They increase the amount of natural light in our homes and there are plenty of benefits to more natural light from a health perspective. That natural light also means less use of electricity. They tend to make rooms ‘feel bigger’.
In the case of older homes, skylights are a great way to bring light to dark areas where lamps do not fit or retrofitting for recessed lighting is impractical.
When using skylights which open, the increase ventilation and air circulation make rooms more comfortable.
Large skylights or the use of multiple ones help warm living spaces.
All of these benefits to you as the homeowner ultimately translate to more enjoyment of your home and better resale value when the time comes to sell.
Too often, however, we see DIY installations or hiring of inexperienced contractors to avoid the biggest downside to skylights – the cost to add them.
DIY installation disasters.
Going the DIY route when it comes to your roof is never a great idea. With skylight installation, it is well worth the cost of hiring an experienced professional. Beyond the risks of ladders, getting the skylight on the roof, and even slipping off the roof, cutting a hole in your roof requires proper care.
While it can be done, more often than not, we find improperly installed skylights during routine inspections. For most homeowners, this is the first they realize they have an issue. It would seem likely that they would leak and be noticeable. That isn’t usually the case. Water coming in slowly may not drip. It will soak the roof deck, the rafters and the insulation first.
By the time a drip is visible, there is likely structural damage. The savings by installing that skylight yourself could me a significant repair cost later.
A recent example.
This is a recent skylight we came across. It was improperly installed and needed to be replaced. In this case, the skylight was ‘glued in’ using silicone.
Removing the skylight caused further damage (the frame split) and added to the cost. We had to build a new frame, replace the drywall, and add new flashing and shingles.
Our best advice:
When it comes to roof maintenance, repair, and upgrades – hire a qualified professional. It will save you time and money. Going the DIY route could even affect getting your home sold down the road.