Home Designs For Life: Remodeling Ideas To Increase Safety, Function, And Accessibility In The Home.

Episode 19: Learn About how Velux Skylights Can Help you Age In Place.

June 29, 2022 Janet Engel, OT/L, CAPS Season 2 Episode 19
Home Designs For Life: Remodeling Ideas To Increase Safety, Function, And Accessibility In The Home.
Episode 19: Learn About how Velux Skylights Can Help you Age In Place.
Show Notes Transcript

It is no secret that daylight is the best tool we have for preventing falls. It is also crucial for our emotional and psychological well being. Daylight helps maintain our circadian rhythm in check and provides us with the best quality light possible in order to function in our homes safely. Brant Hurdlebrink from Velux educates us on how skylights, and sun tunnels can help  increase daylight in our homes, improve air quality, and much more.  

Support the show

https://homedesignsforlife.com/

homedesignsforlife@gmail.com

[00:00:00] Janet: And today we have Brant Hurdlebrink. He is a regional representative for the company Velux, which makes skylights. And he has been with them for 10 years. His territory ranges from Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Chattanooga. He has also been a building materials sales representative for the last 25 years.

[00:00:29] Janet: So he is extremely knowledgeable about. All these products that go on the roof of your house and how you can bring in beautiful, natural light into your home or into your building. And Brant, thank you so much for being with us today. 

[00:00:47] Brant: Thank you, Janet. It's good to be here. 

[00:00:50] Janet: Yes. So tell us about how your career started and just give us a summary on Velux and what you do.

[00:00:59] Brant: [00:01:00] Thanks. So as you said, I've been with Velox for 10 years. And I was, I guess, fortunate. It was nice. I was with another Supplier. And then we had a recession as in around 2008, 2009, and many companies let go of people. And then so I was just working as a handyman and there was an opportunity at Velux and.

[00:01:32] Brant: They had a very strenuous interview process, but I made it and I've been with them for 10 years. And I love the job because I love I love what we do. I love what we promote daylight and fresh air that's that's our motto. So it's very simple. I know that would be a question or somebody would ask why later, but we've actually updated our motto it this year.

[00:01:57] Brant: And I actually, I need to remember it. I haven't [00:02:00] memorized it yet, but we always live by the creed. We create better living environments through daylight and fresh air. So that's what I love promoting because it's a simple yet. It's a easy to understand product and the benefits of what it can do for an individual, a family, and even a building.

[00:02:23] Brant: So I've been doing that since 2012 and you covered my area. So I have a very large area I'm on the road a lot, and I deal with a lot of people. So every day is very energetic and nowadays we're doing podcast and interviews, so I get to do this with you. And it's a great way to talk about what we do and how to help people out, yeah. 

[00:02:46] Janet: With all the things that, and I wanna tell you, I love. How Velux is branding their product that you specialize in bringing daylight and fresh air into homes. Because those two are such important things when it comes to aging in [00:03:00] place. Number one, we want daylight because we want to be able to see what we're doing in our homes.

[00:03:06] Janet: Especially in the kitchen and in the bathroom. But also in areas like the hallway where it tends to be void of natural light, sure. But it is a huge part of fall prevention, which for people that are aging, the statistics are that one in four people over age 65 will suffer a fall that either will result in death or hospitalization.

[00:03:31] Janet: So. It's obvious that a key factor for aging in place is to prevent falls. And then you mentioned fresh air. So fresh air, that's another big area and aging in place because it affects the air quality in our home. If we're able to bring in fresh air, then we're going to be healthier. We're gonna suffer less from diseases or conditions that are [00:04:00] caused by perhaps what your gas stove is, emitting or products that you're using in your.

[00:04:07] Janet: To clean your home. Other things you know, that are coming in from the outside we're just gonna have a cleaner home, a safer home. And. As C O P D is one of the most common conditions in older people that stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and may lead to having to use supplemental oxygen.

[00:04:33] Janet: So if we have fresh, he air in our home, then the likelihood that we're gonna need supplemental oxygen is going to decrease, which means that our quality of life is going to be better. So. That's 

[00:04:49] Brant: very 

[00:04:49] Janet: good. So I will have you. That is excellent. Yeah. Well, as an OT, I lived this going into people's homes. So [00:05:00] I can talk endlessly about daylight.

[00:05:03] Janet: And fresh 

[00:05:04] Brant: air. Well, I wanted to ask that was great. Never thought of that regarding light for the staircases. Excellent. That's an excellent, I'm gonna, I should already know that. Thank you for reminding me, but to touch on the fresh air aspect. And it, I had to do a a seminar for a the home Atlanta home builders association just a couple of weeks ago.

[00:05:33] Brant: So I had to dive deep into given the class regarding daylight and fresh air and the future of the healthy home in America. And I just, in my past life before I was in building materials. And VLO, I was a history teacher and a coach in high school, and I love history and I was digging into this with VLO [00:06:00] and people need to understand that we are humans are philanthropic people.

[00:06:05] Brant: We're made to be outside. We're made to get daylight. Not to be exact, but we've been indoors for say the last. Hundred and 50 years. But prior to that, we've been outside the whole time and today it's even more. So we spend 90% of our time indoors. So when you're talking about fresh air, all the stuff that gets into the homes, if you have pets the chemicals that you have they're mights just.

[00:06:44] Brant: Cooling humidity, things like that. We need to have fresh air pumped into the home and skylights vented skylight is a very simple way to you just open a skylight, 12 inches, and then you go [00:07:00] downstairs and then you open up a vertical window. And you just create a 10 minute airing and you, it creates the stack effect.

[00:07:08] Brant: That's what we call it. Or the chimney effect where you pull fresh air in from the bottom and you throw the nature, throws the warm stuffy air out through the top of the skylight. Cuz typically they're on the top of near the high point of the house. So it's like a natural attic fan. And the thing is that it's.

[00:07:30] Brant: Aveed skylight. It's free. There's no power involved. You're letting nature do all the work. And it's very simple. What fresh air you're improving the air quality in the home. And depending on the season, you are letting nature cool. Your home. And it's

[00:07:51] Janet: free you know, that's keyword. You don't have to bother 3 99. Yeah. That's what my daughter likes to see. It's free 99, 3 

[00:07:56] Brant: 99. It's free 99 and the same [00:08:00] this is all goes with daylight too. But when we're talking about fresh air natural ventilation is free and it improves the air quality and it naturally cools your home.

[00:08:12] Brant: So in the south. I know this is nationwide. People who listen to you, but like in the south and the summer, this is something that you would do in the early morning and then late in the evening, but in the fall and the winter in the south, that's when you can open a window and open a skylight and bring in the fresh.

[00:08:35] Brant: And improve the air quality in the home. Cause the other thing that I found fascinating when I was giving this class and I wanted to share with your listeners, cuz you, you were talking about C O P D one out of 12 people have asthma in the us and the rates of asthma. Getting or [00:09:00] having asthma exploded from 1950 to 2000.

[00:09:05] Brant: So what I'm getting at is. That is not a natural phenomenon that asthma took off it's because we were spending more time indoors. And there's what is known as sick building syndrome. That SPS literally, that is a thing. And you could draw a dotted line from poor building insulation to cases of.

[00:09:34] Brant: Because of the air quality in the building. So when we talk about skylights, that's why it's in our motto, fresh air and daylight. That's actually, what Velux is the first two letters VE is Latin for ventilation and or first two letters for ventilation air Lux is the latin word for light So it's in our [00:10:00] name.

[00:10:00] Brant: It's in our motto. So I 

[00:10:02] Janet: love that. I didn't know that. So that's wonderful. So I wanted to ask you specifically about the products that Velux makes and I was looking at your website and so not only do you make the skylights. That can open, but you also make all different kinds of blinds depending on if you want the light to be filtered, or if you want the room to be darkened.

[00:10:32] Janet: But tell me more about the initial process. If someone is thinking about putting in a skylight in their home, Just educate us on that process and what kind of home is built for that type of transformation. 

[00:10:52] Brant: Wow. So good question. Any home can get. A skylight or we also have [00:11:00] sun tunnels. That's like a tubular daylighting device.

[00:11:04] Brant: So skylights can go anywhere from a a. Low retail home to a multimillion dollar home. It's just the location. What you're looking for. So with skylights Velux S has sort of been the leader and a lot of this change happened. Around 10 years ago when I got started, we developed a no leak skylight.

[00:11:29] Brant: So that's a concern people. Oh, I'd love to have a skylight, but I've always heard that they leak well, we came out with a Nole skylight. And then also a few years later we developed a solar blind and the solar blind can be attached to the frame of the skylight and it is solar powered.

[00:11:51] Brant: It's totally wireless. So it doesn't matter if you have a small two by two or even a four by six [00:12:00] or four by four skylight. There's a solar blind that can go on there and it gives you daylight control. So say if you have three in the bonus room and you're working and it's like, it is now in June and July, and it's very hot outside, you can lower the blinds when you leave to go to work or if if you're going away.

[00:12:24] Brant: And so our glass is insulated and it's energy efficient, but having solar blinds makes it. Basically doubly more. So, so solar blinds are good and we provide that on all of our standard size skylights. And we also have solar venting skylights where you can download a Velux app. And you could, if you have wifi in your home, We provide a remote, but if you have wifi in your home, you can download a Velux app and push a button and your skylight will open.

[00:12:59] Brant: And [00:13:00] there's a rain sensor on the outside. So if it's ever open and it starts to rain, skylight will automatically shut. So. We have those and you're asking like, locations where they can go. Typical locations are bonus rooms above a garage. Vented skylights are very popular in the kitchen and in the bathroom especially in the bathroom Most people live on very tiny lots.

[00:13:29] Brant: I live on a fifth of an acre, so our garden tub window has had plantation shutters on it since the day we moved in, because my neighbor is literally 15 yards away. So with. A vented skylight in the bathroom. I'm getting all the daylight I need. And then in the spring and summer, when I'm taking the shower or whatever, I can open the skylight and all the [00:14:00] shower moisture.

[00:14:01] Brant: Exits through there. So and sun tunnels are very popular in hallways master closets. And they can go anywhere really. And it's like a, like I said, it's like a light tube. So it brings in the daylight, but you don't have a view to the outside, but you're bringing in the daylight. Right.

[00:14:21] Brant: So they're actually very popular and. Can generally, they're say the entry point, the the low re lower retail to have one installed, so to speak versus a skylight. 

[00:14:37] Janet: Right. And so tell me, what is the cost difference for someone who's considering one product versus the other? What should they expect to pay?

[00:14:48] Janet: Well, 

[00:14:49] Brant: the. The skylight? Well, here's a, okay, so here's a beautiful thing about the solar venting I'll work from the bottom up. Okay. We'll start there. So a sun [00:15:00] tunnel is to have one installed is runs anywhere from say a thousand to. $1,700, depending on the length of run from the roof deck to the ceiling.

[00:15:20] Brant: If you have like 8, 10, 12 feet, it's gonna be more expensive. Then if you're in a ranch home and it's only a four foot run say, so that's where the cost comes in. But the beauty of a sun tunnel is it's a half day. And it's very popular outside of Atlanta, like in, you mentioned my market in Alabama and Mississippi.

[00:15:46] Brant: I sell a lot of I sell a lot of sun tunnels in Georgia, but they're more prevalent in the rural areas where they' more ranch homes. So that is the lower end when you're talking about a [00:16:00] skylight installation, On a new cut in it all depends on how the distance between the ceiling and the roof deck.

[00:16:07] Brant: If I have to build a light, well a long light, well say like 6, 8, 10 feet, then you're looking at several thousand dollars just in labor to do that. The. Sky the skylight itself is the least expensive part of the whole thing. It's the actual physical labor. However, this is what I wanted to talk about with the solar venting, or if you get a solar blind pre-installed the department of energy is granted a federal tax credit.

[00:16:45] Brant: If you get a skylight. With a solar blind or if it's solar venting, because two things, if it's, if you have a solar blind you're using solar power, but technically you are making your [00:17:00] home more energy efficient. Because I said before, when I go to work, I lower the blinds down in the summer. So that 100 degree temperature is.

[00:17:12] Brant: Coming through. So the government is saying, well, your home is more energy efficient. I'm not running as much air conditioning. So we're gonna give you a 26% federal tax credit. On the total cost. So not only the product, but the labor that the contractor charges to put it in. So you're looking at anywhere, depending on how many skylights you get.

[00:17:39] Brant: You're looking at anywhere from a 500 to $2,000 tax credit. So the skylight, it ends up being free. Wow. And this is good for this year. And in 2023, it goes down to 22%, but this year it's 26%. So from now, until [00:18:00] Christmas those who listen to this podcast and are interested, it would be a good idea. If you wanted a skylight in your home to get a solar blind or get a solar venting because.

[00:18:15] Brant: the whole project of putting it in qualifies for a tax credit. Mm That's great. It's a lot. Yeah, it is. And it, so you're getting a tax credit. So the product basically is free. What you're paying for is the labor. Then you're improving the safety of your home. You're making your home more beautiful because now you've added natural light.

[00:18:39] Janet: You're going to improve your emotional health, your mental health, because as you said, at the beginning of the show, we need light to you operate. It makes a big difference with your mental health. And then you've also [00:19:00] mentioned how well I mentioned how it makes your home safer. And then you mentioned how the venting gives you an opportunity to vent your home for free the natural way So it's, I've always been a big fan of skylights and tunnels because the first home that my husband and I purchased, it was a two story home. It didn't have windows on all sides. So it, the living room was very dark. Plus I had a front porch which further decreased the natural light that was coming in through the front of the house and else.

[00:19:44] Janet: And we ended up putting in a large window. In on the side of the living room and that really brought in a lot of natural light. But I wanted to put in a sun tunnel or skylight, but because it's a two story home [00:20:00] that didn't work, we weren't gonna get light into the living room. So how people that have a two story home, what are the options that exist?

[00:20:10] Janet: For 

[00:20:10] Brant: them. Okay. Good question. So on a two story home, what you're looking at is well, there'll be, it have to be upstairs. Obviously it'll be on the top. And then another way to bring in, say if you wanted daylight downstairs in a two story home and you wanted natural light to come in more.

[00:20:32] Brant: We're seeing a big uptick in covered patios on the back because when you build a covered patio, say a a 15 foot deep 20 foot wide patio uh, We're encouraging and we're seeing more of it several four by four skylights as an example to be put in. So you're grabbing the light and you're borrowing the light, or we call it capturing the daylight and we're throwing it back into the living [00:21:00] room in the kitchen.

[00:21:01] Brant: So that's one way, but upstairs, that's where you're seeing on second floors a bonus room above the garage. They short brag bonus room above garage. We see that where people would put two to three skylights on the back side of the bonus room. So from the front elevation of the street, you don't know that they have skylights, but you have skylights in the back.

[00:21:27] Brant: Same goes for sun tunnels too. That's why you normally you'll see a beautiful home that may have been built 50, 60, 70 years ago. and you think, oh, what a classic, modern ranch, so to speak you, would've no idea that they have skylights that are actually placed back because it's out of view, but it's a great way to bring in the daylight.

[00:21:51] Brant: So when you're looking for daylight upstairs to bring in our top lighting from above, so to speak, you're. [00:22:00] Skylights in a bonus room above the garage and sun tunnels can be piped in as well. You see that in the hallways upstairs and in the closets. And just going back to what you

[00:22:15] Brant: were saying earlier about needing daylight. Move around, walk down the steps. Oh, that's so key. We see a lot of skylights on above staircases. That's also a great place for vented skylight. Because that's usually near the top of the home as well. So I'm going to remember that point you brought up, uh in future talks about needing the daylight to actually visually see where.

[00:22:39] Brant: Where I'm going. 

[00:22:40] Janet: Yeah. And I would encourage you to bring it up as it refers to hallways, because that's something that we see often is that the hallway is very poorly lit. And so, and there may not be an opportunity to put in lighting, artificial lighting, [00:23:00] or to put in more you'd have to go through the walls or it may just not look good.

[00:23:06] Janet: And so we're always trying to figure out how can we make the hallways brighter with an attractive feature. 

[00:23:15] Brant: So that would be a sun tunnel. A sun tunnel and it's really, it's simple. Well, in my mind, it is, and it is two sun tunnels in a hallway, make a world of difference. And I didn't mention it before I will now, but there's also a solar nightlight that you can put on inside a sun tunnel the lens.

[00:23:41] Brant: It's very simple. And it's a simple $40 solar nightlight that burns about five to eight hours a night, just a nightlight. But because it's solar, you also qualify for a tax credit But at the same time, as we get older we have to [00:24:00] get up a lot in the middle of the. And if you have two sun tunnels with two night lights, now you have a way of moving down the hallway to the CLO the closet or the bathroom and you have, you're able to see.

[00:24:16] Brant: So we have solar nightlights on sun tunnels as well. I love that as far as . Yeah, so it's it's a good if somebody is considering your audience, if they're interested in skylights or sun tunnels and they're not sure they're hesitant I always say, just get you a sun tunnel to put in first.

[00:24:38] Brant: Kick sort of, I'm very plain spoken, kick the tires with a sun tunnel and then you'll see, give it about a month. You're gonna be like I either want another sun tunnel or I'd like a skylight. Yeah. I'd like the skylight put in and and then you really make it take off because with a skylight you can do so much you put solar blinds in, you can [00:25:00] get solar venting and I'll mention this one other.

[00:25:04] Brant: Regarding vented skylights, Velux developed a in-home climate monitor that is with our solar powered vented skylights. And you attach it near in near where the skylights are put in and you download the V L active app. And whether you're at a Starbucks or you're wherever there's wifi, you.

[00:25:33] Brant: Touch the app and it is going to tell you the temperature in the home is gonna tell you the moisture level in your home, the humidity and possible air quality. Mm Wow. Oh. So then you, and then you can even set parameters where if the temperature or the humidity level gets over a certain area, the skylight will automatically.

[00:25:57] Brant: Right. So [00:26:00] to improve the air quality so there's lots of things you can do with skylights. Now that you can never do, like everything is last 10 years. It's just been big changes with skylights. Yeah. Glass quality, construction, quality modern technology, solar powered products. I mean it's amazing.

[00:26:22] Brant: It's pretty remarkable. And it's. It's a worthy investment because we're living longer. We need, I wouldn't say we, we do need, I'm trying to find the right way. Free nine free 99 daylight is great and we can control the daylight and now we can bring fresh air in. We don't have to pay $10,000 for expensive air exchange unit.

[00:26:50] Brant: I can let nature be my yeah. Machine. Yeah. The two examples real quickly talking [00:27:00] about like upstairs, what do you do upstairs to bring daylight in about six years ago? A I got a call. And I'll mention this as a side note, all VLO reps we're sort of a Jack of all trades.

[00:27:15] Brant: I deal with roofers. My face is pretty I've been out working all week on roofs. But I also deal with the homeowner, so I will go and make an in-home consultation. And a few years ago I had to go to Athens. A professor had transferred or got a job at the university of Georgia from.

[00:27:36] Brant: Florida. And his wife was diagnosed with a sad seasonal, effective disorder. And she literally had a prescription where she needed daylight X amount of hours every day. So she built above the garage, a bonus room, which would be like her work studio or art studio. [00:28:00] So she was supposed to spend four hours a day up there and we put in three big skylights.

[00:28:08] Brant: So with solar blind so she could control the daylight, but she had three two by six skylights put in So every day she would get her four hours of day. and so it it's needed sad is a real thing that happens in the fall and the winter. Yeah. That's why they call it seasonal, effective disorder.

[00:28:32] Brant: We're depressed and things like that. But sunlight. improves and gets rid of that condition. Right. And so, and then the other thing talking about using nature as opening a window and opening a skylight to let nature cool and clean your home with fresh air, we did a study or we hired a company [00:29:00] called group 14.

[00:29:01] Brant: And they're an environmental and engineering firm out of Colorado. And they took two homes in the Boston, Massachusetts area. One in one of the homes had four, two by four vented skylights. And what they did is they pumped it full of purple gas and. They shut all the doors and they wanted to, after they pumped the gas in, took a couple hours, they wanted to see how long it would take for the gas to leave.

[00:29:32] Brant: So without anything open, it took three days. For all the gas to leave mm-hmm so then they put they pumped it in again and they opened the skylights with a couple of downstairs windows and it took about three hours. 

[00:29:50] Janet: Oh, wow. 

[00:29:51] Brant: That's significant, right? Yeah. Three days versus three hours. Yeah. So there is value when we [00:30:00] talk about this stuff, it's very simple, but giving that example, it sort of drives home.

[00:30:05] Brant: The point now daylight and fresh air are good for the home and good for the individual. 

[00:30:12] Janet: Yeah. For the individual, from a, an emotional aspect, a mental health aspect, a your personal health, your physical health just so many different things. And so you've mentioned cost saving several times.

[00:30:29] Janet: You've talked about money. I wanted to ask you, do you have numbers that you can tell us? How much money someone will save, let's say with their electric bill bringing in this natural light do you have St 

[00:30:49] Brant: statistics you can, on that? I wish you know, I can look into that and see, but there are energy savings [00:31:00] when it comes to.

[00:31:02] Brant: Wh when your audience is nationwide, I take it. Yeah. So not just Atlanta, but so if I am in, we that same tie in there that, that group 14 ran a study with vented skylights and in all the major

[00:31:20] Brant: cities. in the us from Seattle to Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, a few other cities, and they wanted to see the energy savings when it comes to the power bill. And that would also tie into your, obviously your air conditioning in the Western states, there is big benefits.

[00:31:47] Brant: To vented skylights specifically in say California, you could open because of the lack of humidity, the airs dryer and dryer [00:32:00] climates. There are savings. I can't necessarily put a dollar amount on it because you. Energy costs are going up the power companies with the kilt. But this was done in 2015.

[00:32:12] Brant: So I know yes, it's seven years ago, but there were, there was energy savings, lower power bills in Phoenix, Denver. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, even Atlanta and Washington, it was neutral. But that was in regards to the summer and air conditioning. Cause you. In we're here and it's June late June and we're coming up in the early late morning, early afternoon.

[00:32:48] Brant: It's very humid. This wouldn't be a time to open a skyline. Right. Just because of the humidity. However, there are energy savings in the south [00:33:00] say from October to March, when you have a vented skylight, right. Bringing daylight into a home. Yes. You don't have to run electric artificial light.

[00:33:11] Brant: You can let I encourage your listeners. You could Google or however Yahoo VLO Fort mill headquarters and you will see a picture of. Sales and marketing office. There are 250 skylights in the bill. Wow. And there is very little electrical lighting. So we let nature bring in and do provide all the lighting.

[00:33:40] Brant: So there are energy savings. It depends on what part of the country you. In the south, there are energy savings in the winter. Say from October to Christmas where our winters and falls are very mild, then you're able to open a vented [00:34:00] skylight and bring in the daylight. That's where the savings come in is when you bring fresh air in and use the natural light from above that's.

[00:34:11] Brant: That's where you get the lower power bills when you incorporate those two factors. 

[00:34:16] Janet: Okay. So, and I love that you keep mentioning humidity because for example, a friend of mine, she had mold in her home and it wasn't detected for some time, until after it had been developing for years it was.

[00:34:34] Janet: From the ground. And then it was all also coming in through the roof, into her closet. And she was sick really for about a two year period where she had to take so much medication and it was expensive too, because it wasn't covered a bunch of products to help her remove the mold from her body.

[00:34:57] Janet: Right. It is a big problem, [00:35:00] especially in the south in states like Florida and Texas and Louisiana, Georgia. So that's a huge factor. It's bringing in light. It's making your air healthier. 

[00:35:15] Brant: Yes. So I had a we harp on this a lot and I'm, I just remember a good talking point when we're talking about.

[00:35:27] Brant: Fresh air into a home using skylights. We breathe in and out about 22,000 times a day. Oh, we these are this is part of the class I was talking about depending on your size we eat about three to five pounds of food, however, a day, but we breathe in about 35 pounds of. So air quality is super important.

[00:35:57] Brant: We need to [00:36:00] event in skylight just being regional for a second in, in Georgia, I would have, if I have vented skylights in my home in the summertime, I'm opening them up in the early morning, in the late evening. And I only need to have 'em open for about 10 minutes, because if I open two windows downstairs, not much just about a, less than a foot and I open the two skylights within 10 minutes and I do this in the morning, and then I do it in the.

[00:36:31] Brant: I am. I am drastically improving the air quality in the home and I'm flushing out all those all the things that you, the mold, the moisture, the cooking odors, the the, if secondhand smoke dust allergens, pet dandruff, pet pesticides, rayon vented skylight, a couple of vented skylights in a.

[00:36:55] Brant: Makes a huge difference. And like I said, the [00:37:00] energy savings are there. In dryer climates, they're more, it's more prevalent. I can't necessarily give you a dollar amount but I can tell you that there is savings in say the south, but it's end during certain times of the day.

[00:37:17] Brant: And then certain times of the year whereas in say Los Angeles, California dryer, climates, then you can have a couple of open vented skylights all day long right, right. And you're good. Yeah. 

[00:37:33] Janet: Yeah. I used to live in Colorado, so I know that the climate really makes a difference.

[00:37:39] Janet: Beautiful. Yeah. Even cooking, you have to cook rice. Now I don't remember if it was more time or less time, but even just recipes are affected by how dry the climate is or how humid the air is in that area. Right. So going back [00:38:00] to talking about money, I also wanted to talk about how installing skylights and light tunnels, how they increase the value of your.

[00:38:11] Janet: what can you tell us about that? 

[00:38:14] Brant: Well, I can now we're getting into a, more of a designer aspect of our tones, but when you put It's hard to put a, say a dollar amount on it. I'm trying to find the right words to convey what it is. But when you add a couple of skylights into a living room area or a bonus room you.

[00:38:38] Brant: You're making that room the most or that part of the house, the most electric engaged part of the home that will become the center of attention to the center of the action in the home. Why? Well, because every day. is different when you have skylights and a three [00:39:00] skylights in a living room that an open floor plan that bleeds into the kitchen in the dining room area.

[00:39:07] Brant: You, you put three or four skylights in the day starts at eight. It's different at 12, it's different at four and at eight in the summertime, cuz the sun goes across the sky. So it just makes the room more. Dramatic I mean, using all the adjectives, more engaging and electric on from a designer aspect of it, as far as designing a kitchen, say when you put a skylight in you're Le you free up space for more cabinets.

[00:39:40] Brant: Okay. Cuz you don't need that vertical. Window. Mm That's a great point. That's a great point. So you bring in more cabinets and you can, so, and also that creates more wall insulation. So you're asking me dollars on energy savings. You don't, we're not [00:40:00] saying get rid of vertical windows. But we're saying skylights compliment them and you don't need as much.

[00:40:07] Brant: So say when I'm talking to a group of builders in Alabama, the benefit of skylights is I've created more wall insulation, right? Instead of more doors and windows So the fewer doors and windows you have, and you bring the daylight in from above, I create more wall. Insulation stronger thermal envelope, energy savings, but because the skylights are situated above the on top of the house facing the sky, then that makes that area more engaging and exciting because some days it's partly cloudy.

[00:40:47] Brant: Some days it's cloudy, some days it's, there's no clouds in the sky. And it's just amazing. And at night it's like, you're camping it's on a clear night, you can [00:41:00] look out and see the stars. It's beautiful. So from a adding value to the home I don't know how you could put a dollar figure on it.

[00:41:11] Brant: I wish you could. That would be awesome, but it does make the home more exciting. . 

[00:41:17] Janet: Yeah. Well, I'm sure our homeless skylights will sell faster. If you have a living room that's just flooded with natural light, plus you have the added feature of the way the skylight looks it's gorgeous. 

[00:41:32] Brant: Well, we have I wanted to mention this cuz we haven't really talked about before.

[00:41:37] Brant: When you're talking about adding value or the products that we have in Europe. They have they, when you say skylights, they're like, eh, I don't know what you mean. What do you mean skylights over in Europe? They're roof windows and a roof window is like a skylight that you can touch and open and there's no chain to [00:42:00] it.

[00:42:00] Brant: And the point to this, as far as like marketing and adding value, because people didn't in America didn't know about roof windows. Talk about adding value to the home, a dollar amount that that singer my girls love him. Ed sheer. Oh yeah. I love ed shearing. he song? And I'm not I'm, I am promoting the song.

[00:42:24] Brant: It's a good song. It came out years ago. He has a video the song's called Galway girl. And that's a town in Ireland and he's singing about a song about a girl he met in Galway. So the music video is in a, like a GoPro camera and he's going around. I this town following this girl and at the end of the song in, at the end of the song, like the last 10 seconds of the song, he opens up a Cabio a VLO Cabrio roof window, [00:43:00] and it's a dual S roof window.

[00:43:02] Brant: So it's along your roof line and it opens up like you were walking out. And I encourage our listeners. If they wanna listen to a nice Irish soft rock tune and watch the last 10 seconds of the video, you'll see him using this roof window. And the reason I mention that is that came out probably 5, 5, 6 years ago.

[00:43:26] Brant: And we've had the Cabio for 40 years. Okay. Anyway I must have sold 12 in Georgia. In October, November and December Just because of that video. Wow. like where did where is this? So in Europe there's we also have roof windows is what I'm saying,  And that is perfect for a bonus room above the garage where you can open the window and flip it around and clean the glass.

[00:43:56] Brant: And it's also for it meets [00:44:00] egress codes. So you have if you have a bonus room above the garage, you have to have sometimes you might have, depending on where you live, you have to have a window that you can climb out of and roof windows fit that aspect of. Oh, great. So 

[00:44:18] Janet: right. That's a safety feature.

[00:44:20] Janet: Now you have an additional, yes. Egress. Point, 

[00:44:23] Brant: right. But then just, I wish I could put a dollar amount on it, but you know, putting in a couple of skylights or a couple of sun tunnels it. Look, my number one, target audience is active adults, and I wouldn't say all active adult builders use 'em, but a lot do and they sell very fast.

[00:44:47] Brant: They usually put one or two sun tunnels in and one or two skylights in every home, whether it's 1600 square feet or 2,600 square feet. [00:45:00] And the. The homeowners love it just because of the daylight it brings in. And as I mentioned, the skylights where they're where the daylight comes in, that actually makes the center point of the home and the one the part of the home that's most engaging.

[00:45:18] Brant: Mm-hmm And it's just every, day's different with skylights in a good way. Right? Like, I. Could be rainy, could be cloudy, could be sunny and every night when it's not raining you're you could be camping. Yeah. And now you have solar blinds. So if you don't want to go camping indoors, you just lower the blinds.

[00:45:37] Brant: Yeah. I 

[00:45:38] Janet: love that. And I wanted to also ask you what about the maintenance that's required with sun tunnel or with the skylights? Educate us on that. 

[00:45:51] Brant: Sure. So it's very simple with VLO S like I said, we had a lot of new and improved items [00:46:00] that came out over 10 years ago. The glass that we use on our skylights is Treated with a chemical called neat, like isn't that Nito neat.

[00:46:11] Brant: And it is a titanium and Silicon oxide. So what I'm getting at is that it. To keep it simple. It's almost self cleaning. So if a leaf of a leaf lands on the skylight in the fall when it falls off, whether through wind or rain, there won't be a fossil of it. There won't be skeleton.

[00:46:36] Brant: So it wouldn't when you know, so you don't really have to do anything just. Again, let nature take care of it with the rain so there's no maintenance. As far as the skylight goes now with the sun tunnel the lens on, on the ceiling, you can remove it if you want to, if you think you need to clean it, but [00:47:00] there's very little maintenance that is needed with skylights or sun tunnels.

[00:47:05] Brant: And that's the way our customers like it they want something. So when. Pay X amount of dollars, say a thousand dollars to have one sun tunnel put in. You're getting something that you're not going to have to really mess with ever again. That's 

[00:47:20] Janet: fantastic. 

[00:47:22] Brant: yeah, we have a 10 year. We have a 10 year.

[00:47:24] Brant: We have a 10 year, no leak guarantee on our skylights and our glass has a 20 year seal protection. And. This doesn't happen often, but just to, so your audience will know, and if they've been in homes for a long time and they're looking to downsize and move into a active adult community, that is helping those with what you promote and talk about.

[00:47:53] Brant: they'll know what I'm saying. When they're living in an older home when glass goes bad, it looks like somebody [00:48:00] poured milk on it. It's very foggy. And just a Testament to the company I work for. I'm having people that live in the city in Atlanta, downtown, near downtown, near Piedmont park and everything.

[00:48:15] Brant: And they're having to replace. V L skylights that were installed in 19 87, 19 88, 89. That's amazing to me. Yeah. That's you know that and the homeowner they'll they're older, cuz they've been there forever and they say how much they couldn't believe it. You know that they've had four roofs put.

[00:48:41] Brant: and they've never had to do anything with the skylight. So that's a Testament to the company I work for. Cause you know, the last couple of decades we live in a throwaway generation. Exactly. Or it doesn't replace and everything's replaced after five years with V Lux a [00:49:00] Vox skylight has probably on average, if you wanted me to put a number on it, 25 years, Wow.

[00:49:08] Brant: So you put a skyline on and on average, it's about 20 you know, 25 years and you don't have to do anything. That's 

[00:49:11] Janet: great because that's one of the aspects of aging in place that I always talk about is in order for a product to be aging in place, you want it to be low maintenance. That is key. So I think it's a great way to end our conversation.

[00:49:29] Janet: You've talked about. Your VLO products, the sun tunnels the skylights. You can get them with shades. They open to the outside. You've just covered so many different areas of aging in place. And I'll go through them again. We've talked about fall prevention. We've talked about how air quality will improve your health, decrease your likelihood for having to use supplemental oxygen.

[00:49:57] Janet: We've talked about how it's going to [00:50:00] decrease the humidity in your home, which is also going to. Make your air quality better and decrease your likelihood of developing respiratory disorders, which now having COVID I'll tell you, for example, my girlfriend that had this condition with the mold in her house, she's had COVID a couple of times, and the first time she had COVID, she was very sick because she was dealing with COVID.

[00:50:26] Janet: That was layered. With this other respiratory condition that she had chronically. So that's another great reason to consider putting in a skylight in your home that's vented. So, so many reasons the energy cost savings it's going to increase the value of your home. It's gonna make your home more beautiful.

[00:50:51] Janet: You're going to have more space because you don't, like you said, in the kitchen, you're freeing up wall space, which is great. If you have a [00:51:00] smaller kitchen, Because now you have more storage, which is another big area for aging in place is that you want storage in the kitchen and especially in the bathroom because the bathrooms are smaller, so you don't have as much storage.

[00:51:15] Janet: So it's just so many different areas that you touched on that are so important when it comes to aging in place and designing a forever home. That we can live in functionally. So, 

[00:51:33] Brant: well, thank you for having me. This is a great I've enjoyed the discussion. I will say for your listeners, if they're interested And they would like an in-home consultation.

[00:51:44] Brant: They can go to VLO USA, all one word VLO usa.com or they can go to Y skylights.com. And they can schedule an in-home consultation and [00:52:00] they'll be able to find an installer, a local installer, and again, thank you. I love this. What we're talking about here. I love talking about daylight and fresh air and how it helps help creates a healthy individual and a healthy home.

[00:52:16] Brant: Me 

[00:52:16] Janet: too. Thank you for ending it on that note. And it was a pleasure to have you on the show brand. I hope you will come. 

[00:52:24] Brant: Thank you. I will. Thanks Janet.