Getting ready to have sky lights installed. I would like to see how the roofs are constructed.
Can anyone tell me how these ceilings are constructed? Does anyone have any pics of the roof while installing skylights?
I don't have pictures on-line of skylights being installed; I do have photos of the skylights during a re-roofing, but they're not on line. However, I can at least tell you what's involved.
On our 1960 Eichler (as well as all others, as far as I know), the roofing is a few layers (from top to bottom):
* waterproofing: tar and gravel or foam (could be multiple layers of roofing, depending on your house's history.)
* original 1/2" fiberglass insulation, usually crushed by the roof
* in-roof wiring, covered by a metal channel to protect it from roofers
* 2x6 tongue and groove redwood boards
That's it; the redwood boards that hold the roof up are also the boards you see as your ceilings.
To install a skylight, all that's needed is a hole in the roof framed by 2x12 (or whatever) lumber, with the skylight sitting on top. The hole needs to be cut through all the layers of the roofing and needs to avoid any wiring paths, then gets framed with the boards making the "chimney" for the skylight. Your roofer then patches the roofing around the skylight, and brings the roofing up the walls of the skylight's chimney.
The original Eichler skylights used a specially-milled piece of wood that had a lip cut to hide the edges of the hole. When we had to reframe one of our skylights after a roofing mishap, the roofers used plain, rough 2x12 redwood. I ended up sanding and oiling the redwood after they left so it had a finished appearance, and added some thin 2" wide redwood trim to hide the edges of the hole cut in the ceiling.
Hope this helps,
I've placed photos of our roof at
These photos were taken when we reroofed our house in 2000. The three photos are:
1) overall photo of the roof after the roofers had stripped the roof down to the original tar and gravel. The electrical wires hidden under the roof can be seen as darker stripes across the roof surface. I'm sure this picture will come in handy if I ever decide to put a fan in our guest bathroom and need to figure out where to cut the hole in the roof.
2) Photo of one of the skylight framing being removed. We got caught by a freak rainstorm during the re-roofing, and one of the skylight chimneys cracked as the house dried out. This shows the roofers removing the original wood framing; they replaced it with 2x12 redwood. This shows the ends of the roof boards nicely, and shows how the skylight framing just fits against the boards.
3) Detail photo showing all the layers of roofing -- the original tar-and-gravel surface, the insulation batt underneath it, and the roof boards under that.
Hope this helps,
Interesting photos posted by bowdidge. We too have that layer of original fiberglass insulation. But it is now covered by 1 in. of rigid foam.
When I was doing the electrical work on the roof for our new kitchen I just thought that layer of fiberglass was some sort of "breaker strip" between the wood and the foam. Now I know what it really is and can see that it would not be providing any insulation after all these years. The photo of our roof cut up (showing some of the construction details) is available at:
While the story of our kitchen remodel is at:
Beware: I used industry standard compliant CSS2 positioning on that page and Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows does not conform to standards. To see the page properly, ditch your MS software and get some good stuff.
The real "downside" of a foam roof is finding someone who will do repairs on it. I had a foam roofing company foam my roof, and it went bankrupt shortly thereafter. The company foamed up to the top of my skylights, covering the weep holes, and I have had trouble with cracking and leaks. It would seem to me that there would be some way to cut the foam away from the skylights, reinstall new skylights and patch the area around with a material compatible with the foam or refoam the areas. I have numerous and large skylights on the roof.
I have been told that I would have to have the entire roof torn off and redone. Also, I have ducktwork on the roof, which they foamed. I've been told that this made the heating ducts unserviceable in case of clogged vents, etc., and that I would have to have them torn down and redone. The ductwork is ten years old and the roof eight.
Does anyone know of a reputable company that can repair foam roofs and do skylights? I would appreciate any info I can get.