Does Your New Kitchen Need A Skylight?

Written by bprescottFebruary 27, 2012
A sunny kitchen with four open skylights

Setting your sights on a skylight

A skylight can add beautiful, natural overhead light to a kitchen all year ’round. (Check out the skylight photo in the color insert.) Remember that you need to have direct access to the roof of the house to install a skylight. If your kitchen is on the main level, located directly under a couple of bedrooms, you’re out of luck.Installing a skylight is not something a novice DIYer should even consider. There are framing issues to deal with, including possibly having to cut into existing structural roof components and then reframe the opening to not only house the skylight but also support the roof. But, the money spent for a professional’s experience and “touch” will make the end result well worth the expense.

Keep the following ideas in mind when considering a skylight:

  • Determining where to position a skylight is critical. If you live in a very warm climate, don’t place a skylight on south- or west-facing roof, unless the skylight comes with a powered shade between panes of insulated glass. Otherwise, the intense sun and heat is too much for most people. (Don’t worry, most skylights that come with shades also come with a remote control, so you can open and close the blinds without having to use a ladder or turn a crank.)

Also, a skylight placed at the edge of a room provides more light than one that only shines in the center of the kitchen because the incoming light bounces off of the wall.

  • Rectangular skylights fit relatively easily in the joist space (cavity) between the roof rafters or trusses.
  • The most commonly used skylight design has a relatively flush-mounted appearance against the ceiling. Even when a skylight is used in a light-shaft design, the interior framing of the unit does not extend beyond the ceiling surface.
  • Skylights come either with an operating sash or a fixed sash. An operating sash allows for ventilation, which is a great addition in a kitchen, especially because a skylight is mounted in the roof, which means that some of the hot, moisture-laden air will naturally rise and exit out of an opened skylight window. Operating units come in either manual or electric-powered versions. The electric units also come either hard-wired (you use a wall-mounted switch to operate the sash) or with a remote control that allows for operation virtually anywhere in the room.


From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



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