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The Block Sheds: Natural Light With Skylights

Sep 28 2022
Natural Lighting Blog Feature 01

So You Want a Well Lit Shed Space?

Posted on: August 31, 2022

There's nothing worse than working in a dark, dingy shed with no lighting or airflow.  Stratco are the experts when it comes to designing sheds with plenty of natural light, ventilation and a range of lighting options so you can enjoy your shed space day and night without the shock of a big electricity bill.

The Block: Tree Change.
Tom and Sarah-Jane's Stratco shed with Velux skylight

When The Block 2022 contestants were looking to create a winning shed, they worked with the Stratco design and engineering team to get it exactly as they wanted it. 

Tom and Sarah-Jane had already come up with the idea of splitting the liveable space within the Stratco Shed in two with a Stratco Tuffloor Mezzanine. But with no windows to the outside, the upper level would be incredibly dark and the exquisite surrounding scenery would not be visible.

Due to the height of the mezzanine, the upper level would now be in the gable roof structure making it impossible to use standard windows or glass doors. A Velux Skylight (or in this case 4) was the perfect solution!


Tom and Sarah-Jane got in early to allow time for engineering, manufacturing and building of the structure needed to support the skylights 

The guys briefed in their requirements to our shed experts and it was quickly apparent that it would not be a simple case of slipping the Skylight into the existing roof structure. To accommodate the large 1275mm x 1275mm square skylights, not only did the major roof purlins and rigid roof bracing need to be cut, BUT the shed needed to be braced and reinforced to remove any natural movement and ensure that the Velux glass would not crack under the high wind loads experienced in the Macedon Ranges.

Our team of engineers got on to the challenge straight away designing a system of bracing and reinforcing for the area where the skylights were installed within the shed roof. After 3 weeks to get the certification and manufacturing completed, the Nine In Six building team had everything they needed to create the required 4 spaces for the large Velux skylights.

Note: This structure was retrofitted due to the competition conditions on The Block. The best time to consider skylights is when you're designing your shed upfront. The Stratco engineering team can assess your building proposal and provide specific requirements for additional rigidity to reduce frame movement, but is not responsible for the installation of skylights, skylights must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Tom says that it is the shed of his dreams! 

The end result will be amazing, not only flooding natural light into the top level of the mezzanine, but also providing the eventual owners with a liveable space with an unbeatable view over the property.

This really does highlight just how much difference a skylight can make to your Stratco Shed. In addition to increasing the visual appeal of the shed, the additional natural light along with ventilation if the skylight opens makes the shed an enjoyable, safe and healthy place to be.

While the skylight is great for filling your shed with natural lighting, be aware skylights can also let a lot of heat in and may not be ideal for all climates. Installing a skylight also removes the ability to install insulation for that section of the roof. Furthermore, much like a greenhouse, glass skylights tend to trap heat into any shed or building particularly when the sun is directly on the skylight glass. Our shed experts can help you explore translucent sheeting or skylight options that take advantage of both natural lighting and insulation with solutions tailored to your requirements.

Window and door options

A lot of the natural lighting for your shed space will come in through the windows and/or glass doors.  As a rough guide, the size of your window openings should be between 3% and 10% of your total shed floor space, however, this can be reduced significantly with a skylight. You should also think about the positioning of your windows/glass door in relation to both the internal space to be lit and the positioning of the sun throughout the day.

The positioning of your windows is also important when considering the level of ventilation and airflow required to make your shed space comfortable.  You can improve airflow through the shed by positioning windows at different heights OR you can invest in a Stratco Exhale Ventridge for the apex of the shed or a Spinaway to improve air circulation.  Our shed experts can help you with the ideal design to maximise natural lighting and ventilation.

Polycarbonate sheets can bring the light in. 

A more cost-effective and popular way of allowing natural light into your shed is by simply replacing one or more roof sheets with a Polycarbonate sheet. Stratco has a massive range of Polycarbonate sheeting which complements various roofing profiles (i.e. corrugated iron which is standard on sheds) and comes in a different range of tints and treatments.

A simple and cost-effective way of bringing light into the shed and relatively easy to retrofit, but be careful not to walk on these sheets during or after the installation process as these sheets are non-trafficable meaning that they cannot carry the weight of a human.

Shed lighting options

In addition to natural light, Stratco also offers a range of powered lighting options so you can enjoy your shed space day and night.  We have various lighting options for both the inside and outside of your shed, including magnetic solar and low-voltage 'plug-and-play' lighting solutions.  See our range of outdoor lighting options.

Read More: Best On The Block

Check out our Best On The Block page for the latest updates on The Block 2022: Tree Change.

Best On The Block

Get your own custom designed and engineered shed

Whether you're looking to customise your shed with skylights, windows, sliding doors, a mezzanine floor, ventilation, lighting or something else, we have a team of shed experts ready to help.  We have all the design and engineering expertise required to bring your dream shed or garage to life.  Fill out the form below for a free quote on your dream shed or garage today.


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