The most cost-effective way to introduce natural light into your home is curb mounted skylights.
You’d recognize it if you saw one. A curb-mounted skylight is one of the most common kinds installed in homes. Though, to help you form a clear picture here, without the benefit of a guided tour of your block, it may help to describe the “curb” before we get into the skylight.
The “curb” simply refers to the raised frame that extends from the roof to mount the skylight. The materials that are used to construct one and its height will depend upon the application and the location. But, for residential curb-mounted skylights, they’re generally constructed of wood and stand at least four inches high on pitched roofs and nine to 12 inches high on flat roofs. The curb is attached to the opening in the roof. Around the exterior of that joint, flashing and then a layer of shingles are installed to create a seamless, watertight fit.
The relative ease of installation of curb-mounted skylights may be their most significant benefit. They can be added to an existing roof with less time and effort than most other types of skylights, which make them a cost-effective measure for introducing natural light to a bathroom, a bedroom or even a stairwell in an older home. Some lines open, too, aiding with circulation as well.
That said, installing one of these skylights is not necessarily a DIY project, even with last weekend’s Property Brothers marathon under you. The cut for the roof opening needs to be precise to ensure a perfect seal, otherwise you’ve installed a dramatic water feature, not a skylight. And aside from the curb height, there are a number of other building codes attached to the installation. In the hands of a pro, you’re basking in sunlight the next morning. In yours, you’re peering through a big, gaping hole in your roof, which, regardless of your skillset, is never a comforting feeling.