What You Need to Know Before Installing a Skylight
Sea Island Residential
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What You Need to Know Before Installing a Skylight

From watching a South Carolina sunrise in the comfort of your bed to illuminating your kitchen with radiant natural light, skylights are how you can capture some of nature’s most scenic views from inside your home. In addition to beholding awe-inspiring sights every day, skylight installation is quickly becoming the latest eco-friendly roofing trend, as they reduce dependency on artificial lighting and can potentially decrease your overall utility bill.

But before you can bask in the sunlight or relish the tranquil pitter-patter of raindrops drizzling from the sky, a lot needs to be fleshed out before you consider installing a skylight on your roof. For starters, not all roofs were designed with supporting skylights in mind, and you’ll need to ensure your home meets all inspection standards before moving forward with installation.

If you’re interested in reaping the beaming benefits of providing your home with natural light and solar energy, let’s take a look at what you need to know before installing a skylight on your roof.

Do You Have the Right Roof for a Skylight?

Not all roofs were created equal, especially when accommodating skylight installation. More often than not, there are three distinct types of roofing: shingle roof, tile roof, or metal roof.

Shingle and tile roofings offer greater variety for installation options and what shape or style of skylight you’re interested in. On the other hand, metal roofs can only work with one design of skylights, which is deck-mounted skylights, meaning a skylight that’s directly nailed into a roof deck.

Roof Framing May Determine the Type of Skylight

Aside from distinguishing your roofing material, you’ll also need to determine the framing of your roof. The primary types of roof framing are truss-framed roofs and stick-framed roofs.

Truss-framed roofs are constructed with a triangle-shaped foundation, whereas stick-framed roofs are built with individual rafters. What allows stick-framed roofs to accommodate skylights better is that their rafters can be cut through to provide a custom fit for the dimensions of a skylight. In contrast, most engineered wood trusses have been delicately designed not to be cut into or altered after installation, as their structural support would drastically diminish if amended.

That doesn’t mean skylights can only be installed on stick-framed roofs. However, knowing your home's roofing materials and framing beforehand will help your roofing contractor better gauge what type of skylight will work best on your house.

Have You Considered the Best Skylight Placement?

Once you’ve determined the compatibility of your roof, you’ll need to scout the best location for a skylight. For starters, you’ll want to find a room or space directly below the roof and a spot where natural light is limited.

Second, be sure to pick out a place that will meet your contractor's minimum roofing slope requirements, typically between a five and 15-degree slant. Determining slope requirements won’t be a factor if your roof is flat.

Finally, consider the direction your skylight would face. A skylight on the north side of your roof will generally offer the most natural light, whereas installing it on the east or west side of the house will dictate which time of day you’ll have more sunlight.

Which Skylight Style Suits You Best?

Now that you’ve figured out all the nitty gritty details, it’s time to get to the fun part and determine what kind of skylight design is the best fit for your home. We don’t cut corners on quality and durability at Sea Island Residential, which is why we prefer using South Carolina-born-and-bred VELUX skylights.

VELUX offers various innovative and sleek skylight styles, ranging from more eco-friendly solar-powered panels to remote-controlled electric skylights to naturally accommodating fixed skylights.

Other Factors to Consider Before Installing a Skylight

Roof type, placement, and skylight style are the more pressing concerns when considering skylight installation.

Here are some other factors to take into consideration.

Materials & Glazing

Opting for high-quality, energy-efficient glazing can prevent excessive heat gain or loss, reducing energy bills. Consider Low-E coatings or insulated glazing to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

Installation & Waterproofing

Proper installation by a certified professional is crucial to prevent leaks and ensure structural integrity. Waterproofing measures are essential to protect against moisture-related issues.

Regulations & Permits

Check local building codes and acquire necessary permits before installation. Compliance with regulations ensures safety and avoids legal complications.


Skylights require regular maintenance to ensure longevity and prevent issues like condensation or debris buildup. Cleaning, inspecting seals, and addressing any damage promptly is vital.

Costs & Return on Investment

Understand the overall cost, including installation, materials, and ongoing maintenance. Evaluate the potential energy savings and increased property value to determine the long-term benefits.

Common FAQs About Skylights

If any of this preparation seems overwhelming in the slightest, then why not turn to a local roofing contractor you can trust? At Sea Island Residential, we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality professional customer service for all roofing and home construction needs.

Check out common frequently asked questions about skylights, then reach out to our team for more information!

Do skylights increase home value?

Yes, well-installed skylights can enhance your home's appeal and value by improving aesthetics and energy efficiency.

Can skylights cause leaks?

Proper installation by experienced professionals and routine maintenance significantly reduces the risk of leaks.

Are skylights energy-efficient?

Energy-efficient skylights with proper glazing can significantly reduce energy consumption by providing natural light.

How often should skylights be maintained?

Regular inspection and cleaning every six months, along with checks after heavy storms, are recommended.

Can skylights be installed in any room?

Skylights can be installed in most rooms, but factors like roof structure and orientation should be considered.

Let Us Help Find the Perfect Skylight for Your Home

If you’re looking to light up your life with an expertly installed skylight, contact us today for a free project quote, or call us at 843-593-3049 to answer any skylight questions you have.

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