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ControlTech 12-31-2008 06:26 AM

Skylight opening/portal through living room ceiling
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Hi guys - this is my first post. I've been reading the Electrical Forum for about a year, but came up with a question of my own.

I would like to add three skylights in my living room which is 13' wide by 20+' long. The house is a one floor rectangle (40' long by 26' wide) with the main support beam running down the center with four metal supports in the basement. There is an attic (6.5' high at the midpoint then sloped down toward the front and back to the gutters. The house is basically split down the middle with rooms at 13' by whatever.

What I would like to do, if possible, is remove a section of the living room ceiling to match my bay window (10' wide) and expose the joists above - install skylights and have them illuminate the living room. I want to run new walls up to the pitched roof essentially creating a sloped box from the skylights down to the living room.

Can the exposed joists (having no vertical load on them) be "sistered" up so that the openings could be doubled in size (instead of 16" O.C.) to give a more appealing look without effecting the "horizontal" support they currently provide?

I was even thinking about maybe staining/painting them.

Thanks in Advance

I added a quick layout of the house with the joists shown that I want to remove (and frame around if I can) or "sister" (while removing every other one) and paint/stain to make them more decorative.

If I can remove them and frame around forming a box (doubled up 2x8's on all sides), the size would be approximately 10' long by 8-9' wide.

What would be the best is if I can remove them altogether for a vaulted ceiling

ControlTech 01-04-2009 09:16 AM

I added a diagram for clarity. Also, I'm not sure of the roof pitch, but the attic above the living room has a 6.5' rise from outside wall to house mid-line (13') .

Aggie67 01-04-2009 09:56 AM

This is certainly DIY'able. But there's not a whole lot of info to go on. Usually a homeowner-performed vaulted ceiling project starts with an assessment of what's in place (framing pattern, member sizes, etc), and includes a chat with the building code official to check and see what info he wants to see. And that conversation will typically include the statement "... and I need to see a framing plan from a licensed engineer." You don't want the walls pushing out or roof line changing unexpectedly, and you want that remodel to add value to the property.

Just Bill 01-04-2009 05:34 PM

Yes, all of that can be done, with time and MONEY. But as Aggie suggested, there are some major structural issues that need to be addressed.

DangerMouse 01-05-2009 04:13 AM

skylights leak.... i like them, but they leak..... i know, i know... if done right, they won't leak.... at first!... but they leak....
anyone ever seen any that didn't that were older than a year or 3?

the one that WAS in the ceiling here i took out when i redid the roof and put in a 4 ft. flourescent fixture instead.
it still LOOKS like a skylight, but it doesn't leak now..... be ready to spend time up on your roof patching/repairing/tarring, etc.
but maybe not.... you could be one of the few lucky ones.


ControlTech 01-05-2009 06:20 PM

I was actually working on a second floor addition on the right side of the house directly over the two bedrooms. There are stairs going to the basement and I am currently making stairs to go above those to allow access to the new second floor. The left side of the house will remain the same, but I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice to be upstairs and look down into the living room through a portal or better yet - a fully open vaulted ceiling!" The skylights would be the sealed type with no need to open them - are you saying those leak as well?

DangerMouse 01-05-2009 07:33 PM

ours was sealed as well. it leaked. every skylight will leak eventually. every hard drive will die eventually. i will die eventually.
will i leak in the meantime? let's hope not!


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