a professional putting in a skylight

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Are your skylights leaking or starting to get a little discolored? If so, it might be time to replace them or make a few necessary upgrades. Replacements can be difficult, not to mention dangerous, but understanding the right way to do things can keep you safe and help you get years out of your skylight. 

If you decide to take on the job yourself, keep reading this article to ensure you have the correct equipment and follow the proper steps to replace your skylights

Find Your Replacement

Luckily, finding the right VELUX replacement skylight is simple. Every VELUX skylight and roof window features a data plate mounted on the frame. This data plate contains the product’s serial number, which includes the skylight model, glass type and date of manufacture.

When making replacements, ordering accessories for existing products or requesting product servicing, you should locate this number prior to contacting us. Doing so will help us provide you with the best service possible.

Tip: For the FS, the plate is located at the bottom left frame. For the VS/VSE, it is at the bottom left sash. For QPF, FCM, VCM and VCE, the information is stamped into the side of the exterior covers.

The Basics

Skylight installation is best performed by a professional. If you do decide to complete the job yourself, make sure you have the proper equipment, such as a fall protection harness and other necessary safety essentials.

Other equipment you'll need includes the following:

  • Cordless drill
  • Pneumatic nailer
  • Caulk gun
  • Miter saw
  • Utility knife
  • Flat pry bar
  • Roof brackets
  • Staging planks
  • Fall protection harness
  • Extension jambs
  • Screw fillers
  • Glue
  • Wood trim
  • Self-sealing membrane
  • 1-1/2 inch roofing nails
  • Aluminum flashing
  • Counter flashing

This is a job you can accomplish alone, but it's always to your advantage to have someone else there to assist. It'll take about four hours, but it will move faster with the help of a friend or family member.

Get a VELUX Fixed Skylight for Your Home

The Cost

So you have all your tools ready to go, but how much does a skylight cost?

The answer to that question depends on several factors. Are you upgrading from a manual skylight to a solar venting or electric one? These will cost more than a regular VELUX fixed skylight, for example. 

Use Our Skylight Installation Guide to Replace Your Skylight

You can find the price for a fixed skylight to average to about the mid-$500 range and the solar-powered skylights to cost more than $1,000. But if you decide to upgrade to a solar-powered one, you have the cost-savings benefit of becoming eligible for a federal tax credit.

a handyman repairing a roof

Source: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

Getting Started

If you can’t find a skylight in the same size, try to find one as close to the existing size as the one you're replacing. 

Follow these 20 steps to fit a slightly larger skylight: 

  1. Install staging planks and roof brackets and wear the fall protection safety harness snugly.
  2. Take the flat pry bar and remove the two rows of shingles right above the skylight and remove shingles that run along both sides of the skylight.
  3. Make sure there is at least 12 inches of an exposed roof deck and place the roof shingles in a safe place to reinstall when finished.
  4. Remove the old skylight.
  5. Secure the extension jambs along the interior grooves. Use the drill to screw filler strips on the extensions on all sides.
  6. Measure the existing roof opening, cut the wood trim to fit and glue wood trim on top of the extensions. Nail the trim in to secure it.
  7. Secure a strip of the self-sealing membrane evenly with the bottom of the skylight.
  8. Ensure to overlay the top edge of the shingles with the self-sealing membrane and set the new skylight in place.
  9. Drive roofing nails six to eight inches apart through the nailing fins and secure the second strip of the self-sealing membrane to the bottom over the first membrane, nailing fins and up the skylight.
  10. Use a utility knife along the ends so it lies flat. Take the preformed aluminum flashing and place it into the bottom.
  11. Drive one nail into both sides of the bottom flashing to prevent it from sliding down.
  12. Reinstall one shingle on each side of the flashing. (When nailing in shingles, make sure it's on the edge of the flashing and away from the skylight.)
  13. Apply membranes along the sides of the skylight to the top and nail in aluminum flashing on both sides on top of the first flashing and shingle.
  14. Cover the second flashing with a second shingle. Continue the process to the top.
  15. Run a strip of the membrane across the top of the skylight and seal any voids with a second membrane.
  16. Slide the counter flashing into the bottom and sides of the skylight, making sure it's watertight.
  17. Snap the last counter flashing to the top and nail the edges into the roof.
  18. Bend the locking tabs, securing the flashing to the skylight.
  19. Cover the top aluminum flashing with one last sealing membrane and replace the remaining shingles.
  20. Caulk along the interior trim.
a construction worker wearing a safety harness

Source: Pattani Studio/Shutterstock.com

Your Next Project

Replacing your skylights may seem daunting with the number of steps involved, but skylight installation is entirely feasible. You might even have some fun doing it! 

The instructions in this article involve replacing a VELUX fixed skylight. Still, you can always check out our other skylight installation instructions if you have an electric or solar-powered model!