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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Before You Put Skylights In Your Roof

Published by Pickard Roofing at

Skylights are popular, so if you're thinking about adding a skylight to your roof, you're not alone. Homeowners like skylights, because they add beauty and allow for natural light to enter the home. However, installation of skylights must be done correctly in order to protect your home from leaks and structural damage. If you're considering a skylight installation, here's what you need to know.


Why Put Skylights On Your Roof?

Skylights provide free natural lighting indoors, and can brighten rooms that are otherwise dark. Homeowners seeking to reduce their carbon footprint favor skylights as a way to tap into the abundant sunlight, and avoid running electric lights indoors. Homeowners who prioritize aesthetics also seek skylights because natural daylight is flattering and can make dark rooms seem bigger, brighter and more spacious.


Before You Put a Skylight On Your Roof

The best time to install a skylight is when you're re-roofing your home, or when you're installing a new roof on a brand new home. Installing a skylight on an existing roof is challenging, but it can be done, if you hire the right contractor.

To install a skylight onto an existing home, your contractor will need to do upfront design work to ensure that the fixture is properly placed. A carpenter may be required to modify the roof and perform additional interior work.

When you're hiring a contractor, ask to see pictures of skylights they've installed in existing roofs. Check references from homeowners who have hired the contractor to perform skylight installation on their home.

Your contractor should help you pick the skylight that's right for your house. Different skylights achieve different effects. For example, your contractor may ask you if you would like a deck mount or curb mount skylight. Deck mount sits flush with the roof, curb mount sits slightly above the roof.

Some skylights open and some do not. Your contractor may ask you if you would like a manually opening skylight, or one that opens by electric or solar power.


What You Should Know Before Putting In a Skylight

Most skylight leaks occur from improper flashing work at installation. Even the best skylight can leak if it isn’t installed properly. You can avoid this problem by purchasing a quality manufactured fixture and by hiring an experienced roofing contractor. It all comes back to skill, knowledge and reputation. Check the contractor's references!


Shingle Roof

Skylights are often installed on shingle roofs. Homeowners with shingle roofs have no special issues to take into consideration when performing this kind of home improvement.

Metal Roof

Metal roofing requires custom flashing details with special attention to the metal seam to prevent leaks. Expert installation is critically important, so find a contractor who specializes in working with metal roofing materials. Improper mounting of the skylight will let water in. While it's best to install the skylight as the roof is being put on the house, retrofit is possible in the hands of the right contractor.

Flat Roof

Flat roofs maintenance and repair can be tricky under the best of circumstances, but especially when installing a skylight. Custom flashings with special attention to skylight height is important. Flat roofs and low slope roofs may require curb mount skylight.

Historic Homes

You can install a skylight on a historic home without ruining the home's historic appeal. Low profile (deck mount) skylights keep the roof line the same, without calling attention to the modern upgrade. It helps to mount the feature in the back of the house, where visitors are less likely to see it. Where it's installed on the house depends on the size of the skylight and the design of the house. Your contractor can help you pick the best spot.


Work With an Experienced Roofing Contractor

Your contractor can help you select a quality skylight that will work for your home. Check the warranty before making your purchase, and of course, vet your contractor thoroughly before hiring someone to install a skylight on your home.

Get started today. If you’re in the Triangle area of North Carolina, including Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel HIll, we provide free estimates. If something goes wrong with your skylight in the future, it only takes one phone call to get the help you need.


At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.