As a designer/builder, even though it went against the trend, it was important for me to pay attention to the notion of “form follows function.” Too much modern architecture allows function to follow form. In other words if you have a “great-idea,” the functional aspect might become secondary. In some cases the installation might not be such a “great-idea” if problems develop later on.
Take the skylight on the following roof. While it might be considered cool to have a skylight in the vaulted ceiling above the entryway—-it is not such a good idea that it is located right in the path of the valley and gutter drainage above. Skylights already fight a sometimes deserved reputation for leaking, and to add this level of challenge to it seems a little risky.
Way back when this home was just scratches of ideas on a piece of paper, someone had to make the decision that this would not be a problem—-or that somehow magic would happen—or perhaps they just ignored the problem. I would have been better to have figured out a way to deal with it at the design stage than years latter when the only solution might be to eliminate the skylight (not a bad choice in my opinion either). I would rather see light for these kinds of designs be provided by clerestory windows than skylights.
Another way these types of installations come to be is that during construction someone says,“Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have a skylight here in the entryway?” So, it gets added without fully evaluating all the ramifications.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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