Posted by VELUX Skylights on April 1, 2021

Replace or Board Up? What to Do With That Old Skylight


You know that old Shakespeare quote, "Some homes are built with skylights, some homeowners install skylights later, and some homeowners have skylights thrust upon them."


Okay, so The Bard's original quote was about greatness. But today we're talking about homeowners who have found themselves with skylights that they may not want to keep, so we gave the quote an update.


So, you bought a house with old skylights. Now what?

Instead of choosing to install skylights, many homeowners buy homes with skylights already installed. For some, this is an exciting asset to their new home. For others, skylights can be seen as a hassle. And if you've bought a house with an old skylight model that is leaking or falling apart or discolored plastic, we can see why you may be eager to get rid of it. So, what's the plan? Do you replace or board up that old skylight?


First Things First...

Even old and discolored skylights provide more natural light than no skylights at all. And chances are you may already rely on that extra light throughout the day without realizing it. So, before you make any plans to board it up, make sure you can live without that natural light.


On the roof, cover your skylight with a tarp. Or if you'd rather the neighbors not see, rig up a blanket to cover it from the inside. Blocking out the natural light will help you get a sense of what life will be like if you board up your skylight.


Decide If You Really Want to Lose that Natural Light

For many homeowners, the tarp trick is a quick way to realize they don't want to lose the natural light coming through their skylight. Typically, they've grown accustomed to that added light, and anything less leaves the space feeling especially dim. So, instead of boarding the skylight up, they look into replacement options — many of which feature structural and technological upgrades that make living with a skylight feel like a luxury rather than a chore.


The Perks of Replacements

We may be biased, but there are perks that come with upgrading your skylight instead of boarding it up:

  • Keep the natural light. It's brighter, easier on the eyes, and it helps the colors in your decor look their very best. Plus, it helps cut down your artificial lighting use, bringing that electric bill down along with it.
  • Add some natural ventilation. Replacing a fixed skylight with a venting skylight (one that opens) adds fresh air to your home in addition to natural light. This can help keep the air in your home cleaner and healthier.
  • Add light control. With a new VELUX Skylight replacement, you can also get preinstalled shades or blinds to control how much light comes through your skylight throughout the day.
  • Easy, remote light control. Shades and venting skylights aren't new, but the way to control them has evolved. In addition to remote controls that operate skylights and blinds without a turn crank or control rod, VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO lets you operate them right from your phone.
  • Increased energy efficiency. In addition to reducing your electric light use, new skylights equipped with Smart Home Technology can help increase your home's overall energy efficiency by automatically opening and closing skylights and shades to create an ideal home environment.

In addition to these perks, skylight replacements are a fairly simple and straightforward home project. If you've decided to stay on the light side and upgrade your skylights, a VELUX expert can walk you through the entire process in a free virtual design consultation.