How to Replace a Skylight

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If a hail storm or other damage has given you reason to replace a skylight in your home, take the time to do it right. You should never skimp on a project of this magnitude, but that doesn't mean that you need to go all out with the expense either. Today's skylights offer excellent options to enhance the beauty of an already wonderful roof setting. They have remote control venting and moisture sensing abilities that were once unheard of. The old problem of sitting under major heat and glare until the sun goes down are gone forever if you go with products that prevent these problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement skylight
  • Look over the roof area where the current skylight is located. Will it withstand the replacement of the skylight or is the roof in bad shape as well? Assuming all is well with the roof, continue to Step 2.

  • Take measurements of the old skylight footing while you are on the roof. View information on the different types of skylights including size specifications. If you do not have to deal with a change in size, this will be a much easier job.

  • Choose the type and size of skylight you want to buy. There are factory built and site built units. Factory built skylights are the way you want to go. Factory built skylights will seal to your roof better and offer more protection from severe weather. Purchase it from a website or store.

  • Remove the old skylight by pulling back the roofing area where the current skylight is set. Use a prybar. Remove any mounting brackets present and take off the skylight. This will expose the hole for the new skylight.

  • Observe existing roof or attic shafts. These are for the new skylight.

  • Attach new mounting hardware and insert the new skylight. Make certain you read through the manufacturer's instructions, particularly where it pertains to flashing requirements. Installation instructions will vary widely, depending on the style and brand of skylight you selected. Caulk around the entire base of the skylight. Make sure you have not disturbed anything on the roof (such as shingles) that needs your immediate attention.

  • Insure that there are no problems where the skylight comes inside the house. Take care of any problems with the ceiling view at this time. Check for leaks and loose connections. Assuming all is well, enjoy your new skylight!

Tips & Warnings

  • Some of the newer style of replacement skylights on the market are more appealing to the eye and have a longer warranty.
  • Pay particular attention to the manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • Don't just replace the outer skylight dome. This will cause popping noises and leaks.
  • If the roof has been damaged, do not try to replace the skylight until you talk with your roofer or contractor.

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