Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
If the room you intend to illuminate with the skylight has an open ceiling with no attic space above you can install the skylight without needing to construct a light shaft. This is by far the simplest installation and it offers the maximum amount of light and a view of the sky. For ceilings with an attic space above a light shaft must be constructed that connects the skylight to the room. Skylight shafts take one of three forms: Straight in which the shaft drops vertically from the roof to the ceiling and is the same dimension as the skylight itself. This type is the easiest to construct but because of its offset angle relative to the skylight offers the least amount of light.
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.
Tubular skylights An alternative to the conventional skylight which looks like a window in your roof is the tubular skylight. The tubular skylight is a roof-mounted dome which collects natural light and delivers it to the room below. It is less expensive than the conventional skylight because it is designed to fit between roof and ceiling framing eliminating the need for structural modifications. You will commonly see these used in bathrooms hallways and closets but they can be used in any room of your house. The average tubular skylight ranges in size from 10 - 21 inches in diameter which lights a 100-600 square foot interior space.