i would recommend keeping that thought on a back burner. being a contractor, i have had a lot more calls to repair/seal roof devices, skylights, etc than i have had to install them. any roof penetration breaks the roof integrity, and should be considered very carfully.
like you i have often thought how nice the solar tube lighting would be. have not installed them on any house i've owned. but if you do, i wish you the best with it. maybe they have a fail-proof weather tight method. let us know.
Thanks for the good advice.
The solar tube's will probably not be used. I hear you loud and clear on the roof leaks. I do not think anything can be more infuriating that a roof leak espcially
in a new structure.
To be brutally honest, I am having difficulty trying to figure out just how 'bright' the garage-shop will be with any given window configuration. The North wall is not a concern as this does not provide direct sunlight. It only provides nearly constant indirect sunlight which is why the old master painter's used North facing walls to paint under while indoors. My workbench will be positioned very close to this North facing wall.
The East wall is another matter altogether. It can provide both direct and indirct sunlight. This is a classic example of wanting to having my cake and eat it too. By that I mean, I would like to have all of the light, but none of the heat that comes with direct sunlight ... in the summer, that is. This is why I was considering the solar tubes.
On the other hand, in the winter I want both the light and
the heat. So, you see, the donkey is really straddling the fence on this one. My original plan was four 4-ft windows on the North 28-ft wall and three 4-ft windows on the East 24-ft wall. At this moment I think that is what I am going to plan on because I can always put blinds on the East wall window's if the heat is too intense in the early hours of the Summer months. There is no way I'm going to tell my wife that I messed up and will have to add another window after the shop is built. There would be no place to hide if I tried to pull that.
At the moment, I am still in the drawing phase - and waiting on the electrical estimate. When the drawings are done, I should have a better idea about the light. I really believe that there is no perfect solution to this. All I can do is carefully consider all the window options vs the arc of the sun throughout the year and make the best guess from that and live with it knowing I did my best. Hopefully, in the end, this will be work out in our favor.
Thanks again for your comments.