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What Residential Contractors Need to Know Before Installing Skylights

Roofing Contractor installing a skylight on a newly built home.

There’s a lot of pros and cons your clients are going to want to know before undertaking such an arduous modification. Do skylights add value to my home? How much will this cost? All across the web, you’ll find people warning against skylights because of improper installation, so you might be asking yourself a few questions as well. You’ll find these answers here, because there’s a lot of things you need to know, too!

Should Roofers Offer Skylights?

Firstly, yes, roofers should offer skylights. If you know what you’re doing, you can confidently make a sale to any interested party and ensure your customers have a great experience. Here’s some info you might want to know about skylights to help you more effectively sell them to your clients.

Firstly, we need to talk about price. This is going to cost your client anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3,000, with most people paying around $1,800. Most will balk, but it’s important to remind them how much a skylight can increase the value of a property, and the factor of finding an appropriate roofing supplier as well. You might also want to remind them about the energy savings. A skylight can reduce their energy bill by up to 30%, depending on which type of skylight they choose. Daytime lighting will reduce how much energy you need to use during the day by providing some natural light. A skylight also allows for better ventilation and air flow throughout your home—which can help you save money on cooling costs.

The other side of the coin, though, is that all of those savings go out the window with a improper installation. Skylights for a lot of people mean either a potential leak, or a leak that’s already started. This means replacing the skylight and the drywall around it, which can be costly. The problem with a leaky skylight is that it goes beyond just the cost of repair—it also means you’re losing energy. That’s right, those leaks are costing you money in more ways than one! So what are some ways to ensure your skylight installation is done correctly?

Plan Your Skylight Installation!

This seems obvious, but the importance can’t be understated. If you have one of these in your next roofing job, you’ll have to figure out exactly where you want to frame the area and actually set up the skylight. Not only that, but you need to have an open dialogue with the client contracting you on what they want from their new skylight. This will allow you to provide them with the best possible solution for their home and needs, and help you determine the proper shape, type, and size.

On that note, be sure to educate yourself on the differences between vented, fixed, tubular and solar skylights. If they’re wanting more air circulation, you’re not going to go with a fixed-type skylight! This way, you can advise against options that would cause more problems down the road, because depending upon location or the roof itself, some choices will be better than others. At American Roofing Supply, we offer a wide range of different choices from various different suppliers, so you’ll have no trouble meeting your customer’s needs!

The same goes for skylight size. If they want more light coming into the house, don’t go with a smaller skylight than what would be needed to get the job done! You should also take into account how much solar heat gain their home gets during the day, as well as any other factors that could cause an issue with having a skylight installed in the first place, like street noise, leaks, and wind resistance.

Some things to consider on your end are going to be the age and condition of the roof, whether or not it’s framed with trusses, the slope, the materials you’ll need, and the location of chimneys or vents. If you’re in need of just about anything, from wholesale skylights themselves to new shingles, be sure to choose us at American Roofing Supply for a wide selection of trusted vendors. Don’t forget that you can get a subcontractor for any part of this phase, you’re better off safe than sorry.

Skylight Installation and its Pitfalls

When you install your customer’s skylight, you have to keep in mind how serious you need to be about leak protection. You’re messing with the shingles, so don’t do a sloppy job with the sealing. Not only that, but you’ll be cutting through the ceiling and working around rafters. In some projects, there will need to be changes made to the structure of the home entirely. Rafter and joist removal, as well as possibly even further supports being added to prevent the weakening of the roof.

We all know how bad leaks are, so your best bet is to stay ahead of them. So much of it is in your hands and can be prevented, from preventing the weep holes and condensation channels from getting clogged up and overflowing, to making sure your installation is done as properly as possible. You don’t want any cracks or condensation to start up down the line.

If you’re not thorough with the planning process, you will miss important steps. Paying attention to the sun’s path from day to night will keep down on sun glare and excess heat, as well as making sure your skylight shafts are properly insulated or done away with altogether.

How to Sell a Skylight

So, let’s recap. Now that you’ve gotten the rundown over all the basics, and once you get some experience under your belt, you’ll probably be wondering how you can push this project to your customers. The best time to bring it up is primarily when they’re getting their roof redone, as that will make the job easier on you and less likely to wear down overtime. You can always make the offer whenever you’d like, but this is the most optimal for you and the client. Remember to have an answer ready for all the common questions, and don’t forget to mention all the benefits that a skylight can provide! Lighting, ventilation, energy cost reduction.

Always do your planning beforehand and subcontract when necessary. Make sure to install your client’s sunlight with the forethought of solving problems before they appear. Leaks, noise, improper insulation, cracks, condensation, and more are all going to be factors that will have to be mitigated at installation. Keep your customer well informed throughout the entire process. This is especially important when it comes to installation to keep a good relationship with your customer. You want them to be happy with their skylight and all of its features, so make sure you keep them in the loop! Make sure to document your work, and keep a copy of the plans with you during installation. If there is ever an issue with your skylight, having these documents on hand will make it easier to solve.

Most importantly, remember our team at American Roofing Supply next time you’re in the market for wholesale skylights, ventilation products, gutter materials, and all of your roofing needs! We’re an affordable roofing distributor and will be happy to work with you on any of your future projects with our convenient online store.

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