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Windows on the Roof

What do you call that eye in the sky?

Q:

What is the difference between skylights, sky windows, and roof
windows?

– Edith, Ashland, OR

A:

Tom Silva replies: Not a whole lot. Any glazed assembly that admits
natural light through a roof can be called a skylight. Some
manufacturers use the term "roof window" to describe a relatively large
skylight placed low enough that you can see out to the landscape. So I
guess if you can see only sky, it's a skylight, but if you can see sky
and land, you call it a roof window. Also, roof windows are generally
big enough to qualify as means of egress in case of a fire. That's
seldom if ever the case with a skylight. The term "sky window" is not as
common as the others. At least one manufacturer uses it to describe huge glazed areas in a flat roof. Most skylights are meant for roofs with a
slope of at least 15 degrees.

 
 

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