Tunnel Skylight

Bring natural light to any room with a sun tunnel skylight. Steve Watson shows you how.

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Materials and Tools:



After: Real sunlight improves the lighting and the mood.

After: Real sunlight improves the lighting and the mood.

two SunTunnel skylight kits
caulking gun
chalk line
drywall circle cutter
drywall jab saw
flat crowbar
hook blades for utility knife
measuring tape
reciprocating saw
safety glasses
utility knife
extension ladder
three bricklayers scaffolds




1. If the roof is steeper than you feel comfortable with, rent or buy a set of roof-jacks. Roof-jacks are adjustable steel brackets that allow you to nail the jack to the roof, then slide a plank into the bracket to give you a level standing surface on the roof.

2. If you can get into the attic, be sure that there are no obstructions like electrical wiring, plumbing, or HVAC ductwork that will interfere with your installation.



3. SunTunnels are adjustable, so the hole in the roof where the exterior bubble goes does not have to directly align with the trim ring in the interior ceiling. Check the documentation for the minimum and maximum allowances. Start inside the room, and determine where you want to locate the interior fitting or fittings.



Cut a hole in the drywall by marking the hole with the circle cutter, and remove the drywall with a jab-saw.

4. Cut out and remove any insulation.

5. For attic installations, you have more flexibility. You can mark anywhere that the tunnel’s reflective ductwork will reach. Mark the roof from below by driving a nail or screw up through the roof. This will mark the center of the hole you’ll cut from above.



6. Get on the roof and locate your center mark. Using the template included in the kit, cut a circle through the shingles and plywood using a reciprocating saw with a demolition blade. Demolition blades have bigger, wider spaced teeth. These blades can cut through shingles, plywood, nails, roofing paper and just about anything else.



7. Following the instructions in the box, install the bubble. Slide the flashing under the shingles, and tack into place using 1-1/2 inch roofing nails. If the shingles are stuck together (in warmer weather, they tend to stick), gently separate them by sliding the flat crowbar between the layers.

8. From the attic or room below, clip the reflective tunnel to the skylight bubble and extend the tunnel to the bracket in the ceiling.

9. Now, simply clip the trim kit to the tunnel bracket.

Next Up

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Let the Sun Shine In With Skylights

Is your kitchen or bath dark and dreary? A skylight will not only brighten up the room, but add an architectural element as well.

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We simulated the damage of a tree falling on a roof by dropping a piano from a crane. Such an accident can cause major structural damage. Consult a professional if there are any reframing needs due to building codes.

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Roofing Component Basics

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How to Adjust Gutters and Caulk Flashing

These step-by-step instructions show how to reattach roof gutters, loosen and adjust their pitch, and seal roof flashing.

Roofing Needs Require Some Math

To determine the pitch of the roof, measure over on a level line 12 inches from the edge of the roof on any part of the roof and measure vertically to see what the rise is.

Repairing Roof Damage

A homeowner wants to know the cost of repairing a hole caused by moisture from a damaged roof.

Roofing Rules

Remember two simple codes for new shingles.

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