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skylight installation cost

Average Skylight Installation Cost

The average cost to install a skylight is around $2,250 when having a pro handle the installation. This cost includes the skylight itself, all labor to cut a hole in your roof, flashing and proper waterproofing around the skylight, as well as any cleanup required after the skylight is installed.

If you choose DIY installation, you can cut the cost by about $150 on a small skylight window that is easy to install.  Major manufacturers like Velux Skylights suggest you can save $1,500 or more on a large window with complex installation by doing it yourself.

Average Do It Yourself cost

$1,370 per Skylight

Average Contractor Installed Cost

$2,250 per Skylight 

Typical Cost Range

$1,250 – $2,900 per Skylight 

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Overview of Skylights and Installation

Skylight windows are produced in a large range of styles and features. Sizes start at 16” square, and they can be as large as 48” square. These and other factors affect their retail price.

Installation complexity must be considered too when budgeting for the installed cost of a skylight window. For example, installing a skylight during home construction, when the roof isn’t shingled and there isn’t ceiling insulation to work with obviously costs less than installation on the same house once it is completed.

While installed mostly from the outside, a skylight is one of those projects that impact your home indoors.

A skylight window is a window that is installed in the roof of your home. The emphasis here is on residential skylight windows, but they’re suitable for commercial use too.

Most skylights don’t open. Vented skylights open manually or with the use of electric motors. Some are solar-powered.

Skylight windows bring in lots of overhead natural light to brighten any space, something many homeowners especially appreciate in winter.

In summer, those that open allow heat to rise out them, allowing you to cool down your home more easily.

The potential downsides are that improperly installed skylights might leak. And while they’re manufactured with insulated glass, they do allow some heat gain in summer and loss in winter. That’s true of all windows.

This page of cost estimates, or Business Finance News, covers skylight window cost, cost factors (must reading), retail prices and more.

Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details

Skylight Window Cost Factors

How much does a fully installed skylight window cost?

There are many factors that affect the price of a skylight window. The largest are:

Fixed vs Vented – This is the major cost factor. From least to most expensive are fixed, manually opening, those that open with wired electric motor and solar-energized vented windows.

Features – Your options that will affect skylight window cost include having a remote control for an electrically vented window, adding a pre-installed blind or insect screen, tilt-in feature for easy cleaning and an integrated nailing fin.

Size – The larger, the costlier. No surprise there. A 16×16 window is 1.8 square feet; a 48×48 window is 16 square feet and contains 5 times the material.

Quality – When choosing the quality of your skylight window, it’s important to think long-term. Lower-quality windows are less expensive, but will generally have a shorter lifespan and require more maintenance than the more expensive high-quality windows. The glass might discolor, and they are more prone to leaks.

Glass – Most skylights are built with standard low-E glass. Choose Energy Star rated glass, impact-resistant tempered glass or tinted glass, and cost will rise.

Complexity of Installation – As eluded to earlier, Velux claims that complex installation of its skylights can increase cost by 100%. Such complexities include very steep roofing, working through ceramic roofing tile and installing large windows that require the need for shoring up roof rafters.

New Skylight vs. Replacement – Replacing a skylight almost always costs less than adding a new skylight window, since the opening has already been cut.

New Construction vs Existing Home – It’s much easier and less expensive to install a skylight in new construction than having to prepare and flash an opening in an installed roof.

Curb vs Deck Mount – Curb skylights are raised off the roof deck by 4-6 inches. The curb, or box frame, makes it easier to replace the skylight window in the future. The curb can remain while a new skylight is installed onto it without having to tear into the roofing to replace flashing. Deck mounted skylights are nearly flush with the roof deck and cost a little less. According to Skylight Specialists, deck mounted skylights require a roof pitch of 3/12 or steeper to allow runoff to move past the roof quickly without pooling against the skylight frame.

Skylight Window Sizes, Priced by Size

Size affects the amount of material used in the skylight plus installation materials to flash, seal and insulate it.

Whether the window is fixed or vented (opening) and its features are other major cost factors.

All the factors above are reflected in these sample skylight window prices. Keep in mind that a fixed window with basic features costs far less than a vented skylight operated by solar with a remote control. Those are the extremes. Most skylight windows fall somewhere in the middle of features and cost.

16 inch wide skylights – $100 to $1,400, Add $150-$900 for installation on most roofs.

  • 16” x 16” | $250 – $1,200
  • 16” x 24” | $360 – $1,750
  • 16” x 32” | $500 – $2,300

24 inch wide skylights – $195 to $1,600, Add $225-$1,200 for installation on most roofs.

  • 24” x 24” | $420 – $1,350
  • 24” x 32” | $550 – $1,685
  • 24” x 42” | $700 – $2,100
  • 24” x 48” | $825 – $2,375
  • 24” x 60” | $995 – $2,650
  • 24” x 72” | $1,150 – $2,800

36 inch wide skylights – $300 to $1,850, Add $400 – $1,500 for installation on most roofs.

  • 36” x 36” | $700 – $1,900
  • 36” x 48” | $915 – $2,650
  • 36” x 60” | $1,185 – $2,995
  • 36” x 72” | $1,400 – $3,350

48 inch wide skylights – $450 to $2,400, Add $550 to $2,000 for installation on most roofs.

  • 48” x 48” | $1,000 – $2,750
  • 48” x 60” | $1,550 – $3,685
  • 48” x 72” | $2,025 – $4,400

Retail Skylight Costs

This section explores the retail cost of skylight windows based on features. Most powered skylights come with a remote, though a wall switch can be installed too. Various sizes are accounted for too.

  • $100 – $850 | Fixed Skylight Windows
  • $325 – $2,400 | Manually Vented Skylights
  • $815 – $3,825 | Wired, Electrically Driven Skylight Windows
  • $965 – $4,400 | Solar-powered Motor Driven Skylights

If you want to check out some of the top-rated skylight manufacturers, look into these popular brands: Velux, Fakro and Vtech.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 – $800 | A permit isn’t required for basic skylight replacement. When installing a new skylight window, you’ll need a permit if the skylight is wider than the space between roof rafters, either 16” or 24”, since structural changes are made. When installing a motorized skylight, an electrical permit will also be needed.

Related Costs and Installation Time

  • About a Day | Pro installers who have “done it a thousand times before” move quickly. They will have been to your home prior to the install date to scope the project and perhaps sketch out the installation. On the day of the install, they’ll get the opening cut, flashed and prepped, drop in the window, seal it, make roofing material repairs as needed, and be on their way.

Costs of Related Projects

Here are common projects homeowners also complete – or choose as an alternative – when considering an outdoor gas fire pit.

Roofing – The best time to install a skylight is when the home is being built or when the roof has been torn off for replacement. You can get an asphalt shingle roof for and average of about $4.00 per square foot. Most metal roofing costs $12-$18 per square foot.

Crown Molding – A skylight let’s in overhead light that can really set off new crown molding! Cost ranges from $8-$18. See the cost factors here to determine if its in your budget and you brighten that space in your home.

Ceiling Drywall – While not possible in an existing home, it’s definitely advisable to install your skylight in new construction before the ceiling is drywalled.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

Our average cost of $800 to $3,700, prices we have the data to show, is a little higher than Home Advisors’ range of about $1,000 to $2,400. But both sites agree that installation charges are a big chunk of the total cost. But is it worth trying to save that cash?

If you’re handy, good at following instructions and the skylight fits between roof rafters (16” or 24”), then DIY is possible.

When structural changes to the roof are required, cutting out rafter sections and forming the skylight frame, hiring a pro is the best way to go, in our opinion.

Additionally, we prefer to hire a professional anytime the skylight is going through existing roofing. The risk of leaking is significant when the window is improperly installed, and the water damage that can occur will make the installation cost look cheap.

Our bottom-line recommendation is to hire a professional skylight window installer – and make sure to see their up-to-date license and insurance, so you’re covered if the project goes badly.