What’s better than a vertical window? A window on the roof that lets in significantly more light, making even a small room feel much larger and airier. A skylight can make a huge difference to a room.
Be sure to take in the sun’s path into consideration when planning to install a skylight. Skylights facing north or east may not get any direct sunlight, while skylights on the south- or west-facing portion of the roof will collect direct sunlight.
The skylights that take in and receive direct sunlight are bound to become a heat trap on hot days. So, be sure to plan ways to control heat gain if installing a skylight in the south or west is your choice. Some manufacturers sell Venetian blinds or remote controlled shades for their skylights. Either of these could be an effective way to minimize the problem. Another solution is to choose a ventilating skylight that can be opened to allow hot air to escape.
One extremely important aspect to consider when installing a skylight is that if you are installing a skylight in a room that has an attic above, you’ll need to build a light shaft. Building a shaft is the hardest part of installing a skylight. A professional roofing contractor would best be able to handle the different aspects of building a shaft with the right precision.
The shape of a light shaft controls the spread of the natural light beam. A perpendicular shaft with vertical sides focuses the light straight below and a shaft that’s flared on all four sides spreads light over the widest area. A shaft flared on only one or two sides sends more light in the direction of the flared sides.
Building permits are required for a skylight to be installed, so before installing a skylight be sure to research the local codes and factors that may affect the skylight.
To capture a view from a roof window in an attic requires a lot of planning, from sizing to where it is being placed on the roof.
The roof’s slope will also affect proper placement. For the same amount of view, a low-sloping roof will require a taller window than a steeper roof. Manufacturers of roof windows have charts that list recommendations based on the slope of the roof.
Here’s what you need to install a skylight:
You will need drywall and finishing supplies for the ceiling, 2-by-4s for the frame, roofing paper, 16d galvanized nails, roofing nails and of course the skylight itself.
Your toolkit should include a hammer, tin snips, utility knife, flat pry bar, and a circular saw.
Step-by-Step Skylight Installation
This is not an easy project and requires a lot of tedious steps which need to be followed and done correctly or the roof will leak around the skylight. Installing a skylight involves cutting the roof and installing new structural framing members as well as installing drywall and finishing the ceiling beneath the skylight. The metal flashing and roofing paper must be installed correctly or that would likely be the main cause of your roof leaking. If you think that you have good carpentry skills, and can follow the manufacturer’s directions correctly to install, it can be done as a DIY project; otherwise, hiring a professional roofing contractor.
The instructions presented here will give you an idea of the work involved. Some skylights use different installation methods and different types of flashing.
1. Cut & frame the opening.
Cut the hole in your roof following the manufacturer’s specifications. First, drill a hole from the inside where you want the center of the skylight to be as a locator and then work on the roof to cut the opening with a circular saw. Reference back to the building codes and be sure that you frame the opening so it is structurally sound. Be sure to properly support the ends of roof rafters before cutting and removing them!
You’ll also need to cut a hole in the ceiling of the room below and frame a light shaft if the skylight is being mounted above an attic. Yes, this does sound like a complicated step and one that would require a great deal of precision to be done in the way that you need it to be done. If you’re not familiar with basic carpentry practices or you are installing a large skylight that will require the removal of more than one roof rafter, consult a professional roofing company to do the install the right way without any problems.
2. Cut back the roofing & attach the skylight.
Cut the roof shingles about 3 inches back from the opening on all four sides using a utility knife and a straightedge. Set the skylight in place, and attach it to the roof with nails or screws.
3. Slip in the underlayment.
Slip the roofing paper under the shingles and have it cut about 8 inches wide. Install the bottom piece, then the sides, and then the top. Developing an overlap between the pieces that are down-roof with the pieces that are up-roof is the idea, so water will shed properly. Use a flat pry bar to lift up the nails so you can try and get inside the shingles to sneak in the paper, this should be done very carefully so any shingles don’t get damaged in the process.
4. Install bottom & step flashing.
Install the bottom flashing, a single piece that wraps partway around the skylight and sits on top of the roof shingles. Drive roofing or flashing nails horizontally into the skylight, not vertically into the roof.
Take the individual pieces of step flashing and slip them under the shingles Start from the bottom and work up from each side. There should be a 4-inch overlap between the step flashing pieces. Make sure to attach the flashing piece to the skylight and not the roof.
5. Install the solid flashing pieces.
To ensure that the water can’t enter between the step flashing and the skylight, the pieces are designed to fit perfectly onto the skylight. Start from attaching the bottom piece first and then move onto the side pieces, and finally the top piece by slipping it under the roofing and attaching it to the skylight.
Solar Powered Skylight
The Solar Powered skylight features a solar panel that captures any available daylight and uses it to recharge a highly efficient, fully concealed battery powered operator and control system. The battery powered operator is the power source that opens and closes the skylight. A rain sensor is built in to close the unit in the event that inclement weather arises, with the addition of solar powered skylights to your house you will not only bring the extra light into your house but also save money in the long run with your electricity bills.
Skylight Solar Blinds
Installing skylight light solar powered blinds help cut down the expenditures as well, these skylight solar blinds prove to be a green alternative and cut down the hassles associated with replacement and disposal of normal batteries. A few of the other features of these solar powered blinds and shades are:
They are usually plug-and-play systems, which means there is hardly any construction cost that you have to otherwise bear in case of hard-wiring.
There is also no need to track walls to find electric mains, which translates into ease of fitting.
You are able to cut down on operational expenditure that is associated with the replacement of batteries.
Installing a skylight is a fancy addition to any roof and the room that it will be coordinated with. Making sure that the installation is done right the first time around is very important to save yourself any troubles in the future. Roofing companies provide the warranties with their installation and they have skilled roofing contractors that have worked with skylights before and know the installation in and out. Roofing companies will also inspect your entire roof in the midst of installing a skylight. That can help if there are any underlying problems that weren’t evident previously.