Let There Be Light?

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Forum topic by Lenny posted 01-19-2010 05:41 PM 1530 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Lenny's profile


1723 posts in 4818 days

01-19-2010 05:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: skylights natural light workshop

Happily, I am expanding my workshop. It will go from the current 8 feet wide by 18 feet long to 21 feet wide and 18 feet long. It will be 378 square feet, a gain of 264 square feet and more than adequate for a workshop. (So he says now!). I am seriously considering spending whatever extra expense it costs to have two skylights (windows) placed in the roof. While the benefit of natural light is obvious, I am wondering if there might be any negatives if I do this. Does anyone have skylights in their shop? If so, have you had any problems with them? I imagine the biggest concern would be the potential for leaking and the damage that might cause. If installed correctly, I imagine there is no reason to expect them to leak any more than the roof itself. Assuming they are operating windows, there is also the potential of forgetting to close a window only to return to see rainwater on expensive woodworking tools, causing another type of moisture to fall…tears!

So, in addition to what I have asked above, here is my question: If you had the opportunity, would you add skylights/windows to your workshop roof? Any input will be greatly appreciated.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

12 replies so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5176 days

#1 posted 01-19-2010 05:46 PM

Lenny I’ve thought about skylights for my shop and will be interested in seeing the input here by others.
PS – My shop is 22’ x22’ and it’s not big enough, big enough might be a gymnasium. ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View bgilb's profile


101 posts in 4350 days

#2 posted 01-19-2010 06:02 PM

You don’t want it to take 30 minutes to walk to each power tool!

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4939 days

#3 posted 01-19-2010 06:05 PM

another point to consider is that skylight will let direct sunlight get through during noon time where the sun is the hottest. this will most likely happen in the summer and overheat the shop (winter mostly is cloudy – although for the winter that might have been a blessing to have that sun in there). whereas regular windows will let the sun in during morning/afternoon when it’s not as hot. wall windows are also easier to cover/shade then skylights.

but it really depends on the direction your shop is facing, and how the sun is positioned in relation to it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


232 posts in 4636 days

#4 posted 01-19-2010 06:16 PM

Congratulations on doing an expansion. Natural sunlight would be a nice luxury. I don’t have that benefit because I am in a basement dungeon workshop. I would love to have a dedicated shop building with skylights and a couple large picture windows.

I am not a contractor, but I believe sunlights have come a long way from the bad rap they got years ago for leaking all the time. Find a professional opinion you trust and go with it.

As for dripping water, that makes me think of last year coming down to find that condensation from air conditioning ducts had dripped all over my table saw. Luckily I found it same day and no damage was done.

Good luck.

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 4459 days

#5 posted 01-19-2010 06:21 PM

One of my woodworking buddies has a skylight in his shop, he loves it. I would like to have one or two myself but with the shop being in the basement I doubt a shaft going through the living room would go over well lol. Good luck with the reno!

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 4780 days

#6 posted 01-19-2010 07:38 PM

If possible and not too costly, I would go for the skylights. It’s pretty sunny here in New England and it would be great to have the natural sunlight.

I also heartily second Purplev’s comments about which direction, heat considerations, etc.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5114 days

#7 posted 01-19-2010 07:40 PM

Great idea Lenny natural light could never be a negative. As far as warming up the shop is concern it may but not significantly enough to drive you out. Sky light are tinting to reduce heat transfer and as far as leakage is concern if installed properly this should be no concern as well. My friend Pat has two in his shop with a south west exposure and I drool over that much natural light coming in. Your expansion sound like a great idea Lenny good luck and stay safe… Blkcherry

View Lenny's profile


1723 posts in 4818 days

#8 posted 01-19-2010 08:28 PM

Thanks for the comments thusfar. Sharon (Purplev) thanks for raising the issue of possibly TOO MUCH natural light. I hadn’t thought of that but as blackcherry comments, they apparently have tinted models available. Also, I would imagine there are ways to diffuse the sunlight with shades or blinds like any window. In fact they probably make high end models with blinds within the glass. The direction of the roof is a good point too. The pitch of the roof will be such that the windows will face either north or south. If I elect south, they will face the strong sun during the day. If north, it will still be natural light but not the same level of heat intensity. Good information to consider guys. Thanks.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4988 days

#9 posted 01-20-2010 03:29 AM

Too much snow here for a sky light

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4659 days

#10 posted 01-20-2010 03:44 AM

I can’t spare the storage space that would be lost overhead in my shop. LOL

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5368 days

#11 posted 01-20-2010 04:30 AM

congrats on the expansion!!! that is the best news…the skylights sound like a good idea…I have thought of them too….and my understanding is the same as yours…they may leak but depends on your installation…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View panther's profile


59 posts in 4534 days

#12 posted 01-20-2010 04:38 AM

check into the light tubes that are all the rage in houses

-- you must live for something or die for nothing (rambo)

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