Many homeowners have older skylights that need updating, but how do you know if you need to replace it with a new skylight or look into other options?
If your skylight leaks occasionally and is within 5 years old, then it may only need a slight repair involving inspecting and resealing the flashing, glazing seals, etc.
If your skylight is 5-10 years old and leaks more persistently, you may need a more extensive repair. This may include:
- Removing some of the roofing material around the skylight
- Applying an ice and water shield
- Replacing the appropriate flashing and roofing shingles.
* This option may not match your current roof and will leave you with a different color around your skylight.
If your skylight is about 12-15 years old or older, and is consistently leaking, then replacing your skylight may be the cheapest option.
Replacing a skylight can be quite expensive. When all is said and done, replacement can cost a homeowner between $1,000-$2,000. That cost includes:
- Skylight (price increases with UV protection or other coatings)
- Attached shades
- Installation (price varies depending on size and complexity of roof)
There may be additional fees if structural changes to your house are required to get joists and rafters out of the way, or to build alternate supporting structures.
Installation can be difficult for skylights because it requires a lot of carpentry work. For most sizes, at least one rafter will have to be cut, requiring the rafters around it to be doubled. Even without cutting, the process will require careful work finishing the inside of the room and installing the flashing to prevent leaks.
Alternatives – Solar Tubes
Solar tubes are small light-capturing domes on your roof that pull sunlight into modular tubing which is then routed around rafters and joists in your attic and ultimately delivers bright, diffused light into your home through ceiling fixtures.
Since the tubing completely avoids cutting big holes in your roof or having to make any structural changes to your home, the cost not only remains relatively low, but installation can be completed in as little as two hours.
A homeowner can easily have a solar tube installed for as low as $400-$1,000. As an added financial benefit, adding a solar tube can result in a 30 percent energy tax deduction. This is because of the limited heat gain and the EnergyStar ratings on some models.
Not only are solar tubes more energy efficient, they also do a much better job at blocking UV rays that can be harmful to a home’s residents and furnishings.
Thinking about replacing your skylight? Give us a call to discuss all the options available to you!