There’s nothing like stringing Christmas lights to get up you up close and personal with the condition of your roof. And the status of your life insurance policy (but that’s for another post).
As Northwesterners, we know we’re not called “The Evergreen State” for nothing. We also know all that lush greenery is green for a very specific reason: precipitation. Lots of it. Gallons, in fact.
Just last year, the rainfall amounts for Puget Sound area was a whopping 43.51 inches. (just for comparison’s sake, the national average rainfall for 2010 was 32.93 inches) . In 2011, we’ve already pushed past the 49.68 inch mark. Quack quack.
All that rain brings a motley crew of cloud cover, fog, and dismally gray skies, which tends to make us a bit more bummed out than your average Californian. What we need, it seems, is more light.
Which leads me to a discussion of skylights. Since I am neither a roofer nor a sky light installer, I interviewed local small business owner, Michael Haight of Haight Roofing:
Q – Everett Area Real Estate: Considering our weather pattern here in the Northwest, what are the pros/cons of skylights?
A – Haight Roofing: Here are some Pros:
- Brighten your room with natural light – creates more light than vertical windows.
- Possible energy savings by using the natural light instead of lights – Most skylights are Low E and have earned the Energy Star rating. Low E is a coating that absorbs IR light.
- Changes the look of your ceiling.
- Could increase the value of your home.
- Increase ventilation with opening skylights.
- Privacy – a lot of the homes are being built so close to one another that trying to provide light with privacy has become an issue. Skylights can give you light from above, which is especially important in bathrooms.
And Possible Cons:
- New skylights demand a hole in the roof – Potential for leak.
- Another window that needs cleaning!
Q – Everett Area Real Estate: What difficulties do skylights pose to new roof installation?
A – Haight Roofing: Some of the common problems with a new skylight install are:
- Placement of the skylight – Constraints on the roof may prohibit the desired placement of the skylight.
- Size – A homeowner may want a certain size but due to roof constraints a smaller skylight may be the only way to go. Depending on the size of the skylight, rafters may need cutting, creating further carpentry.
Q – Everett Area Real Estate: What type/kind of skylights do you recommend?
A – Haight Roofing: The three skylights that we use are:
- Western Skylights– Locally made in Kent, 10 year material warranty.
- Velux Skylights – Nationally produced, 20 year material warranty and a 10 year installation warranty.
- SolaTube– Nationally produced, 10 year warranty.
Q – Everett Area Real Estate: How difficult is it to get rid of a skylight and roof over the top?
A – Haight Roofing: Removing an existing skylight on the roof top, can be a large undertaking and should only be done by a licensed roofing professional. This job would require removing the existing roofing material around the skylight, removing the skylight and skylight curb, installing new sheathing-1×4’s or plywood, and installing new roofing material.
Michael Haight also included a handy list from Velux titled, “How to choose a skylight”:
Step 1 – Check your roof pitch and roofing material to verify that it works with your intended products.
Step 2 – Choose the ideal product category: Electric Opening skylights, Manual Opening skylights, Fixed skylights, Glass or Acrylic skylights or Tubular skylights.
Step 3 – Identify your ceiling style and optimal size configuration.
Step 4 – Select your glazing type (traditional skylights only): Tempered, Laminated, Impact or Low E.
Step 5 – Select your sun screening accessories: Blind options, everything from blackout blinds to venetian blinds.
Step 6 – Select your controls: There are a variety of electric and manual controls to operate venting skylights and blinds.
Locally owned and operated, Larry Haight’s Residential Roofing is fully licensed and bonded. The company is a member of the Western States Roofing Contractors Association and The Roofing Contractors Association of Washington. They have served thousands of homeowners in the past 26 years, has experienced crews, and gives free roofing estimates. If you need an estimate for a new roof, new gutters or a roof tune-up, give them a call at one of their offices: Redmond (425) 881-9771, Bellevue (425) 454-6550, or Issaquah (425) 392-5002. Their Redmond office is open Monday—Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and on Saturday by appointment.
My name is Joni Kerley, Snohomish County real estate agent – feel free to contact me (425-343-4545) with your real estate needs. And be careful when you’re putting up Christmas lights!
Image used courtesy of stock.xchng