» Making Exterior Sunshades for Skylights

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Bike LogoMaking Exterior Sunshades for Skylights

A passive solar idea other homeowners might find handy!

We had a week of weather in the 90’sF and I knew I had to get my Sunshades completed for my house.

I put in 2 west facing-opening skylights on my home to be vents to release the heat rising to the top of the house.  In the lower part of the house, we have east and north facing windows which catch the breeze and send the heat upward and out the vents.  We also have an electronic air filter fan which runs 24/7 keeping constant air movement in the house.



On hot days that leave the upper story of the house in sunshine all day and as a potential heat collector.  I wanted something that allowed for the skylights to be open to let heat out and also reflect the sun.

So I built a simple frame


I cut the canvas to fit the frame



Then stapled the canvas to the frame.

I built a second frame and made and open box which I could just set in position over the skylight – the frame of the skylight holding it in place.



The whole thing was very light weight and I was able to carry it up the ladder, over the trellis and set it in place alone, without assistance.  I did not have to ruin my new roofing material by pounding it in place.

Although we cannot see Mars so close to the moon or the stars as we climb into bed – the heat release and relief has made a remarkable difference.  The room still has plenty of natural light with the white color also.

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Tue, June 16 2009 » Discoveries

2 Responses

  1. Laura Beth MacDonald September 3 2010 @ 7:16 pm

    I love the ideas you have. Having a sunshade is a great way to keep the temperature inside cooler. A sunshade is a practical addition to any home for a lot or reasons, but I think it important to do your research before making any home improvements. I have found McGraw Hill’s Sweet Directory of construction products to be a really valuable resource. While I do work for them, I honestly use them all the time. They offer useful information, as well as helpful CAD details that you can download from their site. They are really worth checking out.

  2. tom September 8 2010 @ 2:11 pm

    Laura Beth MacDonald,
    These sunshades have just been a great boon to lowering out power bill and keeping the upper stories of our house cool and they are so light weight that they are easier to deal with than cleaning the gutters…they do not require holes in the roof either.

    I will check out your Sweet Directory of projects and Thanks for letting me know…would you like to advertise it on this blog site?

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