Small-scale model helps see the skylight

Part 2: The perfect remodel
Published on Sep 30, 2005

(This is Part 2 of a two-part series. See Part 1: Skylights done right.) Last time, we looked at how to avoid some skylight-planning pitfalls. Now, armed with a couple of prospective locations, we'll learn how to test a skylight's performance before it's installed. Of course, there are lots of complicated ways to do this – with computers, sun angle calculators, and what have you – but there's also a method that's simple, accurate and pretty good fun to boot. All you have to do is build a very simple model of the room out of white cardboard or foamcore board. A scale of one inch to the foot (the same one used for dollhouses) will work fine. We're not talking about fine art here – your model can be stuck together with sewing pins, mailing tape, or what have you. All that matters is that the proportions are fairly accurate, including the size and location of any existing windows or other openings that let in light. When you're done, just set the model in direct sun an...