Never underestimate the importance of natural light. You should never buy a house with poor natural light because once you’re in, you can’t do anything about it. Only you can. You can cut a big hole in your ceiling and whack in a skylight or two! That’s what we’ve done recently and the transformation has been so big I still can’t get over it. We are thrilled with the outcome and I’m wondering if I should change my job to skylight saleswoman!
This is what I’m talking about! Now this was always a lovely big room and we were pretty happy with it in here. Apart from the natural light which was horrendous! We have lovely light in the kitchen/dining area but in here? We had those chandeliers on all day every day and believe me, we needed all 18 globes! Much as I love those pendant lights, I didn’t love having permanent warm yellow electric light in the daytime. But without it, it was dingy. And if there’s another thing I hate it’s dinginess! So I just left those lights on all the time. The following before photo make it look better than it actually was but you get the picture.
Seriously though, it was really getting me down. In our discussions of how long we would stay in this house, it always came up as one of the things that still made me want to move. We talked about skylights on and off for years. If only we had done it sooner!
I didn’t realise how many added bonuses there would be to these skylights though. It’s so much more than just letting more light in. The feeling of increased height and openness in the room is undeniable, not to mention it’s also a great new design feature in our biggest room.
All the colours (and there’s a lot in here!) now pop and the light feels so clean and bright and well, natural! And seeing the sky and the clouds, and the tall trees across the road is lovely. Not to mention the sound of the rain on them!
Because these VELUX skylights open (one is automatic and solar powered and the second manual), they let in a fantastic breeze which cools the room down on a hot day and is great for ventilation. Get the right window open at the back of the house and it creates great airflow. I never considered what a bonus this would be until we had it.
We also have blinds on them and this was strongly encouraged by our installers, Shire Skylights, mainly to prevent the potential for glare on the TV (opposite the modular) on a sunny day. You can obviously also use them to prevent it getting too hot or bright at any time. The blinds are automatic and solar-powered and you can close them partially or fully. And of course there’s flyscreens, which really don’t look obvious, but do the job of keeping dreaded flies out!
Let’s get to the really clever stuff though: VELUX Active and its app! Smart sensors continuously monitor the temperature, humidity and CO2 levels in your home and open or close your electric or solar-powered VELUX skylights to create a healthier indoor climate. Now we can use the app on our phones to open or close the window and/or blinds and we can personalise the settings too. For example, ours is set to open every three hours throughout the day for airing. If it rains, don’t worry, the skylight will automatically close! Get too bright? The blinds will automatically close. This all blows my mind! This is an optional extra with your skylight.
Another great surprise was the ease and speed of the install. For anyone who missed it on my Stories, I strongly encourage you to watch the entire process which I saved in my highlights, in just a few minutes.
It was incredible to watch; at first a little nerve-wracking as they cut a huge hole in my ceiling and I could see the sky, but it then became fascinating and super impressive! I didn’t get much work done that morning. I say morning because the whole thing happened in just over four hours, including sheeting! The plasterers then came in the afternoon, came back a day later to sand, and then I waited a bit longer for my painter to be available. Incredibly fast!
So, the question you all want to know: how much does something like this cost? The answer is around $10,000 including install, blinds, the VELUX Active setup, the solar power and the electrician. This is obviously an all-singing, all-dancing scenario and the costs are considerably less if you choose for them to be fixed for example (non-opening). Shire Skylights offer entry level VELUX skylights installed for around the $2,000 mark.
If all this has you wanting to cut a big hole in your roof too, the good news is that The Skylight Warehouse have a competition over on their Instagram feed where you could win a $1,000 voucher so head on over and enter by this Friday 23 October 2020, it’s super simple. The Skylight Warehouse is an online store selling skylights. They’re a premium VELUX dealer and they are their preferred product. They also manufacture and supply custom flashings for every roof type.
Their sister company, Shire Skylights, installed our skylights at lightening fast speed! They service Southern and Eastern Sydney and if they don’t service your area, they can still sell you the skylight and recommend a local installer.
After photography by Jacqui Turk