By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Take advantage of Mother Nature by installing a skylight or roof window, and bring natural daylight into a room. A sky window also helps reduce energy bills by providing illumination during the day without turning on the lights. When remodeling in a small room where wall space is at a premium, installing a skylight in a roof instead adding a wall window is a popular solution. That’s why a skylight is often preferred in bathrooms and kitchens where wall space is needed for cabinetry and fixtures.

Acrylic skylights are a popular choice for many remodeling projects because they don’t require painting. Moreover, their improved design and sealants will resist water infiltration and prevent moisture from entering the home.

A window installer will charge $944 to install a 30-by-38-inch glass skylight, which includes the labor and material. If you have carpentry experience and tools, you can buy the unit for $600 and install it and pocket a 36 percent saving. This is a project beyond the scope of many homeowners because it involves cutting a hole in the roof, not a job for anyone who lacks the confidence and carpentry experience and tools. If there’s any doubt, hire a pro.

There's an amazing number of accessories to consider when choosing a skylight, everything from optional screening accessories like venetian blinds, pleated or roller shades, and remote control openers. Pay attention to where you site a skylight in a room in relation to its furnishings and avoid over-exposing a room with too much sunlight which will damage the furniture and make it too bright and hot.

Now you know the average cost to install a skylight, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.

Cost updated 2012

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Poll Results

  • DIY19%
  • PRO81%