What to Expect When Adding Skylights to Your (Retractable) Screen Room
Homeowners are often intrigued by the idea of adding a skylight to their screened-in porch, enticed by the promise of natural, energy-saving light. But while skylights can certainly add beauty and energy efficiency to your screened-in porch, they can also cause a lot of costly problems when installed improperly.
Installing a Skylight during Construction of a New Screened Porch
When it comes to installing the ceiling feature, you’ll need both an experienced contractor and a top-quality product. As an example, VELUX skylights are designed to avoid leaking and are a popular choice.
The cost of installing a 22" x 44" VELUX skylight with flashing starts around an average of $950. If you are having one included in the construction of your new screen porch, then the process is much easier.
An experienced deck contractor will be able to add a skylight during the construction of your porch within a couple of hours. With the help of a talented carpenter and roofer, the windows can be installed in a secure manner that eliminates the potential for future leaking problems entirely.
Installing a Skylight in an Existing Screened-In Porch
The process becomes problematic if you are trying to retrofit a skylight into your screened porch—that is, if you are trying to install a skylight into the roof of an already existing porch. The process is two or three times as long and much more challenging – and also with much greater opportunity for error.
To install a skylight on an existing screened-in porch, your contractor must remove a large amount of existing shingles and cut a hole in your porch’s roof. It’s extremely important to seal the structure, apply flashing, and replace the shingles correctly to avoid disastrous (and expensive) leaking problems.
Tips for Installing a Skylight in Your Screened Room
While installing a skylight can be a tricky process, it can bring a lot of natural beauty to your screened porch if handled correctly. Ensure the integrity of your investment by follow these tips:
- Plan ahead. The best time to install a skylight is when your porch’s roof is being constructed. By planning ahead and coordinating an installation with your build, you can save a lot of hassle, money, and time.
- Plan carefully. If you are unable to plan ahead, you can still install a functioning, secure, and beautiful fixture through careful planning. Consult with your contractor to determine the best variety, location, and installation method for your skylight to avoid future problems and leaking.
- Watch out for bad weather. Rain, snow, and other inclement weather conditions can force your project to come to a screeching halt, especially if moisture becomes a problem.
- Choose a top-quality skylight. With these products in particular, it is a bad idea to skimp on quality. They are permanent fixtures in your roof and are exposed to a slew of harsh elements and wear. It is highly advisable to go with a variety that offers water tightness, UV-protection, and energy efficiency.
- Avoid skylights that open. Skylights that open and close often are more prone to accidental leaks. They are also redundant in a screened porch because, well, there is plenty of ventilation as is. Spare yourself the extra expense.
- Hire a contractor. There are many excellent do-it-yourself home improvement projects—installing a skylight isn’t one of them. Due to the complexity of the process and the high opportunity for error, it’s best to have a contractor install one.