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Replacing a Skylight: Complete Guide

A desk in the foreground with a skylight in the background

So, the time has come and you need a skylight replacement. This could be for many reasons – maybe your existing skylight has broken, maybe it’s getting old and leaking, or maybe it’s got an outdated design and you want to upgrade. Whatever the reason, replacing your skylight might seem like a daunting task. 

In this guide to skylight replacement, we want to explore how you can replace a skylight yourself, as well as helping you learn how to pick the right replacement for you and your property. As soon as you’re ready to learn more about both of these topics, read on and let’s begin.

You can also learn about when to replace your windows in our guide.

When does a skylight need replacing?

There are a number of key reasons that you may need to replace a skylight. Some examples include:

  • It’s leaking
  • It’s broken
  • It’s ageing and has a subsequent loss of efficiency
  • There’s a new model available with better features

You may even be experiencing several of these issues at once! Whatever the cause, if you want to replace your roof window and enjoy all the benefits a skylight can provide, we can help.

Do you need to replace skylights when re-roofing?

Whether you need to consider skylight replacement when getting a new roof fitted to your home depends on a number of key factors. If the skylight is in good condition and not too old (skylights typically last for up to 30 years), if its seal is intact and if it’s compatible with your new roof, the odds are that you will be able to reuse your old skylight in your new roof. However, if none of the above is true, you may need to purchase a new skylight to go with your new roof.

Choosing a replacement skylight

So, the time has come: for whatever reason, you’ve decided to replace your skylight. So, given that there are so many different skylights on the market, how should you decide on the right new skylight for you? Firstly, you should consider the purpose and location of the skylight. Are you looking for a specific kind of skylight or one that would fit into a particular room, such as a kitchen skylight? You should also consider where you want to place the skylight on your roof, the size and shape that you’re looking for, and any particular materials that you want it to feature, as well as the colour of the frame.

You should also consider whether you would like to purchase an opening skylight or a fixed one. Would you like it to have an electric opening mechanism? List out everything that you may need in a skylight, where it is going to go, and what materials you would like, and use this as a guide. Remember, an informed purchase is always better than an uninformed one.

How much does it cost?

The cost of skylight replacement will depend on a number of different factors. Let’s explore some of the main ones.

The Cost of the Skylight

The first factor that will affect how much it costs is the cost of the skylight itself. Skylights can range in costs between hundreds and thousands of pounds. 

View our complete guide to skylight costs.

Labour Costs

If you would like to have a professional install your new skylight, you will need to factor in labour costs to your skylight replacement budget. On average, installing a skylight will cost you between £500 and £800, which covers the cost of installing the skylight as well as ensuring flashing and seals are installed properly.

The Roof

The style of your roof will also likely affect replacement costs. Installing a skylight on a particularly steep or complex roof is liable to cost more than installing one on a flat roof.

Learn more about the differences between flat roof and pitched rooflight extensions.

How to replace a skylight

If you would rather save money and install your new skylight yourself, this following section will help you. It will explore, in three relatively simple steps, how to replace your old skylight with a new one.

Remove the old feature

To remove your old skylight, you will first need to remove the tiles surrounding it. After this, you will be able to get to the flashing and remove this, as well as membranes. You can now finally remove the window itself – they’re heavier than you may be expecting, so be careful not to drop it while removing it from the roof.

Position and secure the new one

Now that you’ve got the space for your new skylight, presuming it’s the same size, you’re ready to install it! The side of your window sash will determine which side the skylight opens from, so be sure that you have it accurately placed. Now that you have it in the right position, you can line up your skylight’s centre with the aperture in your roof’s centre, then use nails to secure the skylight in place. Install any flashing or other materials that are required, and you’re almost done! 

Replace all roof tiles

After you’ve fitted your skylight, there’s one last step before you’re completely finished. Attach the roof tiles that you removed back during the first step, and you’ll be good to go.

Get your replacement skylight from Toughened Glass Systems

We hope that you’ve found this guide about skylight replacement helpful! If you are considering buying a new skylight and replacing your old one, Toughened Glass Systems can help you. We have a wide range of different skylights available for purchase, from kitchen skylights to pyramid skylights that can add the largest amount of light possible to your home. If you have questions about choosing a skylight or choosing the right model for your needs, please contact us today, and our expert team will be happy to help you.

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How much should a new skylight cost?

Depending upon the specific skylight that you are interested in, its size and materials, a skylight could cost hundreds or thousands of pounds. If you do not opt to install your new skylight yourself, you will also need to consider labour costs, which will come to around £300-500 per day.

Can skylights be replaced without replacing the roof?

It is possible to replace a skylight without replacing your roof. This will, however, depend on the condition of your roof. If your roof is in poor condition, it may not be possible to simply replace a skylight, as a roof that’s in poor condition is more likely to have leaks and other issues.

How often should skylights be replaced?

While the specific life expectancy will depend on the skylight, you can typically assume that it will last for between 10 and 30 years. To ensure that you get the longest lifespan out of your skylight, take good care of it and clean it regularly.

Based on 210 reviews
Bob toploft
Bob toploft
I am the owner of Top loft company ltd, after reviewing reviews from various companies I ordered 2 juliet balconies from tgs arrived within 3 weeks, comunications and help was brilliant. Thanks for all your help.
Jim H
Jim H
Great service from the team. Easy to order, good buying guidance and clear install instructions for my builder. Rooflights look absolutely great! The team at TGS couldn't have been more helpful in organising a smaller delivery vehicle to help with restricted access. Highly recommend TGS.
Jack Smith
Jack Smith
Great service from a very knowledgeable company. Thanks team Toughened Glass Systems.
Paul Smith
Paul Smith
I was spending a lot of money on several rooflights so I wanted to make sure I got it right and I did. The professionalism, expertise and the quality of the roof lanterns really set Toughened Glass Systems apart.
Tyrone Eldridge
Tyrone Eldridge
There are no complaints about the experience with TGS. The entire process of ordering, supplying and delivering was flawless. I would really recommend you order your flat roof sky lanterns from these guys.
Robert Childers
Robert Childers
Best place for rooflights, they supply many different types and options. Thanks for all your support Toughened Glass Systems!
John Smith
John Smith
The glass balustrade gives us an amazing view onto the lake outside. So happy we ended up going for the frameless glass balcony from Toughened Glass Systems instead of one with posts
Louise Newsome
Louise Newsome
My job is to design the interiors for a lot of houses and a lot of times the hardest part was when the client wanted some really inexpensive rooflights that should look like some contemporary ones as well. That until I found Toughened Glass Systems and started working with them more and more. They have a lot of this kind of stuff at a very decent price, a price for anyone I can say. If you’re looking for cheap skylights for flat roofs or any types of roof lights, they probably have something for you.
Krystina Taylor
Krystina Taylor
Always kept us up to date with our order even when delayed by a few days. Great service from the start and good quality glass balcony delivered.