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what nobody told us about skylights-a lighthearted rant

(48 Posts)
petunia Sat 14-Sep-19 08:50:32

We had two lovely skylights fitted in our extended kitchen some time ago. They are great,they let the light and sunshine flood in. When I'm burning-sorry cooking-all evidence is whisked away in a flash. When they are open, air circulates and freshens the house and brings the sound of birds singing into the room. We love them

But what nobody told us about skylights....

Light does flood into the room its true, but in the intense heat of some summers, our south facing skylights heat up the room like a furnace. This means that we had to fit blackout blinds to the glass to keep out all that lovely sunshine.

Having skylights means that there is no loft or roof space, just a gorgeous vaulted ceiling. This means that various birds who treat our gardens as home THUNDER around on the roof during the hours of daylights and with no insulting space between, sound as though they are wearing boots.

Having skylights means that when it is raining, the sound of the rain on the slanted glass always sounds torrential.

Having skylights means a complicated and difficult operation to clean them inside and out. Ladders and extending poles are involved and much swearing

And finally, what no one told us is that every flying insect that flies in during the day will spend the night battering itself to death on the glass trying to get out during the night. Each morning there will be a small pile of corpses of various wasps, flies, moths etc. to sweep up.


annsixty Sat 14-Sep-19 08:59:25

This is very similar to conservatory rooves.
The heat is the same , we have to move out in heavy rain or we can’t hear a thing and when we had blinds fitted the insects crawl behind them and die so when we open them all we can see are dead bodies in droves behind them.
At least we don’t have to clean them regularly, just get someone to do the outside occasionally to clean the green gunk off.

petunia Sat 14-Sep-19 09:39:20

annsixty- ha ha. yes.
but if someone had told you these things, would it have put you off having a conservatory?
i dont think the naked truth would have put us off skylights

Babs758 Sat 14-Sep-19 09:54:59

We have a glass roof conservatory and love the sound of the rain. Agree about the insects though!

EllanVannin Sat 14-Sep-19 10:24:56

Could be worse---a chunk of ice falling from a plane.

Culag Sat 14-Sep-19 10:44:18

My next door neighbour’s cat sometimes sits on mine, in the winter when it’s shut out. I couldn’t think what it was the first time. Must be the warmth escaping from my kitchen.

annsixty Sat 14-Sep-19 11:02:31

No I would have still have had the conservatory, we have always considered it the best money we have spent on our house.
I am sitting in it now having a coffee and deciding what to do for the rest of the day.

FlexibleFriend Sat 14-Sep-19 11:29:06

After much deliberation I had my conservatory roof replaced last year with privacy glass. Finding someone to do what I wanted was difficult but I stuck to my guns and got what I wanted. It was expensive but my Conservatory doesn't get overly hot or cold any more. I have two roof lights also in privacy glass to let the air circulate and when it rains on my vaulted roof I can barely hear it. If only I'd known how wonderful it would be I would have had it done sooner. I love my Conservatory now where as previously I liked it I now really love it.

notanan2 Sat 14-Sep-19 11:59:59

Watching with interest as currently planning my extension

Have already firmly decided against bifold doors but this thread hasnt yet talked me out of skylights....

ninathenana Sat 14-Sep-19 12:22:00

Our neighbour had his glass conservatory replaced with tiles just last week. He said it was too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

annsixty Sat 14-Sep-19 12:30:44

I have toyed with the idea of doing that but frankly at my age I don’t think it is worth the bother or the expense.
Everyone who has had it done is pleased but I have decided it “will see me out”
I am saying the same about everything these days 🤓

GrannyGravy13 Sat 14-Sep-19 12:37:38

Half of our kitchen has a vaulted ceiling with an automatic skylight so if it is open when raining it will close..........unfortunately it had been wired up wrong, we had a storm and the closed skylight opened!!!! This resulted in me running round like a maniac, trying to find the remote control to close it, but by the time I got to the switch in the garage to turn it off the rain had triggered it to re-open!

Eventually Mr,Gravy and I managed to close it whilst the other one immediately turned off the power to the unit 🤣🤣

I love sitting in the kitchen and listening to the rain on the glass overhead.

rubysong Sat 14-Sep-19 12:38:53

We had four rooflights in the house we left last year. They were a devil to clean and I was glad to see the back of them. We also replaced the conservatory roof with a solid tiled roof which made it far more year round useable.
We are contemplating an extension here with bifold doors. They would be indoors between the dining room and proposed garden room. What are the drawbacks to them?

notanan2 Sat 14-Sep-19 12:39:44

Its so hard to judge in advance how much light you will need. When I extend, the room I have now (which gets enough light) might have a long dark feel. Or maybe it will be fine with windows. So hard to judge in advance.

notanan2 Sat 14-Sep-19 12:42:40

You spend more time with them closed than open so you mostly look at the bifold frames which arent as pretty as other patio doors.

They need a lot of "dead space" kept free for them to fold out to.

Hard to fit fly beads/fly doors


"Of the moment" which means they will soon look dated.

Nannyxthree Sat 14-Sep-19 13:16:34

I agree about the difficulty to clean skylights, and the flies. Also spiders seem to love them. However, I like the extra light they provide and the cat likes to sit on the slope and watch me through the window!

lemongrove Sat 14-Sep-19 13:24:17

We used to have a really nice utility room with a skylight, and yes, they are a nuisance to keep clean, but worth it for the light and sunshine.
Thankfully this year not so many flies around, but I enjoy the conservatory more in Autumn Winter and early Spring, when the windows can be kept closed, no dust or insects.

FlexibleFriend Sat 14-Sep-19 13:51:38

Self cleaning glass seems to be working so far despite the birds best efforts.

petunia Sat 14-Sep-19 19:11:26

i hope this hasnt put anyone off skylights. in spite of my rant, i do love them. when the sun is fierce and we shut the blinds, the room is gloomy and dull.
i love them so much i am constantly plotting where i can squuze in another skylight

Amagran Sun 15-Sep-19 09:10:16

I know what you mean, Petunia. Are you sure that your skylight windows don't swivel to make cleaning easier? With mine, I open the window slightly and then pull on a bar at the hinge end of the skylight.

petunia Sun 15-Sep-19 09:18:20

hi amagran
yes they do swivel, but they are high up in the vault. its ladder or stilts for me

Hetty58 Sun 15-Sep-19 09:26:42

It sounds like somebody could make a good living just with a 'skylight cleaning round'! I have light tubes but the window cleaner does the outside as there's no way I'm going on the roof!

jpren6 Sun 15-Sep-19 09:40:54

have just had skylights put in my new kitchen extension this summer have not yet had any complaints love the extra light does get quite hot so i open french doors and then they swell in the heat and i cant close them until they cool down

sarahellenwhitney Sun 15-Sep-19 09:54:02

What nobody told us hmm.Did you ask??What ifs / how can we etc etc are questions that need answers before you invest in anything new.

4allweknow Sun 15-Sep-19 09:59:55

I had a glass roof on my conservatory and the glass is nowhere as noisy as the plastic roofs. Had luxaflex pleated blinds fitted and they too were good. Eventually had one of those roof replacements as it was the cold in winter I didn't like. No window in the roof as my main concern which was probably from a different time, was leaks. They were notorious for them. The new roof makes a huge difference and I can use the conservatory all year round now. Have to agree about the noise from birds though, they do seem to clatter about at times.