Has anyone replaced the cheap-o plastic skylights with a glass one? Any "gotchas" to be aware of? I've never done any roof work before, so it's making me a little apprehensive, but it seems fairly straightforward.
Ive never messed with Velux before, but I have dealt with many an unhappy homeowner when they purchase hurricane protection from me or a vendor only to realize that their skylights need to be brought up to FBC standards to be accepted by their insurance. When I sell protection to customers I ALWAYS suggest having a roofing company come out and install Miami Dade rated skylights as they arent that expensive.
What usually happens is they dont listen to me, have me install protection on everything but the skylights, their insurance rejects them, they go into panic mode and a roofing company can't come out fast enough for the homeowner to keep their insurance so they pay me almost the same amount to come out and install impact wind screens on their skylights just to pass inspection. In my professional opinion, putting windscreens on a skylight is worthless protection, if anything actually impacts the skylight enough to break it, water is going to go right through those screens and cause tons of money in water damage repair. Sure I could offer screens to the customer initially and save them a few pennies as well as make more money myself, but to do what is right for my customer is to encourage them to replace them with good quality Miami Dade skylights.
Sorry for the long slightly OT story, but my suggestion obviously is to replace them with, like I said, a good quality Miami Dade rated skylight. No matter if you replace them yourself or have a company do it, a permit is required and if you do pull one (you should but some people dont, its no fun getting caught though) you will be required to replace them with a minimum of FBC anyway, Miami Dade is usually no more expensive (at least not around here).
I've had both (plastic dome and Velux skylights) in all of my homes since 1972, and Velux is definitely better IMHO. My most important advice is to use Velux's flashing kits and follow their installation instructions to the letter, which will probably involve fabricating a new curb. The flashing is usually the weakest point on skylight installations, mainly due to poor or sloppy workmanship.
Our current Velux skylights are 13 years old and they have never leaked. They also are "high-impact" rated glass (we live in tornado/hail country), and they are the only skylights I've ever owned that were 100% water tight. We also have the Velux blinds installed beneath the skylights, and I highly recommend them for fine tuning the amount of light that passes through the clear (rather than frosted) Velux glazing.
[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 02-26-2011).]
Not sure how permits work there Ryan, but here, if you've never applied for one: 1. There is always a fee--which is the real reason for the permit. 2. They lke to have a little "drawing" of what it is you are going to be doing. Submit it with your permit application. You may not need one, but it can save you an extra trip to the permit office to have one available. The more info you can take with you--the better off you are. YRMV. 3. Permit people can be viscious. That is their own little domain, (which they rule with a heavy iron fist) and never, ever, ever get crossways with them if you can help it. I got into it with our previous permit lady, and she had a countywide reputation rivaling that of Joe Stalin. The only thing that saved me, was that she had a heart attack and was replaced by someone else. New permit lady is only regarded as Hitleresque, but I managed to get my last permit without ruffling any dust other than that in my wallet. Not so for lots of people here. Madam Hitler used to run the property tax appraisal office, so she is well versed in meting out decisions of the most unkind cuts. She could, IMO-- teach Muhmarr Ghadaffi a few things about arrogance and crowd control. She draws and wields that "disapproved" stamp like a weapon.
Posts: 1767 From: Third World Country, OR Registered: Oct 2009
A hail storm took out two of my skylights last fall and Home Despot didn't have any of the cheaper bubble type so we bought the more expensive Velux. Another hail storm later and the flat Velux withstood Mother Nature's worst. We had to replace the roof (a real horror story) but the skylights are still there.
Regarding permits, I think it is a local ordinance here but I had the choice of letting rain come into the house or putting in the skylights myself. The job is very easy and straightforward. My roof is 8.5/12 and I nearly fell off--just be careful.
Posts: 2181 From: North Port,FL,USA Registered: Jan 2008
Not sure how permits work there Ryan, but here, if you've never applied for one: 1. There is always a fee--which is the real reason for the permit. 2. They lke to have a little "drawing" of what it is you are going to be doing. Submit it with your permit application. You may not need one, but it can save you an extra trip to the permit office to have one available. The more info you can take with you--the better off you are. YRMV. .
The fee is the ONLY reason they want you to pull a permit, at least here. Most of the inspectors around here could care less if they are done right, and some dont even check the job. But if they do, they like to nitpick because you failing inspection means a reinspection fee and job security for them.
The drawing you will need, at least for FBC is going to be a notice of acceptance. It is the blueprints of the product with installation drawings made by the manufacturer. No matter what impact rating or whatever you go with, the product will need to meet a minimum of Florida Building Code so it should have the NOA with it, the NOA will say FBC right on it and whatever other building codes it meets. Oh and by the way you need to make sure it meets the 2007 building code, otherwise it will fail.
Your best bet is to research the product, when you find what you want, ask an associate or someone to help you make sure it meets 2007 FBC and ask for the product approval, or NOA. They should be able to give you one, or print it out for you. Take that to the permit office in your area and ask for a permit application to replace skylights, fill it out in the office and give them the NOA for review, they will tell you if your product meets code BEFORE you buy it. Once its all accepted it usually takes a few days to actually get the permit package (depending on your local office) so it gives you time to get the product and have all your ducks in a row.
And if you are within city limits, good luck. On this side of the state at least, the city offices are a much bigger pain to deal with than just a county building. They require more paperwork and usually charge more for the permit. To put it one way, I deal with the Sarasota county office mostly, sometimes the Manatee and Charlotte county offices, and they are easy to deal with. A shutter permit from Sarasota county is $90. When my customers are within city limits of Sarasota, Venice, Longboat Key (theyre the worst) etc. the price of the job goes up because of all the extra BS I have to go through. FYI that same shutter permit in the city of Venice cost me $386, ridiculous.
Posts: 2181 From: North Port,FL,USA Registered: Jan 2008