By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Like conventional roof skylights, tubular skylights allow daylight into a dark areas. But thanks to their small size, tubular skylights are especially useful in tight spaces such as narrow hallways where larger roof units may not be practical.
Tubular skylights are installed in much the same way as roof skylights are, although the job is easier. The unit is made up of a ceiling ring, an adjustable tube, roof flashing and a lens dome, the size being determined by how much light is needed. The type of roof and its pitch determines the type of flashing needed. To find information about tubular skylights online, type tubular skylight in a search engine and several manufacturers' websites will be listed. They have guidelines about determining the position of the light inside the room, how the components are installed in the ceiling and runs through the attic, and what's involved in cutting into the roof and securing the skylight.
A carpenter will charge $520 to install a 14-inch tubular skylight, which includes the unit and labor. If you have carpentry and electrical skills and the right tools, you can buy and install the unit for $275, pocketing a 47 percent savings. But if you don't feel comfortable working in high places, play it safe and call in a contractor to do the job.
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The 14-inch size is the most popular, but they’re available in smaller and larger sizes, so shop around to find one that’s sized to fit your need.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install a tubular skylight with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019