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Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

Posted by peegee (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 20:11

Was planning adding 29" square electric skylights when replacing roof, but am getting some negative feedback from the contractor who notes they will look like little openings - even when splayed - as my ranches ceilings are low. "...and they won't provide much light", etc. He seems to think they will not look good - "little tunnels as the roof is 7-8 feet up...". I cannot afford to make cathedral ceilings. Was planning on two each on east and west sides. On the east side the kitchen is fairly dark in the afternoon, so I was hoping for some extra light, and I am a little concerned the two in the west facing living room may make it too hot and or bright, but the main concern is for ventilation/to exhaust heat. Any thoughts? Anyone have photo's of that approximate size in a low ceiling? ANY and all feedback is appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

We had a rectangular skylight in an 8 ft high ceiling in our previous ranch home. It was on the west side. We originally had a mini blind on it but we ended up taking it off because we never closed it. Our sklight provided lots of light. We didn't find it too bright or hot but we live in the Midwest so its rarely real hot here.
I can tell you the rectangular shaft for the skylight looked fine. No one ever thought it looked like a tunnel. Sorry I don't have a picture on hand.

If the contractor thinks it is to small see if he can install a larger rectangle one.

I am sure that others on here have rectangle skylights in an 8 ft. ceiling. Hopefully one of them will see this post and respond with a picture


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

Can you flare the tunnel so the dimensions at the ceiling are larger than the dimensions of the skylight?
 photo skylight2_zps984130ff.jpg

Or can you open up the ceiling, just in the area of the skylights?
 photo skylight_zps7b071035.jpg


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

Thanks badgergirl and bac717. The skylights are already owned, so only these will be considered. I had wondered about doubling the LR and maybe the kitchen ones - thanks for the visual! I can now really see that I really like that! Yes, definitely flared -splayed. I'm encouraged to hear that your west skylights did not add too much light or heat. I hope others chime in. Forgot to ask: did a new roof with skylights add a lot to anyone's taxes????


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

Your property taxes should not be affected by a new roof, with or without skylights, as the county will not reassess the value of your home based on that one improvement. You already have a roof, and the new one is just replacing the existing one, not adding something you didn't have before. There is no added value in a replacement roof, and although it can boost what is called the "effective age" of your home---that is rarely enough by itself to change the assessed value of your house.

I would say your contractor's reluctance to install the skylights indicates he doesn't have much experience with them. Ask him for references of people for whom he has installed skylights before using him, and go see the finished jobs if possible. You may want a different roofing contractor.


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

What Kswl said. This guy just doesn't want to install them. All of his objections are ODD. Yes they make a "tunnel" effect on the ceiling--most people LOVE this!! It adds height where vaults are not feasible. I would absolutely look for someone else to do this job!! If not installed WELL skylights leak and you do not want that nightmare!! As stated above taxes would not be influenced by a roof/skylights.


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

The ones in our bathroom are very much like the ones in the second photo. In our previous home we only had room for one skylight in the bathroom due to odd roof angles. It was a 30" square and our contractor flared the opening which made all the difference - both in aesthetics and increasing light.

In our current home we have three skylights that open and in 25 years we never opened them. Last year one developed a leak and we opted to replace it with a stationary unit. It was quite a savings over the electric one.


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

We have two skylights installed side by side in one well. The depth of the opening is only about 3 feet but it definitely does not feel tunnel like. Putting yours side by side in one opening will make it about 5 feet wide. Maybe you could make the opening bigger than the skylights? Paint the interior bright white.

Ours hand crank open and provide a lot of light. So far, they have not made the room any hotter but it's been a bit of a cool summer.


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

I think you can end up with a tunnel effect if your roof is steeply pitched and the skylight is close to the highest part of your roof. Putting 2 skylights together is a good idea as is flaring the opening. Flaring the opening seems especially good, but if you have a steeply pitched roof, how does that look?
One of the pictures above shows the flared skylight with a cathedral ceiling. (very short shaft) The picture with 3 skylights shows them installed closer to the low part of the roof.
I think you need to consider how deep your shaft will be. Then again, some light even from a shaft may be preferable to very little light?


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RE: Slightly OT: Skylight help needed!

Thank you all! The contractor would frame the openings on the roof and after the roofer cuts through and installs, he would do the inside finishing. I do need to talk with him about his responses. It the roofer who will be doing the main installing, and I have yet to find the right company. Thanks for the reminders to ask about experience! I am encouraged by your responses. As far as taxes, I will have to check on this as I was certain I heard someone in the town state there would be an increase. Hope you're right.


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