Pembroke: Skylights or Roof windows – which is right for me?

By: Gabriel Fiorini

In our last post we discussed the basics of natural light products and some of the main reasons to consider them.  So you might be considering if a Skylight or a Roof window would be a better fit for you. Today I wanted to go over the two major categories of natural light products —skylights and roof windows. Both are quite similar. Both provide a flat, window-like glass opening in the roof that allows light in and permits a view of the sky.

Velux Top Hinged Roof Windows

Roof windows are suitable in situations where the window is situated within easy reach, as to open them one simply grasps the window itself and hinges it outward. They are available with top hinges, center pivots, and side hinges. When side hinges are employed, roof windows provide access to the roof for maintenance and/or emergency egress. Velux roof-windows also have a ventilation flap which can be opened while the window itself is closed, to provide fresh air without letting in water or compromising security.

Skylights are probably a more familiar option, and are available in many sizes and several different styles.

VELUX Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylight

VELUX Solar Powered “Fresh Air” Skylight

Velux skylight options include:

  1. fixed,
  2. manual-opening,
  3. wired electric,
  4. solar electric styles.


Fixed skylights do not open; all else being equal they are the simplest and least expensive style of skylight, and make sense in situations where ventilation is not needed.

Manual-opening skylights open with a hand crank, which may be in the form of a removable extension rod for skylights that are up out of reach.

Wired electric skylights have a motor which is wired to the home’s wiring system, and come with a remote control which is used both to open and close the skylight and also to operate any blinds which may be installed.

Solar electric skylights are similar to wired electric ones, but their power comes from a small integrated solar panel and battery pack. This simplifies installation of the skylight (speeding the installation process and reducing overall cost) and also makes them eligible for a 30% tax refund. When this refund is taken into account, solar electric skylights are only slightly more expensive than fixed ones and are generally cheaper than manual-opening or wired electric skylights.

Velux electric skylights of both types have a rain sensor that closes open skylights automatically if it begins to rain.

Hopefully this answers all the questions that have about through-roof natural lighting products, but if not please feel free to reach out to our team here at Almar Building & Remodeling to discuss how we can help you with your home remodeling needs.

Our team has been working with families like yours for over 57 years. And it is important to us that everyone works together to create the best possible experience. If you have questions about your home improvement project please let us know. (781-826-2577) and watch our videos at


Almar Building & Remodeling Co (Hanover Ma). As a third generation family owned and operated company for over 50 years Almar Building has all the benefits of a small company with the options of a larger company. From Additions, Kitchens, Bathroom, Basement Renovations, Siding, Windows, to Doors Almar services the entire South Shore of Massachusetts including: Hanover, Hingham, Pembroke, Norwell, Scituate, Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanson, Abington, Rockland, Holbrook, Braintree, Weymouth, Milton, and many more towns. Skylights or Roof windows – which is right for me?

Craig Guido

With 20 years of remodeling experience both in the field and working in collaboration with homeowners to develop remodeling projects designed to fit your lifestyle.