Question: We put two skylights in our house, which was very dark in the late afternoon. They solved the afternoon problem, but now we have a morning problem. The sun streams into the room, making it downright uncomfortable during a really hot day. Also, I'm sure my carpet and furnishings will fade after constant exposure to the sun.
I've looked in magazines and also exhausted my imagination trying to figure out a way to solve the morning problem and still have the advantage of the light in the afternoons. So far, I haven't seen anything that's practical. Can you give me some ideas?
Answer: Mary Lou Caffel, co-owner of Sun Control N Things, 1309 N. Main St., Santa Ana, says there are several ways to solve this problem.
For instance, her firm offers miniblinds with a battery-powered motor for tilting the blinds; canvas shades, like a Roman drape, that can be raised or lowered; sun screens that roll up and down and Verosol pleated shades that would cut out some of the sunlight but are transparent.
Costs for these skylight treatments vary considerably, depending upon the material of your choice, the size and slope of the skylight and the difficulty of installation, such as height of the ceiling.
She gives a ballpark figure of a Verosol shade for a 3-by-4-foot skylight as $208 plus installation. A miniblind for the same size skylight with the battery-powered motor would run about $354. The remote switch can be easily installed by the do-it-yourselfer.
Q: My hillside A-frame home has an unsheltered louvered window above the kitchen sink, set flush through the roof, which is at a 45-degree angle. As one would guess, it leaks in the rain and is a constant source of leaves and dust in the sink. I need the light and ventilation there and have thought some type of greenhouse window would solve the problem. Unfortunately, the ready-made units I have seen all are made for vertical walls, not slopes. . . . The window is slightly higher than my line of vision, so an awning and screen is not the answer. I can only hope . . . you will have a brilliant solution that you can't wait to reveal.
A: Based on your description, I don't think a greenhouse window would be a good solution. Greenhouse windows take quite a lot of care if the plants are maintained properly. How, for instance, would you get up to the window to water plants? And keep in mind that the top horizontal panes of glass can collect dirt and leaves, just as the louvered window does now.
I would instead build a shallow gable out from the roof and install an attractive vertical window that will let in light and air. That might not be a brilliant solution, but maybe you'll take a shine to it.
Q: Someone told me there is a monthly magazine for log cabin aficionados. Have you heard of it?
A: I don't know of a monthly log-home magazine; however, there is the quarterly Log Home Guide for Builders & Buyers. The subscription price is $18 for one year (four issues) or $35 for two years. Write Muir Publishing Co. Ltd., P.O. Box 1150, Plattsburg, N.Y. 12901.