Building "off-grid"

- Skylights and Shingles -
(click pictures for larger view)

September/October 2006:  I hired a guy to do the trim work on the roof sheeting, which you'll see in the first picture.  Somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted some skylight windows in the area over the loft rooms.  I thought for some time about how many to use, and whether to put them just on the south side, or both, etc., etc.  I finally decided on 3 per room, per side of the roof (12 total).  The second picture is the rough cut openings for the skylight windows...which, along with the shingling, is a bit of a saga.

Click for larger view

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I started shopping on Craigslist and eBay, and found a few here and there, but never enough for the whole project.  I contacted an old buddy that works for Andersen Windows and almost had a good deal for 4 of them, but that fell through, so I was back to square one.  I finally came across the mother load on eBay - the exact windows I wanted (approx. 21x46, venting), except they were in Pennsylvania and the seller preferred not to ship.  The price was so good that I couldn't pass them up, so I finally convinced the guy to let me set up freight.  That was a small nightmare in itself, but everything came out fine in the end (delivery accepted on Sept. 29th).  Note:  Read the fine print on any freight contract!  Installing the skylights would have been a comedy of errors, if it had been funny.  Week 1 - did all the manual labor, like lifting all the skylights into the loft rooms so it would be easier to get them up on the roof through the rough cuts.  That's all I had time or energy for that weekend, so I let the job sit for another week.  During that week I had negotiated a good price on shingles, tar paper and skylight flashing from Home Depot, and got tricked into signing up for a Home Depot credit card (under the guise of a 10% discount for "that large an order").  Week 2 - Made the rough cut openings, which was quite a chore, standing on those 2x4's.  Once I pulled the first skylight up through the opening, I realized that Home Depot had delivered the wrong flashing.  Week 3 - Home Depot had replaced the incorrect flashings, and I discovered at that late date that a person can not install that size skylight alone.  Fortunately the roofer I found, who was a local guy (my preference if possible) had some experience in skylight installation, so I was set.  Week 4 - To this point the weather has not permitted any shingling on that steep a roof; and there was nothing I could do on the house either...so I wait.  Week 5 - Skylights finally in, shingles finally on...now I can breathe easy for awhile (October 29th).

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