How To Install A Skylight Into A Sloped Roof

By Kwik Roofing Oshawa

Installation of a skylight is becoming a popular operation these days, particularly in light of the eco-friendly energy-conservation movement afoot in many countries today. The addition of a quality-made skylight to an existing structure or in a new construction project lends not only an aesthetic look and feel to a home or office building, but also lowers daily energy consumption, provides a cheerier environment, and can even improve productivity and concentration. Additional benefits include:

  • Improved health and beauty from regular exposure to natural sunlight and fresh air
  • Improved ventilation
  • Added value to an existing structure
  • Effective treatment for those suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
  • Free light

While some believe that cutting a hole in the roof of your house and sticking a window it may compromise its structural integrity or cause ongoing problems such as leaking and condensation, the fact is that these problems only occur in cases where a low-quality product or a substandard installation is involved. Today’s cutting-edge skylight manufacturing technologies produce products that are strong, crystal clear, easy to operate, and no more difficult to install than an ordinary vertical window. What’s important is to only deal with the top of the line units and to ensure that proper installation is accomplished.

For those possessing a fair amount of home repair do-it-yourself skills, installation of a skylight is something that can be tackled without much trouble. Top manufacturers of roof window units supply the materials necessary to complete the job properly and are good about offering the detailed instructions needed to complete the project. Those who are not sure about their capabilities for such an endeavor can go online to manufacturers’ websites to see what’s required before deciding whether to try the DIY route or to hire a professional installer. Some of these websites even offer listings of quality installers available in different locations for those who would prefer to take that approach.

Skylights come in two basic configurations – curb-mounted and frame-in-place. The curb-mounted variety extends above the surface of the roof, with the curb added first, below the window or with the curb already built-in as an integral part of the unit. The frame-in-place variation sits flush with the roof surface and, of the two, involves a slightly easier installation procedure.

For sloped or pitched roof installations, either type can be used. Proper skylight installation of the required flashing components is critical for having a tight, weatherproof seal around your skylight, and the two basic varieties each have their own particular method of flashing configuration. In an area that receives a lot of snow during wintertime, opting for a curb-mounted unit may be the best choice, thereby adding an additional barrier between the opening and the elements.

Installing a window on a steeply pitched roof can make opening the unit more difficult, in which case optional assisting springs can be added. Some units designed for steeply sloped roofs can also include a built-in balcony, which adds even more functionality. They may also be designed to act as a secondary emergency escape exit.

Directional placement on the roof is also something to consider. A north-facing skylight will provide a cooler illumination throughout the day while a west-facing unit will allow maximum light and heat during the afternoon. An east-facing placement will bring in morning light and heat. The best all-around choice may be a south-facing placement, which allows for the greatest amount of passive solar heat in the wintertime.

Taking Care Of Your Roof

Taking proper care of your roof is so important. Especially if you live in a colder climate where there is a large amount of rain or snowfall, it is imperative you keep your roof properly maintained. Even if you just had a new roof installed there are still care and maintenance tips that are important to follow. Your roof is one of the biggest investments you make for your home, so make sure your money is well spent.

Most homeowners have no idea how often to clean their roof. This can be quite the task but do not worry; this is not something that needs to be done on a daily or even monthly basis. Even just a few times a year is more than enough to clean dirt and debris from off the roof. This includes any dirt or snow that builds upon the top of the roof over the year as well as cleaning any leaves and other debris from the eaves troughs.

Twice a month you should get up on the roof – or get someone else to if you would rather not – and perform an inspection on it. Look carefully from one side to the next to ensure there are no loose shingles, tiles missing or any cracks or holes. If you see any of these problems or leakage or rot, the next step is to contact a professional contractor.

If you have any roofing experience yourself you could save a few bucks and take it on as a DIY task. Just make sure you do not jump up on the roof and start trying to fix things if you have no idea what you are doing. Not only are you likely to just end up causing more of a problem but you could get seriously injured as well.

Another important tip for proper roof maintenance is to inspect around the sides of the roof after heavy storms. With torrential downpour and heavy winds, large debris can fly around and end up landing on your roof. This could result in clogged gutters and a filthy roof. You can also check up in the attic for water stains as this will tell you whether or not there are leaks in the roof you were not aware of.

This is an important step because it helps prevent you from paying out money unnecessary for roof repairs. If there are small holes or broken shingles it is best to notice this from the start when they are not causing any problems, as opposed to you not noticing and having it turn into a bigger problem. Often homeowners neglect their roves because it is something they just do not think about but it is an important part of any house to take care of.

In the future, if you have your roof reshingled, make sure you are aware of any guarantees or warranties offered. The more you are covered the less money you will have to shell out in the future so it is well worth familiarizing yourself with this now.

Roofing Guide

There are a number of elements or roofing materials that come together to create that waterproof layer known as your roof. The materials that are used to create that waterproof layer may vary from roof to roof but the concepts that are used remain consistent. And the result is a roof whose sole purpose is to repel water away from your house.

Structurally, everything underneath the waterproof layer at the top of your house supports that impervious layer. The ridge beam which spans the length of the roof makes up the support between the opposite slopes of your roof. The rafters are sloped beams that extend from the ridge beam to the eaves and support the load of the roof. The waterproof layer or the roof covering starts just above the rafters.


Boards that are laid on top of the rafters are called sheathing. The sheathing adds stability and rigidity to the frame of the roof and provides a nailing surface. Common sheathing can be made up of different roofing materials such as particleboard, OSB, and the most popular option, plywood. When installing sheathing it is important to center each sheet on top of the rafter underneath. During installation, it is important to note where the rafters are located underneath and you should only walk on the sheathing where the rafters are supporting it below. It may be wise to use chalk lines on top of the sheathing to indicate where the supporting rafters are located.

Roofing Underlayment

The next layer in the waterproof membrane is the roofing underlayment which is typically referred to as roofing felt. The roofing felt’s job is to act as a waterproof barrier between the sheathing below and the roofing material such as shingles above. The roofing felt is applied on top of the sheathing in overlapping strips horizontally.


The final tier in the waterproof layer is the outermost layer which is the shingles. There are many options for the outermost layer including asphalt shingles, wood shingles, metal, and clay, slate, and concrete tiles. Deciding on which option to choose is dependent upon budget and more importantly, prevailing weather conditions. You should consult with your local Baton Rouge roofing contractor for what option suits both your budget and the weather conditions in your area.

Creating that impervious, waterproof layer known as your roof requires expertise in this specialized area of the construction industry. The roofing materials that can be used run the gamut. Doing your homework and consulting with the right Baton Rouge roofing specialist should lead to a long-lasting roof for your home.