Step by Step Guide for Installing a Skylight

Step by Step Guide for Installing a Skylight


Skylights can bring beauty and style to a house that just does not let enough natural light in. Along with being a unique addition to your home, a skylight can also help reduce your energy bill because it reduces the need to use electric lights. Natural sunlight has shown to have different health benefits and is free of charge, so why not let it in? Here is how to build a skylight in your home and let those rays shine on in.


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The Frame

The first step in installing a skylight is cutting out a hole for where it will be. To make the process easier, cut a hole in your roof where you want the center of the window to be. Then, go onto your roof and measure out the desired length of your window. Next, cut out the shape of the window with a circular saw. But, be sure to remove all of the shingles in that area before cutting. Also be sure to cut out an extra 3-5 inches of shingles so that there is space between the shingles and the glass. Before beginning, make sure that you are meeting local building codes. Also, you are going to want to install header and perpendicular joists before you cut and remove the rafters in your roof. If you do not have these skills, or feel unsafe doing it yourself, consult a professional.


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When installing the window, be sure that the window is centered with the opening. Place the window in place and secure it to the roof with nails or screws.


You are going to need roofing paper for the installation. Roofing paper is fiberglass or paper infused with tar that is good for waterproofing. Cut strips about 8 inches wide and in lengths that match each side of your window. Some of the paper will be exposed and some will be under the shingles. Lay each layer in this order: bottom, sides, then top. Do it this way to make sure water slides by evenly and does not leak in to your window. When lifting the shingles, be careful not to damage them.



Next, install flashing on top of the shingles. When installing bottom flashing, nail it into the skylight, not down into the roof, with roofing or flashing nails. Next, slip pieces of step flashing under the shingles. When installing the step flashing, start from the bottom and make sure each piece overlaps by around 4 inches.

Install solid flashing pieces to ensure that no water gets between the step flashing and the skylight. Install the bottom the sides and then the top in that order. Be sure to attach them to the skylight under the roofing. Be sure to be thorough with your steps and contact a professional if necessary!


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