Tag Archives: commercial skylight

Is It Possible to DIY Install a Skylight?

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If you are like many homeowners, you likely have a do-it-yourself itch when it comes to home remodeling projects. And there are many projects where a DIY sensibility can not only save you money but also provide an opportunity for your skills and creativity to shine in your handiwork. But when it comes to skylights, asking if it is possible to DIY install a skylight brings up another question: is it the best approach for the project? Here we’ll explore both those questions and weigh the cost and benefit of installing your own skylights. 

What is involved in skylight installation?

With the right tools and know-how, a person can certainly take on a skylight installation project for their own home. If you have the skillset and resources of home remodeling contractors, for example, putting in a skylight can seem like a surmountable challenge. 

There are several steps for this project, which starts with acquiring all the necessary materials. There are multiple types of skylights and some are self-flashing or come with flashing kits, which are needed for sealing the skylight against the surface of your roof. When you have chosen your skylight and gotten the materials for the installation, next you will need to identify the best place to put it. This is not as simple as deciding which space would benefit from natural light, but instead also involves finding a location that will not impact important elements of your house’s infrastructure like the roof trusses. 

Once you’ve gathered your materials and scouted your skylight location, you will need to precisely measure and cut a hole in your roof that will perfectly fit the skylight frame – because once you’ve sawed through your roof, it can’t be undone. From there you will need to remove the shingles surrounding the opening and then drop the frame and skylight in place. The process of affixing and sealing the skylight to the roof involves laying down the flashing so it is secure and waterproof and reinstalling your shingles. Applying a silicone caulk around the edge of the flashing or any joints might also be helpful to further seal the skylight. 

What is the downside of DIY skylight installation?

While the installation steps might seem straightforward, there are a few additional considerations to take into account before you cut into your roof. First, there are the safety hazards of doing significant construction work on your roof. Any costs you avoided in not hiring a professional can be quickly spent with a trip to the ER. Additionally, some older homes still have asbestos insulation in the attic that you could unknowingly and unnecessarily come in contact with when installing your skylight. Lastly, some skylight manufacturers have specific guidelines for installation, including having certified commercial skylight installers do the job. If you don’t follow the guidelines you may void your warranty, which will cost you money in the long run. 

If you are excited about doing a DIY home remodel project, skylight installation might not be the easiest or best option. But if you are excited about adding a skylight to your home, the good news is that there are professionals like Mares & Dow Construction who can help with the project. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Benefits of Natural Light

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While artificial lighting certainly has its place in commercial buildings, natural light has been shown to offer a range of benefits to building occupants. Many modern office buildings are designed around natural light for this very reason. For most of us, a majority of the daylight hours are spent in the workplace, so it’s no wonder that the desk by the window becomes the most coveted position in the office. Beyond the superficial benefit of having a nice view, employees who enjoy a good amount of natural light during their day also enjoy improved health, well-being, and productivity – while businesses simultaneously enjoy improved revenues. Read on to learn more about these benefits of natural light. 

Improved health

It is common knowledge that exposure to natural light is essential for good physical health. It is our easiest source of vitamin D, which is important for our bodies’ ability to absorb several key nutrients. Natural light is also pivotal for healthy natural sleeping patterns. Because the white light from the sun is what sets our internal clocks or circadian rhythms, those who get greater exposure to natural light tend to sleep better and longer. This has resonating health benefits as healthy sleep patterns are connected to better health overall. And improved health is an ideal outcome that not only positively impacts employees but their employers too. Something as simple as commercial skylights can potentially cut down on sick days.

Improved well-being

Vitamin D is not just necessary for good physical health, but it also impacts a person’s sense of well-being. Natural light has been shown to combat depression and elevate moods, even help with chronic pain. For employers, having a staff that is in a good mood does a lot of good in the workplace. For example, Pacific Gas & Electric studied the impact of skylights across several Walmarts in the same geographic area. The study reported that the Walmarts that had more natural light from the skylights had 40% higher sales than the Walmarts that only used fluorescent lighting. Employees and customers alike could feel the positive effects of natural light. 

Improved productivity

Employees who enjoy a good amount of natural light during their workday are more productive than those who do not. While improved health and well-being directly impact productivity in decreased sick days and elevated mood, those with natural light in their workplace also say they feel more engaged. This increased level of engagement allows employees to better focus and collaborate, getting more done with more successful outcomes. 

Improved revenues

A more productive workforce certainly has its positive impacts on revenue generation for a business, but there are other ways natural light in the workplace influences the bottom line. For anyone who has worked with home remodeling contractors to install large windows or skylights, it is no surprise that those features help to increase the home’s value. Plenty of natural light is a key selling point. The same is true for commercial buildings. Prospective tenants are more likely to pay more for a space that provides ample natural light. Additionally, building owners who install features that promote natural light experience a reduction in energy costs as building occupants don’t need to rely only on electricity to light the space. 

 

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983. We are experienced home remodeling contractors, commercial skylight experts & siding contractors. We enjoy working with homeowners & businesses to ensure their vision becomes a reality. Contact us today to get started on your next project!

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.

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