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How much does skylight installation cost?

The national average cost to install a new skylight is ranges from $450 to $1,500 or more, depending on the type of skylight and complexity of the project.

Abundant natural light is a feature people appreciate in any home or commercial space. But in rooms found in a building's interior—bathrooms, in particular—a window to let in natural light may not be an option. In such cases, adding a flat, domed, or tubular skylight is an option for homeowners to let some light in.

If you're thinking about installing a skylight to brighten up your space, get an idea of how much it will cost you with this breakdown of skylight prices and installation cost factors before you hire a professional to help.

What's in this cost guide?

What impacts the cost of skylight installation?

The total cost of installing a skylight will break down into two parts:

  • Skylight price
  • Labor cost to install it

The type of skylight you choose will impact the amount you spend on a skylight. A fixed skylight, for example, generally costs less than a vented skylight. Some vented skylights have additional features, like remote-operated blinds or sensors to automatically close it when it rains, that increase the price as well.

Labor costs will be determined by the complexity of the project, which depends on the type of roof and ceiling you have, the pitch, and whether or not you're replacing or installing a new skylight.

New versus replacement skylight installation

If you already have a skylight and want to replace it — maybe it's leaking, or you want to swap your basic fixed skylight for a remote-operated, vented, Velux skylight that will give your room more ventilation — it will cost you less than installing a new skylight.

Below are some example costs for a skylight and installation of a new versus replacement skylight from Velux:

Skylight Total cost of installing a new skylight Total cost of installing a replacement skylight
Solar Powered "Fresh Air" Skylights $2,700 - $3,500 $1,900 - $2,200
Manual "Fresh Air" Skylights $2,000 - $2,800 $1,100 - $1,500
Fixed Skylight $1,700 - $2,500 $800 - $1,200

Skylight type

There are three primary types of skylights manufactured: tubular, fixed, and vented.

Average skylight prices for the most common types:

  • Tubular: $450 and up
  • Fixed: $150–$1,000
  • Fixed double-domed: $450 and up
  • Vented: $750 and up

Tubular skylight

A tubular skylight is a 10- to 14-inch diameter tube (not a window) that's installed into the roof and covered with glass or plexiglass to let natural light into your space. Manufacturers claim that these skylights have the illuminating effect of a few 100-watt light bulbs and can light a 200-square-foot space.

Most have a diffuser in one end to soften glare, but because they are essentially a tube stuck in your roof, they don't provide a view a vented or fixed skylight can. Tubular skylights are a little bit easier to insulate than vented skylights because the tube fits snugly into the ceiling and roof opening and don't open or close.

Fixed skylight

A fixed skylight is a window installed in a roof that also does not open or close to allow ventilation. Some fixed skylights are domed which are actually flat skylights with glass panes covered by a clear or tinted acrylic dome that increases energy efficiency. Jim Tucker of Jim Tucker Roofing in Phoenix, Arizona, recommends that customers in his part of Arizona use double-domed skylights because of the hot, dry climate to reduce cooling costs.

Vented skylight

A vented skylight is one that opens (vents) to allow air in from outside either with a hand crank or electronically via a remote control or push button. Some newer models are powered by a small solar panel, which is both eco-friendly and eliminates the need for additional wiring.

Vented skylights are less common there because most homeowners want light but not the heat, especially in the summer.

Mounting technique

There are also two ways to mount skylights in roofs: deck mounting, or installing the skylight directly on the roof deck, and curb mounting, or mounting the skylight in a wooden frame that creates additional height.

  • Deck mounting. Deck mounting is recommended for roofs with a pitch between 15 and 85 degrees.
  • Curb mounting. Curb mounting is used if the roof has a pitch of at least 60 degrees. Curb mounting increases installation costs because it will require more time, and materials will cost more as well.

Roof type and pitch

A roof's pitch affects the cost to install a skylight. The pitch influences how it's mounted and how long it will take contractors to rough in the opening, mount it properly, and seal it well enough to avoid leaks.

Installing a skylight in a flat roof generally costs more than a pitched roof, since more drywall work is required.

Installing a chase

Including a chase with a home skylight costs about $1,500 more. In homes with attics, a skylight chase is often added to help funnel light from the roof through the skylight. Chases are typically framed with drywall and finished with paint or other coverings, so they cost quite a bit to build.

How can you save money on skylight installation?

To save on your costs for a new skylight and installation:

  • Look for solar skylights: Not only will these energy-efficient skylights save you on your energy bill, but solar operated blinds or skylights may qualify you for a federal tax credit.
  • Install skylights during initial construction: Tucker of Jim Tucker Roofing says the most affordable way to install one or more skylights is to have them put in at the same time a new roof is put on. This can reduce the cost of installing a skylight by half, depending on the cost of the skylights themselves.

What to look for in an installation specialist

Before you hire a contractor to help you install a new skylight or replace your old, leaky, or subpar skylight, consider the following:

  • Ask for a free quote. This quote should break down how much of the total cost goes to installation, and how much goes to covering the cost of buying a new skylight.
  • Read reviews from previous customers and look at examples of other skylights they've installed.

If you're ready to brighten up your space with a new skylight (or two), get in touch with a professional skylight installer near you on Thumbtack.

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