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The Benefits of Skylights in Barndominium Roofing [Simply Explained]

Imagine waking up in your barndominium with a soft natural light, gently illuminating your space without flipping a single switch.

Yes, we are talking about the skylights!

But what makes skylights such a coveted feature?

Let’s examine their benefits from multiple angles and explore whether they suit with the barndominium.

Top benefits of skylights

Below are the positive sides of installing skylights in your roof!

Skylight advantages

Natural Light keeps us healthy

Did you know that natural light can boost your mood? Yes, it’s true!

Skylights offer natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day which provides a healthier and more vibrant living environment.

This isn’t just about saving on electricity bills; it’s about enhancing your quality of life inside of your barndominium.

Natural light has also been linked to improvements in mood, increased productivity, and even better sleep patterns. It also keeps you healthy by keeping the mutual intimacy enhanced.

Its Energy Efficient

Now, you might wonder, do skylights contribute towards energy efficiency?

The answer is yes.

Modern skylights are designed with energy efficiency in mind, featuring double or triple glazing, low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings, and argon gas between panes. The composition said above effectively minimizes heat transfer.

This means they can keep your space warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You may also take advantage of the temperature-friendly roofing color to keep the indoor environment healthier.

The Aesthetic Appeal

Skylights add a unique architectural element to barndominiums.

They create visually stunning spaces filled with dynamic light and sky views. They also transform dark, unused areas into attractive spaces, enhancing the overall aesthetic and potentially increasing the property’s value.

Indirectly, this addition to your roofing can enhance the resale value by giving it an aesthetic appeal.

Whether it’s a starry night or a cloudy day, the changing sky becomes a part of your home’s interior and that is awesome.

However, not many people like watching thunderstorms as they often become scary for children and elderly persons.

A vitamin source

Exposure to natural light provided by skylights can have significant health benefits, including vitamin D absorption, which is essential for bone health and immune function.

Moreover, natural light helps regulate our circadian rhythms, leading to better sleep patterns and overall well-being. But, keep in mind that some people wake up late due to night shift and the skylights can also disrupt the morning sleep.

Building Code Considerations

When installing skylights in the USA, it’s crucial to comply with local building codes and standards, which may dictate the size, placement, and type of skylights allowed.

In Colorado, ‘The Sustainable Building Code’ wants owners to install skylights and solar panels for energy efficiency since the state sunshines 300 days a year.

These regulations ensure that skylights are installed safely, without compromising the structural integrity of your barndominium or its energy efficiency. So far, the skylight does not contradict any vital codes; however, always consult with a professional to ensure your skylight installation meets all requirements.

The Cost Factor: An Investment in Light

Installing skylights involves an upfront cost, which varies depending on the type, size, and features of the skylight, as well as the complexity of the installation. However, the investment can pay off in the long run through energy savings, enhanced property value, and the intangible benefits of a brighter, healthier living space.

On average, homeowners in the USA can expect to spend between $1,000 and $2,500 per skylight, including the unit and installation. However, for high-end, custom, or larger skylights, costs can exceed $3,000 or more.

skylight cost

Types of Skylights and Average Costs:

  • Fixed Skylights: These are non-opening skylights that provide natural light. The average cost for a fixed skylight, including installation, can range from $150 to $1,500.
  • Vented Skylights: Also known as operable skylights, these can be opened for ventilation. They typically cost between $300 and $2,500, including installation.
  • Tubular Skylights: Ideal for smaller spaces, these funnel light through a reflective tube. Installation costs generally range from $450 to $1,000.

From the sunny climates of California to the colder regions of New England, skylights have proven their worth in a variety of settings.

In Texas, for instance, homeowners have embraced skylights not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for their ability to provide passive solar heating during the mild winters, reducing the need for artificial heating.

Skylight materials

There are mainly three types of material used in roof skylights. These are:

  • Glass
  • Polycarbonate and Alternative Plastics
  • Fiberglass
Skylights fiberglass for insulation

Glass Skylights: The Gateway to Natural Splendor and Efficiency

Glass remains the top pick for skylight material, favored for its transparency and resilience. It lets in abundant natural light and provides unobstructed views of the sky, elevating the visual charm of any area.

Contemporary glass skylights are equipped with dual or triple layers, filled with inert gases and coated with low-emissivity (Low-E) substances. These innovations significantly cut down on heat movement, aiding in the stabilization of indoor climates while minimizing energy expenses.

Polycarbonate and Alternative Plastics: A Mix of Lightness and Flexibility

Opting for polycarbonate or acrylic offers a sturdy, lighter alternative to glass. These materials are exceptionally resistant to impact and can be shaped into diverse forms, supporting imaginative and versatile design ideas. Nonetheless, their light transmission and visual clarity might not rival that of glass, potentially altering the light’s quality and scenery.

While these plastics excel in thermal insulation and can be modified with UV-blocking coatings to lessen heat absorption, their thermal management capabilities may fall short of those found in high-grade, double-layered glass skylights.

Fiberglass Options: Durability Meets Soft Illumination

Fiberglass, though a less common choice for skylights, stands out for its robustness and ability to evenly diffuse light, minimizing harsh glares. However, similar to polycarbonate, it may lack the visual clarity and direct skyward connection that glass offers.

Fiberglass skylights can provide effective insulation; however, their overall energy performance is contingent on the design and the integration of any additional coatings or glazing techniques.

Fiberglass ensures a gentle, uniform light distribution, ideal for areas needing steady illumination without the direct touch of sunlight. Yet, the unique joy and psychological uplift provided by clear views of the sky are less evident than with glass.

The evolution of skylight materials now encompasses special coatings and cutting-edge technologies, like aerogel insulation or photochromic (adaptive) coatings. These advancements boost energy efficiency by offering top-notch thermal insulation or by modulating light flow based on sunlight intensity, striking a perfect harmony between the advantages of natural light and maintaining thermal comfort.

Need a Barndominium Floor Plan with skylight?

We filtered out the trending barndominiun design layouts in one place.

Technical references & standards

Skylights must comply with certain standards and codes to ensure they can withstand environmental stresses. In the United States, the following references are crucial:

  • ASTM E1886 and E1996: These standards test the performance of skylights (and other exterior windows) under windstorm conditions. Products that meet these criteria are better suited to withstand high winds and flying debris.
  • ASTM E330: This standard tests the structural performance of skylights under both static and dynamic loads, ensuring they can handle the weight of heavy snow without collapsing.
  • NFRC Ratings: The National Fenestration Rating Council provides ratings on the energy performance of skylights, including their ability to resist heat gain (solar heat gain coefficient) which is directly related to UV resistance.

The effectiveness of a skylight in resisting high UV rays, strong winds, and heavy snow loads is a direct result of its construction materials and design. Glass skylights with Low-E and UV-blocking coatings offer superior UV protection and, when tempered or laminated, provide excellent resistance to wind and snow. Plastic skylights, treated with UV-resistant coatings, offer great impact resistance but may require additional structural support for snow loads. Fiberglass options present a durable and somewhat UV-resistant choice but may lack the visual clarity of glass.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, skylights in barndominium roofing bring a harmonious blend of functionality, beauty, and efficiency. We suggest you to read thoroughly about their respective positive and negative sides with the cost you need to incurr.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper

I'm Brian, an architectural engineer from the University of Texas

Writing about barndominium is my passion. I try to bring informative and technical contents on barndominium so that the entire sourcing and construction process seems easy.

As an architectural engineer, I do have expertise of designing and building using prefabricated steel structures. Moreover, I am connected with 500+ prefabricated steel structure experts that helps me to gather and prepare the relevant information for your help.

I have experience of 250+ barndominium contrustion of which 75% are built with metal structure. Moreover, I am a trained energy audit professional, and with that specialization I can help you to bring your barndo's energy consumption at minimum level.

I hope you like my write-ups which is my greatest inspiration.

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