Bringing the Outside in: Adding More Natural Light to New Homes | 2-10 Blog

6 Ways Builders Can Add More Natural Light to New Homes

Modern home buyers love spaces that feel open and bright. Here are some tips, tricks and design trends you can use in your next build to let in more natural light.

Start at the top. If you don’t have enough room to add standard windows, you can still bring some natural light in from above. By adding no-leak, Energy Star-qualified skylights, you can increase the home’s efficiency and make it more appealing to potential buyers. This can double the amount of light that enters a home when compared to vertical windows of similar size. You can also add more light to a home by installing roof lanterns, roof lights and structural glaze above the kitchen, bathroom and dining room table.

Add bifolding sliding glass doors. These contemporary features are a great way to integrate indoor and outdoor space. In most cases, folds are less expensive than sliding doors, since they don’t require such expansive portions of glass. In addition to providing abundant natural light, bifolding sliding glass doors are a great way to differentiate a property from similar inventory. If you do choose to install bifold glass doors to create an attractive threshold between the home and the outdoor patio, pay special attention to drainage to make sure rainwater flows away from the house.

Include clerestory windows. Installed close to the ceiling, clerestory windows provide a lot of natural light without sacrificing privacy. One of the best things about these high-level window options is that they can be installed in contemporary or traditional homes. They can also be used as an effective design device that creates the illusion of a second story above. Clerestory windows can be installed between rooms, so each one can borrow some light from the other, while maintaining good privacy for both.

Add sun pipes. Also known as light tunnels, these design options are a great way to pump natural light into a basement or dark spaces on the main floor of a home. The pipe consists of a glazed dome and flexible tubing, which reflects light into the dark spaces below. If possible, try to place the pipe on south-facing roofs, which will get the most light.

Install corner windows. These are another great option when you don’t have enough room for traditional vertical windows. In addition to letting more light flow in, corner windows connect the interior of a home to the outside landscape. You can enhance the aesthetic of corner windows by adding a window seat. In addition to brightening up a room, this can help create a compelling focal point for the home. Just remember if you plan to install a corner window on a non-loadbearing wall, you will need to add a support beam to bear its weight.

Include picture windows. Whether they are narrow, square, tall or wide, picture windows are a great way to draw the eye toward a desired view. This makes them a nice option for new homes with especially compelling exterior landscapes. Picture windows are also a great way to add more natural light, while setting a home apart from similar inventory. Always check with your structural engineer for advice on the window’s weight, frame thickness and other specifications.

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