Dormer or Skylight? What’s the Best Choice for You

dormer or skylight
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The way you choose to light the attic is very important for the aspect and atmosphere of the rooms you have there. Even their shape can be influenced when choosing a certain lighting solution. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a dormer or skylight, personal taste being of course determinant.

A dormer is a vertical window structure built out of an inclined roof, while a skylight is an inclined window built within the roof.

Dormer or skylight? Advantages and disadvantages of the dormer

  • Dormers reduce the area of inclined walls in the attic and are easy to clean.
  • A dormer provides 30 – 40% less light than a skylight. But its height and way of installment can influence the amount and quality of light it provides.
  • As it’s a whole structure that goes out the roof, building a dormer requires extra roofing material and it’s usually more expensive that installing a regular skylight.

dormer or skylight

To make a dormer as functional as possible, follow these simple rules:

  • Allow for a window surface that’s at least 1/8 of the total room area.
  • The window sill should be placed around 35 inches high above the floor.
  • The window height should be around 50 – 60 inches.

Dormer or skylight? Advantages and disadvantages of skylights

  • A skylight allows 30 – 40% more light in than a dormer, spread more uniformly around the room.
  • Still, these windows get dirty easier and are more difficult to clean. The more inclined they are, the more difficult their maintenance is.
  • During winter they can get covered in snow, which makes lighting and airing the room difficult. In summer, on the other hand, they can cause overheating the room.
  • Skylights are a more comfortable way of having more windows one next to another, which can make a more interesting design.

dormer or skylight

Skylight recommended parameters

Since this window typically lets in more light, it may cover around 1/8 – 1/10 of the room area. If it’s too large, you’ll spend more on heating and cooling the room.

A skylight should be 35 – 43 inches wide and placed 73 – 80 inches above the floor.

Credits: dailyproject.ro, fereastraperfecta.ro, doityourself.com

Photo credits: houzz.com, dailyproject.ro

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