Touch The Stars: Make Your Attic Into An Observatory

by | Apr 19, 2018 | Outdoor

Your attic can be turned into the best room of your home. If you install a skylight in it, it can provide the attic with the abundance of light and warmth and give you a unique experience of enjoying the stars at night. However, you need to know a couple of things beforehand to be able to decide if it’s the right choice for you and if you are still up for it, to know a couple of useful tricks.

Things to take into consideration

Firstly, it would be wise to check if you need planning permission and if you will be able to follow building regulations. The planning permission shouldn’t be difficult to obtain, but you need to check how much glass a property can have in terms of safety.

Next, there is no point in installing the skylight in a place where it won’t provide enough light. You need to know how the sun moves throughout the day and make the best use of the skylight, preferably placing it on the southern side. If you’ll get just a few hours of sun, maybe it isn’t worth the trouble.

The problem that goes with the abundance of light is actually having too much of it. This is where you need to think about how much you are ready to spend on the quality of the skylight and the possibility to use UV coating. It would be a useful tool to prevent the room from becoming too stuffy and too bright. Another additional cost could be the insulation of the skylight. Even though it’s costly, it is very useful in the long run.

Lastly, you’ll need to choose between two different types – fixed or vented, depending on whether you want to be possible to open it or not. It’s up to you to decide whether you want just a source of light or an installment that can let in the air.

 The DIY process

If you have definitely decided to install the skylight, here’s what you’ll have to do:

  1. Choose location carefully

It’s not just about the spot that will provide the most light – you need to place the skylight between trusses. If they are not exposed, you’ll need to use a stud finder to locate them correctly so that you can remove the right ceiling pieces. In case trusses need to be removed or reframing has to be performed, it’s advisable to consult a professional – many experts across the country are at your disposal to help you with this step of the project, so don’t try doing it on your own with a power drill and the rest of the equipment.

  1. Get the right kit

Once you have your preferences determined, buy a skylight kit that matches them. They also need to fit the texture and the slope of the roof, as well as to be the appropriate size. Don’t rush and start removing the ceiling before you have carefully read the kit instructions – they differ among various manufacturers and models. This will spare you any unnecessary costs and delays in the process.

  1. Follow the instructions completely

It’s very important to install the skylight according to the specifications of the model in question. Experts always stress that the flashing should be installed from the roof, and definitely with another pair of hands – this could be too dangerous for an individual to do it alone. The interior installation process should be the last step, as this is a tricky one don’t hesitate to do extra research and seek advice from companies that provide home renovation services, they will often give you free counseling if you ask nicely.

  1. Perform a water test

Use a garden hose and a sprayer to test the seals from the inside of the attic. You may have to wait a day or two before performing the test because you need to make sure that all epoxies have set. The time you’ll have to wait depends on the type of flashing and seals that have been used. Ensuring that the new installation is waterproof will extend its life, as well as prevent the wood from rotting and the metal components from rusting.

  1. Take safety precautions

Any work that includes height can be dangerous, so be careful every step of the way and always wear safety gear. Use only stable ladders and use a harness when you are on the roof. Be careful not to step on a soft spot of the ceiling or a loose tile or a shingle – you could fall through or slip and fall off the roof.

Final comment

Installing the skylight isn’t as inexpensive as it may seem in the beginning. The price can go between £250 and £1600, depending on the amount of work that will have to be done. Still, let’s not forget that a single skylight can add 30% more light into the room than any window, saving a lot of energy in the process. If you want to enjoy the night sky and the sun during the day – go for it.

Read through our useful guide for more information

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