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Skylight Window Trimming

by Tara

For the past ten days, we've been in a self-inflicted exile from our home as our earthen floor slowly dries. During this time, we've gotten pretty good at breaking into our house. We usually enter through the kitchen window and tiptoe along the countertop like mice to grab forgotten items: things like ice cream from the freezer (not sure how we didn't snatch that the first time around), or ketchup for our new mealtime staple of cold hotdogs (we've reverted to eating like we did when we were building our house).

After a week and a half of drying time, the basecoat of the floor is finally solid enough to stand on, which means we can walk into our own house like normal people. Though the place is a total disaster, it's a relief to be able to at least set foot inside our little cottage again. In a few days, Chad and his crew will return to apply a final coat of clay slip, and we'll be ousted once again.

Our present circumstances being what they are, Tyler and I have a brief window of opportunity in which to complete one final indoor construction project: trimming the raggedy wood and drywall around our skylights.

Untrimmed Skylight Untrimmed Skylight

Seeing as how we won't want to drag the scaffolding into the house after the floor is finished, and seeing as how any dings or scuffs we inflict upon the floor will be covered by the finish coat, it's now or never! With the OK from Chad, we set up our scaffolding and get to work.

Cutting Trim for Skylight Scaffolding Set Up for Re-Staining Beams and Re-Painting Drywall

The process of trimming our skylights involves plenty of head-scratching, but eventually we settle on a design and a method. We use half-inch finish plywood to cover the deep window wells, and thin, wooden trim to cover all the interior edges. Where the window well meets the ceiling, we opt for horizontal trim.

Tara Measuring for Skylight Trim

Since the cut outs for our skylights didn't end up being perfectly square, the distance between the sides of the skylight and their closest rafters differ greatly. We don't want to draw attention to the unevenness, so instead of installing wonky vertical trim in widths ranging from three inches to nonexistent, we fill the sides with joint compound. (Tyler's great idea!) When dry, we smooth and sand the sides so they look just like the drywall ceiling.

Tyler Applying Spackle to Finish Uneven Drywall Edge Spackled Skylight Edge

After filling holes with wood putty, we come back the following day to sand and paint. Hooray! I'm pleased with how they turned out! We really, really are getting down to the last of the last of the house projects! We've still got the skylights in the loft to trim, but they won't require scaffolding, so we're done for now.

Trimmed Skylights Trimmed Skylight

Bonus chore: In order to cover the joint at the peak of the roof where you could see two sheets of blueboard meeting, I painted some quarter-round trim white to match the ceiling. We cut pieces to fit between each rafter pair, and Tyler brad-nailed them on. Now, the joint is nicely covered!

Tyler Brad Nailing Quarter Round Trim to Peak of Ceiling Jeremy & Tyler Installing Drywall on Cottage Roof Cottage Ceiling