Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
Glass and acrylic or plastic skylights are available. Tubular skylights are relatively new on the scene. The small size allows them it to be used in spaces where full-sized skylights cannot. Hallways bathrooms even closets can accommodate a tubular skylight. They provide a lot of light in spite of their small size. The concept and installation process are basically the same as for a regular skylight except they have an enclosed tunnel of reflective material to reflect the light. They are available in many sizes. The small ones are 10 to 12 inch diameter and the large ones are 24 inches. Flat glass skylights come mounted in a wood or integrated rubber and metal framework and require no additional curb construction.
You will need to position and mark the opening on the ceiling after the skylight is installed. Take into consideration the size of the room and the amount of light you wish to bring in and select the size and position of the hole accordingly. Once the skylight is installed and the ceiling hole is cut its then a matter of connecting the two with the shaft which is typically constructed from 2x4 or 2x6 lumber. The angles involved typically require some tricky framing and is probably best left to an experienced carpenter. After the framing is completed the inside of the shaft is covered with wood or drywall and the attic side is insulated to minimize heat loss.
A skylight is like a window which has been placed in your roof. It has a frame specially designed to withstand rain and prevent leakage from rain and snow. To maximize a skylights use of natural light to illuminate a room or its passive solar heating potential you will want to take into consideration how a skylight is positioned. Facing north your skylight will provide fairly constant illumination but will not provide a lot of heat. Facing east it will provide the maximum amount of light and solar heat gain in the morning. Facing west your skylight provides afternoon sunlight as well as heat gain. A skylight facing south provides the greatest potential for winter passive solar heat gain than any other location but will often allow unwanted heat gain in the summer.