An Introduction to Skylights

by | Jan 31, 2017 | Design

Our Long History of Skylight Design and Installation


With a name like “Sunspace Design” it’s only fitting that we offer a full line of skylight and glass roof options. Natural light is irreplaceable, and most homeowners are looking to maximize the levels of sunlight which reach the interiors of their homes.

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to achieve natural lighting goals through windows alone. A skylight or glass roof system is a perfect solution that can completely transform your living space without fundamentally changing your home’s footprint.

As of 2017, hundreds of highly rated Massachusetts skylights are the handiwork of Sunspace Design’s professional team of qualified designers and builders. We’ve also performed countless skylight, roof lantern, and glass roof installations throughout New Hampshire, Maine, and the greater New England area. By partnering with Sunspace Design, you’ll enjoy all the advantages offered by the region’s top design-build firm in the custom glass space and home renovation market.


A Sunspace Design double-hip kitchen skylight floods a kitchen and seating area with natural sunlight in Medfield, Massachusetts


Choose Sunspace Design Skylights for Unique Value


The term “skylight” has been defined in a number of ways within the glass structure industry. Most of our readers are probably familiar with the image of a simple rectangular roof window that has seemingly been cookie-cut out of a home’s ceiling. This style characterizes the offerings provided by most of the country’s largest skylight manufacturers. These basic geometric cutouts lack any real aesthetic flair, and often appear jarring when they’re added to a space. In many of these cases, it’s obvious that attention hasn’t been paid to how the skylight will impact the home’s overall visual effect.

By contrast, Sunspace Design’s robust line of skylights and glass roof systems flips that approach on its head: we grant our clients a great deal of creative latitude in the selection process for a custom-designed skylight, roof lantern, or glass roof. Our goal is to not only transform your space, but to transform it in a way that is uniquely suited to your goals, and to your home’s character.

Unlike mass produced options, the Sunspace Design line of solid mahogany and glass skylights are designed to flood natural light into the space below. Light should fill the room and not merely one spot within it. And because all of our skylights contain structural elements, they can be designed in a variety of sizes and styles. Sunspace Design’s skylights and roof lanterns can be made to install directly into an existing roof in order to maintain a low profile. This creates a seamless transition from the glass to the conventional roof.


A daytime photo of a 60-foot long gable skylight that's being installed by Sunspace Design in Brookline, Massachusetts


Custom Skylight Design vs. Ganged Skylight Units


When a project calls for larger skylights, Sunspace Design will create a single, attractive unit–not a series of small units “ganged” together side by side or stacked one over the other. We can accomplish this consistently and effectively across a large range of structures, and that’s testament to our crew’s expertise in the field. Simply put: we know a thing or two about making quality New England skylights.

Ganged skylight arrays are too heavily obstructed by the framing elements between the glass panes, thereby limiting the glass area and significantly reducing the visible light entering the space below. The Sunspace Design approach is not only visually superior, but also far more luminous.


A photo of the Sunspace team hard at work on a double-hip skylight located in Connecticut


Adaptable Skylight Styles: Gable, Hip, Double-Hip, Saddle, Lantern, and More


We offer a variety of basic design approaches within our custom array of skylights. Gable skylights are designed to install on a curb on the roof, and can be built to any scale the client wishes. Our hip-style skylights are installed in a similar fashion but offer a more traditional glass roof design. Hip-style skylights also enable a design flexibility that’s unmatched by the factory-made, mass-produced offerings of our competitors. Sunspace Design can integrate an elegant and effective skylight into a variety of difficult roof layouts. That adaptability is a hallmark strength of our carefully managed design and implementation process.

An interior view of a Sunspace lantern skylight and glass roof system with a concealed steel frame in Salem, Massachusetts


The double-hip is another custom skylight design that works extremely well within rooms that are predominantly glass (like conservatories or orangeries). Another advantage of the double-hip style is the dramatic, visually stunning effect it introduces while still permitting an abundance of natural light. Your guests will certainly comment on the impressive effect. We also offer these skylights in octagonal variations.


A large, double-hip skylight illuminates a family room with a fireplace in Newbury, Massachusetts
An octagonal skylight being crane-lifted into place by Sunspace Design's expert team for a Lexington, Massachusetts project


One of our more unique styles is the saddle-style skylight, also known as a ridge light or ridge-style skylight. These skylights are engineered and constructed for installations in the slopes of pitched roofs. Our process involves matching the roof slope and skylight slope to create a look that simply cannot be duplicated with standard skylights.


A Sunspace crew member standing beside an in-construction saddle skylight in Weston, Massachusetts


Another popular skylight design is the lantern skylight. Lantern skylights, also known as roof lanterns, involve the introduction of glass to a small vertical wall positioned below the skylight frame. This creates a “rise” of glass before the roof slopes up to the ridge. Lantern-style skylights can be installed either as part of an existing glass roof or as a stand-alone skylight.


A beautiful Sunspace lantern skylight illuminating a room in Lexington, Massachusetts


Skylight Specifications: Mahogany Framing & Concealed Steel


All of our custom skylights, roof lanterns, and custom roof systems utilize solid mahogany framing and concealed steel. Our products are built to last, and they can withstand heavy rain and snow without leaks or degradation. All of our skylights are provided with CAD drawings and full engineering specifications so as to facilitate the permitting process for your particular project. Furthermore, Sunspace Design will not only design your new, custom skylight but will also build it in the shop, deliver it to the site, and perform a full installation.


Skylight Specifications: High-Performance Glass & Exterior Cladding Options


Every skylight features a glass type that has been carefully selected for the application. We can utilize high performance glass to control solar heat gain, visible light transmission, and shading. We also offer a variety of exterior cladding ranging from natural mahogany, to copper or aluminum, to lead-coated copper. The choice depends on your specific design needs.


This sloped New England skylight installed by Sunspace Design has been engineered to match the pitch of the roof


Transform Your Home with a Custom Engineered Sunspace Skylight


The introduction of a new skylight or roof system can completely revitalize a home. It’s difficult to adequately describe the difference that sunlight makes to a space and to our health. In the future we’ll discuss some of the unique advantages of skylights, including but not limited to monthly savings, better ventilation options, energy efficiency improvements, and sunlight without the sacrifice of privacy.

For now, we merely ask that you imagine yourself taking in the sky from the comfort of your own home. In the modern world we’re increasingly cut-off from our surroundings, but here in New England we have the benefit of a tremendous natural environment. With a Sunspace Design custom glass skylight or roof lantern, you can comfortably, safely, and stylishly open your home up to let some of that nature in.

If you’re interested in one of our skylight or glass roof products, you can reach us by filling out our convenient contact form, by writing us via email at, or by giving us a call at 1-800-530-2505.

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