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How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 10:39 AM   #1
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How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Anyone ever have this done? If so, what was your experience, and more importantly, how much did it cost? I'd like one skylight above my bath tub, and one in the kitchen.


Also, I'm looking into having my ceiling vaulted. That means taking one wall, which is parallel to and beneath the peak of my home (i live in a one story ranch) and extendiing it up about 6 feet. This will make the ceiling slope from that 14 ft wall, downward to my regular 8 ft wall on the other side of the room.

Anyone ever do this?
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 11:17 AM   #2
 
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Two things:

1. We have a nice vaulted ceiling in out living room. Looks great, but guess where all the heat goes? If I were rebuilding the house, I would keep the ceiling lower for energy efficiency. The heat from the wood stove would stick around where the humans live, and flow up the stairs into the rest pf the house.

2. I've had a contractor tell me: every skylight will leak at some point. I don't know if I'd go that far, but I have had problems with leaking.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 11:23 AM   #3
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

First why don't you call up a couple architects (not a "designer") in your community and engage that person for an hour or two to look at your home so that you know whether or not it is practical for what you expect to pay. *There are lots of skylight manufacturers out there with different + & -. *Ask the architect to give you a list of units that they think you should consider, and a detail to take to a roofer. The MOST IMPORTANT part of that job is proper installation and flashing, hence the comment about leaks.* Any penetration through the roof is an opportunity for a leak, this is a job for a crafts worker - not a laborer.

You will need an engineer/architect to stamp your drawings for your other scheme, it will be expensive. *You want this to add value to your home, not something that will look like an afterthought.* I am with TromboneAl.* We a have vaulted ceiling in the living room, our heating is very reasonable, BUT our mechanical system was designed to recirculate the heat out of the loft volume.* What you are considering is a major modification of your home.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I've had a contractor tell me: every skylight will leak at some point. I don't know if I'd go that far, but I have had problems with leaking.
Ding ding ding!

Two kinds of skylights. Those that leak, and those that will.

I installed two of them, flashed them, sealed the flashing with butyl rubber, used window tape over the flashing, tar paper over that, sealed the tar paper edges with roofing cement, and shingled.

That worked very well, until two years later when it leaked.

Problem with skylights and other roof protrusions is that people instinctively think water flows downhill. When it hits a protrusion it goes sideways, and with a little wind, sideways and up the roof. Eventually to some place that will leak.

You want water to get off your roof in the most direct, expedient, and downhill manner, after which you want the bulk water removed from the area around your house/foundation as quickly as possible and as far as possible.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 12:17 PM   #5
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Man. it seems everyone i talk to has leaking skylights. But I REALLY want them to help open up the house (visibly, not open it up to water!).

there's gotta be a way!
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 12:22 PM   #6
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

By the way, vaulting may not even be structurally possible. In some homes, the existing studs and beams were designed structurally in a certain manner that prohibits a vault, at least without some exposed horizontal beams.

You may be better off selling the house that you dont like and buying one that you do, rather than trying to structurally reinvent this one.

By the way, my ex girlfriend installed a pair in her house a couple of years ago and honestly...you hardly even notice them.

Have someone come in and paint a sky on your ceiling and put a couple of really bright indirect halogen lights in...
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 12:37 PM   #7
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

I installed a type of tubular skylight in my home 3 years ago. In fact, I installed 5 in my kitchen/dining room and one in my bathroom. The cost for each was approximately $200 and labor was a couple hours for each one. I love them. I have vaulted ceilings in the kitchen/dinning room but I have a sunroom off of the dining room. When the sunroom was added on it turned my dining room into an interior room with no windows. Too dark for my tastes. Now it's bright and beautiful in there. My husband was very, very opposed to having them installed for all the reasons listed above. I have had absolutely no problems.

Here is a website with the type I had installed.
http://www.sunpipe.com/index.htm


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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Those arent as bad, since they're round and let water flow around them and they're profile at the edges is nearly flush with the roof. The rectangular ones that stick up an inch or two are the real bad actors.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 12:47 PM   #9
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

I've seen those tubes, but I absolutely LOVE the bright sunlight coming directly in.

Fuzzy bunny: whaddaya mean you cant notice them? If they are clear, they will let in a lot of light
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 12:56 PM   #10
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Only if you fully vault the ceiling and mount them flush. If your ceiling has more than a foot or two drop down from the roofline and skylight and you've built a "box" from the ceiling up to the skylight, only when the sun is directly overhead does it do much.

One thing they do in some homes around here (my dads has it) is a window over the regular windows...a long 8-16" tall horizontal window over the existing windows. Lets in a lot more light, maintains privacy, low leak probability, etc.

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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 01:07 PM   #11
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

We have two skylights in our kitchen, which is a flat roof bumpout off of our building. The skylights face northeast and were built up a number of inches from the roof and tilted, to minimize the chance of leaks. No direct sun hits them. But it makes a tremendous difference in the amount of light in the room. Maybe because the room was very dark to start with, facing north. The skylights often get covered with snow, so I notice how much darker the room gets. I do keep the snow shoveled off. They have been there maybe 7 years, no leaks yet.

Edit, I lied, the skylights face northwest.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 01:57 PM   #12
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
We have two skylights in our kitchen, which is a flat roof bumpout off of our building. The skylights face northeast and were built up a number of inches from the roof and tilted, to minimize the chance of leaks. No direct sun hits them. But it makes a tremendous difference in the amount of light in the room. Maybe because the room was very dark to start with, facing north. The skylights often get covered with snow, so I notice how much darker the room gets. I do keep the snow shoveled off. They have been there maybe 7 years, no leaks yet.
How big is the "box" referred to in the above posts? IE how far from your ceiling to the skylights?
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 02:07 PM   #13
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Not my ceiling...but the ones I had in my old house were about 2', and my ex girlfriends are about 3' from the level of the ceiling to the center of the skylight.

Oh yeah, and the carpet under them gets a nice faded area under it unless the skylight has a strong UV filter.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 02:12 PM   #14
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
... and my ex girlfriends are about 3' from the level of the ceiling to the center of the skylight.
That must've been one heckuva party!
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 02:32 PM   #15
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?



Pretty good one.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 02:49 PM   #16
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

One thing they do in some homes around here (my dads has it) is a window over the regular windows...a long 8-16" tall horizontal window over the existing windows. Lets in a lot more light, maintains privacy, low leak probability, etc.

Is that kinda like a transom window? At least, I think that's the term for it
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 03:46 PM   #17
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
How big is the "box" referred to in the above posts? IE how far from your ceiling to the skylights?
I just measured. The high side is 42 inches and the low side is 30 inches. I also took a picture:



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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 03:53 PM   #18
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Now put a pancake on it.

Boobs are out of the question.
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 03:54 PM   #19
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Looks good Martha. I liek the idea of 2 side by side....which it looks like you have.

Are those about 2 ft by 4 ft in the picture?
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?
Old 03-17-2006, 03:57 PM   #20
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Re: How much $$ to add skylights to my home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
Looks good Martha. I liek the idea of 2 side by side....which it looks like you have.

Are those about 2 ft by 4 ft in the picture?
Are you going to make me climb up on the kitchen island again?
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