Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Red Neck Skylight

One of the biggest features of the living room is the giant 8x8 foot skylight.  We love how much light it brings into the space.  But it is made of glass panels siliconed onto wooden supports and it leaks a bit.  Since we're doing so much work, we decided to replace it with a modern skylight now, rather than wait till later.

But it turned out to be a daunting task.  We want to add a little ventilation to the room, so it needs to be a special unit, with an operable center panel.  And 8 feet long is a BIG panel!  The Velux Skylight folks came out to take a look and we discovered it will require one from their commercial line.  There is only one other like this in Maine, so it's an unusual project!

So we got all the measurements, placed our order and thought we would be moving forward quickly.  That's when the not-so-fun started.  

While we initially thought we had ordered a skylight with a lead-time of 5-6 weeks, in actuality, it's 12-14 weeks.  They build it in Sweden and bring it to the US by boat. Yikes!  Our schedule was suddenly a mess.  We had intended to install it in October, now it would be December - you know, winter snow season!!  And by then we should have most of our finishes in place, so it's not a great time to rip a big hole in the roof.

So after agonizing about it for a bit, we decided to go ahead and do the prep work in September and install a temporary skylight while we waited for the slow boat from Sweden.  

It was a big project - the old siliconed glass didn't come out easily and the framing for the new skylight needed to be built with exacting precision.

And with all the work going on in the house, we needed the daylight to keep the project moving forward.  The solution?  A red neck skylight :-)

We had buckets and buckets of tempered glass!
What you ask, is that?  It's a couple of plexiglass panels from Home Depot, mounted over 2x4's in the opening.  Not elegant, but it does let the light in.  We weren't sure how robust it would be to winter weather.  But it won't have to last long and we don't usually get much winter weather until after the first of the year.  Or so we thought....ha ha ha.
Skylight prep

Now that really brings the outdoors in!!!
So the red neck skylight went in and we waited - literally - for the slow boat from Sweden.  October ticked by.  Then November.  And then we got into December.  And as luck would have it, we had numerous nor'easters and a few snow storms.  Yikes!  Thankfully it held up reasonably well with only a couple little leaks.

And finally the big day arrived and the skylight was delivered.  I held my breath as the folks from Hammond Lumber lifted the giant crate up onto the roof.  But it went up without a hitch.
And did I mention it came from Sweden?  Well the guys were not amused with the IKEA-like instructions!!!  No text, just lots of pictures.

 And of course it's winter in Maine, so they had to shovel the snow away from the opening to get started.  It had a lot of pieces, but came together nicely.
See all those wires?  They are for the center section, which opens and closes (and has a very cool weather station, to automatically close if the winds get too high or it starts to rain!)

Best of all, look at the finished product and all that sunlight streaming in!!  It was worth the wait!  No more red neck skylight - hello sleek modern skylight!!

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  1. Wow, what a huge investment in planning (and no doubt money too)! It's beautiful.

  2. So awesome!! I think I would have been so nervous watching it to in!


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