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What Happens to Skylights During a Roof Replacement?

During a roof replacement, the goal is to remove the existing roof, inspect the structure, and then get a new roof on. However, if you have skylights on your roof, the question becomes – what happens to them? Skylights are openings in the roofing system to allow light to stream in. They can be beautiful additions to a home, but they still require a bit of careful management to ensure they don’t allow leaks into your home.

Having skylights isn’t a bad thing. Properly fitted and maintained, they work great for allowing more natural light into your space. During a roof replacement, they are not necessarily in the way or hard to deal with, but there are a few things you should know about them.

Do You Want to Add a Skylight to Your Home?

One of the first decisions to make is this one. If your home does not have any skylights and you hope to add them, now is the time to do it while your roof structure is exposed. Not all rooms or homes lend themselves to the use of skylights. If you have a large attic space, for example, that makes it hard to add a skylight. If you have vaulted ceilings, on the other hand, that may be a great place to use them. 

It is a good idea to talk to your roofing team about the addition of skylights during the quoting process. However, suppose you decide in the middle of the project to add them. In that case, it may be possible depending on the location, structure of your home, and the availability of necessary materials. It is a good way to raise the value of your home, in some areas, if it is done professionally.

Do you want to add a skylight, but there’s an attic space in the way? 

In this situation, there could be the option to add a sun tube. Sometimes called solar tubes or light tubes, they allow for the light to funnel down from the opening on the roof into a room. They do not add as much light as you would expect from a traditional skylight opening, but they can work well to provide some improved natural light in the space. 

A sun tube has a small transport device that collects light at the surface of the roof. This may be done with a reflective coating or the use of fiber optics to conduct the light. The light then travels through the tube, which could incorporate a few bends or a turn in it as needed. The tube runs from the roof of the home to the ceiling of the room where you want the natural light. This option is often more affordable than the use of a skylight. They do require professional installation, but once in place, they are the perfect way to add more natural light within your home.

Do you want to remove a skylight from your home?

Not everyone is interested in keeping the skylight they have. If it is older and has not been replaced as often as your home’s windows, it may need some attention. Sometimes skylights just are not desirable due to the location. If you make the decision to remove it, the roofing team can help you with the process. It generally requires the placement of a new structure over the surface of the skylight to create a new, flush roof. 

There is work to be done on the insight of your home, too. This may include adding drywall and ensuring the entire opening is properly sealed. Removal of a skylight does take a bit of structural work, but your roofing team can do so and ensure you have a space that doesn’t look like there was once a skylight.

Consider the addition of a dormer

If you have a skylight that just isn’t desirable any longer, or you want to make more use of your attic space, you could add a dormer to the roof. A dormer is an excellent way to add architectural dimension to your home. You could place it over an existing skylight that you no longer want to use or add it to the structure of your home even if you don’t have a skylight.

There are a wide range of styles available, including arched top dormers, gabled, and pedimented. These require a bit of framing out and construction to create the look of added space throughout the attic. While they may look like rooms, they are simply windows with a bit of a roof structure over them. They can allow a lot of light to come in through the upper areas of your home, depending on where they are placed.

If you are having a roof installed, adding dormers now is the best decision. That way, they can be built into the structure of the roof and covered with the same type of roofing material. Depending on how you want to use them and where they can add a lot of dimension to your home and beautiful natural light.

How to change the style of your roof

If you are planning to add or change the roof of your home, doing so during a roof replacement is the most economical and ideal situation. In many situations, this can prove to be an outstanding way for you to add dimension, create more light within your home, and even add a bit of character. 

To determine what your options are, work with your roofer. Discuss any current skylights and issues you are having with them, such as leaks or moisture buildup. This way, if you plan to maintain those skylights, the roofer can pay closer attention to any concerns and make updates or changes to minimize risks.

Skylights can add a lot of value to your home when installed properly. Talk to your roofing contractor about the options available to you for improving or even eliminating them if they no longer fit your goals. 

In This Article...

Key Takeaways

Impact of Roof Replacements on Skylights

During a roof replacement, skylights can be managed in various ways:

  • Adding Skylights: If your home doesn’t have skylights and you want to add them, it’s best to do it while the roof is exposed. Discuss this with your roofing team during the quoting process.
  • Sun Tubes: When attic space prevents traditional skylights, consider sun tubes, which funnel natural light from the roof into a room.
  • Removing Skylights: If you want to remove an existing skylight, your roofing team can handle it by placing a new structure over it and addressing interior changes.
  • Adding Dormers: To enhance your attic space or change the roof’s style, consider adding dormers during a roof replacement.

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