Skylight / November 13, 2018 / Arnou Gabriaux.
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.
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.
Another modern option is to have a replacement skylight with double panes of glass with a layer of argon gas infused in between the panes. New features and options make getting a replacement skylight a more viable option than just shingling over the old one. Remote controls make it possible to open and close a skylight on a whim rather than having to clamber about on ladders. Some skylights can also come with rain sensors so they will close the moment they feel raindrops or too much moisture. These options allow the skylight to vent the house while also protecting it against damage.
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.