Large Kitchen Upgrades. Part 2

Installing a Skylight



A skylight can add natural light and, with some models, ventilation to an otherwise dark and dreary workplace without diminishing wall space.


A skylight itself is relatively inexpensive, but installation can involve costly structural alterations. Plan the installation with the assistance of a professional. This is important because a proper installation is necessary to reduce the chance of leaks. Skylights themselves don’t usually leak. Most often, leaks occur at a faulty joint between the skylight and the roof.


The installer should use connection details provided by the National Roofing Contractors Association in its Roofing and Waterproofing Manual. The installation information provided with the skylight may not be sufficient to ensure a watertight configuration with every type of roofing material.


Metal flashings are usually required for the installation. Some skylight companies offer the flashing at extra charge; if they don’t, a heating and sheet- metal contractor can make them. Some tile roofs require lead flashing for a proper seal, which can be expensive. Roofing contractors are experts in this area.


Do not use a canned roof patching compound (a cold patch) to install a skylight in a hot-asphalt type of roof. The connection will not last and eventually, a leak will occur. Use hot asphalt for a more permanent seal, even though it’s more expensive initially.


Installing a skylight in the kitchen is somewhat different from installing one in most other rooms, mainly because the kitchen requires more artificial lighting in the ceiling, which leaves less space available for a skylight. During the planning phase, it’s important to consider rearranging rather than eliminating any artificial lighting.


There are two basic types of skylights—fixed and operable. A fixed skylight (one that doesn’t open) is the least expensive of the two. It is available with either a domed plastic lens or a flat glass lens. Of these two, the domed plastic lens is the least expensive and most commonly used.


Operable skylights, sometimes called sky windows, can be opened and come in a wide variety of styles. Some open only on the side to improve ventilation; others lift open. Some can be opened and closed manually; others have electrical controls. Some electrically operated models have moisture sensors that will close the skylight automatically in the event of wet weather. Louvered blinds to reduce heat and light on hot days are another option; the blinds in some models open and close electrically.


Skylights and casement windows brighten this remodeled eat-in kitchen. Other new touches include recessed lights in the eating area, hardwood floors, and an appliance garage.


Refacing Cabinets






Advertisements claim that cabinet re-facing can be done for 5 percent of the cost of replacement, and it’s true. It’s also true that a refaced surface, done properly, will last a long time and be worth the price. However, replacement, not re-facing is best if you are planning to remodel your kitchen completely and if the existing cabinet space is arranged inefficiently.



All appliances must be removed before re-facing can begin. Then remove moldings, drawers, blank drawer fronts, and doors and hinges. Rough the remaining surfaces with sandpaper (50 to 80 grit), and ply a layer of contact cement. Also, coat the back of the veneer to be used for re-facing with contact cement. Allow the cement to dry, and then press the veneer onto the cabinet surfaces and trim the edges with a router, razor knife, file, and sandpaper. If the plastic laminate is the veneer of choice, paint the cabinet interiors before beginning the re-facing process. Next, install new moldings, doors, and drawer fronts. Finally, if the veneer is wood, you can either apply stain and varnish or paint.




A good re-facing job requires a lump-free adhesive application and careful trimming of the newly applied veneer. Grained veneers should be applied so that the grain runs in the same direction, usually vertically, except on horizontal rails.



The delicate floral trim in this kitchen is repeated in the wall-covering and matching fabric, the tile backsplash, and the island countertop trim. Note the electric power strip on the island and the refrigerator faced to match the cabinetry.



Kitchen Cabinet Layout



Wall Cabinet Installation: Cabinet with cutouts for vent hood and duct


local_offerevent_note April 13, 2021

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