Adding a skylight to your home is a great way to bring in natural light and creating an open feel in a closed space. Read this article in order to equip yourself with general information on the wide variety of skylights available for purchase, as well as the framing and installation processes. Not only will the information below help you cut the opening and construct the shaft, but it will also describe the safety steps you need to follow for this type of project.
Types of Skylights
The overwhelming majority of homeowners believe that installing a skylight is a more daunting task than it actually is. In most cases, the manufacturer includes flashing with the skylight packaging. Your local home improvement center sells skylights in 2 categories, which are curb mounted and framed. Curb-mounted skylights are usually manufactured with a dome top which is fabricated from either acrylic or glass.
Manufacturer's of curb mounted skylights who choose to include flashing with the packaging are also oft to design that flashing to fit under the shingles.
When it comes to the home improvement store's selection of framed-in skylights, you will find that rather than having flashing at the head, which is the flashing design associated with curb mounted skylights, framed in place is flashed by a set of shingles.
3 Parts of Skylight Framing
The first parts of the framing are the headers. These wooden boards for the horizontal border.
After you have constructed the frame, you will secure the header at the joists. When builders talk about the light shaft, they are referring to the passage through which the 2 openings attach is generally referred to as the light shaft. It is usually comprised of 2x4-inch lumber which is both insulated and finished with gypsum board. You must snap chalk lines to locate the exact center of the space for the skylight, then adjust the spot so that it aligns properly with the joists.
Pencil the corners which are nearest to the exterior wall. The opening must match the packaging instructions. Next use you drill to make holes through which you can slide wire into the upper space.
Move to the upper area, making sure not to step through the ceiling, and make any changes such as relocating electrical or cable wires.
Hang a plumb to locate the exact spot from the roof to the drilled corner holes. From the roof, take away the shingles in the area which has been marked for the skylight.
Use a circular saw to cut through the sheathing. You may have to cut a rafter, depending upon not only the dimensions and style of the skylight, but also the layout of the ceiling frame, you make have to remove a rafter. That makes completing the frame somewhat more difficult, but not impossible.
All you have to do is make the cut with a reciprocating saw and install headers within the space for the window that they can support the structure. Secure the newly installed lumber with 8d nails.
Install the squared 2x6-inch lumber with 8d nails. Seal the structure with caulk and set the skylight. Next apply the flashing and replace the shingles. If you are installing a framed-in skylight, place it and add the flashing.
Ceiling Opening and Light Shaft
Working from the interior, square the lines and cut through the gypsum board with a keyhole saw. Add support if the project requires that you remove any joists; you don't want the roof to collapse.
Use headers to replace the support provided by the joists which have been removed. T-bevel the rafters and install 2x4-inch lumber at the correct angle. Install 2x2-inch cleats and finish the space with insulation and gypsum board.
Wear safety gear, like lug sole boots and protective eyewear to keep saw dust out of your eyes. Be cautious when using power tools to minimize the risk of injury.
Information in this article has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors.