Skylight Window Installation Cost & Contractor Quotes
If you are looking to install a skylight window, in our guide you will find all the details in regard to cost and hiring a contractor for the job.
A bright room is refreshingly inviting. Brightness is a term that describes good things in all aspects of life. Sunshine has a way of making everyone energetic and happy. It’s a natural beauty that transforms a dull looking space into an elegantly sparkling entity. You could be having the most stylish living room, but if it’s not well-lit, its elegance and beauty may not manifest well as it should. Besides, a dull looking room is just dull and uninviting just like life without sunshine.
But you might be wondering if it’s possible to get natural light inside our homes. The solution is pretty simple, skylights. Installing skylights in your home is something more than getting the environmental benefits. They bring about personal well-being. Increasing natural light into your home space provides your household with both physical and psychological benefits. Skylights bring out new life into our living space; they have a way of shining down happiness not to mention the health benefits of a well-ventilated room, with just the right aspect of brightness.
If you have been looking for ways to brighten your house and give it some new life by adding an eye-catching accent, you should consider installing skylights. Using the most basic definition, a skylight is simply a window, well located directly on the ceiling, with a slight tilt to allow natural light to penetrate into space. Skylights add brightness into space and improve the ventilation by creating a refreshingly airy and spacious environment. They transform an ordinary dull, stuffy room into a bright, spacious, fresh room full of life with well accentuated interior décor.
In the past, skylights were seen as a luxury home investment, partly reserved for expensive and luxurious homes. However, skylights are now a popular feature in most homes as people discover the benefits of going green and having natural light filling their homes.
Sunlight has a host of benefits especially health wise. It not only provides us with vitamin D but it significantly boosts our energy levels.
In addition to health and psychological benefits, skylights are a significant investment that will see your energy consumption decrease and reduce the need for electric lighting. They also increase the value of your home and provide adequate ventilation continually. If your home experiences noticeably poor air quality, you might be surprised to learn that a simple installation of skylights can change the story of your home.
At this point, you might be a little bit confused with terminologies such as skylights, roof window, and roof lights. Roof lights are products that are normally fitted on a flat roof or a pitched roof which has been fitted out of a plane from the level of the roofline. Roof light generally does not alter the external appearance and aesthetics of a building to be able to provide a sufficient amount of natural light inside. Roof lights are also usually installed onto an upstand curb system which offers enough support and height to ensure that water runs-off when they are installed onto a flat roof.
A skylight, on the other hand, describes products which are normally fitted on traditional pitched roofs or in some cases installed into larger custom tailored or bespoke units or on flat roofs and terraces. A skylight is like a fixed window on your roofline, and some may have venting options, but unlike the normal windows, some types of skylights do not open. The one that actually opens is a roof window, which is designed with an awning mechanism to allow it to open. This type of a window is also referred to as a venting skylight.
Benefits of Installing Skylights in Your Home
If you own a home, you will always be looking for ways to improve your property. Home improvement can go along to make the quality of life better with energy efficient systems. Skylights are no longer a luxury investment rather a tool that will improve the conditions of your home and make it a better place to stay for you and your family.
Well installed skylights go beyond lighting a dull looking space. Keep reading on this guide to find out more about the benefits of installing skylights and what they can do to improve your living space.
Add Natural Light
Of course, the topmost benefit of installing skylights is the fact you will be able to get natural light shining down in your living space. We may have access to other sources of light such as electricity, but nothing beats natural lighting. Natural light is abundant, sustainable and it’s freely available and accessible to everybody. No one really wants to be holed up in a dark, dim lit room that is artificially lit while the outdoor space is bright with natural light.
Well-positioned skylights can make a huge difference in terms of brightness in your home. Skylights allow your home to get enough natural light even areas that a far from windows. Rather than having to stay in your home with lights on during the day, skylights will fill your living room with natural lights which is free, and plenty and it can brighten up your entire living space. Even if you are spending your time indoors, your living environment will be bright, and you will feel as if you are outdoors.
A well-lit home is brighter, feels fresh and has an inviting feel around it. It’s even better if the source of the brightness in your home is from a natural source, sunlight. Natural light makes your living environment feel healthier. It makes your interior space more attractive by accentuating the fine details of your interior décor. A naturally lit space gives you a sense of being outdoors while indoors.
Furthermore, when you install skylights, they will light interior areas in your home that are generally hard to light. If you have an area that is simply hard to light and most of the time its dark, you will find that such a place is less utilized or used. Installing skylights will light up most parts of your home, and you will be in a position to access and use every part of your home.
Improves Our Health
Natural light has plenty of health benefits for us. Skylights allow a flow of natural light and air into our living space. Natural sunlight is a great source of vitamin D and B1 which are vital for our well-being. People who are less exposed to ample sunlight are likely to have a deficiency in vitamin D which can cause health problems such as rickets and beriberi, especially for the young ones.
When you install skylights in your home, it will allow natural sunlight to fill up indoor space. Natural sunlight has been linked to improved energy levels, and people who are not exposed to regular sunlight are likely to have less energy.
Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD) is a health issue that has been linked to insufficient sunlight, and low levels of vitamin D and B1. There are some people who suffer from SAD and are often less energetic, with low mood, always fatigued, have difficulties in concentrating, easily irritable and tend to gain a lot of weight. In fact, a research study shows that about 4% to 6% of Americans adult population suffer from SAD every year. This mostly happens during winter when the weather is gloomy with little sunlight getting inside homes. People suffering from SAD have to undergo light therapy as part of their treatment.
Installing skylights in your home will enable you and your family to have regular exposure to natural sunlight, you will be able to absorb sufficient sun’s rays into your body even when you are not in a position to go outside. A dose of sunlight regularly will increase the level of vitamin D in your body which will, in turn, boost your serotonin production, a hormone that is related to a good mood.
Skylights not only allow natural light to enter into the living space, but they also allow free flow of air in and outside our homes. Installing a skylight in your home will improve the ventilation and allow airflow in your home without the need to rely on your air-conditioning system. Since skylights are positioned higher in your house, when opened, they allow an excellent flow of air into your home and vent outside.
They can sufficiently remove smoke from your kitchen or allow steam from your bathroom to escape. Generally, skylights can keep your house fresh by allowing free flow of air which will get rid of stale air in any part your house.
A skylight can also keep your home cooler during summer. Naturally, hot will rise to the highest point of the room which in this case is your ceiling where the skylights are installed. The skylights will allow the hot air to escape and draw in cooler air to replace the hot air. In fact, if you want to achieve greater ventilation in your home, you can have both ceiling fan and skylights. The hot air in your home will be drawn up by the ceiling fan towards the skylight, and then fresh cool air will be pushed down to cool your home and keep the environment fresh.
Skylights can also help reduce mold and mildew build-up. These two are brought about by moisture and contaminated air. Areas such as bathrooms and basements are likely to be damp and encourage bacteria and fungi build-up. Such conditions can cause a variety of health issues to most people. Skylights aid in ventilation which will freshen up the air. Also, sunlight is also known to be a natural disinfectant, and if allowed to get into inside the home, it will help reduce the growth of these harmful contaminants.
Improved Energy Efficient
Nowadays most people are cautious about their carbon footprint. Homeowners are always looking for ways to improve their systems to be energy efficient and reduce their energy consumption. Installing skylights is one of the greatest home improvement investment that will see a reduction in your home’s energy consumption. “How does this happen?” you may ask. A well-installed skylight can sufficiently take in sun ray’s during the day and illuminate your entire house without the need for artificial lighting thus reducing your power energy usage.
Skylight will keep your living space bright enough, and your lights will stay off for an extended period. As a result, you will lower your utility bills due to reduced energy consumption in your household. In fact, studies show that when you install skylights, there will be a decreased dependency on your home’s artificial lighting will reduce your use of electricity by almost 10% and cut down on your heating bills.
Skylights are seen as the green way to remodel your home. This is because they help improve your home’s energy efficient. Apart from reducing your use of artificial lighting, they help in ventilating your home. When the weather is hot, skylights aid the hot air to escape and allow free flow of cold air. This way, your air conditioning system works less in keeping your home fresh and cool and ends up reducing your energy consumption.
If you are looking for ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, you should consider installing skylights. Some skylights are designed with built-in shades and blinds that help you control the amount of light getting into your home, while others are solar powered meaning you can control the vents and the blinds without necessarily connecting the system to the power outlets.
Help Create Privacy
If you live in urban areas where homes have been built close to each other, you might have a challenge getting enough light into your home. The only option for maximizing natural light in such a setting is by opening the windows. But, since the homes are close to each and probably overlooking each other, the issue of privacy comes up. You will have a problem trying to allow natural light in through your windows, and keeping your home private especially in some parts of your house like your bedroom or bathroom.
This is how skylights save you from such a dilemma. Since they are installed up there in your roof, they will continuously allow natural light to enter your home without compromising your security. This way, whether your windows are closed or not, your house will stay bright and well-ventilated. Adding skylights to your home is a great way to brighten your home without sacrificing your privacy.
Improves The Visual Appeal of Your Home
Light and color have a way of creating an optical illusion in a space. Everyone loves space, whether you have a small or a big one. Even though you might not be in a position to expand your home and make it bigger, you can influence the visual appeal of your living space with proper lighting. A dull or insufficiently lit home, whether small or big, tend to look a bit cramped up.
Natural lighting will brighten up the entire room, bring out the color of your décor better, and eliminate barriers by creating an open, airy environment. Natural lighting will accentuate your interior décor and improve the aesthetics of a room by highlighting the architectural details of your home. In addition, skylights will allow sufficient light and brighten up even dark areas that are otherwise hard to light up. This way, you will not have dark places which tend to make a room appear smaller.
Installing skylights in your home has plenty of benefits in store for you. Skylights will enable your home to get natural, healthy light, which will add life to your space and improve your physical and psychological health. More so, it’s one of the best ways to improve your energy consumption.
Cost of Installing Skylights
The cost of installing skylights will vary depending on the type of skylight your planning to install. Majority of homeowners spend an average cost of about $1570 on the installation of skylights. The typical cost range of skylights installation lies between $915 and $2230.
However, the installation of skylights can be different for different homes because homes are usually constructed differently. However, the least you should expect to spend on professional skylight installation should be around $700, and the highest cost of skylight installation can go as high as $4000.
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Types of Skylights and Costs
Skylights are available in three common types, and each type has its style and cost. When you are preparing to install skylights, it’s essential to have an understanding of how these major three types of skylights will work for you to enable you to make an informed decision.
The type of skylight you choose to install will have an impact on your home’s style, and it will also determine your budget. For this reason, it’s important to research each of them and learn their basic concept beforehand. This way, you will be able to choose the type of skylight that will meet your lighting needs, enhance your home and most importantly, fit your budget.
Let’s look at the three main different types of skylights and their cost breakdown:
Tubular skylights are the latest type of skylights available in the market. They are small circular shaped skylights about 10’’ or 14’ in diameter. They are ideal where the roof space required for other types of skylights such as fixed or ventilated skylights is too small or not available altogether.
A tubular skylight is designed with a small tube, that looks like a pipe and its covered with a circular dome at the top. The purpose of the dome is to capture light which is then transmitted through the tube. The small tube is made of a reflective interior coating that which allows transfer of light and the at the same time prevents any light loss.
At the rooftop, the dome collects light, which is then directed into a metal or plastic tube, which then transmits and guides the light to diffuser lens installed on the interior part of the ceiling. Once the light reaches the diffuser, it spreads evenly into space below. Because tubular skylights have a dome shape, it will be able to scoop or draw in light in any direction of the sun’s angle.
Tubular skylights can be installed in hallways or small spaces or even in closets. They can also be used for focused lighting or light a specific area or object. For example, they can be used to light an aquarium or a wall. When installed on the roof, tubular skylights can sufficiently light up and brighten a rather dark space.
Tubular skylights generally deliver less heat as compared to other types of skylights, thus saving you a significant amount of money on air conditioning costs during the hot season. When buying tubular skylights, you can choose between different sizes from14″ to 21″.
They can effectively light up about 100 to 60 square foot space of your home. If you want to get maximum natural light, go for larger tubular skylights which will fit in between the roof rafters and the ceiling joists.
The cost of tubular skylights ranges from $150 to $600. Professional installation fee of tubular lights comes to about $350 to$900 which will depend on finishing required after the installation. For instance, some tubular skylights have to be mounted in the exterior of your roofing, where they will have a finished extension running through the attic space all the way to the destined ceiling below. As a result, the extra work will add to installation cost because the installer will need to do some framing, install sheetrock and they may have to do some structural modifications to enable a smooth installation of the lights.
If well installed in the right position, tubular skylights can evenly illuminate your rooms and significantly decrease your electrical lighting needs.
These are the most popular types of skylights that you likely to find in a majority of homes. They do not open to allow for air ventilation. Thus, their only purpose is to provide lighting. They do not provide any form of exterior access, but if properly positioned, fixed skylights can provide additional interior lighting. Their basic purpose is to capture exterior lights to ensure sufficient light in the targeted area. They can visually expand an interior space in your home and transform your rooms with exposure to daylight.
Fixed skylights are ideal for areas with low lighting such as attics and stairwells because they do not offer any other functionality other than providing daylight. They also work well on flat or low pitch roofs. Most of the material used to make fixed skylights is glass, but the frame is usually made of aluminum, steel or timber.
The average cost of a high-quality fixed skylight is around $200, and the price can be higher depending on the manufacturer. Professional labor costs for the installation of fixed skylights will vary depending on factors such as the window, and the structural complexity of your roofing. But generally, a professional will charge anywhere between $400 to$1400 per window.
When you are fixing your windows, its recommended that you consult a professional. This is because the size of a skylight is not supposed to go beyond 15% of the overall floor area of that particular room. Also, a professional will be able to show if the glazing will require UV protection depending on the angle of installation.
Ventilating skylights come with a multipurpose function. They can open to allow ventilation while at the same time providing you with sufficient lighting. They are ideal for bathrooms and kitchen as they can aid in getting rid of excess moisture and maintain a continuous flow of fresh air, as they continuously illuminate the area.
Ventilating skylights are popularly used in large rooms, in dining rooms, and also in dens. They can be operated manually or electrically or even with remote control. Most homeowners prefer the electronic skylights for because of the convenience and ease of operation.
Ventilating skylights have gone through modern upgrades, and nowadays you can get ventilating skylights that are operated with an automated system with a sensor-controlled thermostat.
The advantage of installing ventilating skylight is that your dependency on AC will reduce and you might not need to use it at all. They will automatically close when it starts to rain, so will you not have to worry about water leaking in your interior space. They are also available in different styles and sizes meaning you can choose a design that best suits your home.
Ventilating skylights offer you more control on your temperature needs. Unlike fixed skylights, they let go of hot air inside your home during summer, and in turn, you can get cool air from outside. You will be able to keep your home cooler, and even better, maintain a free flow of fresh air inside your interior space. Once you install it, you will get an understanding of how it works and will you release that you have control over your home’s temperature without having to rely on your heating and cooling systems. You will be able to know the appropriate time to open the skylight vents, and when to keep them closed. Thus, you will not need to keep on adjusting your thermostat constantly. Because of less of our HVAC unit, it will experience fewer breakdowns and less wear and tear thus extending its lifespan.
They are the most expensive among the other options of skylights. The cost of a ventilating skylight ranges from $300 to $1500 depending on the type you choose to install. In addition, their installation costs are quite significant ranging from $500 to $1000. A professional contractor might charge more depending on the structural changes they might have to do to your roof to ensure proper placement of the skylight unit. Also, the size of the ventilating skylight can affect the cost of installation. Skylight installation will also include some electrical adjustments in your home, and so, you may have to factor in the additional fees for engaging a licensed electrician.
These are mainly the three types of skylights commonly used by most homeowners. Other types of skylights include custom skylights which are ideal for the unusual type of a roof that cannot accommodate the common types of skylights. They are also used to add the aesthetic value of a building. There is also a pyramid skylight which resembles the shape of a pyramid, and it can be custom made to any size as per its use. Pyramid skylights are commonly used in significantly larger spaces such as the lobby, or on entryways.
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Factors That Influence the Cost of Installing Skylights
Other than labor costs, other factors will influence the cost of installing skylights in your home.
The Type of the Roof
The type of the roof you have can influence the cost of installation. Most types of skylights are designed to be installed on roofs that have asphalt shingles. Thus, if your home has a tile or metal roof, installation costs will be higher. This is because the professional has to flash around the opening of the window before installation. The extra process may end up adding about 30% additional cost on the overall cost of installation.
The Size of the Skylight
The larger the window, the more the cost of installation. Some roofs, especially the ones framed with trusses will require the installer to cut into them to ensure that the window fits perfectly. This means that the installer will need to alter your roof structurally and make some changes. As a result, the contractor will need to engage the services of a structural engineer which will cost you additional costs of about $300 to $600.
The Skylight Chase Installation
A skylight chase is usually added in homes with attics. It aids in funneling light from the top of the roof to pass through the skylight. The chaser is normally mounted with drywall which is then painted, or it can be finished with other types of finishing. If your skylights need a chaser, you will spend an average cost of $1500 or more on top of your skylight installation cost.
On top of a basic installation, your skylights may require other extra features which normally come at a cost. For example, you might choose to install ventilating skylights that have automatic controls. The automated system is likely to raise the cost of installing the window with about $600 to $800 depending on the type of automation feature added. Also, you might want to install the rain sensor which automatically closes the window when it senses that it’s about to rain. This will cost you an additional $200-$350. Another accessory is the built-in mini blinds in skylights. The blinds or the shades in skylights will cost you an additional $200 to $400. They can be controlled manually, or with remote control.
When you are planning to install skylights, there are essential installation factors that you need to keep in mind. They include:
The purpose of the skylight: Of course the reason for installing skylights is to allow in natural light from outside. But, are you installing skylights to add more light into a small interior space, or is the purpose of the lights to capture a view? If you want to install the light so that you can get a view of stars and moon at night, but you do want the sunlight glare, you will have to consider other additional considerations.
Placement of the skylights: perhaps this is one of the most important factors when you are planning skylight installation. There are several factors to consider such the view of the skylights from the exterior of your roof. Will the window fit into the interior of your ceiling? Will the placement fit into the angle of the sun rays and capture it as you desire or avoid? Will the pitch of your roof affect the installation or the way the daylight will be passed through to the skylight? These and many other factors will affect the positioning of the light.
Size of the skylight: choosing the right size of a skylight for your space is critical. The wrong size could turn out to be too small and end up not lighting up the intended space sufficiently, or it could be too large such that it allows rain to leak or lets out large amounts of air to escape. Therefore, when you are choosing skylights for your home, details are extremely important.
Glass vs. plastic: skylights are usually made of glass or plastic. Glass usually provides a clearer view. Some types of glass skylights come with insulating factors which you will not find with plastic skylights.
Light and energy ratings: Skylights are meant to save energy through electricity and also heating. You will need to understand the different types of ratings on skylights and get to know how they transmit light and transfer heat. This way, you will be able to select one that best meets your needs.
Visible Light Transfer (VLT) or UV blockage number are ratings you will see when buying skylights. They usually show you the amount of sunlight, (brightness) to be transmitted through that specific skylight. If you are concerned about factors such as sun damage, it’s important to look at the ratings carefully. Also, you will also need to look into R-value and U value which measure the heat flow. If you want improved energy efficiency, consider getting a higher R-value and a significantly lower U value.
Skylights are an excellent way to add natural light to your interior space. When well installed with the right placement, skylights can significantly cut down your need for electrical lighting. Even better, skylights can help with ventilation in your home by allowing hot air to escape and drawing in cool air during the hot seasons. Thus, they not only improve your energy efficiency, but they also decrease the need for using heating and cooling units.
The most common types of skylights available include, fixed skylights, tubular skylights and ventilating skylights. Each type of skylight has its purpose, and the choice will depend on your needs and requirements. When installing skylights, you should consider the type of your roof, the size of a skylight, additional accessories, light, and energy requirements and most importantly, the purpose of the skylights. Otherwise, skylights are a welcomed addition to your home that will brighten up your home and aid in proper ventilation.