The idea of a tubular skylight had been floating around my head since I saw a DIY home improvement show feature them a few years ago. Last year on a road trip I stopped to visit an old friend and he’d just installed one!
I was on a DIY home improvement binge when the idea came back to me! Harnessing the positive power of peer pressure via facebook I decided it was time to bring some natural light into my kitchen.
My husband was gone on a lengthy business trip, imagine my surprise when I asked for his blessing to cut a hole in the roof and he simply replied “Do it well.” The confident DIYer in me bubbled with excitement, my realist side kept me awake at night thinking of all the things that could go horribly wrong! I mentioned this project on facebook and that was it, the peer pressure was on, I had to do it!
Following hours and hours of research, watching and reading every DIY tubular skylight how-to ever posted on the internet, I bought the skylight. I memorized the instructions then planned my attack.
I made arrangements with a neighbor and a babysitter for the roof and attic phases of installation. I felt more comfortable working with adult supervision, for me and the kids
Normally the roof work comes first, I did things a little backwards to better accommodate the time constraints of my adult supervision, I wanted to make sure they were around while I was on the roof.
When I was in the attic marking the final placement I put a screw through the roof to mark the center point on the outside. Once on the roof I found the screw and used the flashing and some sidewalk chalk- it’s great having kids- to mark the hole. The BEST tip I got before doing this was “careful with that reciprocating saw, it can really get away from you.” That is a true statement! I used a drill to make a hole big enough to get the reciprocating saw started and oh yes that saw likes to dance! Handy Tip: A board screwed into the cutout will prevent it from falling in the attic.
You can see the sidewalk chalk line, the drilled hole and how I got better at directing the “dance” of the saw. This step was the 2nd hardest part of the installation, the hardest part was making the decision to do it!
I used the reciprocating saw to break the seal on the shingles and cut the nails so the flashing could slide under.
After installing the flashing it was time for the tube! I read every review I could find for the model of skylight I purchased. There were many complaints of the tubes falling apart at the elbow after removing the protective film and causing damage to the tubes. I used masking tape to reinforce the joints and avoid a bent tube. The tube installed so quickly my adult supervision didn’t have time to snap a photo of it going in!
Place the tube, screw on the dome and everywhere you think water might get lather in sealant!
Connecting the top tube with the bottom tube via the attic was the last step. I forgot to take my camera with me, sorry there aren’t any cool photos.
You can see the green tape reinforcing the joints. My help passed the tube from the kitchen to the attic and helped guide the tubes together then reattached the ring and the tube snapped into place on the ring. I finished up in the attic by taping all the seams and replacing the disturbed insulation as best I could.
When it was all said and done I spent about 4 hours installing this mostly by myself, it was surprisingly easy to install. The skylight went in last February, it’s now the end of August and we haven’t had a single problem other than sometimes it’s too bright