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 Costs
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Cost By Type of Skylight
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Skylight Replacement
- Related Services
- Cost by Location
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 Size||Cost 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 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.
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.
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.
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 Type||Typical Labor Cost|
|Tubular||$350 – $550|
|Fixed||$1,175 – $3,250|
|Ventilated||$1,300 – $3,725|
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.
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.
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.
|Style||Price Range (Material Only)|
|Curb-mounted||$150 – $500|
|Deck-mounted||$150 – $2,500|
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.
|Shape||Cost 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|
Acrylic, tempered glass, and double-pane glass are the typical window glass 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 Type||Price Range (Material Only)|
|Acrylic Plastic||$150 – $1,000|
|Tempered Glass||$200 – $1,500|
|Double Pane Glass||$300 – $3,500|
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.
|Brand||Cost 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 are required to install skylights in some locations. Depending on the location and project, permits can cost around $500.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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