Is It Possible to DIY Install a Skylight?

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If you are like many homeowners, you likely have a do-it-yourself itch when it comes to home remodeling projects. And there are many projects where a DIY sensibility can not only save you money but also provide an opportunity for your skills and creativity to shine in your handiwork. But when it comes to skylights, asking if it is possible to DIY install a skylight brings up another question: is it the best approach for the project? Here we’ll explore both those questions and weigh the cost and benefit of installing your own skylights. 

What is involved in skylight installation?

With the right tools and know-how, a person can certainly take on a skylight installation project for their own home. If you have the skillset and resources of home remodeling contractors, for example, putting in a skylight can seem like a surmountable challenge. 

There are several steps for this project, which starts with acquiring all the necessary materials. There are multiple types of skylights and some are self-flashing or come with flashing kits, which are needed for sealing the skylight against the surface of your roof. When you have chosen your skylight and gotten the materials for the installation, next you will need to identify the best place to put it. This is not as simple as deciding which space would benefit from natural light, but instead also involves finding a location that will not impact important elements of your house’s infrastructure like the roof trusses. 

Once you’ve gathered your materials and scouted your skylight location, you will need to precisely measure and cut a hole in your roof that will perfectly fit the skylight frame – because once you’ve sawed through your roof, it can’t be undone. From there you will need to remove the shingles surrounding the opening and then drop the frame and skylight in place. The process of affixing and sealing the skylight to the roof involves laying down the flashing so it is secure and waterproof and reinstalling your shingles. Applying a silicone caulk around the edge of the flashing or any joints might also be helpful to further seal the skylight. 

What is the downside of DIY skylight installation?

While the installation steps might seem straightforward, there are a few additional considerations to take into account before you cut into your roof. First, there are the safety hazards of doing significant construction work on your roof. Any costs you avoided in not hiring a professional can be quickly spent with a trip to the ER. Additionally, some older homes still have asbestos insulation in the attic that you could unknowingly and unnecessarily come in contact with when installing your skylight. Lastly, some skylight manufacturers have specific guidelines for installation, including having certified commercial skylight installers do the job. If you don’t follow the guidelines you may void your warranty, which will cost you money in the long run. 

If you are excited about doing a DIY home remodel project, skylight installation might not be the easiest or best option. But if you are excited about adding a skylight to your home, the good news is that there are professionals like Mares & Dow Construction who can help with the project. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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