Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
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.
It is recommended that the skylight size should never be more than five percent of the floor area in rooms with many windows and not more than fifteen percent of the rooms total floor area for spaces with very few windows. Skylights on north-facing roofs provide cool illumination while east-facing roofs provide maximum light and heat in the morning. West-facing skylights provide afternoon sunlight and heat. South-facing skylights provide more passive solar heat than any other location. Skylights are an excellent way to bring more natural light into your home. Just one skylight can dramatically transform your room by adding 30% more natural light than a window. This helps you save energy and makes your home warmer during the winter.