Having skylights in your home allows you to get closer to nature and makes you feel more alive. There are numerous benefits, but the most important one is that a skylight transforms your living space from boring to WOW!
On average, homeowners report spending $985 – 2,500 to install a skylight, including all materials and professional labor. Most homeowners spend $1,350-1,700 to install a single vented skylight unit. High-end skylights with rain and heat sensors, as well as motion technology can cost over $2,000 to install.
If you are ready to install or replace skylights, contact your local roofing pros for FREE Estimates!
How Much Does A Skylight Cost?
Keep in mind that different types of skylights have different price points. The types of glazing, mounting and other accessories desired will also affect the final cost of the skylight unit.
On the low end of the price spectrum are small sized fixed skylights with plastic glazing that cost as little as $150-300 per unit.
Mid-range priced vented skylights are the most popular and these typically range in price from $550 to 700. These skylights are typically most popular among homeowners, especially, if you are looking to install more then one unit.
On the high-end of the price spectrum are motorized skylights of various shapes, sizes and configurations as well as special glass glazing options. These skylights start at $1,000 per unit and can go up as much as to $2,000 for brands like Velux..
A single blind for these premium skylights can cost as much as $350-450
Together with high-quality labor, installing a single vented skylight costs $1,000-1,300.
Skylight Installation Cost
As a rule of thumb, new skylights are only installed at a time of roof replacement. Most roofers will not cut it a new skylight into an old roof, since this greatly increases a chance for future leaks and other problems.
This means that you need to add the cost of skylight on top of the cost of roof replacement, which typically ranges from $5,500 to 12,000 depending on the roofing material you use.
On average, professional roofers charge $75-95 per hour, depending on your geographic location.
Labor cost to install a new skylight is typically around $650-1,000+ depending on the size of the skylight, its shape as well as the difficulty of the installation.
For example, if your roof has a very high pitch, a roofing contractor may charge you as much as 50% more for installation, because working on a high pitch roof is very difficult and dangerous.
Another factor that will increase your installation cost by as much as 30% is the roofing material you have. Skylights are designed to be installed on an asphalt shingles roof.
So if you have a metal roof or a clay tile, or a concrete roof, the installer will have to charge a premium for his work, because its more complex.
Lastly, the size of the skylight plays a big role in the cost of installation. Oversized skylights are very difficult to hold and work with, so they often incur an upcharge of 40-50% for installation.
Since you are already spending thousands of dollars on a new roof and skylights it may be really tempting to try to save a few hundred dollars on professional labor and go for a bid from a cheaper roofer.
Nothing can be a bigger mistake!!! When it comes to roofing and especially skylights, the quality of installation determines everything.
Did You Know? Usually, the only reason why so many people hate skylights and don’t want anything to do with them is because initially they had an unskilled roofer install them, and they quickly became the source of leaks, mold and host of other constant and expensive problems.
So the biggest favor you can do for yourself and your home is to hire an expert roofer who knows what he is doing when it comes to skylight installation.
The extra few hundred dollars you will be spending on the initial install will save you thousands of dollars in roof leak repairs down the line.
Skylight Prices Based On Type
Here is what you can expect to spend based on the type of skylight you select.
Vented vs. Fixed Skylights
The main downside of the vented skylight is generally the higher cost. A fixed skylight can be purchased for $150 to $500, where as a vented option with a crank handle will run between $300 and $600.
If a vented skylight has a motorized opening with a remote, the price can go as high as a $1,000. Add in heat and rain sensors and the cost might be closer to $1,300.
A motorized skylight will also require electrical wiring, increasing the cost of installation. Add in the option of mini blinds and you’ll bump up the total cost by another $200 to $300.
Solar Powered Skylights
These automatic units are a very convenient solution for those who need automation and do not want the hassle of running electric wires through their roof attic. See solar powered skylights in action in my video:
Solar powered skylights cost at least $1,200-1,500 just for the unit itself.
But consider that it will cost you $400 or more to hire an electrician to feed wires for electric vented skylights and the cost suddenly is not that high, while the benefits are awesome!
Skylights Costs Based On Size
You can either purchase standard size skylights, or order custom sizes, which will be a lot more expensive.
Average prices for standard size skylights are provided in the table below:
|Skylight Size||Unit Price|
|16″ x 16″||$150 – 625|
|16″ x 24″||$250 – 750|
|16″ x 32″||$325 – 1,100|
|24″ x 32″||$350 – 1,250|
|24″ x 48″||$500 – 2,000|
|24″ x 72″||$925 – 2,730|
|48″ x 48″||$1,125 – 3,650|
Skylight Accessories Prices
You won’t need any curtains or drapes for your skylights, but you may want shades or blinds to block out the heat or damaging UV rays of the sun.
Typically, skylight shades or blinds range in price from $100 to 1,000+ each, depending on the material type, brand, size of the shade, and whether or not its motorized.
Low-budget skylight shades from Lowe’s cost as little as $105-125 each.
Budget-friendly motorized blinds start at $300-350, and go all the way up to $1,000-1,300, for high-end motorized blinds that use the latest technologies.
In bedrooms, room-darkening shades may be in order. Interior cellular blinds, vertical blinds or shades come in different materials and heat/light blocking abilities.
Some brands of skylights will also offer blinds installed between the panes of glass, which eliminates any need for cleaning.
Exterior solar shades and awnings can be helpful for protecting against the heat and UV rays of the sun, as well as decreasing heat loss in lower evening temperatures.
Skylight Installation Considerations
Installing a skylight is very different from putting in a new window. There are several factors you should take into consideration when you plan for skylight installation
Purpose of the skylight
The first consideration is the intent of the skylight. What are you trying to achieve?
A skylight primarily installed for capturing a view will be very different from one that is used to simply add more natural light to a small area.
If you want the view of the stars at night, but don’t want the glare of the morning sun, that requires certain considerations and accessories to ensure that you get one while avoiding the other.
This is likely the most critical piece in the planning process. There are so many factors to take into account. What will it look like from the exterior, on your roof?
How will it fit into interior ceiling design?
Will its placement fit with the sun’s trajectory path that you desire to capture or avoid? How will the pitch of the roof affect the way light is transmitted through the skylight?
All these questions need to be addressed in determining the proper placement of every skylight.
3.Size and Shape
The purpose and placement of your skylight will have a major impact on its size, shape and type. When it comes to size, the rule of thumb is the larger the better.
Skylight Features and Accessories
Do you want to run to your skylights and crank them down (by hand) every time it starts to rain? Don’t overlook the various accessories and options that can increase comfort and convenience.
It is much better to include them in your original purchase than to wish you had after the fact. Blinds and horizontal shades that can shut out light when you need to can be one of those ‘wish I had’ accessories.
Pro Tip: According to the US Department of Energy, the ideal slope at which a skylight should be installed is equal to your geographic latitude plus 5 – 15 degrees. This optimized the amount of light that will be coming in and improves energy efficiency of the home.
On the other hand, installing a skylight at a lower slope will attract the most heat and light during the summer, while getting very little light and heat during the cold winter and fall months.
When discussing types of skylights, generally we are making comparisons of opposing options or components—fixed vs. vented (those that open), flat or domed, glass or plastic. Each type has its own set of attractive features.
Fixed vs. Vented Skylights
You might assume the decision on this option might depend on the accessibility of the skylight, but that usually isn’t the case.
With remote controls and long-reach operating extensions, height is seldom an issue. The primary determination between these two choices is whether you want to use the skylight as a vent to let air out, or simply as a source of light and outdoor viewing.
The fixed skylight’s main selling point is that there are simply fewer things that can go wrong with it. It will never get left open and allow rain into the room. There is no opening mechanism to fail.
Vented skylights can be purchased with either manual or motorized opening mechanisms. These mechanisms allow you to open and shut the skylight, letting out heat and moisture from the interior of your home. Those that are motorized provide added convenience.
Some vented skylights operate by remote control or a wall switch. Others have heat and rain sensors that tell them when to open and close automatically.
Either of these electronic options will require wiring. Manual controls are also available. This is usually a long extension rod, which is used to crank the skylight open or closed.
Glass vs. Plastic Skylights
Most skylights are made either of glass or plastic. Glass will generally provide a clearer view and can have insulating factors that aren’t available with plastic.
Framed Shaft vs. Tubular Skylights
For especially tight spaces, tubular skylights are often used. The tubular shaft generally has a reflective coating that helps maximize the illumination. Most other products require the framing of the shaft to be an architectural feature of the home.
Skylights come in just about every geometrical shape – squares, rectangles, ovals and circles. Oval and circular options will usually have plastic glazing and are more likely to have a domed shape. Flat, squares and rectangles are usually glazed with tempered glass.
Skylights can range from a small 8” tubular window to a one that runs the length of your roof ridge and every size in between.
For most skylights used in homes, the space between the home’s roof trusses determines the maximum width or diameter of the skylights used.
Most modern homes have trusses spaced 24 inches apart, while some older houses may have trusses closer together, at 16 inches apart.
The other measurement that is usually considered when deciding on skylight dimensions is the size of the room. The general consensus is that the area of your skylight surface should be 5 to 10% of the area of the room.
Skylight Glazing Options
Although glass is a common glazing for skylights, there are certain situations where plastic might be preferred.
When a lower weight and/or a lower price is a top priority, plastic will fit the bill better than glass.
Another advantage of plastic is its durability, but for clarity, scratch resistance and an unlimited selection of sizes and styles, glass will always be a better option.
Glass gives you several glazing choices, though your skylight manufacturer will determine which ones are available on their particular products. The following options may or may not be available:
•Tempered double-insulated with low-e coatings
•Tempered double-insulated with low-e coatings and argon gas between the panes
•Tempered with low-e coatings, a bronze tint and argon gas between the panes
•Tempered-over-laminated with argon gas between the panes
Skylight Configurations: Flat or Domed
The glazing you choose, glass or plastic, also factors into your choice of flat or domed surface skylights.
Domed products will generally be made from plastic, where as flat ones could be either plastic or glass, but are more likely to be made with tempered glass. Which configuration you choose will depend on several factors.
A domed skylight will often provide a stronger, more durable surface, but may be a negative when it comes to aesthetic appeal.
Domed or bubble options are typically used on flat roofs to decrease snow load and to avoid breaking the glass.
Skylights Energy Efficiency
Adding a skylight can result in greater energy savings for your house in two different ways:
– through saving on electricity
– through saving on heating.
You’ll need to review and understand the different ratings associated with how a skylight transmits light and transfers heat to select one that best meets your energy and lighting needs.
Skylight VLT and UV Ratings
As you review skylights from different manufacturers, you will often see a Visible Light Transference (VLT) rating. Some skylights may instead list a UV blockage number.
Both of these relate to the amount of bright sunlight that will be transmitted through the skylight. Direct sunlight can fade and negatively affect your furniture and cabinets.
A tinted glaze on your skylight can lower your VLT rate and increase the UV blockage.
If sun damage is a concern for your kitchen, bedroom or other living area, be sure to take these light ratings into consideration.
Skylight R Value, U Value and Shading Coefficient
Energy ratings can be confusing, so understanding the difference between these three ratings is important.
R Value and U Value are both measurements of heat flow, but they measure it in opposite ways. When looking for energy efficiency, you want a higher R Value and a lower U Value.
Shading Coefficient measures solar heat gain. If you’re expecting your skylight to provide extra warmth from the sun, you’ll want a higher rating in the Shading Coefficient measurement.
Benefits Of Skylights
Wake up with increased energy levels and go off to change the world every day (without coffee) by consuming a doze of natural sunlight coming through a skylight in your roof!
All skylights offer additional natural light to a home, but that is just the beginning. Consider these additional benefits:
• Brighten up a dark hallway or bathroom that lacks windows
• Capture up to 30% more light than standard windows
• Save on lighting costs by decreasing the use of light fixtures
• Save on heating costs by transferring solar heat during cool months
• Vented skylights can save on cooling costs by allowing heat to escape
• Capture a view otherwise not available
• Make a room seem more spacious
• Boost overall wellbeing, mood and productivity
Is Installing A Skylight Worth It?
Many homeowners wonder whether installing a skylight is worth the investment and whether it can add any real value to a home?
This is an especially important question for homeowners who are considering adding a skylight as part of a big remodel before putting up their house for sale.
Overall, skylights may not add any monetary value to your home and their ROI is rather low, compared to top remodeling projects.
However, there are some instances when installing a new skylight is definitely worth it and will actually help you sell your home faster:
– If you have a dark small bathroom or a guest room that can use an addition of natural light
– If your house is located in the Pacific Northwest where there is not a lot of natural sunlight throughout the year, adding a skylight in a living room, kitchen or bedroom can greatly improve the look and feel of the space and make it more attractive to buyers
– If you have a dark hallway, adding a skylight will be beneficial to the appeal of the space and the first impression buyers get when they walk into the house.
Pro Tip: If you are planning to install new skylights, its better to spend a little more money and install ones that open and close easily and come with solar shades, so that prospective buyers will only see benefits, as opposed to potential problems.
Remember, quality installation is key to enjoying a leak-free beautiful skylight and all of its advantages.