DIY skylight?

paleolithMay 21, 2010

Not sure whether this should be here or in Home Building, but figured something this small might be better here.

OK, the subject is going to make everyone say "no way". But wait ...

We are having part of our roof reframed because it's a mess, repairing the rest and putting metal on the whole thing. It's all 3/12 slope. The metal will be Berridge Zee-lock, which is 24-gauge with a 1" standing seam, 16" wide panels which will be formed and cut to the specified lengths by a local company.

The newly framed part is going to cover a small screened porch which previously had a mostly fiberglass roof (which was part of the problem). There's heavy shade around it, so there's going to be a lot less light with the metal roof. So we want to add skylights. Since it's a porch, I don't need energy saving features like double glass and it doesn't need to open. I would however prefer polycarbonate glazing -- statistically it may be rare for a glass skylight to break, but such an event is in my experience. This is in north Florida, so no worry about snow, and although wind is an issue, it's far enough inland that thunderstorms are a greater concern than hurricanes.

Velux has a choice of sizes, but only glass, and double glass at that. Others I've found online are glass or acrylic or "fiberglass" of unspecified plastic composition. Won't be able to check the local non-big-box stores until next week. The prices for the Velux aren't awful, but I'm sure I'd be paying a good bit for the double glazing that I don't need and I wouldn't get polycarb. They do at least offer tempered glass which is like windshield glass in that it breaks into non-dangerous pieces. (And I haven't figured out whether I'll need their flashing kit with a metal roof, or how much that will cost.)

So do I have any options for making it myself? (I refer to myself but it would actually be a master carpenter working for me doing the construction, and I could find a local sheet metal shop if needed.) I can of course get polycarbonate cut locally, so the frame is the biggie. And of course it has to pass inspection.

Or should I give up on polycarb and eat the cost of features I don't need?


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I suspect you would pay considerably more to have it built by a carpenter and it wouldn't come close to the quality of a Velux skylight. I see no advantage in plastic glazing for a skylight. The more important consideration is degradation from UV light. As for strength Velux makes the following glass:
-Tempered (like car side windows)
-Laminated glass (like a car windshield)
-Impact glass (hurricane areas)
-Miami-Dade glass (stronger hurricane protection)
-White laminated glass
-Snowload glass

Velux makes a curb/flashing kit that is intended for low slope metal roofs. You are not paying for anything you don't need.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 10:34AM
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Thanks, macy. I'll look into Velux in more detail.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 10:58AM
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Good luck


    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:29PM
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