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Adding a Skylight to Your Project

Where can I fit a skylight?


Skylights can be fitted to flat or pitched rooves and are an excellent way of bringing more natural light into your home.


When should I think about adding skylights to a project?


If you would like to incorporate skylights into your extension or new build project, it helps to think about this from the early stages. This ensure plans are designed around suitable joist spacing, that electrics are routed accordingly etc.


What size skylight can I have?


Flat skylights are available in a range of standard sizes. If your budget is tight, it makes sense to design with the most suitable standard size in mind to minimise the cost of the window itself.

If you’re looking for a more bespoke, contemporary solution, a run of modular skylights to create a large expanse of glass might work well for you.


I can help advise on the most suitable size of skylight for your project, taking into account considerations such as aspect (this influences size and whether solar protection is required), overall project style, budget etc.


Building regulations will limit the amount of glazing you can incorporate into you project. In the UK, total glazing can’t be more than 25% of the new floor area.


What features do I need in a skylight?


You may want to consider self-cleaning glazing if access if tricky. The skylight position will influence whether you opt for opening or fixed. Manual opening are most cost effective but electric openings can be advantageous where a skylight might not be easily accessible.

If adding a skylight to a loft conversion, it may be considered a fire escape and will need to comply with building regulations. I can advise on whether this will be the case in your project.

When budgeting, don’t forget, if the skylight is in a bedroom, you’ll likely want black out blinds fitting.


Do I need planning permission for a skylight?


If you are adding skylights to an existing development, in theory they will be allowed under permitted development rules. Permitted development rules allow the addition of skylights as long as they do not protrude more than 150mm from the existing roof plane, however many of the upstands available exceed 150mm. I’ll be able to advise whether planning permission will be required for your individual project. I can also offer guidance to ensure your project complies with building regulation requirements.


Lantern or pyramid shaped sky lights will require planning permission.


What is a skylight upstand?


You might have heard the phrase ‘skylight upstand’. The upstand is the frame the skylight sits on. Having a separate upstand to your skylight unit can be an advantage as it allows the proper installation of the roofing membrane and avoids unnecessary damage in the future should the roof or skylight need repairing or replacing.


Can I fit a skylight into an existing roof?


Yes you can but there will be considerations to take into account such as joist spacing, pitch angle, current roof covering etc. I can advise on whether the addition of a skylight to your current roof will be possible.


Skylight tips:


  • If adding a skylight to an existing roof, don’t forget to make sure your chosen roofer and/or builder includes the cost of ‘making good’ existing surfaces and finishes in your quote.

  • Do not place precious items of furniture in direct light from skylights. The sunlight may damage cause fading over time.

  • Are there any features you’d like your skylight to align with? E.g a dining table, a bed, a bath tub?



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