First, decide if you want the skylight solely to add light to your room or if you also want it to add a dramatic focal point to the décor.
- If you just want the light, opt for a tubular skylight like Solatube. They are a cost-effective way to add daylight to a bathroom or laundry room with a skylight that looks just like a ceiling lamp. A tip: You can save even more if you install it yourself. It’s easier to install than a conventional skylight because you don’t have to frame and drywall around it. Solatube comes in 10- or 14-inch openings; buy the larger one for a large room.
- If you want the effect of a window in your ceiling, choose a conventional skylight. The smallest is around two feet by two feet, and the largest is around eight feet by eight feet, and most people put them in the kitchen. A tip: Avoid extra-large skylights. They let in the light and the heat, which can make your room too hot in the summer.
You’ll have to choose between an acrylic dome or a more energy-efficient glass window. The acrylic dome comes in clear or white. If you buy a glass skylight, you can have it filled with energy-efficient argon gas. Some have motorized vents and shades as options.
Conventional skylights are more difficult to install because the job involves cutting through the ceiling, framing the window, taping and texturing. Most people hire professionals to install them.
You’ll pay between around $1,000 and $3,000 for a conventional skylight, depending whether it’s acrylic or glass (more expensive), the size and the bells and whistles you choose.