Generation NEXT: Skylight lesson with Norm Abram
Our master carpenter coaches an apprentice through a tricky installation
A wish-list item for many homeowners, skylights are often included in TOH project houses. In fact, 40 years ago, TOH master carpenter Norm Abram installed a skylight at the very first This Old House project in Dorchester, MA.
At the Brookline Mid-century Modern House, the homeowners wanted these light-enhancing features, too, but the skylights required special finesse because of the house’s flat roof.
Who better than Norm to work with one of the GenNEXT apprentices to get the job done? “With a low-pitched roof, there are different considerations,” says Norm, who gave Carly Comitino a lesson as they framed the skylight for the new master bath.
For the opening of the 22-by-46-inch skylight, Norm explained that they needed to cut a hole in the existing roof framing to accommodate the skylight, and then reinforce the cut rafters by doubling up the timbers. In addition, TOH home builder Charlie Silva’s crew built a curb on the flat roof to keep the skylight up off the roof, thereby compensating for the shallow roof pitch.