Skylights: Your Questions Answered
Skylights can add an expert finish to anything from a converted attic to a commercial building looking to add more light to an interior space. In Ireland, skylights are increasingly popular. If you’re thinking of installing skylights on your property, it’s natural that you’ll have questions.
As one of Ireland’s best installers of quality skylights, we often get questions on this home improvement. To make this information easier to find, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions we get asked and included in-depth answers. If you're curious, please read on, and we invite you to call us with any additional enquiries you may have.
In Ireland, do skylights require planning permission?
In Ireland, planning permission for skylights is not always required, but there are exceptions, such as:
- Permitted Development: In some cases, skylights might fall under "permitted development," meaning you can install them without formal planning permission. However, there are limits on their size, placement, and the overall amount of roof space that can be altered before requiring permission. If your proposed skylight installation conforms to these limits, you might not need planning permission.
- Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings: More stringent regulations might exist if your property is in a conservation area or a listed building. Small changes to the appearance of these buildings require planning permission.
- Protected Structures: Like listed buildings, protected structures have additional restrictions. Alterations like adding skylights could require planning permission.
- Building Regulations: Even if you don't need planning permission, you may still need to comply with building regulations. These regulations ensure that the skylight installation is safe and doesn't adversely affect the structural integrity of the building or its energy efficiency.
- Neighbourhood Considerations: Local planning authorities sometimes consider skylights’ impact on neighbouring properties. If the skylight could block views or affect privacy, it might raise issues requiring planning permission.
We can access your property and advise if your skylights require planning permission.
How long do skylights last?
The lifespan of skylights can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the skylight itself, the materials used, the installation quality, weather conditions, and how well they are maintained. Here are some general guidelines for different types of skylights:
- Quality and Materials: High-quality skylights made from durable materials will likely have a longer lifespan. Skylights made from tempered glass, acrylic, or polycarbonate are more durable and long-lasting.
- Installation Quality: Proper installation is crucial for the longevity of skylights. If skylights are not installed correctly, they might be more prone to leaks, drafts, and other issues that can shorten their lifespan.
- Weather Conditions: The climate and weather conditions can affect the lifespan of skylights.
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of skylights. Keeping them clean, checking for any signs of damage or deterioration, and promptly addressing any issues can help them last longer.
- Type of Skylight: Different types of skylights have varying lifespans. Fixed skylights (those that don't open) generally have fewer moving parts and can last longer. Operable skylights (those that can be opened and closed) might have more components that could require maintenance or replacement over time.
We always install our skylights to the highest standards and use the best materials to ensure longevity.
How to stop condensation on skylights?
Condensation on skylights can be a common issue. Here are some steps you can take to help reduce or prevent condensation on skylights:
- Improve Ventilation: Proper ventilation is essential to reduce humidity levels inside your home. Ensure your living space is adequately ventilated, especially in areas prone to moisture buildup, like bathrooms and kitchens.
- Use Dehumidifiers: If you notice high humidity levels in your home, using a dehumidifier can help remove excess moisture from the air, reducing the likelihood of condensation on your skylights.
- Open Windows and Doors: Periodically opening windows and doors can help improve air circulation and reduce humidity levels inside your home.
- Use Exhaust Fans: Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens can help remove moisture-laden air, reducing overall humidity levels.
- Maintain Consistent Temperatures: Avoid significant temperature differences between day and night by maintaining a relatively consistent indoor temperature. This can help prevent the warm indoor air from rapidly cooling and creating condensation on the skylights.
- Check for Leaks: Ensure that your skylights are properly sealed and not allowing water to leak through, as this can contribute to excess moisture and condensation. Or call us for a professional inspection.
- Monitor Humidity Levels: A hygrometer monitors indoor humidity levels. Ideally, indoor humidity should be between 30% and 50% to prevent excessive condensation.
What factors affect the cost of skylight installations?
The cost of skylight installations can vary based on several factors. Here are some of the critical factors that can influence the overall expense:
- Type of Skylight: There are various skylights, including fixed, operable, flat, domed, and tubular. Each class has different features and installation complexities, which can impact the cost.
- Size and Number of Skylights: Larger skylights generally require more materials and labour for installation. Additionally, the overall cost will increase if you're installing multiple skylights.
- Materials and Quality: The quality of the skylight and the materials used in its construction can significantly affect the cost. High-quality skylights made from durable materials might be more expensive upfront but can offer better longevity and performance.
- Installation Complexity: The complexity of the installation process can impact the cost. For example, installing a skylight on a sloped or intricate roof might require more time and expertise, leading to higher labour costs.
- Roof Type: The roofing material you have can affect the installation process and cost. Different roofing materials (such as shingles, metal, or tile) require specific methods for sealing and flashing around the skylight.
- Location: The location of the skylight within your home can influence the installation cost. For instance, installing a skylight in a hard-to-reach area might require specialised equipment and additional labour.
- Labour Costs: Labor costs can vary based on factors such as the installer’s skill level, local labour rates, and the complexity of the installation.
- Roof Access: Easy access to the roof can reduce installation costs, whereas difficult-to-reach roofs might require additional equipment and labour, increasing the overall cost.
- Additional Features: Some skylights have extra features like motorised blinds or shading systems, which can increase costs.
- Permits and Regulations: Obtaining necessary licenses and adhering to local building regulations can add to the overall cost.
- Warranty and Maintenance: Higher-quality skylights often have better warranties and might require less maintenance, impacting the long-term cost.
- Optional Accessories: Additional accessories such as flashing kits, trim, or interior finishes can contribute to the overall cost.
Depending on your unique needs, we can offer you a complete skylight installation quote that includes materials and labour.
If you want to learn more about skylights or request an installation quote, please get in touch with Emerald Windows Ltd. today.