How Do You Install Vented Skylights?

Vented SkylightHaving a better understanding of how to install vented skylights assists in making correct decisions up front for years of enjoyment down the road. Opening the roof makes the best use of available light and creates an enchanting and inviting living space. While there are many options in a market that can seem overwhelming, what follows are some helpful tips on your choices and best methods for installation:

Deciding to DIY or Rely on a Contractor

Whether you prefer a particular brand of skylight or know nothing about them, it is important to consider a few basics when narrowing down your selections. While the vented skylight might seem to be nothing more than a window, remember that this is an opening that is cut through the thermal envelope of the home. If you are not prepared for the consequences of the potential mistakes that may occur, leave the duty of correctly installing a vented skylight up to a general contractor, according to Home Renovations. A window installer is going to ask you to prepare the opening yourself anyway, so consulting with a GC is a good way to ensure you are getting the work done properly.

What to Look For in a Vented Skylight

Skylight window panes have come a long way in their quality of construction and materials. Tinted, tempered and insulated glass, protection against UV rays and thermal efficiency have improved to meet the challenge of exposure to weather, impact and sunlight. Further, tinting may be exchanged for blinds or shades to control the intensity of light as needed. The vented skylight is not a product you are looking to cut corners on. The cheapest is not necessarily the best way to go on protecting this living space that is so closely subjected to the atmosphere outside. Do bother to get the flashing kit that accompanies your choice of vented skylight, which may or may not add a little extra expense when accommodating a metal or tile roof.

The Advantages of Installing a Vented Skylight

Skylights are either vented or fixed, which simply means the difference between having the option to vent the air by opening the skylight or being limited by a fixed pane that does not open. Operating the vented skylight either uses a tool provided for manual operation or electronic control using a remote device. Inevitably, rain falls when the skylight has been vented making it crucial to remember to manually close this window to avoid soaking the interior space. There are models that come with a built-in sensor enabling them to automatically close at the first sign of raindrops.

Determine Your Choice of Vented Skylight Installation Based Upon Your Roof Construction

You need to know the attributes of your roof construction to make the wisest selection of vented skylight. There is the issue of truss framing, which is typically installed at 24-inches on center. A 2-foot-wide vented skylight works well as it is actually measured at 22.5-inches in width. This kind of truss still allows the option to go for a wider skylight, such as 4-feet wide by 6-feet long. This calls for structural knowledge when cutting into the truss. A structural engineer is able to provide the specifications on alternative framing.

If you do not have a cathedral ceiling in the living space where you plan to install your vented skylights, this could require constructing what is called a chase, which is a framed tunnel built from the opening to the ceiling level below to allow light fall. This is interior wall construction that calls for framing, drywall, finishing and painting. It can be complex construction but is still not beyond an accomplished do-it-yourselfer. It certainly is not a job for a novice with the best of intentions, however.

Consider Some of the Costs Associated with Installation of Vented Skylights

To get a better perspective on the costs after examining the aforementioned details, here is a rough breakout of some of the additional expenses, according to House Logic:

  • Structural engineer $300 – $500
  • Cutting the hole in the roof and altering the framing about $200
  • Installation of the skylight and flashing with asphalt shingles about $200 to $300 – for metal or tile roofing, add an additional 20-30 percent
  • Building a chase can run between $1,000 and $1,500
  • Professional repainting of the ceiling at a minimum of $250

The difference between a manually hand-cranked vented skylight and an electronically controlled model can range between $300 and $400. A rain sensor adds another $200 to $300. Separate blinds range between $200 and $400 and are also available in manual or electronic operation.

When you are ready to make your selection of vented skylights, part of your preparation is in deciding whether to tackle the job by yourself or to resource the expertise of a professional. With a bit of preplanning and an understanding of the existing structural elements, knowing how to install vented skylights is simply a process of one step at a time.

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