How to Install a Skylight

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Penetrating roofing materials can be difficult and dangerous, even for an expert. Even the most skilled do-it-yourselfer may require professional help when learning how to install a skylight. If your roof is sloped more than 6 inches, or you wish to install a skylight larger than 48 square, contact Roof 101 for specialist roofing contractors.


  1. Level
  2. Square
  3. Crowbar
  4. Tin Snips
  5. Drill Bits
  6. Caulking Gun
  7. Hammer
  8. Utility Knife
  9. Combination Square
  10. Chalk line
  11. Sliding T-bevel
  12. Tape
  13. Circular Saw
  14. Reciprocating Saw
  15. Keyhole Saw
  16. Plumb Bob

Steps For How To Install A Skylight

  1. Determine the best location to open your ceiling from inside the room and mark chalk line.
  2. Prepare and cut roof opening by removing ceiling insulation, wiring, etc.
  3. Remove shingles above roof to expose roof deck. Snap chalk line and remove sheathing. If rafters must be cut, make sure you temporarily support them!
  4. Frame roof opening according to dimensions specified by product model. Install headers at head and sill between rafters.
  5. Install and flash skylight according to manufacturer instructions (flashing may be self operating depending on skylight model).
  6. Prepare and cut ceiling openings by dropping plumb line from each corner of skylight. To flare the opening, draw new lines of top of ceiling opening to expand light shaft. Follow same steps used for cutting rafters and framing.
  7. Build and finish light shaft by framing at wall studs at 16 or 24 inches on center, and nail to existing joist in ceiling. Use rigid or batt insulation to insulate light shaft for prevention of heat loss, air infiltration, and condensation.



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