How Much Does a Skylight Cost in 2023?

Skylight costs can range from $1,185 to $3,170 before installation, with most people paying an average price of $2,115.

A skylight can provide natural light and air circulation as well as reduce energy consumption in the home. On average, the cost of a skylight is $2,115 (not counting labor cost), with most homeowners paying between $1,185 to $3,170 for the skylight itself.

Labor costs for professional installation can add another $400 to $3,725 depending on the skylight size, type, material, and other cost factors covered in this guide.

This cost guide covers:

Average Skylight Costs in 2023

National average cost$2,115
Typical price range$1,185 – $3,170
Extreme low end cost$490
Extreme high end cost$4,100

A typical skylight costs between $1,185 and $3,170, with an average cost of $2,115. Outside of the usual range, prices can go from $490 for a small skylight to $4,100 for larger or more complicated skylights. 

Here are some ways to keep your skylight installation cost toward the lower end of that range:

  • Choose low-cost brands that don’t come with extra bells and whistles.
  • Choose a small or fixed skylight.
  • Get quotes from several skylight installation companies and compare them to find out which is the best option for your budget.

Installing a custom skylight or adding window finishes such as low-e coating, tinting, and flashing will increase installation costs.

Skylight Cost Estimator by Size

Size plays a big role in determining the cost of skylights, as the amount of material and labor required for each installation depends on it. Like windows, skylights come in a variety of sizes, but many of them are only 25 inches wide so they can be installed on roofs with trusses that cannot accommodate larger skylights.

The chart below shows the typical material costs required to install different sizes of skylights.

Skylight SizeCost Range (Skylight only – does not include professional installation)
25-by-25 inches $150 – $500
25-by-33 inches$150 – $600
25-by-41 inches$300 – $600
33-by-33 inches$300 – $800
25-by-57 inches$300 – $800
33-by-49 inches$300 – $1,000
49-by-49 inches$500 – $1,900
33-by-57 inches$500 – $2,000

Skylight Cost by Type

The cost of a skylight varies greatly depending on the type of skylight, with some types being more difficult to install than others.

Tubular

Tubular sun-tunnel skylights are ideal for people with truss roofs who want more natural light but cannot install a larger skylight. They are less costly to install because they do not require a lot of materials and labor. A tubular skylight typically costs $290 to $820, not including labor costs.

Fixed

The average price range for fixed skylights is between $170 and $1,240 (not including labor cost). This type of skylight is best for natural light but lacks ventilation. 

Homeowners in hot climates will incur more energy costs with a fixed skylight, as the air conditioner often has to work harder to counteract the trapped heat. Blinds and glass coatings such as low-e can be used to reduce heat transfer.

Ventilated

Vented skylights are designed to open and let fresh air in or let stale air out. They operate in three ways and, as a result, have the widest price range among the different types of skylights.

  • Manually vented skylights are also known as tilt windows because they open and close like regular windows. They are best suited for rooms with lower ceilings so they are easy to reach.
  • Electronic skylights can be operated at any height using a remote control or keypad but are more expensive due to the additional wiring required.
  • Solar-powered ventilated skylights can also be operated at any height and do not require wiring. Although the initial cost is high, they are less expensive to run.

Price points for ventilated skylights range from $340 to $2,200 per unit.

Other Factors that Affect Cost

There are several additional factors that can affect the cost of skylight installation, but the following are the most common causes of price variation from project to project.

Labor

The cost of skylight installation is primarily labor-based. A typical skylight installation costs about $400 to $3,375 in labor, but depending on the complexity of the project, that cost could double.

See the typical labor cost for different types of skylights below.

Skylight TypeTypical Labor Cost
Tubular$350 – $550
Fixed$1,175 – $3,250
Ventilated $1,300 – $3,725

Roof Type

The cost of installing skylights also depends on the type of roof you have. Labor costs to install skylights on pitched roofs are often lower because they are less difficult and time-consuming than on flat roofs, which require drywall and a little extra labor.

Installing a skylight on a pitched roof costs about $1,100 to $2,065, while installing a skylight on a flat roof costs $1,875 to $3,075.

Framing Material

The cost of skylight installation can also be affected by the material of the frame, with each frame having a different size and cost range. 

Different skylight frames include:

  • Vinyl is a low-cost, low-maintenance material for the frame, but it does not last long. It can crack in cold climates and warp in hot climates. Vinyl skylight frames cost between $150 and $1,000.
  • Metal-framed skylights last longer than vinyl frames and also require less maintenance, but they heat up quickly and increase the heat absorbed by the skylight. Their average cost ranges from $200 to $1,500.
  • Wood is not only the most expensive frame material but also requires the most maintenance. However, it resists heat transfer better than vinyl or metal frames. The cost ranges from $300 to $2,500.

Style

Curb-mounted and deck-mounted are the two installation styles for skylights:

  • Curb-mounted skylights are prefabricated and only need to be screwed into a hole in the roof. 
  • Deck-mounted skylights, on the other hand, involve framing the roof onsite, which makes installation more difficult and time-consuming. 

See the table below for average costs.

StylePrice Range (Material Only)
Curb-mounted$150 – $500
Deck-mounted$150 – $2,500

Shape

Shape can also influence installation costs. While square and rectangular skylights cost the same, oval, circular, triangular, and custom shapes are more expensive and complex to install. Below is an overview of the different shapes of skylights and their typical prices.

ShapeCost Range (Material Only)
Square$150 – $2,000
Rectangular$150 – $2,000
Circular$400 – $1,000
Oval$535 – $2,000
Triangular$435 – $3,000
Custom$1,500 – $5,000

Glazing Materials

Acrylic, tempered glass, and double-pane glass are the typical glazing materials for skylights. Installers typically use acrylic (the cheapest) for pyramidal and dome skylights. They typically use tempered glass and double-pane glass for flat, fixed, and ventilated skylights.

Double-pane, which is both the most expensive and the most energy-efficient glass, can reduce heat transfer and is resilient enough to be used in any climate.

Glazing TypePrice Range (Material Only)
Acrylic Plastic$150 – $1,000
Tempered Glass$200 – $1,500 
Double Pane Glass$300 – $3,500

Brand

Each skylight brand has its own qualities, materials, warranties, and price points to consider. For example, customers who purchase a Velux skylight are guaranteed against leaks and receive a 10-year replacement warranty if the skylight is properly installed. The table below shows the cost range of the top-rated skylight brands.

BrandCost Range (Material Only)
Velux$600 – $2,565
Fakro$435 – $2,835
Sun-Tek$150 – $1,665

Commercial vs. Residential

Installing a skylight in a commercial building is often more expensive than in a residential building:

  • Residential skylight installation price points range from $500 to $3,000
  • Commercial skylight installation costs range from $1,000 to $4,000

The differences are usually due to the different roof designs of each building and the materials used.

Permits

Permits are required to install skylights in some locations. Depending on the location and project, permits can cost around $500.

Skylight Replacement

Skylight replacement is usually less expensive than a new skylight if no modifications are made to the placement, size, or setup. That’s because much of the work, such as cutting out holes and building tunnels, is already done. You can spend between $800 and $2,200 for an equivalent replacement and even more for any alterations to the skylight.

The following are some services you might consider if you’re already having a skylight installed. 

Solar panels

Having a solar-powered skylight installed? Consider installing additional solar panels to power the rest of your home, too. On average, a solar panel system costs about $20,000 to install, but solar power can save you so much money in electricity costs that it pays for itself in 6 to 10 years. 

Roof replacement

Installing your skylight on a structurally solid roof is cost-effective. If your roof is damaged or old, consider replacing the roof before adding a new skylight. Roof replacement costs between $5,706 and $11,185.

Roof inspection

Not all roofs are suitable for skylights. It’s important to have roofing contractors inspect your roof to determine which skylight (if any) is the best fit for your roof. A professional roof inspection costs, on average, about $215.

Cost of a Skylight by Location

The national average cost of a skylight is $2,115, but this price can vary depending on where you live. Variations in material and labor prices are mostly due to your local supply chain and sales taxes in your area. To find out how these factors might impact the cost of your project, get a quote from a local roofing contractor. 

FAQ

Can you install a skylight DIY?

Because poor installation of a skylight could cause serious damage to your home, we recommend letting a professional roofing contractor install your skylight instead of trying to do it yourself. 

Is a roof window the same as a skylight?

No. Roof windows and skylights may look similar and have a similar cost, but they differ in several ways, including:

• Roof windows are fully functional, but many skylights are fixed or open only a few inches.
• Roof windows are usually installed at an accessible height where you can operate the window, but skylights have options that are suitable for any ceiling height.
• Unlike a skylight, which can be retrofitted using the curb-mounted style, roof windows are mostly incorporated into new roofs and cannot be added to an existing roof.

Regular windows are also less expensive. The typical window replacement costs about $670 on average.

How often should skylights be replaced?

It depends on the type, brand, and quality of installation. Based on those specific factors, skylights may need to be replaced after anywhere from 15 to 40 years.

Final Thoughts

Even with its high price and complicated installation, adding a skylight may be worth it for the natural light and ventilation it can provide your home. With a skylight, you can use less electricity for lighting and air conditioning, which benefits your energy bills and the environment.  

Main Photo By marc / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Ayoola Azzan

Ayoola Azzan

Ayoola Azzan is a versatile writer and investment enthusiast who hails from Nigeria. He loves developing an impactful course and enjoys meditating when at leisure.