Steps // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight
1 ×

Mark and cut a rough opening

 
Step One // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Mark and cut a rough opening

Mark the skylight opening and cut out rough opening with a drywall saw
Photo by John Nasta

Start by marking the rough opening of the skylight on the ceiling and knee wall. Position the bottom of the sill 38 to 44 inches above the floor. Align the side of the opening with the inside edge of a rafter. Cut along the lines with a drywall saw and pull the drywall from the rough opening.

 
2 ×

Prep for skylight install

 
Step Two // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Prep for skylight install

saw out the rafter from the center of the opening
Photo by John Nasta

Carefully remove the insulation, then use a reciprocating saw to cut out the top plate of the knee wall. Also saw out the rafter from the center of the opening; cut it flush with the bottom, but leave it long at the top.

 
3 ×

Install support frame

 
Step Three // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Install support frame

Drive nails through the plywood roof sheathing in each of the four corners of the rough opening
Photo by John Nasta

Build a perimeter frame around the sill area with 2x4s. Drive nails through the plywood roof sheathing in each of the four corners of the rough opening. Then go outside onto the roof and carefully remove all the roof shingles from around the opening. Save the shingles for nailing back around the skylight after it's installed.

 
4 ×

Cut rough opening from inside

 
Step Four // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Cut rough opening from inside

cut out the rough opening with a reciprocating saw
Photo by John Nasta

From inside, cut out the rough opening with a reciprocating saw. Guide the blade along the rafters for the side cuts, then remove the severed plywood or roof sheathing to expose the rough opening.

 
5 ×

Start rooftop installation

 
Step Five // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Start rooftop installation

remove the sash
Photo by John Nasta

Remove the sash before passing the frame through the rough opening and onto the roof.

 
6 ×

Reinstall sash and install the frame

 
Step Six // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Reinstall sash and install the frame

Reinstall sash and install the frame
Photo by John Nasta

Set the frame in place, then reinstall the sash to hold the frame square. Fasten the frame to the roof with 2-inch screws driven through the metal brackets on the sides of the frame. Be sure the screws go into the rafters.

 
7 ×

Install flashing

 
Step Seven // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Install flashing

install the sill flashing along the bottom of the skylight
Photo by John Nasta

Staple 18-inch-wide strips of 15-pound roofing felt around the perimeter of the skylight frame. Then install the sill flashing along the bottom of the skylight. Next, nail step flashing and roof shingles up each side of the skylight. Cover all four sides of the sash frame with the aluminum counter-flashing provided. Then install the head flashing, slipping it under the course of roof shingles immediately above the skylight. Screw the head flashing to the sides of the frame. Cover the head flashing with roofing felt and nail back all the remaining roof shingles.

 
8 ×

Install inside header

 
Step Eight // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Install inside header

cut a 2x12 header to fit into the space above the skylight
Photo by John Nasta

From inside, cut a 2x12 header to fit into the space above the skylight. Be sure that it's parallel with the floor.

 
9 ×

Finish the viewing area

 
Step Nine // How to Install a Wide-Angle Skylight

Finish the viewing area

Cover the viewing shelf with 1/2-inch plywood followed by a layer of drywall
Photo by John Nasta

Cover the viewing shelf with 1/2-inch plywood followed by a layer of drywall. The plywood adds structural support and keeps heavy objects and sharp elbows from breaking through the drywall. The shelf can also be finished with wood, marble or solid-surface material. Cover the exposed framing around the inside of the skylight with 1/2-inch drywall. Protect the drywall corners with metal corner bead, finish the surfaces with paper tape and joint compound and then apply a fresh coat of paint.

 

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