A loft space can be one of the most relaxed and inviting rooms in your home if it's given the right treatment. A well-furnished loft will offer an area of quiet solitude and add value to your home. However, lighting is often an issue in modern loft spaces, particularly in homes with pitched roofs. That's why skylights are so popular. A skylight fills the space with natural light, potentially bringing an otherwise rather dour room to life.
Installing a skylight in a pitched roof is not necessarily a job which will require calling in 'the professionals'. It’s always an option, with hundreds of reputable companies able to do a great job, but labour doesn’t come free. In fact, your best option might be to try doing it yourself.
There are two approaches to installing a skylight; external and internal. Depending on whether your roof is slated or tiled, it may be impossible to do the work internally. Removing slate is easier from the outside, while removing tile is easier from inside. In either case, working externally is a much quicker job. Note that you will need specialist equipment like domestic scaffolding and safety harnesses.
Working from the inside, all you'll need is a step ladder and the right tools. It will, however, be a much longer and more involved job. You should be able to fit your window between the rafters, but if there isn't space and you want to cut the rafters to make room, you'll need to consult a structural engineer.
To install a skylight you'll require a variety of tools, most of which you'll probably find knocking about in your garage:
Besides the skylights themselves, you'll also need a range of materials to make sure your roof isn't damaged in the process:
Of course to a layman, this all sounds very confusing indeed. Yet, once you've purchased your skylight (which should come with its own set of instructions) and have your materials laid out in front of you, you'll be surprised just how simple it is.
If this all seems a little daunting and the idea of erecting scaffolding and cutting a hole in your roof completely unsupervised fills you with dread, we certainly wouldn't blame you if you decided to make a quick call to your local carpenter.