Tag Archives: commercial skylights

5 Kitchen Trends for Your Next Home Remodel

kitchen skylight-Mares Dow

Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen may be the one area that requires the most light. However, keeping the kitchen bright can cause an increase in your energy and lighting costs. What’s the solution? How about kitchen skylights?

Home remodeling contractors love skylights because of modern design, easy installation, and energy efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at 5 kitchen trends for your next home remodel. Let these captivating kitchen ideas light up your room!

Single, Slender Skylight

If you have a narrow, long kitchen, you may think that there is no room for a skylight. However, the solution is to install a single, slender skylight that spans the room. Long skylights give you plenty of sunlight with balanced illumination that spreads across all four walls and the floor. 

A residential or commercial skylight contractors can easily install a single glass panel into the framework. Best of all, a single skylight makes your kitchen look more spacious. You will love the results!

Trendy Trusses

A current trend in home remodeling is adaptive reuse of existing structures in older homes. For instance, you can create a unique skylight design by preserving the trusses that are already a part of your roof’s framework. Trusses provide stability while giving your skylight an added dimension.

You can either paint the trusses to match your ceiling and skylight or stain them, allowing the natural wood color to complement the other elements of the room.  Trusses offer an affordable option that requires little effort to renovate.

Vaulted Ceilings

Vaulted ceilings create the perfect backdrop for skylights. With elevated design, a vaulted ceiling allows more light into the room while channeling the light in a specific direction. Since the ceilings are often taller, you have more room to expand the windows across a larger ceiling.

The skylights can stand out as a distinct architectural feature while enhancing both the ceiling and the rest of the kitchen. They create an ambiance that cannot be matched by interior lighting.

Match the Skylights with Other Elements

From shapes to shades, skylights present an opportunity to add a decorative element to your kitchen’s layout. For instance, if you have a largely symmetrical kitchen design, home remodeling contractors can install glass that is square or rectangular in shape. Curved lines may call for glass that has a round shape.

In addition, you can also enhance the skylights with bold colors, patterns, or textures around the framework. Add shades that match your countertops, flooring, or décor. When it comes to designing your skylights, the ‘sky’ is the limit.

Add Framework

Just like windows or door glass, skylights offer an opportunity for you to get a little creative with framework patterns and designs. Thin trim adds a subtle touch while providing structural integrity to the glass. Big, bold frames become a part of the overall skylight concept and command attention.

Like trusses, you can customize your framework to match or complement both the glass and your kitchen design. The options are endless. Home remodeling contractors can design and install your framework to your exact specifications.

Contact Your Home Remodeling Contractors in Concord, CA

Mares & Dow offer quality construction and home improvement services for homeowners in Concord and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our skylight products and services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your skylight needs.

3 Limitations of Commercial Skylights and How to Avoid Them

commercial-skylights-Mares Dow

If you have read the ample literature and research on the benefits of commercial skylights for property owners and building occupants, you are likely wondering why skylights aren’t installed on every building. There are several historical limitations to skylights, but with today’s technology, there are also ways to avoid those shortcomings. Here is a look at some of the problems that plague commercial skylights and the ways innovations in skylight technology have worked to overcome them. 

“Leaky” skylights

One common anxiety with skylights is that they will compromise the integrity of the roof and let the various outdoor elements penetrate the building. If water does enter the skylight or condensation builds up, the unwanted moisture is not only a nuisance but it can also create opportunities for mold growth. Because leaky skylights have been a real problem in the past, today’s skylight models have devoted a great deal of effort to the design, engineering, and installation practices of skylights to combat this issue. Modern skylight frames and flashing are designed and tested to withstand heavy precipitation and extreme weather, while some brands have developed condensation wicking systems to mitigate interior moisture buildup. 

Surface area requirements

In order for commercial skylights to provide a consequential amount of daylight to building interiors, they can require a great deal of roof surface area. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), a nonprofit organization that certifies and rates skylights for their energy efficiency, estimates that for traditional flat skylights to provide adequate lighting they will need to occupy 7 to 10 percent of your roof space. This surface area requirement can present challenges for commercial skylight installers on buildings that don’t have that space to spare or have difficult-to-work-around roof contours and dimensions. The demands on roof surface area, however, can be lessened with some of the newer products available today. Sun tube skylights, for example, occupy significantly less space than traditional skylights while transmitting a comparable amount of natural light. These skylights are also more versatile in terms of roof placement, as they can funnel light down their reflective tubes to interior spaces that otherwise would not be able to benefit from a skylight directly overhead. 

Heat loss and gain

In the past, commercial skylights have also been the culprit in creating a heavy workload for a building’s HVAC system as it works overtime to compensate for the heat lost and gained through skylights. This can end up being a pricey unintended consequence. However, many of today’s skylights have addressed this issue by using better materials and offering Low-E coatings. A skylight that uses a Low-E coating on the glazing can reflect heat in the form of infrared and ultraviolet rays away from the interior while still transmitting the same amount of natural light. For skylights that minimize heat loss and gain, you’ll want to look for a low U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient on its performance rating. 

Mares & 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!

How to Choose the Right Commercial Skylight Contractor

How to Choose the Right Commercial Skylight Contractor-commercial skylight-Mares Dow

 

Once you’ve decided to invest in commercial skylights for your business or property, it’s important to find the right contractor for the job. Just as you would research and vet for other structurally significant projects like retaining wall contractors, a skilled commercial skylight installer is key for the integrity of the finished product. When it comes to selecting your contractor, you can approach the process as you would for other positions in your business: research your options, conduct interviews, and choose the candidate who offers the best value. 

Research your options

One of the first steps in your research process is to define your objectives. This will help you to determine which commercial skylight contractors are viable options for your project needs. When outlining your objectives, consider your timeline, budget, and any unique project specifications, such as particular skylight brands you would like to use or known challenges for installation. Once you have put these items together, cast your net for local contractors. It can be helpful to ask other trusted contractors or vendors in your network who they recommend to start building your list. Some skylight brands such as Velux also provide a directory of vetted skylight specialists who provide installation and contracting services locally. 

Interview for the job

Now that you have a list of potential contractors, you can begin the interview process. As you discuss your project with them, be sure to communicate your budget, timeline, and skylight preferences and do a walk-through of your property. The site visit is helpful for the contractor to get a clear idea of what the installation process will entail and how it will impact your operations, and it is helpful for you as the contractor may be able to provide new insights and ideas for the project. An experienced contractor will be able to tell you what to expect from the installation process and offer references from previous customers. It is a good idea to follow up on these references, either by reaching out by phone or visiting the property to see the skylights for yourself. Testimonials from happy clients can tell you a lot about both the quality of the contractor’s work and their level of professionalism throughout the project. 

Find the best value

From the contractors you interviewed, select two or three and request bids for the project. While the tendency may be to go with the lowest bid, the quoted price is not the best primary metric for evaluation. A low bid can be a red flag for cutting corners with the quality of the materials or with job-site safety, or for tacking on expenses once the project has started. Look for the proposal that best aligns with your project needs and displays an attention to detail in the breakdown of the cost of materials, labor, the contractor’s take home, and other expenses. 

 

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our skylight contractors can help you with your next project. Contact us today to get started!

Why commercial skylights can benefit your office

Commercial Skylights - Mares Dow

 

Many of us spend a large percentage of our day at our places of work. For this reason, many employers strive for their offices to be comfortable and conducive to productivity, all while keeping an eye on the business’s bottom line. Commercial skylights can help in this balancing act, bringing several benefits that positively impact the whole office. 

 

Saves on utility costs

Commercial skylights are a very efficient way to reduce the money your office spends on utility bills. For many businesses, the amount they pay for lighting and HVAC usage can seem like an immovable number – but it doesn’t have to be that way. With commercial skylights, businesses can benefit from natural light and outdoor air circulation, and the reduced energy usage and costs that come with leveraging these free natural resources. Modern skylights are designed to capture and diffuse maximum daylight, even during the low light hours of the day when the sun isn’t overhead. Additionally, there are venting skylight models that can exchange trapped indoor heat with cooler outdoor air, reducing reliance on air conditioning systems to create comfortable indoor temperatures. 

 

Promotes employee wellbeing

Natural light is a well-known contributor to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of every individual. It is our primary source of Vitamin D and the main regulator of our internal clock, as well as a trigger for the brain’s release of serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone that helps a person feel calm and focused. Studies show that those who benefit from natural light at work sleep better at night and experience less absenteeism. This, in turn, benefits their employers who report greater productivity and creativity within their teams. With all these advantages of exposure to natural light during the workday, commercial skylights are a logical choice for healthier and happier employees. 

 

Provides a simple solution

You don’t have to purchase and install a complicated building energy management system to achieve the benefit of energy savings, and you don’t have to redesign your workplace with floor-to-ceiling windows on every exterior wall to achieve the health benefits of natural light. Commercial skylights are a simple solution that can help you realize all these benefits without breaking your budget in the process. Furthermore, there are multiple types of skylight solutions that can be designed to fit your unique business needs. Whether you are looking for standard domed skylights, commercial Sun Tunnels for your dropped ceilings, or modular skylights tailored to your building, there is a commercial skylight solution that can achieve your goals, simply and efficiently. 

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