Let There be Skylight

New Skylight!!

New Skylight!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Who helped:

  • Sheila

What we did:

Yesterday morning, something incredible happened. I installed something on the tiny house that actually came with instructions. I have almost forgotten what it’s like to build something that comes with instructions. It’s really kind of nice. How great would it be if my whole tiny house came with instructions?

The thing that came with instructions was my Velux skylight which has been patiently sitting in my garage for the past four months waiting for the opportunity to be put where it belongs. Despite the instructions, it was still a little more difficult and challenging than I expected. The biggest problem I ran into was trying to nail the skylight to the roof. The Velux skylight design does not allow very much room for actually hammering the nails through the tiny holes they provided. If you miss by even a few millimeters – which is not hard to do when you’re swinging a hammer while balancing on a ladder 14 feet in the air – you end up either smashing your fingers or smashing the side of the window frame, both of which I did frequently yesterday, resulting in much cursing that I hope my neighbors did not hear. My fingers will heal. However, the scratches and dents I put in to the side of the skylight sides won’t go away on their own and that kind of bugs me. I’m hoping it won’t be too visible from the ground.

Skylight Nailed In

Skylight Nailed In

After I finished nailing the skylight in, I added the Sticky flashing and then discovered that I can’t really install the metal flashing kit that came with the skylight until I first figure out exactly where the roofing panels are going to go and I’m not sure how to do that yet. So, the skylight installation will have to continue after I have put some roofing panels on which may be a week or so from now. I’m pretty sure that the sticky flashing that I put around the skylight we’ll keep the area watertight until the roof goes on (I’m saying a little prayer to God as I am writing this).

View Through My New Skylight

Inside View Through My New Skylight

Problems I ran into:

One other problem I encountered with the skylight was that I didn’t fully understand what “properly framed” meant until after I hammered in all the nails and only then noticed that several of them just barely missed the two by fours surrounding the skylight opening. The mistake I made was thinking that the 21 inch wide opening required for the skylight needed to be centered within the 22 1/2 inch space between the rafters. However, that was not the case. I think I should have nailed another 2 x 4 to the inside of one of the rafters so that the space between the rafters was only 21 inches instead of 22 1/2. Instead, I ended up cutting the entire hole for the skylight ¾ inch smaller than the actual 2 x 4 frame. That made it so that all of the nails used to secure the skylight we’re driven in right at the inside edge of those 2 x 4s instead of in the center. I’m really hoping that I drove enough of the nails far enough into the two by fours to hold the skylight securely in place. I think I probably did (I’m saying a little prayer to God as I am writing this).

New Hole in My Roof

New Hole in My Roof

Hole from Inside. Note the 3/4 inch gap between 2x4's and hole (not good)

Note that hole is 3/4 inch smaller than frame on all sides (not ideal)

Today’s tiny epiphanies:

  • Instructions are a wonderful thing. You quite realize how wonderful they are until you try to build an entire house without them.

Favorite parts of the day:

  • Standing up through the hole in the roof I had cut. This is the last time I will be able to do something like that (at least I hope it is because if I have to open my roof of the again in the future, something has gone terribly wrong … one more prayer to God as I am writing this).
Standing Through My Roof

Standing Through My Roof

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