What is the average skylight cost to install and maintain

What is the Average Skylight Cost to Install and Maintain?

A skylight can add a lot to your home because it allows a lot of natural light to come in to increase your exposure to it, and they’re very aesthetically pleasing, no matter which room you install them in. This leads many people to wonder about skylight costs and whether or not they should install them when they put a new roof on their home. They can help give the illusion that your room is much bigger than it really is by creating the illusion of space, and they also help any indoor plants that need more light thrive if you position them under your skylight once you get it installed. 

Your skylight cost can fluctuate when you realize that it gets built right into the home’s roof, and it can be expensive to retrofit it if you already have a solid roof in place with no plans to remodel or replace it. You can also use this skylight as part of a passive heating strategy to help you control your energy costs during the winter and summer months. Skylights come in a huge range of styles too, so this allows you to customize it based on your design style. 

To install this skylight, a contractor comes in and cuts a hole through your ceiling and roof, fits the skylight into the hole, and seals it up. Your average skylight cost range starts at $800 and goes up to $2,500. Most people find themselves paying $1,500 for a ventilated skylight of medium size with flashing, plastic coating, and a vinyl frame. If you want a smaller fixed skylight with a vinyl frame, your skylight cost can drop to $650. If you go to the high end of the price spectrum and choose a solar-operated ventilated skylight that is larger, yoru skylight costs can sit around $3,800. The labor costs are usually around $500.

Your home’s structure, accessibility, roofing material, size of the skylight, and the style will all cause your skylight cost to fluctuate. If you’re considering installing one in your home, you’ll want to know about the various cost factors to help you get a better feel for the project. This quick guide will break it all down for you, and you can see which factors do and don’t apply to your situation. This way, you won’t have a surprise when you go to local experts for quotes. 

1 old skylight
Skylights can last for years when you take steps to maintain them properly, and there are several sizes, styles, and options to choose from when you start shopping. This will help you match your design aesthetic.
Skylight by Alexander Gorlin / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Price Points for Skylight Types

You can find different skylights, just like windows. Each type has different attributes to it that can make it a better fit over another type for your interior design style. Most skylight costs start at the same point, regardless of the type you want. However, some come with more options. The three main categories and their price points are as follows: 

Fixed 

This is the simplest style skylight you can get, and it works to flood the area with more natural light. They won’t close or open in any way, and they’re a solid pick for people who have never had a skylight before. They’re also budget-friendly, as far as skylight costs go. You do want to consider the location of your home before you pick this type. 

Since these windows have zero ventilation options, it’s easy for them to trap heat inside of your home. This isn’t a bad thing during the cooler winter months, but a ventilated skylight may be the better pick if you live in a climate that gets hot or humid in the spring and summer. Your skylight cost will range from $150 to $1,000 with this model. 

Tubular

In a traditional sense, this isn’t a skylight. However, they do bring extra light into the house. When you look at this light from inside your home, they look like ordinary lights with brighter bulbs. They get the light from the tubes that you install on the roof, and the tubes use reflective piping to beam more light into the room. These are relatively inexpensive because they require less labor and materials, and you can install the most simple form in under two hours. 

You will not get a view of the sky with this type of skylight, and this is one of the biggest draws of these windows. They won’t work well if you’re trying to lighten up a big space either. They’re smaller, and you won’t get light after the sun goes down. They do make a nice pick for utility areas, bathrooms, or closets. You can save money on electricity bills with them, and your skylight costs will run between $150 and $600. 

Ventilated

This skylight allows trapped heat to escape through ventilation, as the name suggests. They can also allow a cooling spring breeze to filter into your home when the weather warms up. You can choose from a few options, and each will impact your skylight costs. Manual vented skylights are also called tilt window skylights because they open just like a regular window. You can get an electric version that opens and closes using a remote control. There are also solar-powered options that use sunlight to recharge the batteries between uses. 

If you’re considering this type of skylight, weigh the benefits and drawbacks. These are more expensive than other options, and some work best on lower ceilings because they let you manually reach up and move the vent. Electric  models will work with any height, but you’ll need an electrician to come in and wire it at a rate of $40.00 and $120 an hour. 

Your skylight cost will range from $150 to $2,000, so this is quite a spread. On the high end of the price spectrum, you’ll have the solar-powered and electric models. A manual vented option will run you around $500 per window, and an electric version is around $1,400. Your skylight cost for the average model that runs on solar power is $1,500. 

Skylight Costs with Different Shapes

Most average skylights are square or rectangular, but you have other shapes you can choose from too. The shape will impact your skylight cost because it helps determine which skylight you end up buying. Each shape has different costs, depending on the screen, frame material, and mounting style. 

Circular

Circular and oval skylights are identical in the overall material, installation, and appearance. You’ll get a more round and circular shape rather than an oval one with this pick. They also come with a very visible dome on your roof that is made out of a thick plastic. Your skylight cost will range from $150 to $1,100. 

Oval

If you choose a solar tube-style light, an oval shape is a good choice to highlight it. This skylight has a flat oval on the inside, and the outside has a bubble or dome on top that sticks up from your roof. These domes are usually plastic, and they’ll increase your skylight costs by $150 to $1,100, just like the circular model. 

Rectangular

This is one of the most common skylight shapes available, and they’re very popular in large homes or rooms. You can choose from several different configurations, including thinner and longer or squatter and shorter. You also get the pick of different installation styles, materials, and sizes. This is why your skylight cost will range from $200 to $2,000 per window

Square

If you’re adding a smaller bathroom or room to your home and you want a skylight, consider getting a square one. This is perfect if you want more natural light but you don’t necessarily have the wall space for a big window. They come in several materials, sizes, and installation options that make them very versatile. It also makes your skylight costs fluctuate between $150 and $1,500. 

Triangular

Pyramid or triangular skylights come in a raised form that looks like a pyramid rising from your roof. You can have them made out of several panes of plastic or glass to let the light through while adding a whimsical look to your home. They can have rectangular or square bases that form a point on the top. You have several sizes, material options, and sizes available, and this leads your skylight cost to have a range of $150 to $2,000. 

2 skylight shapes
Different skylight shapes can help portray different looks and feels for a room, and some shapes are more appropriate for larger rooms than others. If you’re not sure, ask your contractor at the start of the project what they suggest.
Plot 17: The Secret Garden by Tom Parnell / CC BY-SA 2.0

Skylight Costs and Sizes

No every size skylight gives you unlimited options, and not every skylight comes in every size imaginable. But, you can get a general idea of what your skylight costs will be based entirely on the size you need. Each size has a broad cost range since you have options when it comes to your operation, glass, and frame material, but the average costs by size are: 

  • 25-Inches by 25-Inches – $150 to $1,450
  • 25-Inches by 33-Inches – $200 to $1,450
  • 25-Inches by 41-Inches – $200 to $1,450
  • 33-Inches by 33-Inches – $250 to $1,500
  • 25-Inches by 57-Inches – $300 to $1,600
  • 33-Inches by 49-Inches – $350 to $1,650
  • 49-Inches by 49-Inches – $400 to $1,900
  • 33-Inches by 57-Inches – $450 to $1,700

How to Find the Correct Skylight Size 

Think about how large you want your skylight to be. Most people will recommend that you have one square-foot of skylight for every 20-square feet of flooring in the room. If the room has several windows in it, the skylight shouldn’t exceed 5% of the flooring space. If the room has few or no windows, this percentage expands up to no more than 15%. 

A typical size for a rectangular skylight spans from 14-inches up to 72-inches. Tubular skylights are usually no bigger than 22-inches around. So, your skylight cost for a fixed rectangular skylight that is 14-inches would cost $650 with no customizations. This includes the installation process. The same type of skylight that is 72-inches would cost around $1,000 installed. 

Skylight Style and Prices

Your skylight will come in two installation styles, including deck-mounted or curb-mounted. Deck-mounted skylights get installed flush with your roof, and curb-mounted skylights get mounted on top of a frame. Some people like the aesthetic of the deck-mounted options because the curb-mounted skylight is much more noticeable from the street. 

Curb-Mounted

This style of skylight will sit above your home’s roofline. In turn, it’s much more visible from the street while providing more space inside. This style skylight is also easier to install, and it will go up quicker in replacement and new installations than the other style. This can make it more budget-friendly, and your average skylight cost will fall between $250 and $1,500. The size and material are the two biggest deciding factors for price. 

Deck-Mounted

This style skylight will sit flush with your roof instead of rising over it. So, the contractor will have to frame it inside the roof to make it less visible from the street. You’ll also get a less visible frame on the interior without taking away too much space. The installation process takes longer and it’s more expensive for replacement or new installations. Depending on the material and the size, your skylight costs will range from $300 to $2,000. 

Framing Material and Skylight Costs

Skylights come in metal, vinyl, wood, and a mixture of materials for the frames. Every material will come with different costs attached to it, along with other maintenance needs. The most popular framing materials area: 

Metal

If you want a contemporary and more modern look to your skylight, go with a metal frame. Metal will also heat up quickly, so it’s not the best choice for homes that are in locations with hot summer temperatures. You can get metal frames that mimic the look of wood, or you can choose to have them wrapped in vinyl to give you a cooler exterior. They last longer than vinyl while being lower maintenance than wood, and this makes them a good mix of style and longevity. Your average skylight costs will range from $200 to $2,500. 

Vinyl

Vinyl will last a long time while sealing moisture well. It’s also an easy material to locate and produce because it’s the same material many companies use for windows. Vinyl can warp in hot weather and crack in cold weather, so it’s best for temperate climates. It’s also difficult to paint if it loses color. You can pick from a range of sizes and types, and your skylight costs will go up around $150 to $1,500. 

Wood

Wood will help you insulate your skylight, and it comes with a natural beauty and grain that is very challenging to mimic in other materials. There is a higher maintenance need with wood, and it also tends to increase your skylight costs more. You’ll have to paint or stain the wood regularly to protect it, and you want to check it routinely for moisture problems so it doesn’t rot. Your average cost will range from $300 to $3,500 per skylight. 

3 framing material
The goal with the framing material is to find a balance between style and functionality. You want something that is going to last for years with minimal maintenance, but it should also complement your home’s look.
The Lobby Lounge by Peter Alfred Hess / CC BY 2.0

Brand Can Impact Your Skylight Prices

Luckily, you won’t have to stress out over hundreds of different brands when it comes time to start comparing skylight costs. Instead of thousands of choices, there are a select few of well-known brands that tend to dominate, including: 

Farko

This brand has many options to choose from when it comes to skylights. It has a reputation for making very reliable, sturdy, and high-quality products in a host of shapes and sizes. You can choose from several different glass types and deck-mount or curb-mount options. Your skylight costs will range from $500 to $3,000. 

Sun-Tek

If you want a no-frills and very basic skylight, check into Sun-Tek’s options. You can choose from different glass and size options, including domed models. They’re easy to install and readily available, and you can find them in different materials to match your home. The average skylight cost for this brand starts at $100 and goes up to $1,000. 

Velux

One of the most common brands in the skylight market is Velux. This is a top-rated brand that has a reputation for producing high-quality products. They have several options available, including acrylic and tubes, wooden options, and deck-mount or curb-mount styles. The average skylight costs for Velux ranges from $350 to $2,000. 

Screen Material and Skylight Costs

The main screen on your skylight can feature a variety of materials, but the most popular options are plastic or glass. You need to think about the slope if you go with anything other than flat for your design, but you’ll get roughly the same installation costs. The most popular screen materials include: 

Acrylic 

The acrylic plastic material is very durable, and it’s also called plexiglass. It’s very popular if you want a pyramid or dome-shaped skylight, and you can use it in flat designs for panels. It’s crack and shatter-resistant, and it can help filter out UV lighting. Your skylight costs will increase between $150 and $500 for it. 

Double-Pane Skylight

Double-panes are popular in replacement windows, but they’re also popular in skylights. This design can help improve your skylight’s energy-efficiency. Dual panes of glass let air get trapped between them to stop thermal transfer. If you want to save money with your energy bills, look into this option. They cost between $300 and $3,500. 

Tempered Glass

This is another very durable and solid choice for skylights if you want true glass clarity without having to worry about it cracking or shattering very easily. If you live in a climate that gets hail, this is a safe choice, and it’ll increase your skylight costs by $150 to $1,300. 

Cost to Install a Skylight

There is an interior and exterior phase to skylight installation. During the exterior portion of the installation, your contractor will measure and cut a hole in your home’s roof. The installer will then fit the skylight into the hole before installing any exterior components to the window like flashing. During the interior portion of the installation, the contractor will fit the interior pieces of the skylight into place. 

The length of time this process takes will depend on how complex the project is, the roofing tiles you picked, and the roof slope and shape. If you have an average roof slope with no complications during the install and you have a small skylight, it can take up to four hours. A more labor-intensive project with a bigger skylight and more drywall work can take up to three days. 

The labor costs will depend on your contractor. Carpenters, roofers, or window specialists can install skylights, but not every company will offer this service. Roofers will charge you between $45.00 and $75.00 and hour, window specialists will charge between $40.00 and $50.00 and hour, and carpenters will charge right around $70.00 an hour. 

Skylight Replacement Prices

Did you know that skylight replacements will have higher costs associated with them than a new installation? The contractor will have to remove the old skylight, and this can increase your skylight costs by $50.00 to $200. The removal cost will depend on the flashing, type of roofing shingles, and how it was originally installed. If you plan to install the same shape and size skylight, the prices from this stage on will mimic a new installation. 

If you want to change the shape or size of the skylight, you’ll pay more labor costs. Installing a replacement skylight can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and it’ll depend on the type of installation your pick needs. A new installation can easily cost between $800 to $2,500, but a replacement can make your skylight costs rise to between $850 and $5,000. The job’s difficulty level will be the deciding price factor. 

Skylight Costs for Flat Roof Installations

Most contractors will recommend that you don’t install your skylight on a flat roof due to the increased risk of leaks. But, new technology made it much easier to install a skylight on this roof type. Most skylights that go on this type of roof will come with a slight dome on the surface to prevent leaks and breaking. They get installed using the curb-mount style, and you can pick from an open or fixed design to provide access to your roof. 

Your skylight costs will be similar to installing acrylic skylights, and this starts at $150 and goes up to $1,000 for the materials. The cost jump is necessary due to needing extra materials to create the domes. The installation mimics a typical curb-mount install on a pitched roof, so it can add between $650 and $2,000 to your costs, depending on the model you pick. 

Permit Pricing

Since you’re going to be modifying your home with this project, you will need a permit. Ideally, you’ll submit your permit application at least a week to 10 days before you start the process to ensure it has time to go through. If you’re working with a contractor, they may take care of the permit for you. Make sure you ask them when you get your quotes. Your permit fees will typically start at around $30.00, but the project’s complexity can make them go up. To get an accurate price, contact your local town or city zoning office. 

Where to Find Skylight Installation Experts Near You

When you start to look for companies to install your skylights, it’s important that you take the time to get several quotes to ensure you’re getting a good price with quality work. You can start the search here: 

Frequently Asked Questions

4 skylight cost faqs
Knowing which questions are important during this project can help you get solid price quotes from companies while ensuring you understand exactly what the project entails.
0000-000-FL-182505 by ACME / CC BY-NC 2.0

1. Does a skylight add value to the home?

A skylight can improve your home’s value, especially if a buyer wants this feature. However, the housing market at the time of the sale will dictate how much it impacts your home’s value. 

2. Do skylights leak?

Not usually, but all skylights can start to leak due to damage or old age. Installing flashing can prevent leaking, and some skylights will gather condensation. However, it should evaporate before it poses a problem. Routinely check for leaking and fix it quickly to prevent damage. 

3. What is the average cost to put skylights in a roof?

This project will have a broad price tag attached to it. The cost will depend on your roof type, shingles, and the skylight itself. You should budget between $800 and $2,000 at the very least. 

4. Can skylights make a room hot?

Yes, a skylight can make a room hot. However, you can reduce the chances of this happening by installing the skylight in a low-sun area or by installing blinds. 

Bottom Line

Your total skylight cost can quickly change, depending on a variety of factors. We’ve picked out the biggest ones for you, and you can see which ones will apply to your situation. This way, you can get a working budget while getting the skylight you want to flood your rooms with natural light. 

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