How to Install Skylights

October 11, 2010

Skylights improve your home environment by providing more natural light in key areas. Installing skylights requires some basic DIY knowledge and a short list of materials. Here's how to install skylights in your home.

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How to Install Skylights in 4 Steps:

1. Prep for a Curb-Mounted Skylight

Build the curb by nailing four 2x6s into a box with the dimensions specified by the manufacturer. Then square and toenail the box into place over the skylights opening with 8D galvanized nails. Insert a liberal bead of caulking around the top of the curb unit unless the manufacturer recommends that you don't. Set the skylight in place and fasten it down securely with the included hardware. Complete this step by replacing the shingles. Be sure to leave enough working space between the shingle edges and the curb unit so you can slip the skylights flashing into place.

2. Installing the Sill Flashing

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the sill flashing first. As a general rule, do not nail flashing to the roof. Rather, flashings are typically nailed into the curb and sometimes cemented to the roof with plastic roof cement.

3. Installing the Side Flashing

Install the side flashing and fasten it in place. Slip the step shingles under each row of roofing shingles from bottom to top. Slip the base of the head flashing under the shingles and fasten it in place over the top of the side flashing. Go back to the attic and remove any temporary supports.

4. Prep for Framed-in-Place Skylight

If you are installing framed-in-place skylights, mount the brackets on the side of the skylight, then set it in the space and fasten into place. Ensure that the skylight is square with the opening. Then remove any temporary supports.

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