Skip to main content


We're putting a skylight into our new ensuite.  Originally we thought this would be good because we couldn't see the need for a window that would need to be frosted over. No-one would be able to see in or out via a skylight (well, except for pilots and passengers in those planes from Moorabbin Airport!).

We then changed our mind after thinking about ventilation through the top floor.  Most two story homes we've been to have had issues with the top floor being very hot.  A window would have the advantage of being able to easily left ajar so that a breeze can blow through, whereas a skylight is either fixed or opening, and if it does open, more difficult to open and close. 

However, when we spoke to our builder, Matt, we were several hours too late - the wall had just been framed and erected. Matt was willing to change it for us, if we obtained building approval, but he also explained that the window might well be a more expensive proposition (see my original post).

We thought through it again and decided to continue with a skylight, but paying more for the opening and closing version.  We selected from the Velux range - a Manual Skylight, C04 (550 x 980mm) with VS2005 Comfort Double Glazing.  All their skylights are double glazed.  Part of the reason why we opted to continue is that because heat rises, a slightly open skylight will allow that heat to escape.


  1. Dave,
    Why don't you install a thermometer connected to a small solar powered motor, one that can detect both indoor and outdoor ambience and it could then open and close the window for you?
    I'm sure there is such a thing in existence - if not invent it!
    Skylight is better - now you have more wall space for hanging and storage.

  2. Good point re hanging and storage - thanks!

    The Velux skylights have electronic options, for opening and closing the skylight and blinds. An external rain sensor can close the skylight, and I think the literature suggests that opening and closing of the window and blinds can be programmed via the remote control.

    The catch is the price. A manual opening and closing skylight (no blind) is $826 for the smallest, and $1,910 for the electric version (no blind).

    A manual blind is $165-175, depending on chosen type, and the electric version is $468-479. Hence a fully automatic window, with electric blind, is over $2,300 for the smallest window.

    I think I'll run the risk of doing it manually!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-in pantry: advice for designing yours

Now we've been in our renovated home for a week, we've picked up on some minor issues that anyone considering a walk-in pantry or butlers pantry may want to consider. I think we got ours right, and the minor issues are ones we'll correct ourselves, shortly, at low cost.

 Our pantry is exactly that on most days - a pantry. There's no sink, no oven or hot plates, and no exhaust fan. It does have a microwave and a milkshake maker, storage for irregularly used appliances, and a bench top that can be worked on. We could fit plumbing for a sink later, but can't see a need right now.

Big cost savings can be made with a walk-in pantry. By having a separate room and door, there's absolutely no need for cupboards and cabinet doors within the pantry. Think of the pantry as a cupboard!  Bench tops can be practical and not showy - you don't need Corian or Caeserstone surfaces. A walk-in pantry is a separate room, so soft-close drawers to keep noise down aren't …

How to install a new garden tap for your vegetable garden

The day before the turf for our lawn was laid, I used a trenching shovel to quickly dig a trench from our existing tap on the back wall of the house, to the edge of our raised vegetable patches.

I laid a length of 25mm blue line PE pipe ("poly-pipe") and back filled the trench. I fitted a right angle elbow fitting to either end, with a short length sticking in the air, clear of the soil, so the line wouldn't become blocked.

During summer, our gardening efforts were focused on establishing the new lawn, so we didn't plant any vegetables.  Then last weekend, about six months after we laid the lawn, I completed the garden tap after speaking to a plumber about my options for connecting the pipe to the water supply.

In the end I took the easy and cheaper DIY option. At Bunnings I bought the tap fittings for the garden end, and quickly screwed it together.  A star dropper and some cable ties provide temporary support until I put in place a more substantial post.

The other …

Monkey bars!

A few months back we picked up a discounted set of monkey bars (aka horizontal ladders) from Bunnings.  They were reduced from $299 to $80 because the packaging was damaged and the bolts for attaching the bars to wooden posts were missing. There were about four sets of bars on sale.

Last weekend I started assembling them myself, using about an extra $175 worth of materials (bolts, washers, nuts, four cypress pine posts, quick set concrete).  When it came to erecting them I needed a helping hand, which I received yesterday.

In the process of working out how and where to assemble them I found that the recommended height is 1.8 - 2.0 metres, and preferably 1.8m.  Soft fall is also important, to a depth of 250-300mm for up to 2.5m around the bars (Playground Equipment Safety Bulletin, February 2011). The Bulletin provides advice about selecting soft fall materials.

We've generally followed this advice, although without soft fall for a little while. The Bulletin identifies the following…