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Which Is Cheaper: The Cost of Professional Skylight Installation or DIY?

Posted on May 24, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 8 Min.

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Which Is Cheaper: The Cost of Professional Skylight Installation or DIY?

Skylights can flood living spaces with natural light, transforming ordinary rooms into vibrant and inviting spaces.

If you’ve been contemplating the addition of a skylight to your home, one of the more crucial considerations is the cost involved. Should you hire professionals to handle the installation or take a DIY approach to save some money? This blog post aims to shed light on the question of whether professional skylight installation or a DIY approach is more cost-effective. We’ll explore the factors to consider, weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and provide the information you need to make an informed decision. 

Understanding Skylights 

Skylights have become increasingly popular in modern homes due to their ability to enhance the ambiance and functionality of a living space. Before delving into the cost considerations, it’s important to grasp the fundamentals of skylight installation.

Average Cost To Install Skylights

Different types of skylights are available on the market, and each style offers various features and functions. Naturally, their costs also vary too. The skylight installation cost can vary anywhere from $1,100 to $3,000, with the average skylight installation cost usually around $1,850. With these numbers in mind, you should be able to create a budget that helps you purchase the skylight you want for your home.

Now that you know the average cost of installing a skylight, let us cover both installation choices you have to decide between.

Factors Affecting The Skylight Installation Cost

When it comes to skylight installation, it’s essential to understand the various costs involved. This section will break down the key considerations, including materials, labor costs, and additional expenses. Whether you choose to DIY or hire a professional, all these costs should be considered. 

The cost of materials and the skylight itself plays a significant role in the overall expense of professional installation.

Skylight Type and Design:

Different types of skylights come in varying price ranges. Fixed skylights are generally more affordable compared to vented or tubular skylights. This is because they are a traditional type of skylight that does not provide much functionality. 

On the other hand, vented skylights are fairly modern. They not only allow draw-in sunlight but fresh air too. Due to added features, they are priced a bit higher, in the range of $500 to $1,800. 

Glazing Options

The choice of glazing can indeed impact the cost of professional skylight installation. Glazing refers to the number of glass layers in the skylight, and each layer adds insulation and energy efficiency to the unit. You will have the option of a single-pane or double-pane window. Nowadays, more enhanced, triple-pane windows are also available, which are more durable, but are priced much higher. 

Type Of Skylight Frame 

Skylights come in frames made of various materials, such as aluminum, wood, vinyl, or fiberglass. Each material has its own price range, with factors like durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetics influencing the cost.

Skylight Installation
Skylight Installation

The Cost Analysis of Professional Skylight Installation

Here are the costs you incur when you hire a professional: 

The Cost of The Skylight 

The cost of the skylight is a significant factor that impacts both DIY and professional skylight installation. Different skylights are available, such as fixed, vented, solar-powered, and electric-powered. If you install a high-quality skylight, the total installation cost will also increase. 

Labor Costs

Labor Costs and Contractor Fees

One of the most significant components included in the expense of hiring a professional for skylight installation is the cost of labor. In fact, this is the biggest part that differs between professional and DIY skylight installation.

Some of the factors influencing labor costs include:

A) The Complexity of Installation: 

The complexity of the installation process, such as the type of roof (flat, pitched, or vaulted) and any structural modifications required, can impact labor costs. More intricate installations may require additional time and expertise, increasing the overall cost. So if your roof has a complex design, or is harder to access, be ready to pay extra. 

B) The Installation Timeframe: 

The duration of the installation project influences labor costs. A larger or more complex skylight installation may take longer, resulting in higher labor expenses.

Additional Expenses

When budgeting for professional skylight installation, it’s important to consider additional expenses that may arise, such as:

Permits and Inspections: 

Depending on your location and local regulations, obtaining permits for skylight installation may be required. These permits typically come with associated fees. However, this fee is not separate, and the contractors usually include the fees in their quote

Transportation and Miscellaneous Costs

If the skylight and materials must be transported to your location, there may be associated delivery fees. These costs vary based on the distance and the specific logistics involved.

Experience With The Contractors

When hiring professionals for skylight installation, it’s worth considering the experience and reputation of the contractors you’re considering. Contractors with extensive experience and a strong reputation in the industry will usually charge higher fees for their skylight installation services. 

As a homeowner, this may seem like an added expense, but it’s important to recognize the value they bring to the table and the quality they can offer your home. 

The DIY Cost Of Installing A Skylight 

In the section above, we covered the costs of hiring a professional for skylight installation. But there is another option available, installing the skylight yourself, also known as DIY.  

If you decide to opt for this method, you will need to consider the following costs: 

Cost Of Materials 

DIY skylight installation will require you to purchase the necessary skylight materials yourself. As we have discussed above, the type of skylight, frame material, style, and quality can vary in price. Research various skylight design ideas and their price before you decide. 

Not only will you have to consider the cost of the skylight itself, but there are also several other components that you will require when you install the skylights. These items include flashing, sealants, and mounting hardware, and should all be factored into the budget.

The Cost Of Tools For Installation

When considering the cost of a DIY skylight installation, it’s important to take into account not only the skylight materials but also the additional tools required for the installation. These items or tools are essential for ensuring a proper and safe installation.

These specialized tools are designed to facilitate specific tasks and ensure the skylight is installed correctly. Some of the tools commonly needed for skylight installation include: 

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Flashing kit 
  • Caulk gun

Learn More: Roof Flashing 101: From Design To Materials

Safety Equipment

Safety should always be a priority during DIY projects, especially when working on a roof. Safety equipment such as a sturdy ladder, harnesses, gloves, safety goggles, and non-slip footwear is necessary to protect yourself during installation. 

While some tools may already be in your possession, others may need to be purchased or rented.

DIY Installation And Cost Savings: What’s The Truth? 

One of the primary advantages of a DIY skylight installation is the potential for cost savings. By eliminating the labor costs associated with hiring professionals, you can significantly reduce the overall expense of the project. 

Additionally, you can shop around for materials and find more affordable options that fit your budget. A DIY installation also allows you to work at your own pace and schedule the project according to your availability. You have the flexibility to plan the installation around other commitments or take breaks as needed. 

The lower cost is the biggest factor in homeowners deciding to install the skylight without professional help. But potential savings is not always the case, and sometimes you are likely to spend even more money than you would if you hire a professional skylight installer. 

While eliminating labor costs initially seems appealing, the expenses associated with a DIY approach can quickly add up. As a homeowner, you may not have the experience or knowledge needed to purchase the correct skylight and install it. A lack of knowledge can result in you purchasing materials of mediocre quality which will lead you to need to replace the skylight earlier than usual. 

If errors or mistakes occur during the installation process, it can also lead to additional expenses for repairs, or even the need to hire professionals to rectify the situation. 

Other Concerns With DIY Installation

We have just seen that the incentive of saving money during installation is not as appealing as it seems, but this is not the only problem. There are several other reasons why you need to avoid DIY skylight installation, such as the following: 

Skill and Experience: 

DIY skylight installation requires a certain level of skill and experience in roofing and construction. If you are not familiar with these areas, it may be challenging to achieve a secure installation. Installing skylights with little or no knowledge can do more harm than good, as it can lead to leaks, structural issues, and safety hazards. 

Lack Of Safety: 

Usually, the majority of the skylights are installed on your roof, which is the highest part of your home. Working at heights can be dangerous, and DIY installation carries inherent risks. 

Every year there are numerous reports of severe injuries or death due to falling from a roof. These accidents can occur if proper safety precautions are not followed, and homeowners are vulnerable to this since many of them usually do not have the necessary gear. 

Using appropriate safety equipment and taking necessary precautions throughout the installation process is crucial.

skylight
Skylight

Why Professional Roofing Is The Way To Go

While it’s true that hiring a professional to install a new roof or skylight can incur additional costs, there are many reasons why it is strongly encouraged to choose this option. Here are some of the advantages: 

Professional Installers Have The Necessary Experience: 

First and foremost, you should hire a professional for your skylight project because they have the required expertise and experience. 

Installing a skylight entails a series of tasks including identifying the perfect location, precisely cutting a hole with a saw, properly placing the skylight, and effectively managing the flashing. For a novice, this process can prove quite challenging.

Professionals are also trained in the best roofing practices, techniques, and industry standards for installing skylights. Their experience allows them to anticipate and overcome potential challenges effectively, ensuring a smooth installation process.

Compliance With Local Building Codes 

Like roofing, skylight installations must comply with local building codes and regulations to ensure safety and structural integrity. Professional installers are well-versed in these codes and regulations, and ensure that the installation meets all requirements.

They understand the proper placement, size, and support needed for skylights, ensuring compliance with the necessary guidelines.

Save Time and Money 

In this fast-paced life, time is of the essence, and home improvement projects can take days or even weeks. By hiring professionals, you can save valuable time and effort. Professionals efficiently handle the installation process from start to finish, minimizing disruptions to the homeowners’ daily lives. They have the necessary skills to complete the job promptly and effectively.

Warranties 

What is the biggest difference between a DIY project and a professional job? The answer is quite simple, warranties.  

A warranty provides peace of mind to homeowners, knowing that any potential issues arising from the installation will be addressed without incurring additional costs. Professional contractors can provide these warranties and also carry liability insurance that protects homeowners from financial liabilities in case of accidents.

Conclusion

To conclude, when we compare both options, the DIY route may be a bit cheaper than hiring a professional, but in our opinion doing this job can be risky and should be avoided. 

While a DIY installation may initially appear more cost-effective, it carries inherent risks and potential long-term expenses if not executed correctly. On the other hand, while a professional skylight installation cost is higher, it will be worth it in the long run. With professionals like us, you will get expertise, warranty coverage, and the assurance of a high-quality skylight installation. So if you want to get peace of mind and a hassle-free installation, hire our roofing company today. 

Best Skylight Installation Services In Tulsa, OK 

Hiring a professional may seem costly, but it holds immense long-term value. If you want hassle-free skylight installation at an affordable price, contact the team of A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing. 

We have years of experience offering the best home exterior services to homeowners in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the surrounding area. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 to learn more about how we can help you install the best skylight.