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    Installing a skylight: Part 1

    Published on 8 August 2014, Friday, 12:17 AM

    Installing a skylight is a great way to let light stream into your home and brighten up a dark living space, while also saving on energy costs. It also happens to be a complex task - so complex, a single article is not enough to explain the process!

    In this first part, we'll go over the process of framing the opening in the roof and ceiling that must be done before the skylight can be installed.

    Step 1. Pick your location

    The first thing to take into consideration is the most advantageous spot to place it in. You'll want it to be around about in the centre of the room. 

    You'll also want to be wary of where the structural beams are in your ceiling. If you cut these, they could undermine your home's structural integrity. Ideally, you would align your opening between these.

    Step 2. Cut an opening

    Mark the opening on the ceiling and the knee wall (the short, vertical wall which supports the rafters). You want the bottom of the sill to sit around a metre up from the floor, while the side of the opening should align with a rafter's inside edge.

    Next, use a drywall saw to cut along your marking. Pull the drywall off. 

    Step 3. Remove the extras

    Take out the installation inside. Cut out the top plate of the knee wall, where it meets the rafters, with a reciprocating saw, and saw out the single rafter that's left in the middle of the opening. 

    If there's electrical wiring, turn the power off and test a fixture on the circuit using an electrical tester before removing it. 

    Step 4. Install the frame

    Put your frame into the opening, and secure it with nails through the roof sheathing in the four corners of the opening. Go onto the roof and remove the four shingles around the opening - you'll need these later.

    With a circular or reciprocating saw, cut away the sheathing off the roof and remove it.

    In the next part, we'll go over the process of actually installing the skylight. 

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.