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  Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about traditional, VELUX, and tubular skylights.

 Traditional Skylights   Intro to Traditional Skylights

Do you install skylights?
No. We are a skylight manufacturer and distributor. Hopefully, we can refer you to a qualified installer or roofer in your area.

What is the difference between acrylic plastic and Plexiglas?
None. Plexiglas is a brand name for acrylic plastic. Another popular brand name is Lucite.

Why are Plexiglas bubbles so popular as skylights?
Plexiglas bubble skylights are light, efficient, and inexpensive. They are particularly well-suited to flat roof installations since they shed water so well and gather light from many angles. Their light weight makes them easy to get up on the roof. Often the bubble shape allows for increased head room. They are quite modern in appearance and may not be suitable in certain architectural environments.

Why a bubble and not flat Plexiglas?
Forming Plexiglas into a bubble shape dramatically increases the strength of the flat sheet of plastic and helps to eliminate expansion and contraction, which can be detrimental or fatal to a skylight over time.

What are the color choices in Plexiglas bubble skylights?
Clear, white translucent, and solar bronze tinted plastic are the three primary choices.

What if I want a flat skylight?
For any flat skylight the optimal material is glass. Any glass skylight we manufacture for you will be composed of safety glass.

What kind of safety glass do you use?
Most glass skylights will be composed of tempered safety glass or laminated safety glass or a combination of the two. We also manufacture skylights of clear or obscure wired glass. Your local building codes will indicate what type of safety glass is required.

What is the difference between tempered glass and laminated glass?
Tempered glass is heat-strengthened glass like the glass in your shower doors and patio doors. It is very strong, but, if it breaks, it explodes into thousands of tiny pieces. The side windows of most cars are tempered. Laminated glass is glass with a plastic interlayer which is designed to hold in place when it breaks. The front windshield of your car is laminated. In the San Francisco Bay Area, where we are located, building codes call for laminated glass as the interior piece of glass on any glass skylight, other than wired glass units. Laminated glass has the extra advantage in that it is a very effective block of ultraviolet light which is the leading cause of fading.

What is "Low-E" glass?
More and more skylights are being made of Low-E (for low emissivity) glass. Low-E glass was originally developed for energy efficiency, but it has the additional benefit of blocking heat gain as well as heat loss through a skylight. It provides a very comfortable light without darkening the skylight such as in the use of tinted glass. Either tempered glass or laminated glass can have a Low-E feature included. There is also Low-E2 (or Low-E squared) for even greater benefits. It is a denser version of Low-E which is slightly darker in appearance and was designed for even greater thermal efficiency.

Can my skylights open for ventilation?
Yes. All the skylights we make can be made to open for ventilation either through manual means (hand crank or pole operation) or electrical activation.

I bought a fixed (or non-openable) skylight from you. Can it be made to open?
Yes. Our skylights were specifically designed to be converted to opening units if the customer changes his mind. The skylight must be brought in to the shop and can usually be converted for a reasonable charge.

Can skylights be removed from the roof once they have been installed?
Yes. Properly installed skylights can be removed if they are curb-mounted.

What are curb-mounted skylights?
Curb-mounted skylights are the most common of all skylights. A curb is simply a wood box that is build higher than the roof and sealed to become part of the roof. The skylight is then dropped over the curb and attached from the outside.

Are there any other shapes available in Plexiglas and glass?
Yes. We manufacture pyramid and double-hip shapes in either material.

 Other FAQs 
 VELUX Skylights   Intro to VELUX Skylights

Do you install VELUX skylights?
No. We are a skylight manufacturer and distributor. Hopefully, we can refer you to a qualified installer or roofer in your area.

Why VELUX skylights?
VELUX is a sophisticated skylight system with wood and glass units in fixed, manually operable, and electrically operable configurations.

Why buy them from you?
Because we are one of America's leading dealers of the VELUX system. We have over twenty years experience with this product and we offer them at substantial discounts backed by years of sales expertise.

What makes them different?
Most of the product line is a deck-mount system. In other words, no skylight curb is required. They are only available in Low-E squared glass.

Are curb-mounted units available?
Yes. They have recently added curb-mounted units in a few sizes. These units are fixed only. Openable units are not available. These skylights are fabricated of aluminum and plastic and do not have wood interiors like the rest of the VELUX line.

What if I want to shade my VELUX skylight?
VELUX offers a complete line of sunscreening accessories which can be added during or after installation.

What makes VELUX so special?
They are the leading skylight manufacturer in the world. They make an excellent product at exceptionally fair prices.

What are the drawbacks?
VELUX units only come in certain sizes. They will make custom sizes, but they are expensive and take a long time to obtain. There are certain roof situations where they are not recommended. They only offer limited choices in the kind of glass available.

Can they be shipped to me?
We have shipped VELUX skylights around the world and to most of the fifty states. We are the exclusive VELUX dealer to Birchwood Homes, a leading custom and tract home builder in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.

 Other FAQs 
 Tubular Skylights   Intro to Tubular Skylights

Do you install tubular skylights?
No. We are a skylight manufacturer and distributor. Hopefully, we can refer you to a qualified installer or roofer in your area.

Why tubular skylights?
Tubular skylights are an inexpensive option when you are seeking to highlight an area with natural light. They are quick and economical to install because they do not require the construction fo a skylight shaft from the roof to the ceiling below. Although they lack the drama of traditional skylights, they may be the right solution for you if you are interested in adding natural light to a small area such as a closet or hallway, or a small bathroom.

What do they look like?
Imagine a light fixture that radiates natural light instead of incandescent or fluorescent light.

Can they function as light fixtures at night?
Yes. There are kits available so you can use your tubular skylight as an artificial light fixture as well. There are also kits available so they can provide ventilation by adding a fan option.

What sizes are available?
We have been selling tubular skylights for over seven years, since they were first introduced. The most popular sizes have been 10", 13" and 14" models.

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