Bring more nat­u­ral light into a home

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - REAL ESTATE -

Max­i­miz­ing nat­u­ral light in a home is a smart and some­times low-cost ren­o­va­tion. Homes that are dark and drab can drain en­ergy lev­els and re­duce pro­duc­tiv­ity. In ad­di­tion, dark rooms may not be invit­ing places to gather as a fam­ily or when en­ter­tain­ing.

Cer­tain fac­tors con­trib­ute to a dark home. Houses that face north or east may not get the same level of sun­light as those that pri­mar­ily face south and west. Ge­o­graphic lo­ca­tion also plays a role in the amount of nat­u­ral sun­light. Moun­tains, build­ings and even lat­i­tude can af­fect the amount of nat­u­ral light that en­ters a home.

The style of a home and its at­tributes also may cre­ate dark con­di­tions. Deep house eaves as well as small win­dows or too few win­dows also can con­trib­ute to a deficit of light in­doors. A ma­jor re­model cer­tainly can rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion. How­ever, there also are other less-ex­ten­sive strate­gies to im­prove nat­u­ral light.

● As­sess the sit­u­a­tion be­fore ren­o­vat­ing. Walk around the house and de­ter­mine which rooms get the most light and which con­di­tions may be con­tribut­ing to the prob­lem in other ar­eas. Dark floors and walls may be ab­sorb­ing nat­u­ral light and com­pound­ing the sit­u­a­tion. You may find that only one or two rooms need at­ten­tion, sav­ing you the cost and ef­fort as­so­ci­ated with a ma­jor home over­haul.

● Lighten up win­dow treat­ments. Heavy drapes or thick blinds can be re­placed with translu­cent al­ter­na­tives. Translu­cent shades will al­low light into the room with­out com­pro­mis­ing pri­vacy, say the ex­perts at HGTV.

● Use mir­rors strate­gi­cally. A mir­ror placed op­po­site a win­dow will re­flect light all around the room. This can make a small room seem larger and a dark space in­stantly brighter.

● In­stall new win­dows and doors. If the bud­get al­lows, in­stalling larger win­dows in a home will al­low more nat­u­ral light in. French doors or slid­ing doors also may make a home’s in­te­rior more bright. Think about adding win­dows to a side of the house that has none, or in­crease the size of the win­dows on the side of the house that gets the most light.

● Max­i­mize sun­light from above. Sky­lights will bring light into a home as the sun passes over­head. Tubu­lar sky­lights can bring nat­u­ral sun­light into spa­ces where you may not ex­pect sky­lights to be prac­ti­cal. Ac­cord­ing to Houzz, a de­sign and ar­chi­tec­tural re­source, tubu­lar day­light­ing de­vices, or TDDs, can make a big dif­fer­ence. TDDs are re­flec­tive pipes in­stalled be­tween the roof and ceil­ing, with a clear plas­tic dome.

● Use re­flec­tive decor. Re­flec­tive sur­faces, in­clud­ing glass and metal, can brighten up a room and dif­fuse light around a room. Glossy back­splashes, pen­dant light­ing and shiny metal that re­flect light can in­crease the nat­u­ral light, bal­anc­ing out dark spa­ces.

● Prune trees reg­u­larly. Cut back branches and keep trees tidy to max­i­mize sun­light. Avoid plant­ing tall shrub­bery in front of win­dows.

● Rou­tinely clean win­dows and glass doors. Dirt and other grime can pre­vent light from get­ting through. Reg­u­larly give win­dows a thor­ough wash­ing.

Nat­u­ral light is an im­por­tant com­mod­ity in a home. Sun­light can im­prove mood and go a long way to­ward keep­ing home oc­cu­pants healthy and happy.

METRO CRE­ATIVE

Homes that are dark and drab can drain en­ergy lev­els and re­duce pro­duc­tiv­ity. In ad­di­tion, dark rooms may not be invit­ing places to gather as a fam­ily or when en­ter­tain­ing.

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