IL (847) 278-2272
WI (414) 662-9550

How to Install a Skylight (Step-By-Step)

Are you thinking of brightening up your home with natural light by adding a skylight? Well, you’re in luck because in this step-by-step guide, we’ll take you through the process of installing a skylight in your home.

Whether you’re looking to save on energy costs, improve your home’s aesthetics, or simply enjoy more natural light, this guide has got you covered with how to install a skylight!

Let’s get started on this illuminating project!

Inside this blog:

  • Reasons you should install a skylight on your roof
  • The 10-Step process of installing a skylight
  • Maintenance tips for skylight longevity

Keep reading to learn more about skylight installation and how you can reap the benefits of bringing more natural light into your home!

Why Install a Skylight?

Before we jump into the installation process, let’s briefly explore why adding a skylight can be a fantastic idea for your home:

Natural Light


Skylights introduce ample natural light into your home, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day and creating a more inviting atmosphere. This not only saves on energy costs but also promotes a healthier indoor environment by increasing exposure to natural sunlight, which is known to boost mood and well-being.

Additionally, the warm, diffused sunlight that skylights provide can create a cozy and cheerful ambiance in any room.

Energy Efficiency

Properly installed skylights can help regulate indoor temperature and reduce energy consumption by providing passive solar heating and cooling. In colder months, skylights allow the sun’s warmth to penetrate, reducing the need for heating systems.

Conversely, in the summer, you can install shades or blinds to block excessive heat gain, keeping your home cooler and reducing reliance on air conditioning. This dual functionality not only contributes to energy savings but also makes your home more environmentally friendly. Thus, the skylight installation cost is well worth the rewards.

Aesthetic Appeal

Fixed skylights can enhance the aesthetics of your home, adding a unique architectural element that’s both functional and visually pleasing. The infusion of natural light from above can transform the atmosphere of any space, making it feel more open and inviting.

Likewise, skylights come in various designs, from fixed to operable and tubular, allowing you to choose one that complements your home’s style and interior decor. Whether you’re aiming for a modern, minimalist look or a classic, timeless feel, skylights can elevate your home’s overall appeal.

Now, let’s dive into the 10-Step process of installing a skylight!

Use Safety Equipment and Follow Safety Guidelines

Safety should be the top priority. Use the proper safety equipment and follow safety guidelines to protect yourself from hazards.

Before starting, inspect your ladders for any visible defects and ensure they are in good condition. Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a hard hat to safeguard against falling debris or accidents.

Please familiarize yourself with state and government guidelines for fall prevention and roof safety procedures. To learn more, visit

Step 1: Choose the Right Skylight 🔍

  • Measure the space on your existing roof where you intend to install the skylight to determine the appropriate size.
  • Consider the type of skylight you want: fixed (non-operable), ventilating (opens to allow airflow), or tubular (for smaller spaces).
  • Ensure the skylight you choose is energy-efficient and comes with a warranty.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Materials 🧰

  • Safety gear: safety glasses, gloves, and a dust mask.
  • Tools: tape measure, circular saw, reciprocating saw, framing square, and a level.
  • Materials: skylight kit, roof sealant, roofing nails, flashing, and roofing paper.

Step 3: Plan the Location 📏

  • Select the ideal location for the skylight, considering factors like room layout and desired light distribution.
  • Determine the slope and pitch of your roof to ensure proper drainage.
  • Check for any obstructions or structural elements in the ceiling and attic space.

Step 4: Cut an Opening ✂️

  • Mark the outline of the skylight on the ceiling, using measurements from the skylight’s instructions.
  • Carefully cut through the ceiling drywall using a reciprocating saw.
  • Use a circular saw to cut through the roof decking along the marked outline, ensuring you create a clean and precise opening.
  • Remove any shingles or roofing material from the area.

Step 5: Frame the Opening 🪚

  • Install the skylight frame around the opening to create a curb for the skylight.
  • Use pressure-treated lumber to ensure durability and resistance to moisture.
  • Make sure the frame is level, square, and securely attached to the roof rafters.

Step 6: Install Flashing and Roofing Paper 🌧️

  • Apply roofing paper over the roof decking, ensuring it extends over the curb’s top.
  • Install metal flashing around the skylight roof opening, securing it with roofing nails.
  • Ensure the flashing is properly sealed to prevent water infiltration.

Step 7: Place and Secure the Skylight 🏡


  • Carefully lift the skylight into position, ensuring it fits snugly over the curb.
  • Secure the skylight to the curb using the provided screws or fasteners.
  • Apply a layer of roof sealant around the perimeter of the skylight to create a watertight seal.

Step 8: Flash and Seal the Exterior 🔐

  • Install step flashing along the sides of the skylight, overlapping each piece to prevent water infiltration.
  • Secure the flashing with roofing nails.
  • Apply additional roof sealant over the flashing and along the edges of the skylight to ensure a watertight seal.

Step 9: Finish the Interior 🪛

  • Install an interior trim or finish piece around the skylight to cover the edges of the opening.
  • Paint or finish the trim to match your interior décor.
  • Ensure the interior finish provides a clean and attractive appearance.

Step 10: Check for Leaks and Insulate 💧

  • Inspect the skylight for any signs of leaks or water infiltration.
  • If necessary, add insulation around the skylight to prevent heat loss or gain.
  • Ensure the interior space is properly insulated and sealed.

Maintenance Tips for Skylights 🔧

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep the skylight clean to maximize natural light penetration.
  • Check Seals: Inspect the seals and flashing for signs of wear or damage, and reseal as needed.
  • Trim Trees: Trim overhanging branches to prevent debris from falling onto the skylight.
  • Condensation Control: Use proper ventilation and blinds to control condensation on the skylight’s interior surface.

Enjoy the Natural Light With a Skylight Installation 🌞

Installing a skylight can be a rewarding DIY project that brings the beauty of natural light into your home. Follow these steps carefully, prioritize safety, and consider consulting a professional if you’re not comfortable with any part of the installation. With the right skylight, you can brighten up your living space, improve energy efficiency, and enhance the overall ambiance of your home. Here’s to enjoying the sunshine from the comfort of your own home!

If you’re unsure about your DIY skills, it’s best to hire a professional roofer like Shake Guys. We have the expertise and tools necessary to properly diagnose and repair the issue. Contact our roofing pros at Shake Guys today and we’ll make sure your next roof project goes off without a hitch. Let’s go!

Schedule a Free Inspection & Consultation