Cost of Skylight Installation | 2024 Guide

By Amanda Lutz & Reviewed by NFRC Updated April 9, 2024

Typical costs range from $1,019 to $3,000.

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Skylight installation costs typically range from $1,019 to $3,000, but many homeowners will pay around $1,862 on average for both materials and installation. Skylights are a stunning addition to any home, elevating your interior style, adding natural light, and improving air quality. They can also improve airflow and offer unobstructed views of the sky and surrounding trees. Some of the best window brands offer high-quality skylights to give your home a unique look. We’ll outline skylight installation costs and explain which types of skylights are available to help you determine which is right for your home.


Skylights range in price from $1,019 to $3,000 for both materials and installation, with a national average of $1,862. The skylight’s size, shape, and type have the most impact on cost.


Cost by Size

The size of the skylight determines the amount of materials and labor necessary for installation, with larger skylights requiring more of both. However, price doesn’t scale linearly with size, since there’s a substantial base cost for professional installation.

For example, the price difference between a 25-inch-by-41-inch skylight and a 25-inch-by-57-inch skylight is fairly low, so opting for the larger size will give you better value up to a point. Typically, skylights are no more than 25 inches wide—the standard amount of space between roof trusses. If you have a stick roof that uses structural rafters, you may be able to install a wider skylight.

Larger skylights let in more heat and sunlight, raising the temperature of the room they’re in. Of course, no matter how well the skylight is installed, there will be some slight air leakage just like any other window. To keep energy costs down, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that a skylight should be no larger than 5% of the room’s square footage in a room with many windows. It should be no more than 15% of the room’s square footage for rooms with few or no windows.

Here are skylight prices for some common dimensions, not including installation.

Skylight SizeUnit Cost RangeAverage Cost
25”x25”$150–$500$325
25”x33”$150–$500$325
25”x41”$300–$600$450
33”x33”$300–$800$550
25”x57”$300–$800$550
33”x49”$300–$1,000$650
49”x49”$500–$1,900$1,200
33”x57”$500–$2,000$1,250

Cost by Shape

Size has a bigger role in determining cost, but skylight shape is still a factor. Most skylights are square or rectangular, though you can find circles, triangles, and even custom shapes.

  • Circle: These tend to be smaller than four-sided skylights, costing $400 to $1,000.
  • Custom: Custom designs are rare in residential buildings because of the limits roof trusses impose, but be prepared to pay $1,200 to $5,000 for a custom skylight.
  • Rectangle: This is the standard shape. It can cost $150 to $2,000.
  • Square: Square is also a common skylight shape, costing $150 to $2,000. 
  • Oval: Ovals, or elongated circles, are a somewhat difficult roof shape to cut and are considered a more decorative style, so they usually cost $600 to $2,500.
  • Pyramid: A pyramid skylight has a square or rectangular base, but instead of flat glass, it tapers to a point on the window’s exterior. These range from $500 to $3,000. 
  • Dome: A domed skylight is half a sphere, most often found in modern or contemporary designs. These typically range from $250 to $3,000.

Cost by Type

There are three standard types of skylights. Fixed skylights are the simplest and least expensive to install. They don’t open, so they allow in natural light but don’t provide any extra ventilation. Vented skylights open to allow fresh air in either manually or with a remote control or keypad. Some even have rain sensors that close them automatically upon sensing precipitation. These are pricier to install, especially if electrical wiring needs to be done. 

Finally, tubular skylights aren’t traditional skylights in that they aren’t installed on your roof. Instead, they look like pipes installed perpendicular to the roof. You can’t look out of them, but they do bring extra sunlight into a room. Since they don’t require cutting large holes in the roof, they’re the easiest and least expensive to install.

Type of SkylightCost RangeAverage Cost
Fixed$200–$1,200 $700
Tubular$200–$500$350
Vented$400–$2,000$1,200

Labor Cost

Labor costs depend on the type of skylight, ceiling, and roof. Labor costs usually start around $300 for a tubular skylight and go up from there. Installing a skylight on a vaulted ceiling is easier than a flat roof, so labor costs less at $850 to $1,000. Installing a skylight on a flat roof is the most challenging because it requires extra waterproofing, so prices are higher at $1,800 to $2,500.

Other factors that may affect installation costs include geographic location, time of year, roof design, and project scope. Installing a new skylight in an area with a higher cost of living will cost more. Roofing contractors may also charge more during their busy season—that is, when the weather is temperate and precipitation is less likely. Lastly, skylight replacement costs less than installing a new skylight since less labor is needed.

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Window Replacement Cost

Replacement windows on average range from $300 to $1,200.

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Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows on average cost $150 to $400 per window.

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Energy Efficient Upgrades

Double-pane installation typically ranges from $450 to $1,000 per window.

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Other Potential Cost Factors to Consider

Here are some other factors that affect skylight prices

Brand

Different skylight brands have different price tags. However, choices are limited as only a few skylight manufacturers make up the market’s bulk. Most offer a range of skylights, from budget to high-end options, but not all brands offer all styles. For example, Sun-Tek sells tubular skylights, but Velux doesn’t, which accounts for some of the price disparity between the two brands.


Materials

Just as with regular windows, the framing material that surrounds a skylight comes at different price points. Vinyl is the least expensive, but it doesn’t hold up well under extreme temperatures. Metals like aluminum or steel are more durable, but they can be poor insulators. Wood provides a classic look, but it requires more maintenance than other materials and tends to cost more.

  • Vinyl: $150–$1,000
  • Metal: $200–$1,500
  • Wood: $300–$2,500

Similarly, the material you choose for the glazing—that is, the transparent part of the skylight—affects the total cost. Acrylic, a type of plastic, is the least expensive, but it’s most commonly used for dome or pyramid skylights and can scratch or discolor over time. Most flat skylights use tempered or double-paned glass.

  • Acrylic: $150–$1,000
  • Tempered glass: $200–$1,500
  • Double-paned glass: $300–$3,500


Mounting

Fixed and ventilating skylights can be either curb-mounted or deck-mounted. Curb-mounted skylights sit atop a frame that protrudes slightly from the roof, whereas deck-mounted skylights are fit against the roofline. Some homeowners prefer deck-mounted skylights because they’re less visible from the ground. However, they’re more expensive to install at an average of $1,500 to $2,500. By contrast, curb-mounted skylights cost an average of $150 to $1,500.


Permits

Installing a skylight involves substantial roof changes, so most locations require a permit before work can begin. You may also need an electrical permit if you’re installing new wiring. Costs vary by location, so check with your local permit office.


Additional Features

You can opt for additional features to increase energy efficiency, keep out pests, or prevent leaks. Here’s how much some of these features will cost you.

  • Insect screens: If your skylight opens, you may want to add a window screen to keep out bugs and pests. These cost $10 to $50, though you may need to have a custom screen made if your skylight is in an irregular shape. 
  • Electrical shades: You can add an electrical shade controlled by remote control to keep out light during the hottest times of the day or in the early morning when you’re sleeping. These cost around $400.
  • Flashing: Flashing is installed around a window to prevent leaks. Over time, it can wear down and need replacement. Flashing costs $200 to $500.
  • Low-e coating: Low-emissivity (low-e) glass blocks UV rays to increase energy efficiency. This costs $100 to $250.
  • Tinting: Adding tinting helps to reduce the glare that comes with an overhead light. This costs $100 to $400.

 


How to Save on Skylight Installation

Even if you hire a professional, you can follow these tips to make your project more cost-effective.

If all you want is more natural light, consider tubular skylights, which are more cost-effective to buy and install.

If you want a more traditional, window-like skylight, choose a fixed, curb-mounted unit that’s a square or rectangle in a standard size.

Choose durable materials whenever possible. Though they cost more up-front, your skylight will last longer and require less frequent repair.

Get free quotes from at least three local professionals before making your choice.


Professional vs. DIY Skylight Installation

In nearly all circumstances, you’ll want to hire a professional roofer or window installation company.

Professional Skylight Installation

Installing a skylight requires many steps. A professional installer knows how to locate and work around roof trusses or rafters, measure and cut correctly, install the actual unit, and properly waterproof it with sealant and flashing. Doing any of these things incorrectly can compromise your roof’s structure or lead to leaks and water damage.

Additionally, pros have tools and equipment to help them work safely on ceilings and roofs. You may also require the services of a licensed electrician to connect power-operated skylights to your home’s wiring. You’ll pay more for labor, but most installers offer a warranty on their work to protect your investment.

DIY Skylight Installation

Although it’s not recommended, advanced do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) can try to install tubular or other small skylights. This requires a permit and possibly a roof inspection, so be sure to talk to a professional before you begin cutting through shingles. Additionally, the warranty on many skylights and roofs will be voided if they’re not installed by a licensed professional. We highly recommend hiring a pro for this job, both for your short-term safety and your long-term peace of mind. Roof problems are costly to fix.


How to Hire a Professional

Many roofing and window contractors install skylights. Here’s what to look for when shopping for quotes.


Our Recommendation

To protect the life span of your roof and home, we recommend professional installation for all skylights. Anything that involves cutting into a roof runs the risk of exposing your roofing structure and the home underneath, leading to leaks and water damage if done incorrectly. Though you’ll pay more for labor, you’ll gain the benefit of the installer’s expertise. Once your skylight is installed, make sure to keep up with any required maintenance so you can enjoy the extra sunlight and ventilation for as long as possible.

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FAQ About Skylight Installation Cost

Do skylights add value to a home?

Yes, skylights typically add value to a home, though that value is hard to quantify. They’re generally seen as appealing features to prospective buyers, but they won’t necessarily add to your home’s dollar amount.

How many square feet of light can a typical skylight provide?

Skylight installers claim that a tubular skylight with a diameter of 10 inches can provide about 200 square feet of illumination, approximately equivalent to three 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. A 14-inch tubular skylight can provide about 300 square feet of illumination.

Can roofers install skylights?

Yes, most roofers can install skylights. However, it’s a good idea to ask the company you’re considering how much experience they have with the type of skylight you want.