Asked on Jan 24, 2012

how to frame in and finish a skylight

Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.comHandyANDY - Handyman & All Repairs, LLC


2 answers
  • What exactly would you like to know? You can get some pretty good info from the journal of light construction. If you are doing it yourself, make sure you install the flashing kit properly. No matter who installs it, it will eventually leak....just the nature of the thing!

  • As Handy stated all skylights leak sooner or later. It is really just a hole in the roof that has a window installed in the middle. However there are several things you can do to make that leak later rather then sooner. And that is to follow the manufactures directions very carefully. Also using proper roof sealing materials such as Ice and water membrane. Way to many people use gobs of tar out of a can thinking more of this stuff is better then to little. What they do not realize is that all they are doing is blocking the natural flow of water which is down hill. Quite often then not I find water trapped in little pockets created by the tar that the installer used just to prevent this from happening. Proper insulation surrounding the skylight is also very important. During the colder months when snow gets on the roof. The very first place that melts is around openings such as these. The result is the water has no place to flow if the surrounding area is frozen. This backs up the water higher then the curb that the skylight comes with and can overflow if conditions are right. Ideally when I install these items, I construct a larger curb on the roof, and flash that in accordingly. Then I install the skylight on top of this higher roof of sorts just to prevent any leaks of this type. As far as framing, If you remove a roof joist if its wider then the space between them you need to double up the roof joist on each side. Then using the cross bracing you need to double that up as well. Way to many people simply cut out a section and then just cross brace with one board on top and bottom. This not only weakens the roof, but allows it to flex more as a result causing the interior finish to crack from the flexing that will occur when it snows.

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