skylight over bed in bedroom

What Should You Know Before Installing a Skylight?

Installing a skylight can be a great way to brighten up your home with natural light, but having the job done right requires careful planning, so before you go cutting a hole in your roof, there are some things to consider.

Skylight Placement

If you would like consistent, year-round light, having your skylight installed on the north side of your roof is the best way to go. If you are more concerned with energy savings, you will want to choose the south side. Your skylight will be installed between your rafters, so it can help have a blueprint of your home handy, but it isn’t required.

It is also important to keep in mind what the sun from the skylight will hit. It could easily bleach out oak woodwork and cabinetry. Some of our energy-efficient tips can help with this problem.

Avoid placing skylights facing the street. This looks out of place. Aligning the skylight with a door or window will also help to create an architecturally pleasing look.

Energy Efficiency

Although your skylight will provide your home with beautiful natural light, it is different from adding a window. Windows are vertical and only catch the sun’s rays when it is low on the horizon, and the rays are at their weakest. Skylights welcome the sun when it is high in the sky, and the sunbeams are especially strong. This can be beneficial in the wintertime, but it can also turn your home into an oven—especially during the summer months.

There are some things that you can do to combat this problem.  When installing a skylight the placement and the slope of your skylight affect the amount of solar energy that heats your home. You can also purchase skylights with tinted glass as well as a venting skylight. Some skylights have built-in mini-blinds, giving you added control over how much light you let in and when. A knowledgeable skylight supplier should be able to help you choose the option that is best for your needs.

Flat vs. Domed

Leaves and debris often land on skylights blocking the light and looking unsightly. To remedy this problem, many people install a domed skylight. Because of the domed shape, leaves slide right off, letting the light shine through. Keep in mind, though, that domed skylights only come in plastic.

Glass vs. Plastic

Glass is more expensive than plastic, and you can’t get a domed skylight in the glass. However, plastic skylights tend to get scratches and discoloration over time. This is important to keep in mind when choosing your skylight.

Size Matters

Choose a larger skylight whenever possible. Your most significant expense is the installation, so why not get the biggest bang for your buck and go big? You will be glad you did. 


It is essential to determine the slope of your roof before you purchase a flashing kit. They vary, depending on the pitch of your roof. You will also want waterproof flashing that will attach to the flashing that comes with the kit. This will easily divert water and ice away from your opening.

When to Install Your Skylight

Even though summer is the best time to install a skylight in Minnesota, You will want to keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid having your project interrupted by rain. Even in Minnesota, you can install skylights all year long. Some installers will charge less to do the job in the winter when they aren’t as busy.


Trying to DIY your skylight isn’t your safest option. Anytime you climb onto your roof, you are risking a serious fall. You could also be voiding any roof warranty by not having a professional install your skylight. Not to mention, incorrectly installed skylights can lead to leaks.

If you do decide to install your skylight yourself, take every precaution to protect yourself. Wear shoes or boots with good traction so that you don’t slip. Use the right type and height ladder for the job. You also want to be careful that you don’t puncture your roofing materials with any nails when walking along your roof.

Why not add a new roof to go with that beautiful skylight? All Craftsmen Exteriors is the reputable, experienced contractor you can trust. Contact us today!