Questions to Ask Before Installing Commercial Skylights

Questions to Ask Before Installing Commercial Skylights - velux commercial skylights - Mares Dow

Are you wondering if it’s possible to install commercial skylights in your business? There are limitless benefits of commercial skylights, including increased productivity and increased overall health of employees. Many businesses-owners have made the switch to natural lighting.

There are also risks involved with skylights, such as leaking, unwanted temperature changes, and bad installation. Before you decide to invest in skylights, ask yourself these questions to know if your business is a good fit for installing commercial skylights.

What is the shape of your roof?

Leaking is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to deciding to install commercial skylights. This fear can be alleviated if the shape of the business’s roof can accommodate lousy weather. A steeper roof allows for water to flow with ease, while a flat roof can trap water and create buildup around the skylight.

If your roof isn’t a preferred shape, it’s still possible to have skylights. Contractors resolve leaking issues by the addition of a waterproof protective layer and sealing joints thoroughly. These newer technologies have allowed for a no-leaking ten-year guarantee. Be sure to discuss your options with your contractor.

How is your Electric Bill?

Ventilated skylights are also an option to provide extra airflow in the workplace. These skylights open to allow air from the outside to come in. During the summer, natural wind can provide cooling in an office.

During the winter, the skylights absorb extra heat from the sun’s light. The skylight can keep the cold out while allowing natural light to warm up the office. Extra ventilation and sun-exposure can save a considerable number of electric bills.

Are you planning on Reselling?

Skylights add massive value to buildings if you are ever planning on relocating or reselling. One of the top priorities for buyers is access to natural light. Buyers will be excited about saving money on electricity.

They will also be excited about the increase in productivity for their employee’s natural lighting has proven to make employees happier and more productive. The aesthetic value of the workplace will also exponentially increase. Natural lighting makes the workplace look much more beautiful. Investing in skylights is a smart choice if you are thinking about reselling in the future.

Are skylights compatible with the climate where you live?

While skylights are useful for ventilation, they can also have the opposite effect. Newer technologies have allowed for less heat and cold exposure through skylights. However, unwanted winter cold or summer heat due to skylights is still a possibility.

The use of glazing technologies such as heat resistant tints and e-coatings prevent additional summertime heating and wintertime cooling, through the skylight. Talk to your commercial skylight contractors about options if you live in a climate prone to extreme weather.

Skylights are a significant investment, and it can be challenging to know if your business is ready to make the switch. Will adding commercial skylights be a good investment for you? Almost any business is right for skylights if they partner with knowledgeable and adaptable contractors. The benefits of adding skylights to a business are many, and your employees will thank you for the new natural light in the office.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  As Certified 5-Star Velux Skylight specialists we bring the highest level of commitment to all projects. Contact us today to learn more about installing commercial skylights in your business!

Commercial Skylights: Can They Keep Your Team Productive?

office-skylight-commercial skylight-Mares Dow-2

According to The Washington Post, 25% of Americans spend their entire day working indoors. That’s a lot of fluorescent and artificial lighting. Does this fact really affect the productivity and output of your business? 

The economic and physical cost of working mostly independent of the sun’s light is higher than most might assume. One way to let some natural light back into the workplace is by installing commercial skylights. So, what are the benefits? More than you might think. Here are the four best reasons for investing in skylights for the workplace is a great idea.

Commercial Skylights for Healthier and Happier Employees

Fluorescent lighting is more harmful than we know. While artificial lighting is not directly harmful, it is known to cause temporary and lasting effects. It has been proven that stress levels are related to constant exposure to artificial lighting. Migraines and headaches can also be caused by overexposure to artificial lighting. 

No one goes to work excited to spend another day in a stuffy dark environment. Commercial skylights installers can install a variety of skylights that will enhance an employee’s mood. Also letting in sunlight will increase the natural intake of vitamin D and B12, improving the overall health of your employees. According to the Sleep Foundation, sunlight is known to regulate sleep schedules, making workers better rested.  

Increased Productivity

When employees are exposed to natural lighting, they are more productive, less stressed, and enjoy their work. Vision is better in natural lighting, increasing depth perception, color visibility, and lowering blurriness. Studies have shown that natural lighting increases motivation and focus. 

Customers prefer to shop in businesses with lots of natural lighting. Overall energy levels rise in natural lighting as well. The investment will become worth it as the output coming from your employees improves. 

Greater Aesthetic in the Workplace

Brightening your office space will add beauty to your everyday environment. An aesthetically pleasing space will make employees feel more comfortable. Clients will be more likely to enjoy the time they spend in your business.  

Skylights also add value to the price of a property due to these reasons. Tenants are more likely to be interested in a space with plenty of natural light. 

Economical Advantages

Powering a business is financially and environmentally expensive. Skylights have the ability to save on temperature costs and lighting costs. Depending on where you place your skylights, you can usually save about 30% of these energy costs a month

Certain skylight features include being able to open a skylight to increase the circulation of air. Utilizing the sun’s rays can increase heat in the workplace during the winter, without letting unwanted cold air inside.

Some common worries of installing a skylight include leaking due to rain, and unwanted temperature changes inside of a building. Leaking can be resolved by the addition of a waterproof protective layer and sealing joints thoroughly. In addition, glazing technologies such as heat resistant tints and e-coatings are being used to prevent additional summertime heating and wintertime cooling, through the skylight. 

Commercial skylights are one of the best ways to bring sunlight into your office. Employees will find themselves happier, healthier, and more productive in their day to day activities. Skylights will be an investment in a company with greater output and healthier staff. For a business that’s environmentally and economically conscious, commercial skylights can be the next right move to make. 

How Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights Can Help

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights offers a variety of Velux commercial skylights for your business in the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your commercial skylight needs.

Your Guide to Stunning Decorative Siding Patterns

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Today’s siding gives homeowners more options for sparking their creativity and implementing a design that enhances their home exterior. When working with siding contractors, you can complete nearly any project to your specifications, choosing the pattern that is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular siding patterns available today.

Horizontal Patterns

The most common type of siding pattern is horizontal. This traditional siding may include styles such as beaded, Dutch lap, or traditional lap siding. 

Traditional Lap

Traditional lap siding offers a straightforward, simple, and effective layout that works in almost any home setting. In a traditional lap, each siding board is layered over the board below. The design offers a water barrier and reduces airflow through the siding. 

Dutch Lap

Dutch siding features a groove cut out of the top of each board. It’s similar to a traditional lap but offers more textured contrast across the facade due to the shadow that each board creates. 

Beaded

Beaded vinyl is named for the ‘bead’ or added texture at the bottom of each board. Beads come in a variety of shapes and textures, giving you more choices for your home. Beaded siding is ideal if you want to create a more interesting composition on your wall exterior.

Vertical Patterns

Although horizontal patterns are the most common, you may be looking for an alternative to the traditional design. Vertical patterns may your best bet. They work incredibly well with certain home styles and can accent the eaves across your home’s façade. 

Panel Siding

If you took horizontal siding and made it vertical, then you would get panel siding. Panels are placed over each other to create a uniform flush layout. Panel siding comes in a broad range of colors and textures.

Board and Batten

Most board and batten siding is fabricated from natural wood. The vertical boards are installed on the house. Battens are used to cover any cracks so that the home is sealed from moisture and airflow.

Shake Patterns

Shake patterns are traditionally made from wood. However, today’s shakes offer the same patterns, but different materials such as vinyl or cement. There are endless shapes and designs that form patterns, allowing you to customize your siding design.

There are too many shake patterns to name, but some of the most popular include:

  • Square
  • Round
  • Staggered
  • Mitered corner
  • Octagonal & Hexagonal
  • Fish scale
  • Half cove

When using shake patterns, you can combine more than one shape, color, texture, or dimension to create your own layout. Your siding contractors can work with you to complete your design and implement your ideas on your home. 

What to Consider Before Choosing Your Pattern

Before you land on an idea for your siding pattern there are a few things you may want to consider. First, choose high-quality siding products. Quality vinyl siding can last up to 40 years with ongoing care and maintenance. Next, choose a pattern that truly complements your home exterior. Think about how the pattern will look once the project is complete.

Also, make sure that your pattern provides a proper seal and offers the highest level of energy efficiency inside the home. A decorative pattern may look attractive, but cause your energy usage to skyrocket inside. Last, consider your replacement or maintenance costs over the years. Horizontal siding may require less maintenance but replacement of more sections. In a smaller pattern, you may have more maintenance, but you can easily replace smaller pieces. 

Siding Contractors in San Francisco, California

Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and commercial skylight experts. Contact us today to get started on your next project or for a consultation!

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and commercial skylight experts. Contact us today to get started on your next project or for a consultation!

9 Key Skylight Terms To Know

When you work with commercial skylight contractors, you may be introduced to new vocabulary for skylights and skylight installation. As your project gets underway, here are a few key terms you will hear tossed around and are helpful to know as you find the right commercial skylights solution for your building. 

Curb

The curb of a skylight refers to the raised frame that is fixed to the deck of the roof and on which curb-mounted skylights are placed. Curbs of typically made of wood and built on site or made of metal and are pre-manufactured and delivered with the skylight.

Fixed skylight

This term refers to skylights that are non-operable, as in they do not open for venting purposes.

Flashing

Flashing is a weatherproofing system that imperviously integrates skylights into the surrounding roofing material. There are multiple types of flashing systems for skylights, such as self-flashing and step flashing, and they are meant to shed exterior water without relying on sealants, which can degrade over time.

Glazing

Glazing is the glass or acrylic portion of the skylight. Typically commercial skylights have multiple layers of glazing, which is referred to as insulated glazing, such as the Velux Acrylic Double Dome. The space between the glazing can also be filled with argon gas to enhance insulation further.

Laminated glass

Laminated glass is made from two panes of glass that are bonded together by a vinyl layer between them. The vinyl layer prevents the glass from breaking apart in dangerous shards when damaged.

Low-E coating

Low-E, or low emissivity, coating refers to a metallic layer that is chemically bonded to skylight glass and works to prevent heat gain and minimize UV rays that can fade interior surfaces. Sometimes notated as LoE, LoE2, or LoE3 which indicates single, double, and triple layers of coating, respectively. 

Tempered glass

A type of glass that is hardened to shatter into small pieces when broken.

Venting skylight

As opposed to fixed skylights, venting skylights are operable. They can be opened manually with a long arm crank or can be remotely operated. Additionally, some venting skylights are outfitted with moisture sensors that automatically close the skylight in the event of precipitation. 

Wrapping

Wrapping a skylight is the process of using roofing underlayment or felt to wrap the skylight curb or frame. Wrapping skylights reduce the risk of condensation forming on the interior skylight surfaces and is additional protection from exterior water penetration in extreme weather scenarios.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling experts and enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel!

3 Common Myths about Commercial Skylights

Most building occupants can agree, skylights can transform commercial buildings and suffuse interior spaces with all the benefits of warm, natural illumination. Despite the many benefits of commercial skylights, misperceptions about their durability and performance persist. Some myths founded initially in the realities of early iterations of skylights are quickly debunked by modern commercial skylights that boast new technologies and materials. Here are three common myths about commercial skylights and how today’s skylights prove them wrong.

They are leaky

A common refrain about commercial skylights is that they either lack a proper seal to the surrounding roof or curb or that the seal quickly deteriorates to allow water to leak into the interior of buildings. In the first place, often these “leaky” skylights were dripping condensation that had formed on the inside surface of the skylight due to the moist interior air reacting with surfaces subject to external temperatures. However, modern commercial skylights have been designed to confront this problem and utilize insulated glass, multiple domes isolating interior domes from external-facing domes, and encapsulating frames that can include condensation wicking systems and create a reliable barrier keeping outside precipitation from coming in. Additionally, frame varieties made from long-lasting material such as silicone that has a life-cycle of fifty years.

They are energy inefficient

Many building owners will opt out of commercial skylights due to the belief that they would exacerbate already sizeable HVAC utility costs. Certainly, some older skylights were subject to undesirable heat transfer, but the advancements in skylight technology have worked to mitigate this issue. Skylights have several glazing options that can manage heat transfer, while Low-E coatings help to reflect heat to its source, keeping buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Simple structural innovations also increase the energy efficiency of skylights: venting skylights can let fresh air in and regulate internal temperatures in the same fashion as windows, and remote-operated blinds with reflective exterior-facing surfaces can also be used to minimize heat transfer.

They are easily damaged

After investing in the capital expense of commercial skylight installation, the last thing a building owner wants to have to do is replace or repair them due to damage. For buildings in areas prone to extreme weather such as hail and high winds, skylights can seem like an unnecessary risk. For this reason, modern skylights use materials engineered to withstand these types of forces. For example, the Velux Dynamic Dome skylight utilizes a geometric design and thermoplastic materials that have been factory tested to hold up to two-inch hail propelled at 88 miles per hour without scratching its surface.

New Technologies in Skylights

Over the past several years skylights have come a long way from their initial conception as a single glass pane on a rooftop. Now, both residential and commercial applications of skylights benefit from recent advances in skylight technology, from new materials to smart home automation software. Commercial skylight contractors, home remodeling contractors, as well as building tenants and homeowners alike now have the opportunity to explore all that modern skylights have to offer.

New materials in skylights

Though in the past skylights may have been considered inefficient in terms of home energy use or sources of pesky condensation “leaks,” the newer materials used in manufacturing skylights have worked to confront and negate these issues. Modern skylights are often composed of argon-insulated double-paned glass, which works to maintain internal building temperatures. Argon is a colorless, odorless, inert gas that is vacuum sealed between panes of glass to create an insulating barrier. In the case of skylights, this structure also helps to minimize condensation as it keeps the colder outdoor air from reacting with the moist, warmer air in contact with the interior surface of the glass, which is what leads to water droplets (condensation) forming on the inside of skylights. Another material in new skylights that works to inhibit condensation is Low-E coatings. Low-E refers to the metal coating that is chemically bonded to skylight glass, which can be reapplied a second or third time resulting in Low-E2 and Low-E3 coatings respectively, and which protects against sharp temperature shifts. Low-E glass coatings work by reflecting heat back to its source, keeping spaces cool in summer and warm in winter.

Automated features of skylights

Modern skylights also boast an impressive array of new automated features ideal for any smart home. On the simpler side of technological advancements, today’s skylights can be operated by remote control in order to open or vent them on command or a preset schedule. This remote control can also be used for reflective blinds on the skylights. In addition, many of these automated venting skylights have moisture sensors which are programmed to close when they sense precipitation and can be powered by solar panels to avoid the need for additional wiring installation to enable remote-control capabilities. On the more sophisticated end of skylight technology, there are solar tracking skylights. These combine solar power and GPS technology to track the sun and reflect its light with an array of mirrors into the building for over ten hours of natural light. Like the work of skilled retaining wall contractors, a commercial skylight contractor who knows their skylights can offer lasting improvements to the way structures work with the natural environment around them.

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