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What Are Ceiling Windows Called? Things Homeowner Need To Know


What Are Ceiling Windows Called

Ceiling windows have various names. You can call them roof windows, skylights, or rooflights, also spelt as “roof lights.” The names are used interchangeably. But bear in mind that they are different. 

Most people wouldn’t hesitate to favor ceiling window installation on their properties. With the windows positioned on the roof, expect natural light to illuminate your room. 

Besides increasing a house’s value, the natural light can reduce a homeowner’s electricity bill. Ceiling windows can also make your room look bigger than it is. 

This post is about ceiling windows. After reading, you’ll have an in-depth understanding to make an informed decision. 

Are you ready? Let’s dig deeper. 

What Are Ceiling Windows Called?

As the name suggests, ceiling windows are windows mounted on the roof of a house, not on the wall. The windows could be operable or fixed, depending on the type you choose. 

The fixed and operable windows do the same thing. They allow natural light into a room. But the operable ceiling windows have the advantage of improving a home’s ventilation. You can open them anytime the weather permits.  

Because the windows are operable, you can open them to allow proper ventilation and light into your home. 

A Handy Tip: Only open your ceiling windows if the weather permits. And always remember to close them before leaving your house. Failure to do so could leave your home flooded if it rains in your absence. 

Types Of Ceiling Windows

Ceiling windows are known as skylight windows, roof windows, and rooflight. They all mean the same thing. However, there are some differences between each of them. 

Let’s discuss all three ceiling windows. 

The skylight windows:

First off, skylights are windows mounted on the roof of a house. They are fixed. That is, they remain permanent on the roof. You can’t open these windows.  

Skylight windows also boast much smaller specifications. And you’ll find them fitted on the highest point on the ceiling. 

What purpose do the skylight windows serve? Its primary purpose is to allow light into a room. Since they are not operable, they do not allow proper ventilation. 

The rooflight windows:

If you don’t understand what a rooflight window entails, you may confuse it with other forms of ceiling windows. Two things are crucial in identifying a rooflight. These include where they are fitted on the roof and pane of glasses they are made of. 

The rooflight is installed “out of plane” but to the house’s roof. It’s mounted above the tilting line for two reasons. One is to allow more light into the room. The second is to offer a feature that will increase the property’s appeal. 

Unlike other ceiling windows, rooflights come mounted with several glass panes. The panes all combine uniquely to deliver a rectangular or dome shape above the ceiling.  

The roof windows:

If you’re looking for some flexibility, roof windows are a wise choice. They come in varied options too. 

If you’re not sure about roof windows options available, you can ask the contractor handling the project for suggestions.   

A handy tip: You can decide to use the roof window alone. That is as a single window. 

You can also decide to use it as part of a set. The choice is entirely yours to make.  

Another exciting thing about roof windows is that you can open them whenever you deem fit. They’re not permanently attached to the roof. 

Furthermore, when fixing roof windows, keep in mind that they have specifications. Thus, they must align with the roofs’ orientation during installation

Additionally, please note that your roof windows must sit flush after installation. They must also maintain the roofline’s cleanness.

Ceiling Windows And Their Differences   

What makes rooflights, roof windows, and skylights different? 

First off, let’s start with the roof windows. These are a bit smaller than rooflight windows. You can also find them only in standardized shapes and sizes, though new products now come in bigger sizes and improved materials. 

Another difference is the window being operable or fixed. If you prefer mounting a ceiling window that you can open whenever you deem fit for improved ventilation, roof windows are a wise choice. 

Roof windows are more suitable on pitched roofs. But if you’re looking to install a ceiling window on a flat roof, rooflight is your best bet. 

Roof windows are more widely used and offer great value for the money. They are also more reliable and easy to find compared to the other options.  

Rooflights or skylights are usually available in various shapes, sizes, functions, and specifications. But because of their bespoke nature, these ceiling window options tend to be a bit costlier. 

Unlike roof windows, skylights or rooflights are built to order. This means they can take weeks before they become available for installation. 

Roof windows come designed to sit flush on the roof’s plane once installed, something rooflight windows struggle to match some of the time. 

Another difference is how high up the various ceiling windows are fitted in the roof. Of all three types, the skylight is often installed in a much higher ceiling. 

A Handy Tip: Bear in mind that skylights are not recommended for use in a habitable space like bedrooms because they have low thermal performance. 

How Much It Cost To Install Ceiling Windows

Having a ceiling window installed on your property is a pleasant way to introduce natural light into a dark room. The natural light will not only open up your room. It will also introduce more usable space in your house. 

So, how much does installing a ceiling window cost? 

If you’re going for roof windows, such as a center pivot or top hung, be prepared to pay around $350.

However, several factors can influence the cost. These include glazing options, size, and frame materials. So, be ready to pay around $120 to $1400 to have a roof window installed on your property. 

Furthermore, if you’re gunning for extra features such as an electric window, you should also be prepared to pay an additional fee. 

Please note that roof windows’ cost also depends on the window’s style, size, and appeal. You may spend over $2000 on some high-end roof windows. And if the window is a larger one, installation may be complex and take a longer time. So, expect the cost of labor to be higher. 

Skylight is also a bit pricey. Expect the average cost of a tubular skylight to be around $150 to $650. Labor cost varies based on the complexity of the installation and contractor handling the project. 

Factors To Consider Before Choosing Ceiling Windows 

It would make sense to consider several things before splashing the cash on a ceiling window. Under this circumstance, you won’t regret any decision you take. 

What value would ceiling windows bring? Here’s a big question you need to ask yourself. Why is installing a ceiling window vital to you? 

Indeed, ceiling windows add a lot to a property. They are not only aesthetically pleasing but increase a home’s exposure to natural light. 

The natural light that goes through the ceiling window helps create an illusion that a room is spacious. It causes the room to look larger than it is. Indoor plants that require sunlight to thrive would also benefit from ceiling windows. 

Giving natural light easy access into your home by installing ceiling windows can help to reduce your energy bills. So whatever you spend on installing your window, bearing in mind that you will recoup it over time. 

So, if you put all these together, you will discover that installing ceiling windows on your property is worth it. 

What ceiling window do you require? Several factors determine your choice of ceiling window. One is your budget size. Your preferred style and window size, including frame material, also determines the cost. 

If you want the window to be larger, be ready to pay more. It would help if you also decided what brand is ideal for your property and needs.

Ask questions about the various brands available to know which of them is suitable for your unique needs

What type of ceiling window do you want? What’s your choice of ceiling window? Do you want a roof window, skylight, or rooflight? You have to decide this. 

Remember that the roof window is operable. So, if you’re interested in allowing some little ventilation into your home, in addition to natural light, a roof window could be a wise choice. 

Should I install the ceiling windows myself?  If you have excellent DIY skills and feel that you can install your ceiling windows perfectly, get it started right away. 

You can watch videos on installing ceiling windows—taking proper note of each step displayed in the video.

But if you don’t have good DIY skills and don’t feel confident about yourself, get a suitable contract to install your ceiling windows before you mess things up. 


So, what are ceiling windows called? We hope you now have an in-depth understanding of the meaning and types. There are skylight windows, roof windows, and rooflights. All of these names are used interchangeably. But bear in mind that all three ceiling windows are different in some way.  

Ceiling windows can add tremendous value to your home. They can improve the health of those living in the apartment and help to lower your electricity bill. So, if you have the means, then go ahead and install ceiling windows on your property. 

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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