Saturday, March 13, 2010

I need a skylight

There has been something missing from the past few places I've lived. I grew up in a room with a skylight over my bed, but I have not had one since I moved out of my parent's house. There is not a better way to wake up than to the bright morning sunlight steaming in from above. At night, it is comforting to see the stars and moon. The sound of rain pattering on the glass over the bed is second only to the sounds of a creaking sailboat for inducing relaxation. Finally, it is nice to wake up and have your first realization be that it has snowed during the night. I could go on and on, but the point is that I need some sort of window over my loft.
Before I gave it much thought, I just assumed that I would install a standard skylight in the roof. Now that the time to build the roof is approaching, I have given it more thought. Why make it easy on myself? I certainly haven't given into the easy way out yet. I want something bigger and more open feeling that a Velux skylight. I love the look of the large steel-framed glass roof windows that I see installed in some of the mill buildings in Worcester. Often they need to provide light into a room in the center of a building with no exterior walls or windows. The construction is similar to that of a greenhouse- but without a floor. I would love to incorporate this idea into my house. The trick is to style it to match the rest of the house. Right now, I am tossing around the idea of building it as a shed dormer on both sides of the roof in the rafter bay over the loft. I want to make it 5 feet wide (the width of the bed) with 18" of vertical rise above the main roof. The glass roof would continue up from this vertical section to meet the main peak of the roof. This will add a lot of light to the house, opening up the small space in the loft, hopefully without looking obtrusive from the outside. I did a rough Sketchup model of it to get an idea of how it might look, but I think that I still need to make some changes to make it look right.

Before someone else points it out, let me say that I know I'm asking for leaks by building my own skylight, but I think it will be worth it!


  1. Wow, I am impressed! I looks great, and I love the idea of a skylight.

  2. Nice idea. I'd recommend lowering it below the ridge, so it's clearly subordinate. The skylight slope looks a bit steep too. It would be nice if a section (or two)of it were operable, like a mechanized, venting greenhouse.

  3. Thanks for the input Katie. I will definitely try that out. I do want some of the windows to open. I was thinking of having just the lower(knee wall, if you will) windows open for simplicity's sake, but now that you mention it, I will look for some salvaged window hardware from an old greenhouse. That could be useful for all of my windows.

    By the way, I have been enjoying your website- thanks again!

  4. A skylight in your bedroom gives you the opportunity to look at the blue sky in the morning and gaze at the stars at night. Also, it paves way for natural light which sets the mood and the overall appeal of the room. I hope you’ll have another skylight as you build your new house.

    -Joann Winton

  5. Don’t be bothered by the possibility of leaks! You just have to make sure that your skylight is properly installed for it not to cause any problems. Anyway, it’s been years already, how’s your house now?

  6. A skylight that is installed properly won’t be leaking at all. So, have it installed by professionals and worry no more. Skylights are more than just a luxury, but it’s also important if you want to make your home “green” and energy efficient.