skylight estimate reality check

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Old 11-07-07, 01:30 PM
jkm
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skylight estimate reality check

We have gotten bids to have a single, small skylight installed from two companies that do only skylights. 1.5 story house with a steep roof, so a pain to work on. No rafters, or trusses, or whatever, will have to be cut.

The skylight is $300 on one estimate (fixed skylight, no venting, deck-mounted), and the labor $450, with a good warranty. Another estimate is several hundred more, so I'm assuming the high one is unreasonable.

But, is the low estimate at least in the realm of reasonable? I know home depot sells the particular skylight and I believe will also contract for installation services, but I haven't gotten a bid through them, yet. I just figured the guys who do only this were a better bet.

Any opinions on $450 for labor in this situation?
 
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Old 11-07-07, 01:56 PM
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Like other building materials, there are good, better, best levels of quality, warranty, and price for skylights. Prices vary among manufacturers and retailers and areas of country. Labor costs vary among installers and from area to area. Taking the lowest bid is not always the best way to go.

I'd certainly get some more bids. I'd research skylights, their manufacturers, warranties, etc. I'd iinquire from the contractors what skylight they will be using, its warranty, and cost. Make sure they do not price you the expensive one and install a less expensive one.

Get more bids and go with a licensed and insured contractor. He needs liability insurance in case he damages your property or installation results in leaks and damage to property. He needs workers compensation insurance just in case he falls off the roof. Homeowner's insurance will not cover his injury or death. Get copies of the license and certificates of insurance and call to make sure they are active.
 
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Old 11-07-07, 03:10 PM
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What she said. I am installing two light tubes tomorrow for a customer, and although they aren't as expensive to purchase as skylights, you still have to cut holes in roofs, climb up there, cut holes in ceilings, basically as you would for a skylight. My estimate for this (Southeastern US) is close to yours. Not sure where you live, but get the three estimates as suggested and check them out. Remember Thiokol was the low bidder for the "O" ring on the Challenger.
 
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Old 11-07-07, 03:24 PM
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I thought the labor sounded reasonable. And if one bid is $200 more, it simply means the guy is estimating it will take approximately 4 hours longer than the other guy.

If it was me, I'd have more confidence in a company that specializes in skylights. They would (should) be better and faster than your average carpenter who has to think back and remember how he did the last one... who makes a few mistakes that waste time... and who bids high to cover his behind.
 
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Old 11-08-07, 03:53 AM
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I didn't see any name brands mentioned, so I will, 'Velux', the only skylight I recommend. As to the quote, does that include a light shaft thru the framing, if yes, the low bidder underrbid himself. Doing a light shaft correctly takes a bit of time.
 
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Old 11-08-07, 05:56 AM
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Yeah what they said.

In our own experience we got three quotes for skylight installation. One came recommended and was a local guy, the others came from "town". The "town" companies bid alot more, and some claimed the price increase was due to things like "proper flashing" and "trim outs" - no different from any other bid. The local guy had a 10 year install warranty, had been in business for 15 years, and again came recommended, so even though his price was alot lower (about what your quote was) we went with him. With an unusually heavy snow season and then unusually rainy summer, not a single leak and absolutely no problems.

We went with Velux skylights - two fixed pane and one crank openable. We LOVE them and they helped lower our winter electric bill since we no longer need artificial lighting by day.
 
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Old 11-08-07, 02:02 PM
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Skytubes went in without a hitch. Stand-up attic space, floor runners all over for convenience. Really put out alot of light through the diffusers. This was the only solution for this application as the ceiling of the room and the roof rafters were about 7' apart.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 08:21 AM
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our shop charges $250 labor, but labor prices vary quite a bit depending on where you live.
 
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