Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Roof Vents and Conduit

I found myself with a couple of free hours this morning, and naturally, I decided the time would be best spent working on Alki Point!

The next part of the project to tackle was camouflaging the ends of the can light sockets. This was necessary, as the roof thickness of the kit is only 1/8". The height of the socket sticking out of the roof was about 3/8". The most realistic solution was to add roof vents.

I looked online at examples, and boy! Who knew they could be so intricate and fancy! I was looking for a more plain Jane version, so a model that was essentially a rectangle box with vents on the sides sounded doable.  I had some Woodsies that were rectangle, and about the right width and length. Adding some 1/8" x 1/4" side pieces would make a simple vent box. I also had some plastic screen from packaging that I could use for the vent screens.

I was also going to need to hide the wires as they ran down and through holes in the roof where they would eventually tie in to the power source. I saw many photos of beach houses built in the 40's. A lot of them had been updated, and seemed to use conduit on the roofs and down to electrical boxes to house wiring. I had some straws that I thought might just work!

I built the basic vent boxes, then drilled holes in them for the wires to run through. The lower set of vent boxes needed two sets of holes drilled - one for the upper wires to enter, then one for both sets to exit.

I glued the upper vent boxes to the roof, over the sockets, running the wires out of the drilled hole. If you look closely, you can see the plastic screen glued to the side of the vent box. I hope the textural detail shows up when I paint them.

Once the glue had set, I measured and cut the conduit that would carry the wires to the lower vent boxes. I strung the wires through, then glued them to the roof. Once that glue had set, I ran the wires from the conduit into the hole on the lower vent boxes. Then both sets of wires were run through the bottom holes on the vent boxes.

Now I needed to attach all of the wires together - yellow to yellow and brown to brown. I would also need to extend the length of the wires using regular white 12 volt wires. The brown wires would attach to one of the white cord's wires, and the yellow to the other. The yellow wire is the positive for these lights, and that is important to know. LED lights only work if they are plugged in the right way. Since the yellow was positive, I used yellow electrical tape to mark the positive side of the white wire so that I would know which way to plug them in later.

Then again, all of the wiring was run through the conduit. This time, though, the conduit needed to go down through the roof. This is where the bendy part of the straw came in really handy! The main power supply panel will be in the back of the structure, but I want to be able to remove the roof for cleaning. For this reason, the conduit will remain part of the roof, and the wire ends that exit it will have a plug so that I can simply unplug the lights when the roof needs to be removed.

This is as far as I want to go with the roof panel for now. I won't paint the vent boxes or conduit until I do the final touch up paint on everything. For now, I want to get started on the siding. I'm really looking forward to seeing the outside of Alki Point start to look like a real home! I'm also excited to see what the vinegar and steel wool stain will turn out like! Now hopefully, I'll be able to find some more free time again soon!


  1. So many picky little steps that must be done in the right order! The roof will look wonderful and I too, can hardly wait to see how the vinegar stain works out. Hope you get time soon.

  2. Hello Jodi,
    I can't wait to see the room with the lights on.
    Big hug

  3. You my friend are an electrical wizard!

    1. Oh if only I was a wizard and could just wave a magic wand! This electrical stuff still intimidates me after the barn fiasco!