Residential Applications

Adding a skylight to your home can dramatically affect any room you choose by transforming a poorly lit, musty area into a well-ventilated space bathed in light. A well-placed skylight which will illuminate an area 20 times greater than its size and provide enough heat to lower your energy costs in the winter or naturally circulate air to cool your home in the summer, all without affecting privacy or taking up wall space. Recent improvements in glazing such as argon filled panes and Low-E (low emissivity) make skylights considerably more thermally efficient, and afford an almost unlimited array of sizes and designs in day-lighting.

Use our SKYLIGHT 101 section to learn basic skylight terminology and browse the guide below to help you select the aesthetic you want, as well as examine the glazing and framing options each unit affords you. Please don't hesitate to give us a call at (240) 621-0116, email us, or, better yet, stop in and see us and check out the largest showroom in the region if anything is unclear, or for a price quote.

  • You can always save money by purchasing a standard size.
  • Framing options include self flashing or curb mounted for almost all units, and the color of the frame is entirely your pick, though bronze or mill aluminum, or copper are considered standard.
  • You can tint either acrylic or glass almost any color as well, though bronze, gray, or white are considered standard. Choices of glass are laid out below.
  • You can have your skylights shipped directly to you.
  • All skylights come with a warranty, they range from 5 to 20 years.
  • All skylights (glass and acrylic) come double glazed or with two layers.
  • Technical data (live-load, air infiltration, U-values, shop drawings, etc, are always available and can be furnished upon request.

Basic Types


Your standard skylight, fixed (non-venting) skylights come with almost infinite glazing or framing options to suit any aesthetic, can be built to almost any size, adapt a huge variety of applications, and are impressively inexpensive.

Glazing Options: Glass, acrylic, or polycarbonate

Shown: Velux Vented Skylight


Venting skylights are a convenient and cost-effective way to provide for natural air circulation in any room in the house. You can release the hot humid air rising to your ceiling in the summer, or aerate a musty attic, kitchen, or bathroom in the winter. They come in a fully motorized electric unit operable by a wall switch or remote; or a manually venting version operable by an extension pole or hand crank.

Glazing Options: Glass, acrylic

Shown: Velux Vented Skylight

Sun Tunnels and Tubular Skylights

A particularly affordable and efficient way to light any room, Sun Tunnels are perfect for hallways, closets, or any room where a view is not needed (you can not see though a sun-tunnel). They have the added benefit of being extremely inadaptable with the flexible tubing option, and provide and easy and cost-efficient install as no light shaft is needed.

Glazing Options: Acrylic

Shown: Velux Sun Tunnel

Fixed with Flap

An ingenious and inexpensive version of a venting unit from Velux, the FSF is a hybrid that comes with a venting flap operable with extension rod at the top of the unit that is protected from weather by an extra piece of cladding (frame) on the outside of the unit. The FSF is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms or any room where limited venting is desired.

Shown: Velux Fixed with Flap

Access Hatch

This is a self-descriptively named unit designed for frequent egress (exit onto the roof from the hatch) that often incorporates sophisticated motorized operating systems (complete with options such as nitrogen cartridges, fusible links, electric thermal links, etc…) Less involved units that also allow for egress are available and perform roughly the same function at a fraction of the cost.

Glazing options: Acrylic and glass

Roof Window

For use in rooms with in-reach applications, the roof window is ideal when either maximum circulation or egress (exit via window) is desired. The spectacular Balcony Roof Window from Velux functions as a skylight, window, and balcony at once. Both units come standard with ventilation flaps, wooden interior frame, and laminated Low E safety glass.

Glazing Options: Glass


Pyramid structures offer a spectacular aesthetic, can be installed on a variety of applications, and come in several standard sizes. Due to their natural pitch and extreme angles, a pyramid will literally flood your room of choice with light. Designs are virtually unlimited, but include: single point, hip and ridge (also known as hipped ridge, single or double slopes, and lean-to’s.

Glazing options: Glass, Acrylic, Polycarbonate

Shown: Starlight Pyramid

Circular and Segmented Domes

Another dramatic and entirely unique effect, circular shaped skylights can be made to fit some very unusual spaces, and of course provide their own pitch and some very unique angles.

Glazing options: Acrylic

Continuous Domes

Barrel Vaults, Half Rounds, and Quarter Rounds - A relatively inexpensive way to provide an a tremendously unique aesthetic, domed vaults incorporate a glazed cylindrical surface and gabled ends to create a large natural pitch and extreme angles that will bathe any room in light.

Glazing options: Acrylic

Shown: American Barrel Vault

Ridge Lights and Ridge Mounts

A dramatic way to incorporate skylights into the center of your roof, Ridge units can be built to almost any size and applied to a suprisingly wide range of pitches. There is some overlap here in terminology, so don’t be thrown off if single or double pitch tandems, or hip and ridge pyramid are terms you hear quoted.

Glazing options: Glass, Acrylic, Polycarbonate

Shown: American Ridge Light (top) and American Ridge Mount

Tandems and Grid Systems

Tandems units can be applied to almost any application a fixed unit can, and are an inexpensive way to install multiple skylights in your roof. They most often incorporate standard skylights sizes into an pre-made aluminum framing system which reduces the cost dramatically.

Glazing Options: Glass, Acrylic, Polycarbonate

Shown: American Tandem

Sun Room Series

A unique series designed and produced exclusively by Thermo-Vu designed specifically for Sun or Patio Rooms, this model incorporates a standard aluminum framed glass or acrylic skylight with a custom adjustable snap-in PVC trim kit. Fixed or venting options are offered.

Glazing Options: Glass, Acrylic


Blinds and Shades

An impressive variety is available from fully motorized venetian blinds operable by remote to manual translucent cloth shades. Other options include but are not limited to: light block shades, heatblock awnings, pleated privacy shades, and cellular shades. Custom units can be made for any size skylight, however you will save considerably on the cost if you purchase shades from the manufacturer who supplies your skylights.

Extension Rods

Rods are made for out of reach shades, blinds or skylights and are most often 6’ -10’ extension poles. Some can be motorized for easier venting.

Crank Handles

Handles can be purchased for in-reach applications.

Remotes and Keypads

Remotes or keypads are available to operate either venting skylights or accessories such as shades and blinds