Skylights can be installed in any room of a single story house or the upper most rooms near the roof in a multiple story house.
How to decide upon the perfect skylight for your home? The structure of the house and the roof will help you decide. In the case of a truss roof, the size of the skylight will matter. The size of your skylight should fit between the rafters of a truss roof frame. However, in the case of a conventional roof, the rafters can be cut and re-framed to accommodate the skylight. Both these methods are equally popular and sufficient expertise is available amongst roofers to install them with ease.
The planning for a skylight begins when you feel the need for more sunlight within the house. The thought of cutting a hole in the roof often discourages a person from using the option of having a skylight, but these thoughts are ill founded. Actually, installing a skylight is easier than installing a window. Most skylights come with flashing systems that will seal the roof effectively.
There are two basic types of skylights: curb-mounted or frame in place. A curb-mounted skylight is raised above the plane of the roof; it either sets on a wood frame curb or the curb is an integral part of the unit. A framed-in-place skylight is installed flush with the plane of the structure, much like a vertical window. It is held in place with L-shaped brackets. Curb-mounted skylights may be glazed with a clear acrylic dome or with glass. Framed-in-place skylights are glazed with glass. Either may use insulating glass, and the glazing in top-of-the-line skylights may have low emissivity coatings and argon gas fill for added energy efficiency. The flashing system on a curb-mounted skylight typically consists of a head flashing, a sill flashing and two pieces of side flashing that run the length of the skylight.
The head flashing is slipped under the shingles above the opening. The side flashings are slipped under both the head flashing and the shingles on the side of the unit. The sill flashing goes under the side flashings but is set over the shingles below the skylight. The configuration allows water to run around and off the skylight. A framed-in-place skylight also has a solid head and sill flashing, but the side flashing consists of a series of step flashing that match the exposure of each row of roofing. Like a curb-mounted skylight, the head flashing goes under the shingles and the sill flashing goes under them. The step flashing is woven into the roofing, slipped under each shingle. Flashings may be made of galvanized steel or aluminum; most are aluminum, often finished to match the color of the skylight frame.
The decision to fix the place to install the skylight is very important. The location will have to be free from any obstacle to sunlight. The procedure is more or less fixed. Mark the ceiling accordingly to the size of the light (or shaft) and remove the ceiling drywall, and insulation. Next, cut the joist and frame the ceiling opening with the same size lumber as the joist. If your ceiling is a cathedral ceiling you will have to cut the roof opening in this step also. Next make the holes in the roof to adjust the skylight frame. Depending upon the kind of roof and the skylight, make the necessary changes. If your ceiling has an attic space you should construct a shaft. You will need to install a shaft to divert the light into the room. Most ceilings, except cathedral ceilings, will require a shaft which connects from the roof to the ceiling.
The care you take in installing a skylight will go a long way in ensuring that the skylight serves its purpose for a long time and remains a source of pleasure for you for years to come.