Install a Skylight 1 - Introduction

If you're considering installing a skylight yourself, be sure to read the following complete project very carefully to learn what's involved. Penetrating roofing materials and framing the opening below can be difficult and demanding, even for experts. Once you understand the processes and the pitfalls of installing a skylight, you'll be able to decide whether this is work for you or a professional.

Even the most skilled do-it-yourselfer may require professional help under certain conditions. You'd be wise to have a contractor install a skylight larger than 48 inches square; also rely on professional installation if your roof has a slope greater than 6 in 12 or is surfaced with slippery tiles or slate.

If you have a built-up roof covered with polyurethane foam or roofing felt and hot-mopped asphalt, you may be able to install the skylight yourself, but you might prefer to hire a contract or to rebuild the roofing around the skylight.

Since work of this type is governed by local codes, check your plans with the building department. You may need a building permit.