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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Roofing, Windows & Siding > Skylight

Skylight Cost


How Much Does a Skylight Cost?

 
low costLow: Basic Skylights start around $150-$250 uninstalledaverage costMedium: Skylights Average $500-$1,000 Installed
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Also called a sky window or a roof window, a skylight is basically a window designed to be installed on a roof (and made to withstand the more vigorous weather a roof receives). A skylight can add both daylight and warmth to a room, and a properly installed energy-efficient model can cut down on heating, cooling and lighting costs. As a lower-cost option, a tubular skylight[1] (also called a light pipe or sun pipe) consists of a roof-mounted light-collecting dome connected to a highly reflective tube which delivers light to a lens in a ceiling opening that resembles recessed lighting.

Typical costs:

  • The price for a tubular skylight (without installation) starts around $150-$250 for a small, basic model to $500-$600 or more for a large, deluxe version. Installation can add another $325-$500, depending on size and how far the tube has to run from the roof, for a total installed cost of $475-$700 for a basic model, or $650-$1,100 for a larger, more stylish version.
  • The cost of just the skylight (without installation) starts around $150-$250 for a fixed model (it doesn't open). A venting skylight (a section opens for ventilation) starts around $300-$600 for a manual version, and an electric option with a remote control can be $650-$1,000 or more, depending on size and style. Blinds, shades or special treatments can add another $200-$300 or more. Installation can run $300-$1,300 or more, depending on the size of the project and whether a light well has to be framed through an attic space. The total cost for both labor and materials runs about $500-$1,300 for a standard fixed skylight; a venting skylight with several options (such as special glass, a remote control and built-in blinds) can be $1,200-$5,000, and large custom projects could cost more.
Related articles: Replacement Windows, Exterior Door, Interior Door

What should be included:
  • Skylights provide 30 percent more light than vertical windows of the same size, and distribute light more evenly in a room. Home Energy Magazine provides a skylight overview and glossary[2] . Having a standard skylight installed can take 1-2 weeks, depending on factors such as the size of the skylight, the configuration of the roof and ceiling, and whether a light well needs to be framed through an attic. BobVila.com displays a video[3] of professionals installing a 4x6-foot custom skylight.
  • The two most important factors to consider are slope and moisture control (preventing leaks). According to the US Department of Energy, it's best to have an energy efficient skylight professionally installed. And a skylight that works well in Florida might not be as good in Michigan; so EnergyStar.gov lists the qualities needed in a skylight based on climate zones.
  • Tubular skylights are typically 10-22 inches in diameter, and are designed to be used in spaces that are too small for a traditional skylight. Inside the room they resemble overhead lighting, and are often installed in bathrooms and laundry rooms -- or anywhere you want to bring in natural light as inexpensively as possible. They provide diffuse, indirect sunlight that is less likely to cause UV damage to carpets or furniture. A typical installation does not require any structural changes to the house because the tube fits between rafters and other structural elements. Installation usually takes about 2-3 hours. RonHazelton.com gives do-it-yourself instructions[4] for installing a tubular skylight.
  • Check with your local planning department to see if a building permit is required to install a skylight.
Additional costs:
  • If your skylight lets in too much light and heat and doesn't have built-in shading, you might want a skylight solar cover which sell for $30-$300 or more.
Shopping for a skylight:
  • Look around for an idea of what you might like, as well as what might work in your space. HomePortfolio.com provides a photo gallery[5] of examples and Home Depot gives tips for selecting[6] a skylight.
  • Major manufacturers who specialize in skylights include Velux[7] and Solatube[8] , and they provide links to dealers or installers. It's usually best to use a contractor who specializes in skylights and is familiar with the brand you selectedAsk for (and verify) references. The written contract should include a detailed outline of the work required and materials used, dates within which the project will be done, and a payment schedule.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Skylight Options
Amount: $425.00 total
Posted by: Manager G in Glendale, AZ.Posted: March 4th, 2014 02:03PM
As owners skylight firm in Arizona, I have a couple of quick comments.
First, avoid the heat & glare issues with a white-over-clear acrylic double dome, or a frosted white glazing on glass skylights. No need for shades or blinds. If you have a clear or bronze acrylic, get the domes replaced with the above. A cover on the exterior, if petroleum based, will ruin your skylight and void your warranty.
Second, the "snaky tube" thing referenced above in the 5/3/13 comment is a Sun Tunnel. Although purchased by Velux, they are a poor lighting choice.
Third, the best tubular lighting will come from the DayLite brand, made in California. DayLite pioneered the mirrored interior finish now used in most tubulars. Their latest innovation is a fly-eye top dome that pulls in light from all directions and delivers the highest light output of any tube. Its 8" and 12" units put out more light than their larger-diameter competitors, with a smaller footprint, and a better ceiling diffuser.
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Skylight
Amount: $3,600.00 total
Posted by: Ben Minneapolis in Minneapolis, MN.Posted: October 17th, 2013 10:10AM
Had a Velux solar powered venting skylight installed by a roofing company. Has been great so far, adds a ton of light to what used to be a very dark room.
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Pam T.
Amount: $1,795.00 total
Posted by: Pam T. in San Rafael, CA.Posted: May 3rd, 2013 06:05PM
I had 2 of Solatube's 14" put in to my Kitchen and they are great. I hardly have to turn my lights on anymore. In fact, I keep checking to see if I left the lights on. My neighbors honestly cant believe the amount of light. The light is a bit different from that of a skylights. I have skylights in my house as well, but I like the light in the kitchen I am getting.

I also have some of the slinky type Velux skylights ( an entry from my garage and a bathroom). Honestly there is a HUGE difference in the amount of light that the Solatube lights put out versus Velux. My skylights are Velux. Love em, but the tubular ones are going to be retrofit to Solatube in a couple months when my budget permits.
If you want the best, believe me, Solatube for tubular skylights. Ive seen the diffence and there is no comparison.
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VELUX @ SOLA TUBE AWESOME
Amount: $500.00 total
Posted by: L. Munroe in San Luis Obispo, CA.Posted: June 14th, 2012 06:06AM
I had Sola Tube installed a few years ago and it is great, not a single problem. I called my installer for a second one a few years later and now he installs Velux. It is also wonderful and is just works exactly the same. I can't tell them apart. Would recommend both to anyone, great investment in my home.
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Solatube made a huge difference in my kitchen
Amount: $1,600.00 total
Posted by: S. Krauss in Orinda, CA.Posted: June 15th, 2010 07:06PM
I installed 2 290 DSe Solatube tubular systems in my home. I cant believe the difference.
I am glad that I checked out the different products. My neighbor put in a Velux and doesnt get nearly the light that I have. The roofers told her they preferred to use Velux because of the ease of installation. Uh hello? You dont live in my house roofers.
Anyway very happy with the installers. The important thing to me (honestly) is that they spoke clearly, explained everything well and were pleasant. Oh and they were fully licensed and insured.
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skylights Velux
Amount: $3,000.00 total
Posted by: KelleyK in Sacramento, CA.Posted: April 2nd, 2010 02:04PM
recently remodeled my kitchen and added a master bedroom and bath with walk-in closet. I had Velux ventilating skylights operated by remote control put in the kitchen over the island and also in the master bath and shower. They are awesome! We get great light throughout the rooms in most cases not needing to use the artificial lights. We are able to shut our shutters and still get plenty of light in the kitchen. The tubular skylights called Sun Tunnels, we installed in the walk-in closet. It provides so much light that we do not use the artificial light except at night.
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Installed a Solatube in my bathroom
Amount: $699.00 total
Posted by: S.Brown in Lafayette, CA.Posted: February 27th, 2010 03:02PM
Great product. Gives a ton of light even on cloudy days. I paid $699 to get it installed in Lafayette,CA. I had an outfit by the name of Sola-Brite do it in Pleasanton. Good people. I also got a 30% tax credit so net net I paid about $569 including tax
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External Resources:
  1.  www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Interior-Partitions-Ceilings/tubular-skylights
  2.  www.homeenergy.org/list/archive/year/1993
  3.  www.bobvila.com/projects
  4.  www.ronhazelton.com/projects/how_to_install_a_tubular_skylight
  5.  www.homeportfolio.com/listing/skylights.html
  6.  www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=Skylights&langId=-1&storeId=100...
  7.  www.veluxusa.com/default.aspx
  8.  www.solatube.com/residential/what-is-daylighting/index.php
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