There are several clear and opaque materials that one can consider for skylights and transparent roofs. We’ve outlined them below, along with their approximate prices.

Glass as a transparent roofing solution

Most skylights are made from tempered or laminated glass. The difference between the two is that tempered glass is heat-strengthened to make it strong. However, the downside is that if it breaks, it shatters into hundreds of tiny pieces. On the other hand, laminated glass has an inner layer of plastic, which prevents it from shattering into tiny pieces when it breaks. It has the additional benefit of blocking out ultraviolet rays to prevent the fading of the finishes in the interiors. Whichever type of glass one chooses, it’s essential to ensure that it has Low-E (low emissivity) properties to provide energy efficiency and to control the heat.

In general, glass for skylights can range from INR 450 to INR 800 per square feet, depending on the type used.

Polycarbonate roofing

Glass panels are an expensive option for skylights, which is the reason that polycarbonate is a popular material for transparent roofs. Besides being extremely lightweight, this material is easy to work with and is clear, unlike certain other opaque or translucent materials. It’s also a relatively environment friendly material as less energy is spent in manufacturing it compared to other transparent roofing materials. It provides good insulation and is fire-resistant up to 580C.

The cost of polycarbonate roofing sheets can vary from INR 45 to INR 300 per square feet depending on the structure and its properties.

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Acrylic for transparent roofing

Like polycarbonate, acrylic is another plastic material that is used for transparent roofs. However, the two materials have several differences. Plexiglass roof panels are nothing but acrylic panels that are marketed under a brand name. Similarly, acrylic is also referred to as Perspex, Lucite and Vitroflex, among other brand names, but they are essentially the same material. While both polycarbonate and acrylic panels are clear, the former has the advantage of being stronger and has higher impact resistance than acrylic. The basic choice one needs to make is in terms of the clarity versus durability. For a clear panel, acrylic is the better option, whereas if one is looking for a material that is impact-resistant, then polycarbonate is the ideal solution.

Acrylic is the cheapest option for a transparent roofing sheet as its price starts from INR 35 per square feet.

Find out how to install a skylight in your home.

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