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Let the light shine in.

Are you looking too improve light in your home and left wondering… what’s the difference between a roof window and a skylight – and which one would be best for my place?.

As a long time Sunshine Coast Builder we’re asked this a lot. So let’s delve into their differences and the advantages of each.

A skylight is a closed window from the ceiling through the roof which brings in light from outside. A roof window is literally a window in the roof. And then there are combinations of both.

If you are looking for something that blends in but lights up a room then choose a skylight. On the other hand if you want the ‘wow factor’ or a design feature for the intended room, then you’re potentially looking at a roof window.


Skylights tend to be non-assuming, looking more like a round or a square light in the ceiling, providing diffused light and it’s easy to forget that they are even there. Skylights tend to be more versatile and will instantly brighten up a room. They’re often installed over specific areas such as over the kitchen bench to light up the workspace more effectively. This means you won’t have to turn on the lights as much, which in turn means lower electricity costs.

Skylights can also provide natural ventilation to moist environments, making them particularly handy for areas such as bathrooms or the laundry, and because they can be installed into just about any kind of roof, they are incredibly versatile.

With less customisation a typical tubular or square skylight is the more affordable option.

Roof windows

Roof windows bring that wow factor into any space, which makes them a part of the interior décor. They become a design feature not only increasing the light, but the feeling of space.

The window glass is usually double glazed, which dramatically reduces the transfer of heat and cooling, thus helping to regulate the temperature in your home.

Roof windows also come with a variety of features such as include block-out blinds, remote control opening, solar powered openable windows, rain sensors and choice of linings to either match the existing ceiling or to become a feature of it’s own.

Because they typically use more space than a skylight they tend to be more expensive to install and depending on the size chosen, can require structural change the roof or ceiling.

Roof window
Diffused light

Subtle feature

Installed into any roof

Round or square shape

Clear, bright light see the sky aboveDominant feature

Installed into most roofs

Rectangular and square shape

Variety of features, linings, glass, opening, fixed, rain sensors

A quality Sunshine Coast Builder will be able to provide a comprehensive quote for an installation, plus they may also have other design ideas to get around your light issue or lack there-of.

We’re a local builder on the Sunshine Coast and happy to share our knowledge and insights so please feel free to continue reading our blog section.
Or if you would like a quote for a building project, or to open up a dark space in your home please give get in touch online