Skylight types; pros and cons.
Curb Mount Skylight
These are the most commonly encountered skylights here in the Midwest and probably nationwide. A hole is cut through the deck, typically in between the trusses. A lumber box or “curb” is framed around the hole on top of the roof deck. The outside of the curb is surrounded by flashing and the inside is typically sheet rocked and painted. Finally a curb mount skylight is installed on top of the curb. It sits on the curb like a hat. The design from brand to brand is essentially the same, but materials used and quality vary widely. Frames may be steel or aluminum and some curb mounts don’t have a frame at all. Glazing may be flat or domed and made of glass, polycarbonate (Lexan), or acrylic (Plexiglas). Energy saving features may include low-e glass, double or triple layered plastic domes, and thermo break frames. Pros: Can be replaced or repaired without disturbing the roof. Simple design is tried and true. Plastic dome models are serviceable, broken domes can be replaced. Cons: The curb can be a source of roof leaks or other problems. Lustercraft stocks many sizes and configurations of curb mount skylights. We also thermoform replacement domes.
Integrated Curb Skylight
Same as above except the skylight comes with its own self-flashed curb hanging off the bottom. Pros: You don’t have to build a curb. Cons: More expensive. You must peel up surrounding roofing to replace. May not be serviceable. Lustercraft stocks common sizes of integrated curb skylights.
Surface Mount (Flush Mount) Skylights
Typically encountered on sheds, mobile homes and recreational vehicles. It’s a polycarbonate dome with a wide flat flange that gets nailed down to the roof deck and shingled around. Pros: simple and cheap. Cons: Simple and cheap. Not serviceable. You must peel up surrounding roofing to replace. Polycarbonate yellows and hazes over time. Lustercraft stocks all sizes of surface mount skylights.
The outer dome of a tubular skylight may be built like the surface mount skylight above or may have and integrated curb as mentioned above. Lustercraft can often create a replacement for broken tubular skylight domes if one cannot be sourced from the manufacturer. Lustercraft stocks tubular skylight kits.
Other kinds of skylights
Other kinds of skylights include operable (or opening/venting skylights). Ridge line skylights, and pyramid and prism shaped skylights. These tend to be much more expensive than standard skylights so let Lustercraft repair these models if they are broken.