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What is the cost of Skylight Windows?

Skylight windows cost an average of £800 to £1,800 per window, with a vast range of variables, window types, styles and frame materials that will influence the total cost.

While Velux windows are perhaps the best known, there are multiple other options, and the installation process will include making sure the frame and glazing are completely weathertight.

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The most common place to install skylight windows is in a loft, although you can also use roof windows in extensions, garages, workshops and rooms with flat roofs that need more natural light.

Average Cost of Skylight Windows

As we've seen, skylight window costs normally start from £800.

From there, your quotes will depend on the size of the opening you'd like, the location in your property, and the style of window opening you prefer.

Material costs are reasonably stable across the UK. Still, you can expect to pay about 10% to 20% more in London and the southeast labour charges, where tradespeople's costs are higher than elsewhere.

Below we've listed some popular skylight window sizes and an estimate of the material and labour costs to give you an indicative average.

Window size Material costs Labour costs Installation time Total average costs
Small bathroom skylight 66 cm x 98 cm £800 - £1,000 £300 One day £1,100 - £1,300
Medium skylight fitted into a sloping roof 94 cm x 118 cm £1,000 - £1,400 £400 One day £1,400 - £1,800
Large skylight installed in a sloped roof 134 cm x 160 cm £1,200 - £1,600 £400 One day £1,600 - £2,000

 

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Other Cost Considerations in Fitting Skylight Windows

A cost to bear in mind is the scaffolding required for most skylight window installations where your window fitter will need access to an upper floor or storey of your home.

You may be able to forgo the cost of scaffolding if:

  • You are installing Velux windows, which are designed for interior installation.
  • Your window fitter has their own scaffolding tower.
  • The quote includes the cost of hiring, erecting and dismantling scaffolding access.

We've looked at the rough averages above, but it's also worth noting that there are multiple window types, which will feed into your total expense.

Roof dome lights cost from £450 to £650 for the materials; flat roof skylights start at £700, pyramid skylights from £550 and electric powered skylight windows from £300 per panel.

Labour costs tend to be from £15 per hour for assistant labourers and £25 an hour for experienced window fitters.

However, you can expect to pay more for a skilled contractor and larger projects requiring several pairs of hands.

Types of Skylight Windows

We tend to use skylights, roof windows and Velux windows as interchangeable terms, but they are slightly different models with pros and cons, so it's worth understanding the variances to pick the right option.

Skylights are windows installed into the roof of your property, used to add more natural light to your home and improve ventilation.

Quality glazing resolves heat loss and glare problems, and you can use triple-glazing, eco-friendly thermal insulation coatings, and soundproofing.

  • Fixed skylights are roof windows that can be glazed in glass or plastic. The difference is that a fixed-unit skylight doesn't open or close, so they're best for rooms with sufficient ventilation.
  • Moving skylights can operate on a hinge (like a regular window) or be controlled with a remote, rolling open and back along a track to maximise airflow.
  • Tubular or domed skylights are shaped like a semi-circle and are engineered to invite sunlight inside but restrict UV rays. Modern domed skylights can be fitted with solar panels to provide a gentle glow in the evening.

Velux isn't a specific type of skylight but is a brand introduced in the 1940s. Most Velux windows have a hinged opening and a high grade of thermal efficiency.

If you're unsure which type of skylight to choose, your contractor will be able to show you how the different models work and help select the best aesthetic for your property.

Skylight Installation Options

As a further complication, you can choose between standard or recessed skylights.

Standard insulation means that the window surface will lay flat, flush with the tiles or roofing material outside.

Recessed skylights fit the glazing around four cm below the tiles, which means the window will have a higher energy efficiency performance.

Architects often prefer this installation option.

Glazing Alternatives for a Roof Light

The final cost consideration is the glazing, and you can have insulative heat glass, laminated or toughened security glass and panels with extra sound insulation properties.

  • Safety glass has a toughened outer panel and a laminated interior panel with excellent heat loss efficiency.
  • Triple-glazed glass increases your thermal and acoustic insulation and can also have a laminated panel on the inside.
  • Low energy glass is easiest to clean, finished with a coating that actively repels rainwater, with triple-glazing efficiency and great thermal insulation.
  • Specialist noise reduction glass is a great choice if you live close to an airport or busy roadway and has an external coating that reflects soundwaves away from your home.

While double-glazing is standard, most professional skylights will be either triple-glazed or toughened to ensure the roof light doesn't pose a security risk and can withstand any impacts or poor weather conditions.

The Benefits of Skylight Windows

Skylights or a set of roof-mounted windows can transform the use and appearance of your home, creating a bright, airy space from even dark and dusty attic rooms.

Aside from the improved ventilation and light, there are many compelling reasons to consider brightening a dark space with sunlight.

Health Improvements

Vitamin D and natural light are essential for wellbeing, releasing serotonin and helping our nervous systems work properly.

A lack of daylight is associated with several conditions, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

You'll find skylights in a vast number of commercial spaces, as well as hospitality businesses and residential homes, as they enhance the wellbeing of users.

Workplace studies indicate that offices without windows have around 6.5% more sick days and those with more sunlight benefit from improved productivity of between 5% and 40%.

If you're converting a loft into a bedroom, a skylight is a good choice, as a particularly dark room or one without direct sunlight can disrupt sleep and relaxation.

Natural darkness is as powerful as sunlight and releases hormones such as melatonin to help us sleep well and wake up refreshed.

Increased Property Value

Creating usable, pleasant rooms from dark spaces can instantly add value to your property, adding to buyer appeal if you come to sell and boosting your potential sale price.

Modern skylights will often come with warranties of up to 20 years, with the assurance that a new window won't need replacing any time soon and will be covered if any repairs are required.

Roof lights can also improve the general condition of your property, raising ventilation levels that target mould, dampness, water stains and dust, elevating the airflow and natural light.

Air in enclosed spaces can quickly become stagnant.

A skylight on the upper floor of your property is an optimal way to tackle this, filtering out stuffy warm air as it rises and circulating fresh air throughout your home.

One of the unique benefits of a skylight is that you can improve light without affecting your privacy - neighbours won't be able to see in through your roof.

Hence, skylights are often preferable to standard windows, especially if your home opens onto a busy road or area with a lot of foot traffic.

Skylight Energy-Efficiency

Many people assume that adding more glazing will negatively impact their energy efficiency rating - but a contemporary skylight will do the opposite.

Roof lights have radiation heat control properties, which means that cooler homes soak up solar warmth, and warmer homes have additional ventilation to keep air circulating.

If you opt for any of the multiple types of treated, reinforced or extra-insulation glass we've discussed, it will further benefit the efficiency of your property.

Well-positioned skylights can also reduce your energy consumption by decreasing the number of hours during the day when you turn on your lights or lamps.

Sunlight is free, so you may impact your household utility bills fairly quickly if you can delay turning the lighting on for an hour or two during the winter.

Checkout this video which talks you through the pros and cons of skylight windows:
 

Frequently Asked Questions - Cost of Skylight Windows

Here we'll answer some of the most common questions about calculating the cost of skylight windows and choosing the right frames and glazing for your home.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Fit a Skylight in My Home?

Not normally, no, because a roof light won't change the profile or height of your roof and won't, therefore, make a great deal of difference to the appearance of your property.

Exceptions apply for listed buildings or homes in conservation areas, which normally have restrictions on the changes you can make to the fabric of the building.

How Do Building Regulations Apply to Rooflight Installation?

Every skylight must comply with Building Regulations standards because the work involves cutting through brickwork or roofing, potentially affecting the timbers and strength of this aspect of your home.

An experienced contractor will be able to provide certification or organise this for you and ensure that the materials, fixings and finishes adhere to regulations around fire exits, energy conservation, access and ventilation.

Do Skylights Require Ongoing Maintenance?

Most skylights are very low maintenance and don't require much in the way of upkeep.

If you have a UPVC frame (the most popular option), you'll simply want to wipe the window and frame down from time to time.

Timber frames, while less common, do require staining or varnishing periodically, but provided you take care of the paint, oil the hinges and deal with any scratches, they'll remain in good condition for years to come.

Homeowners can also buy low-cost maintenance kits for Velux windows, which cost under £30 and include minor repair tools, lubricating gel and paint touch-ups.

How Long Should a Skylight Last?

Modern windows tend to come with warranties for the window frame and glazing and separate contractor guarantees for the work they've carried out.

The exact period depends, but you'll get a guarantee from ten years and upwards for Velux brand skylights, three years on accessories, and potentially much longer warranties for other types of roof light.

Most skylights last for a good 20 to 30 years, and updated models have very long lifespans.

What is the Difference Between Skylights and Solar Tubes?

Tubular or domed roof lights are similar to skylights.

They attract valuable sunlight into your property and use a diverse range of materials and finishes to replicate the style you're after.

Skylights are usually made of glass, acrylic or polycarbonate, set into a frame and protected by flashing to guard against leaks.

Domed skylights, or light tubes, look quite different and are usually made from either polycarbonate or acrylic.

The rounded shape captures sunlight, reflecting it through a metal tube. The light shines through a lens, which diffuses the light and amplifies the natural daylight in your room.

Many people choose a domed light because they have space for a much smaller opening and want a discreet roof light that will make the biggest difference to the brightness in their home.

The secret is in the dome shape, which acts as an efficient method to harness light, picking up around 99% of the daylight to make a dramatic impact.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Installing a Set of Skylights?

Provided you use a qualified, experienced window fitter and select the style and performance skylight you'd like, it's hard to find many drawbacks.

The primary factor is to think about heat and sun glare, particularly during the warmer summer months.

Most fitters will provide glazing with a coating or finish that softens bright sunlight to a comfortable level.

You can also install solar blinds to control the light, choose to fit skylights on north-facing roofs or use domed lights as a smaller window type.