DIY Skylight Installation Tips


Skylights are a fabulous way to brighten up a small space and add warmth and atmosphere to your home. But the idea of ripping a hole into your ceiling and installing a skylight there can be intimidating. The last thing you want is to end up with a leaky skylight or a damaged roof.

Not all skylights are equal and not all areas of your home are ideal for installing one. It's best to know ahead of time what will work and what won't, as well as how to go about this DIY skylight installation project the best way.

1) Get Up in the Attic

If there is an attic space, even a tiny one, in the area, go up there and inspect it carefully. You don't want to install a skylight where there is wiring, piping, ductwork or other mechanical systems. Clearing away insulation is one thing - rerouting the electrical or mechanical systems of your home is entirely another.

2) Pay Attention to the Joists

Where you place the skylight is of utmost importance. Not only do you want the sunlight to hit your room in a certain way, but you need the structure of your roof to be left alone. You shouldn't be cutting any part of your trusses, ceiling joists or rafters. If you are a professional window installer and have the approval of your building department, it may be a different story. But for the most part, DIY skylight jobs should leave those structural components alone.

3) Design Your Shaft Well

The light shaft is the tunnel between the ceiling of your room and the skylight. It's generally finished off with sheetrock or drywall, but you can play with the shape and design a little to maximize the effect of your new skylight. Angle the shaft out towards the room to create a larger looking window or stick with a straight tunnel for a dramatic statement.

4) Buy a Self-Flashing Product

This will save you plenty of time and multiple steps when you're installing the skylight. Always follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter and be sure to get all spacing and angles right on.

5) Use the Proper Tools

Cut out the marked opening for your skylight using a reciprocating or circular saw. Generally you will cut from the exterior or rooftop. Always be sure to tie yourself off for safety and have your ladder secured well.

6) Be Careful With the Roofing Materials

As you slide the upper flashing material underneath the roofing material, be very careful not to damage either the shingles or the felt. Go slow.

7) Frame the Shaft Once the Skylight Is Attached

You'll need to butt the sheetrock or drywall right up to the framing of your skylight, so work on the shaft once the window is firmly in place. Once you're all finished, the drywall can be mudded, sanded, primed and painted just like any other interior wall.

8) Seal Well With Roofing Cement or Heavy Duty Caulking

Every joint and seam needs to be sealed well with a product made to withstand the weather. Be generous with the sealant and you are less likely to experience those dreaded leaks.

With good planning and careful methods your DIY skylight installation is sure to be successful, providing your home with just the brightness and appeal you were looking for.

Posted by: TrustedPros
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area. Read real customer reviews, browse photos and compare credentials.

Find your home service pro
comments powered by Disqus

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.