Let the sun shine in and the sky’s the limit

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page -

RARELY does a home, whether it is a place to live or a prop­erty for sale, feel like a pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment when it is shrouded in dark­ness or gloom.

How many buy­ers have you heard at open for in­spec­tions ex­press­ing their de­light at the lack of nat­u­ral light and be­ing im­pressed by vast ar­eas of dark­ness within?

As a prop­erty show addict, I rel­ish – just as you know you do – be­ing heav­ily crit­i­cal of many of the de­sign choices. I also feel, in many in­stances, sym­pa­thy for the home own­ers left be­hind to live with the ‘‘im­prove­ments’’ af­ter the makeover is fin­ished.

Even on Sell­ing Houses Aus­tralia we have been guilty once or twice of mak­ing an ‘‘im­prove­ment’’ that isn’t.

A light­ing faux pas I don’t un­der­stand is the use of light­ing tubes.

I apol­o­gise to man­u­fac­tures and sup­pli­ers of th­ese tubes, which are the en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly way to get nat­u­ral light into a dark area. A clear plas­tic dome is placed on the roof, a fun­nel feeds the light through the roof void to a cir­cu­lar, usu­ally smooth opaque fit­ting in the ceil­ing and it brings the light in.

I have no is­sue with this as a nat­u­ral light­ing so­lu­tion for dark ar­eas – but I do take is­sue with where peo­ple place them.

To me, th­ese are ideal for stor­age ar­eas, maybe in­ter­nal laun­dries, dark cor­ners of hall­ways, but in rooms – in­clud­ing bath­rooms – I hate them. Why go to all the bother of putting a tube in when, for not a lot more, you could in­stall a proper sky­light with won­der­ful, clear glass?

This cre­ates a nice, squared-off fun­nel and not only lets in more light but al­lows you to see the sky above and clouds rolling by or, on clear nights, the moon and the stars.

A well-placed sky­light is not just a great light source, it’s a fea­ture.

Sky­lights come in all shapes and sizes. Some can be opened man­u­ally, oth­ers re­motely, but all add some­thing to a room. And many light tube in­stall­ers fit sky­lights too.

As you know, any home im­prove­ment is im­pos­si­ble to give an ex­act quan­tifi­able lift in value, but a plas­tic round thing in your ceil­ing?

Hmm, not see­ing much added value there.

But a real sky­light for a dark or win­dow­less space – that will cre­ate a real im­pact.

So let there be light! But think about the source of that light. Leave the tubes for the cup­boards. And don’t get me started on glass bricks.

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