Sometimes it's hard to figure: A homeowner will spend thousands of dollars on an elaborate skylight and then look for a way to spend even more money to cover it up!
That's the case with a client of Windowtech, 1436 S. Shenandoah St., just south of Beverly Hills. Kathy Chriqui of Windowtech markets rolling shutters, the kind that are so popular in Europe and are beginning to gain attention in the United States.
The Hollywood Hills resident wanted a way to shade a large skylight on his multistory contemporary home. When the skylight was installed, the contractor recommended a rolling shutter, but the owner couldn't locate one large enough to shade the 32-square-foot skylight.
At a cost of about $2,500, Windowtech installed an electrically operated unit, imported from West Germany. The unit's aluminum head box contains the mechanism, which operates on the principle of an ordinary window shade, with individual slats instead of a continuous sheet of material.
The shutter slats are available in either insulated PVC or aluminum and ride in guideways on either side of the skylight, Chriqui said. The installation features two remote-control buttons so the owner doesn't even have to climb the stairs to open or close the shutter.
Chriqui recommends careful planning before cutting a hole in your roof for a skylight; in the Southland, a north- or east-facing location usually makes more sense than a south- or west-facing one, she said.
While we're discussing skylights, now is as good a time as any to mention Bristolite Dome Covers, new shading devices offered by Bristolite Shading Systems, 302 E. Goetz Ave., Santa Ana 92707. The company is a unit of Bristol Fiberlite Industries, a major producer of skylights.
The dome covers are offered in more than 40 standard sizes for domes, skylights and pyramid skylights. They are made of sturdy PVC-coated fiberglass fabric that screens out 70% of the sun's heat while still affording excellent visibility, according to a Bristol spokeswoman.
More information about the covers, available in optical gray as well as other colors, can be obtained from the manufacturer.