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.
Skylight windows are a wonderful addition to a home. Theres no doubt about it. But a lot depends on where exactly the house is located. Skylight windows are best suited for cool climates where the rays of the sun are not very harsh. Fortunately many places in the US have just this kind of weather. When used in such places skylight windows become the most important source of solar heating. And even when the sun is wobbly and there is little sunshine entering the room large skylight windows make the room look airy and bright dispelling the gloom. In areas where there is limited light and heat vertical windows are less efficient than large skylights because vertical sunlight is scant.