For rooms with little natural light, a skylight provides the opportunity to get more light and cut down on the use of artificial lighting. Roofers traditionally install skylights since these windows become part of the roofing structure of the home.
1. Roof Mapping
Before any installation can occur, your roof's structure must be mapped. A map will show the locations of rafters and support trusses, as well as where vents, wiring, and other ceiling and rooftop penetrations are located. With a map in hand, your roofer can determine the most ideal placement locations for the skylight. Your first choice may not be an option if the main support truss runs through the area.
2. Exposure Issues
Although mapping the roof structure is important, you should also do some exposure mapping on the outside of the roof before finalizing the skylight location. Make sure the proposed area receives the amount of sun exposure you desire and that it won't be blocked by overhanging trees or neighboring tall buildings. There are options for less than ideal locations. For example, if the location gets too much sun in the mornings, you can opt for a window with integrated shades.
3. Framing Out
Once the location is finalized, framing begins. The work first starts inside the house. Your roofer will cut out the ceiling wallboard to begin. They will then frame out the opening with wood framing. Some framing work is more involved. If there is an attic, then a light tube will need to be installed on the wall in the skylight well. Wiring in the ceiling may also need to be routed differently so it doesn't cross the skylight.
4. Roof Removal
The shingles and roof cladding aren't removed until the skylight framing is complete, as you don't want a hole in your roof for more than a day. Your roofer will remove the shingles carefully over the skylight location. They will then cut out the roof cladding so there is an installation hole in the roof.
5. Window Installation
The window is finally fitted into the opening and secured in place to the surrounding framing. Your roofer must also install weather seals and flashing around all sides of the window to prevent leaks. They will also install barriers above the window, which are designed to route water flowing down the roof around the window so it doesn't collect and leak through the top edge of the skylight frame.
Contact a roofing company to find out if a skylight is a possibility for your home.