How to Install Skylights and What are the Things to Consider Before Purchasing Them

Through a Skylight passes 35% more light than through a normal vertical window. This is due to its inclined position.

Skylights are coming in a wide range of sizes and types. Therefore, you should take in consideration some factors before purchasing your skylights such as:

1. What is better for you? You need one large skylight or you prefer several small ones?
2. What you really need? You prefer ones with a clear view which are pretty expensive or cheaper ones made from plastic?

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Generally, a skylight is relatively easy to install. However, it can be challenging for a DIY homeowner.

Materials & Tools

– Ladder; Pliers; Drill; Marker; Chalk; Utility Knife; Flat Pry Bar; Circular Saw; Measuring Tapes;
– 2 by 4; Roofing Nails; Roofing Screws; Galvanized Nails; Roofing Paper; Continuous Flashing;
– Skylight

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Skylight Installation

1. Assuming, you have already chosen where you install your skylight, climb on the ladder and then, using your marker, draw its outline on the ceiling. Mark the center of the skylight outline.
2. Start drilling a hole in the center of the drawn perimeter. Pass a wire hanger through the hole and climb down the ladder.
3. Then, you need to locate the wire hanger end, on the roof.
4. Knowing where is the position of the skylight center on the roof you need to draw again its outline, this time on the roof.
5. Using a circular saw cut the required opening in the roof.
6. The next step is the consolidation of the support system of your skylight. Install header joists opposed to roof joists.
7. Cut the opening in the ceiling and frame it, if the ceiling does not follow the roof slope.
8. Working on the roof, measure and using a chalk, draw a perimeter 3-inches wider than the performed opening.
9. Using a utility knife, cut away all the shingles between the opening and this new perimeter.
10. Carefully, install the skylight into the created opening. Use roof screws to secure it.
11. Cut strips felt (roofing paper) with a width of 8-inches. Slide these strips between the shingles and underlayer. Use a flat pry bar if it is necessary.
12. You need one piece of bottom flashing that will wrap around the skylight lower part. Nails flashing nails into the horizontally sides of the skylight.
13. Start from the lower part of the skylight and introduce step flashing under the roof shingles. Work all the way to the skylight top. Make sure they are overlapping 4-inches.
14. The last step is to install solid flashing pieces underneath the skylight bottom and underneath your roof using the lower part of flashing. Continue working all the way around the skylight to the top.