One economical way to add brightness to a mobile home is to have a skylight. Mobile home skylights may be made of glass or plastic, may be fixed or operable, and they come in a great variety of styles and sizes. To choose the most suitable skylight for your mobile home you need to know the proper size, the right materials, and the appropriate features. When planning a mobile home skylight installation, you have to ensure that you choose the best skylight that will meet your specific needs.
Most of the skylight manufacturers are testing their products for solar heat gain, for heat loss, and protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. These characteristics are numerically expressed in the specifications of the skylight items. The U-value measures the rate of heat flow through a skylight and depends on the glazing but also on the frame and all the related parts. It is better to choose skylights with lower U-value. The R-value is used to measure the material’s insulation value, meaning the resistance of the material to heat flow. It is better to choose skylights with a better insulation, translated into a high R-value.
The shading coefficient is referring to the solar heat gain through the glass. The UV blockage measures how much protection from ultraviolet rays is provided by the skylight. The UV blockage value is expressed as a percentage of UV rays blocked by the skylight glazing. The visible light transmittance measures the percentage of visible light that is transmitted through the skylight. It is better to choose high VLT values if you need more light in your mobile home. Tined glazing skylights have low VLT values.
Skylights for mobile homes can be fixed or operable models. The operable or “venting” skylights can open a few inches to allow the free circulation of the air.
Manufacturers offer several methods for opening the mobile home skylights. The most affordable is a pole that you can crank. Other models have battery powered, motorized poles. They can be controlled by a hand held remote control or from a wall switch.
The mobile home skylights come with frames made of different materials, such as metal, wood, or vinyl. There are three main types of skylights: ventilating, fixed and tubular. The tubular types are particularly difficult to install in mobile homes because you don’t need tubing that would be so long. You would need to cut it down to fit the shallow depth between the interior ceiling and the roof of the mobile home.
When you plan to install a skylight in a mobile home you need to take into consideration the exposure to the sun. A southern exposure is better for the winter months when it can help to heat the home. However, in the summer months a southern exposure will overheat your mobile home and become a nuisance. You would need to purchase an energy efficient and high quality curbed skylight with a flashing kit for your mobile home. A lesser quality skylight can become more of an expense later because it can cause leaks.
To prepare installing your mobile home skylight you may need to have the following tools: hammer, drill, corner tool, jig saw, tape measure, level, box of nails, chalk line, utility knife, a circular saw, caulk and caulk gun, two 8 foot 2 by 6 boards, drywall tape, 16d nails, drywall mud, the skylight and the skylight flashing kit.
At the first step you have to mark the area where you will install the skylight. After finding the stud in the ceiling you need to break a hole in the drywall between two studs. Then make a mark on the ceiling where the rafters are located. The skylight should go in between two rafters. Drill holes in all four corners where will place the skylight. Use a jig saw to cut the drywall on the lines. Mark on the roof a spot for the corner of the skylight using a level.
Drive nails into the marks on the plywood through the roof. Trace a chalk line to mark the lines where you have to cut and cut the opening with a circular saw. Measure and cut 2 by 6 boards that will fit between the rafters then use 16d nails to nail them to the rafters. This will create a framed opening for the skylight. Later you will have to use molding on the bottom framed opening on the ceiling for a finished look. Place the skylight over the opening and screw it into the frame. The last step is to install the flashing kit.