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10.25.11 / Light Skies

The highly anticipated skylights are in!  Maybe not highly anticipated by you, but Handy Hubby and I have been waiting and waiting and longing for these babies to be installed.  We’ve got a thing for skylights.  We love the way they let natural light flood in and give you a view to the skies when you’re inside.  So when we decided to vault the ceiling in the great room, adding skylights was a no-brainer.  The company that installed the new metal roof {pics to come!} also installed the skylights.  HH DIY’d the framing on the interior ceiling prior to the skylights being installed.

Since there’s a large picture window at the front of the house that lets tons of natural light in, we chose to have four skylights installed on the backside of the house {over the future kitchen} where natural light was lacking.  We also liked how putting skylights on the rear of the house would keep the front exterior of the house looking less busy and less cluttered.  {i.e. the roof on the backside of the house has a lot goin’ on now.}

At first, HH and I were set on adding a trio of skylights but once the ceiling was vaulted we realized things would look much more balanced if we added two pair of skylights – one pair lined up with the kitchen window and one pair lined up with the new french doors in the kitchen.

We were able to find long, skinny {14″ x 46″} Velux skylights available at our local Home Depot. The narrow width allowed the skylights to be installed without cutting into the existing rafters.

Of note – While the skylights were available in-store, we had to special order the flashing kit for our metal roof.  Our local Home Depot did have flashing kits available in-store for standard shingle roofs.

Other than providing the once dark kitchen area with much needed light, the skylights also provide us with a great view. Since they’re angled on the back of the house, the skylights allow us a 24/7 view of the tops of the mature trees that make up the tree line in the backyard.

I promise in real life the view looks 100x’s better than what I can capture with my camera.  It’s difficult to take head on pictures of windows/doors that glow with natural light but hopefully you get the idea.  Oh, and don’t mind the random electric cord.  It’s a temporary setup.  Anyhow, it’s fall here in the midwest and most of the trees aren’t as full as they are in the summer so I can’t wait to see how the view changes from season to season.  Everett refers to them as ‘light skies’ – hence the title of this post.

All of the images so far were taken on a very cloudy, rainy, dreary Ohio day.  The skylights’ effects are more pronounced when the sun is shining…like it was yesterday.  I snapped some more pics while the sun was out.

It was evening and the sun wasn’t so high in the sky.  I’ve yet to experience the skylights on a sunny afternoon when they’re sure to be at their best.

Now that the metal roof and skylights are in AND now that the Underdog has passed inspection {!!!}, we’re able to start insulating the walls and vaulted ceiling.  Last night, the boys, HH and I spent our evening clearing out the Underdog for insulation installation today – you know, moving stuff away from the walls, gathering all HH’s tools and putting them in the garage, and getting piles of trash out of the house.  We’re actually having spray foam insulation installed by the pros over the next few days.  That means we’ll be steering clear of the Underdog for several days to avoid any harmful fumes.  We’ll probably check in daily and just peek through the windows to see the progress.

With the Underdog under quarantine, the boys and I get to see HH more over the next few days than we have in months! I’m not exaggerating when I say HH has been spending every spare minute of his time at the Underdog plugging away.  We’re very much looking forward to seeing him this week and we’re grateful for all the hard work he’s put in over the past several months.  It will be nice to have him around.  Love you, HH.

FYI – I was not compensated to mention Velux skylights.  I’m just sharing a great product we’ve used!

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

45 Comments

25.October.2011

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I can really picture the end result now! Great job! Love all of the natural light…

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25.October.2011

It looks amazing! Can’t believe how well the rafters lined up with the window and door!

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replied on October 25th, 2011

Amy – That was a happy coincidence. We’re really happy with how they line up with the window and door too!

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25.October.2011

I’m so envious! I really wanted to add skylights to our kitchen and guest bath when the roof was being re-done, but my husband and our general contractor (also my husband’s cousin) were adamant that skylights always end up leaking. I didn’t, and still don’t, buy that argument, but reno funds were already getting squeezed by “unexpected” issues, so I just went with the flow.
Seeing how great yours look, and all that glorious light streaming in makes me wish I’d put just a little more teeth into the fight!

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25.October.2011

I’m sure It’s fun to see it coming together! And yes, we’ve had many a dreary day here in SW Ohio! Already dreaming for next spring….
Love the skylights!

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25.October.2011

I am excited to see walls.

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replied on October 26th, 2011

Seriously Sassy Mama – What?! You don’t like the cinder block walls? Hehe. Just kidding. I’m crazy about getting some REAL walls up in the Underdog and trying out some paint samples soon!

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25.October.2011

Looks great! (I too love looking up and seeing the tree branches through skylights!) Also, if you ever get *too* much sun…Velux sells roller shades that, when closed, provide an awesome diffuse light (you just buy an extension handle to operate them). We keep ours closed about half the time, just because it’s such a nice effect. Also…you’ve probably already got a handle on this, but I think the Velux units typically meet Energy Star requirements and qualify for energy efficiency tax credits? (Actually, with all the work you guys have already done you can probably easily meet the max tax credit.)

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replied on October 26th, 2011

Lauren – I love the idea of diffusing light with the roller shades you have! So great. Our skylights are on the back {north} side of the house and shouldn’t get a ton of direct sunlight but we’ll see how it goes. I’m definitely open to using the retractable shades if we need to!

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25.October.2011

looks incredible! love the openness of your room, makes me want a 1 story house!!!

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25.October.2011

These look GREAT. Its amazing what natural light can do to open up the space even more – Its really starting to come together. Give HH a pat on the back from all your virtual readers :)

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25.October.2011

I live in Seattle, so I totally get it about wanting to capture as much light as possible. I like how the skylights line up with the french doors — three would have made it feel a bit unbalanced.

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25.October.2011

Those skylights are awesome!! I’m so envious of all the natural light coming into your home. We’re really lacking in the natural light and it gets so depressing.

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25.October.2011

Wow! Looks great! Can’t wait to see the place with walls!

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25.October.2011

Love the way everything is coming together!!

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25.October.2011

I was wondering what the Underdog’s square footage will be when complete? My home’s layout is so similar to yours. I am hanging on every post to see how it comes together! I have no idea how to decorate or furnish one big room that is suppose to be kitchen / dining / family room in one – for a family of five.

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replied on October 26th, 2011

Melissa – Including the 2-car garage, the Underdog is just under 1,700 sq ft. So, that’s even less finished living space! We’ll soon have a family of 5 {still getting used to the idea!} and don’t plan to add on any more sq footage. The Underdog’s original footprint will remain the same. To make it work for us, a few rooms will be multi-purpose and I’ll have to get creative with storage/organization. Another key element will be to continuously edit our belongings – namely toys and clothing. We may not be able to keep a lot of stuff around but we like it that way. I start to feel a little claustrophobic when I think about homes that are filled to the brim.

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25.October.2011

Wow, that looks phenomenal! I love that you chose to put them on the back of the house…great thinking! I can’t wait to see how the rooms take shape once the drywall goes up…LOVE it! :)

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25.October.2011

Looks great ! Natural light is always the best ! And since they line up perfectly with door+window, it will draw interesting lines in your room.
Enjoy some family time now !
Take care.

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25.October.2011

I rarely comment but always read…I love watching the progress on the Underdog. It looks fabulous!

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25.October.2011

Dana, everything looks so beautiful. You can really start to see what the space will look like now, and it’s going to be AMAZING. Kudos to you and your husband for taking the leap on this and being willing to see what an incredible diamond in the rough you had!

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25.October.2011

I can almost feel the sunlight and fresh air coming in!! Love the symmetry.

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25.October.2011

It looks like your house is glowing in the photos with sunlight! So excited to see some walls go up.

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Loving the skylights. The placement is spot on! It is so much fun to follow along with you. Enjoy the next few days with HH!
Happy Tuesday!

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25.October.2011

The light skies look great. I’m really enjoying watching the Underdog’s progress and can’t wait to see the final product. You’re going to have some amazing before and after photos!

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25.October.2011

Nice lights…In my next house I’m going to have solar tubes….no where to put them in this house. I love natural light.
Julie

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25.October.2011

they look fantastic!!! you must be having so much fun (and maybe a bit of stress) with this total demolition! i’m jealous!

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26.October.2011

Huge difference having these. My parents just put a couple skylights in their place and I am shocked at the difference.

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26.October.2011

I really enjoy watching your progress, & I’m excited to see what you will do next. You are going to have some pretty impressive before/after pics when this project is completed! The UD is already looking fantastic!

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replied on October 26th, 2011

Erin – It took me a minute to figure out what the ‘UD’ was. Underdog = UD, so great!

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They look gorgeous, Dana!

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26.October.2011

Answer to your tweet : how about …
– denim ?
– ticking (I just looked it up in the dictionary, I mean this thick fabric that we make mattresses out of)
– or even “basque” fabric (usually used for beach chairs — FYI+pictures : http://www.maisonartiga.com/).
Hope it’ll help !
Take care.

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replied on October 27th, 2011

Ariane – Thanks! Ticking fabric is a fave of mine. I was looking for a premade mattress cover {not a sheet} but it looks as though I may have to hire out a local slipcovering shop to do the work with whatever fabric I decide on. I’m sure they could be DIY’d but my sewing skills do not include sewing elastic – nevermind the fact that I don’t think my sewing machine could handle heavy linen or denim. In case you’re wondering, I’m wanting the twin mattress cover {two of them actually} for the boys’ beds.

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26.October.2011

Love watching all of this come together. My hubby and I live in a 1500 square foot pad and it totally forces you to inventory yourself and use rooms to multipurpose. Sometimes I think I want a bigger house (like one that doesnt have 7 foot ceilings upstairs. Its a bungalow.) But until we finish paying off our student loans and can life some of the debt off of our shoulders we are in the little boat. You guys made a great decision to live smaller and more richly. Also its awesome to see another Ohioan rocking their design skills at home. Love from Cleveland.

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26.October.2011

Looking good Underdog!!! Love how they line up with the other windows. We have two skylights on the East side of our home {already there when we bought the house} and it gets hot in the summer because of all the sun pouring in for half the day. I’m thinking about installing some sort of shades. I know exactly what you are talking about with being able to see the tall trees in the backyard….love it. Sometimes when the moon is just right the moon is right in the skylight in the kitchen area of our home. It looks so cool with the tree branches. You’ll love looking up and seeing all of that. The UD is really coming together. I can totally picture the room now. Great progress guys!!! Great work to your HH. ;)

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26.October.2011

It is looking great in there! I can’t believe you are holding out on us with the roof pictures- I am dying to see it. :)

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27.October.2011

Well — I figured ! That’s why I didn’t go with flowers and pink stuff ! Glad it helped !
Take care.

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28.October.2011

Yay! I love the skylights! Unfortunately, here in Ohio, you’ll be waiting a few months for some awesome sunlight days. Hopefully some rays will peek out before then though!

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13.November.2011

I have loved looking at the renovating in progress going on at your abode. I know the feeling of finally getting drywall up! It feels so finished to have that part finally completed. That means insulation is in, electrical is done, the walls are built and you are close to painting, installing trim and hanging doors! Congratulations. We have renovated at least 5 houses in our 10 years of marriage. Our current house is to a place that it feels somewhat “done”, although we still have the whole outside to do. Here’s a link to my house tour, if you get bored one day: http://www.potholesandpantyhose.com/2010/05/my-home-tour/
And our rentals are to a place that we don’t worry about them every day. We love to get those rent checks each month! I love your site and can’t wait to continue following you with your progress on your home. I am so excited for you!

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05.June.2013

I know this is an older post, but I came back to check it out because I am thinking about vaulting my living room ceiling and putting in a couple skylights. I was wondering if you guys had to put up any extra supports when the ceiling joists were removed. It looks like the rafters are supported by the exterior walls and no additional support would be needed, but I was curious if you guys added any additional supports. thanks.

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replied on June 5th, 2013

One contractor said we wouldn’t need support – especially since we were putting on a lightweight metal roof. Another said we would. HH did his own research {he is a mechanical engineer} and decided it would be worth it to have extra support in the way of a ridge beam. We hired out to have the ridge beam manufactured and installed.

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replied on June 5th, 2013

Thanks Dana! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. I’ll have to call in a pro just to be on the safe side.

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06.December.2013

[…] nonexistent. From inside, all we see is snow-covered glass. I’m so happy we decided to put those four skylights in during renovation. We’ve grown accustomed to living with them and don’t realize how […]

18.February.2014

[…] (sounds strange, works beautifully for us) to make better use of the space. We vaulted the ceiling, added skylights and replaced the original dining room window with french […]

10.July.2014

[…] *http://www.housetweaking.com/2011/10/25/light-skies/ […]




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