Skylight / July 15, 2018 / Arnou Gabriaux
The acrylic dome is typically mounted in an aluminum frame which is in turn mounted on a box called a "curb." Once the hole is cut in the roof to the manufacturers specifications the curb is typically constructed on-site to raise the skylight above the level of the roof sheathing. Site-built or factory-supplied flashings are used to seal the roofing around the curb. Domed skylights are available in clear smoked bronze or other tints. Some domed plastic skylights are flush mounted which means that the lens piece and flashing piece are both made of plastic and then placed on the roof without a curb. The problem with this type is that they are loud and very susceptible to leakage.
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.
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.