Replacing Skylights during a roof replacement: What’s the point?

If your home has skylights, one of the ways roofers will cut down the price is eliminate the replacement of skylights.  While you may appreciate the lower price today, it will most likely cost you a lot more later and it would be in your best interest to look for other roofing companies that will insist on replacing skylights during a roof replacement.  Read on to find out more…

Replacing Skylights during a roof replacement: What’s the point?

Save Money

The most convenient and cost effective time to replace your skylights is when the roof is being replaced.  This could cost you double to replace skylights separate from the roof replacement.  

Older skylights had a shorter life span which simply translates to…if it’s time to replace your roof, odds are the skylights need replaced as well.  Replacing your skylights when you replace your roof is actually cheaper than a normal skylight replacement and will look significantly better as the roof deck is already open. This makes installing new skylights when you replace your roof so much easier which will save you considerably on labor costs.

Some of the new technological improvements in skylights can also save you money  between thermal performance improvement and federal solar tax rebates if you upgrade to some of the solar venting skylights available from Velux.  

Flashing vs Replacing

Skylight flashing is meant to shed moisture and water without relying on sealants that break down over time.  Older skylights don’t always fit the new flashing kits, which means you are back to relying on sealants.

During the tear-off process of your old roof, the flashing around your old skylights will weaken as a result.  Skylights are meant to be installed to be semi-permanent and a new install can weaken the existing skylight.

Most manufacturers will void your warranty if you reflash your skylight rather than replace.  A lot of roofers will have you sign a disclaimer limiting their liability should there be any issues caused because of the old skylights.

The relative cost difference of re-flashing skylights and replacing is very minimal.  Re-flashing generally costs around $700-$800 per skylight.  Replacement cost around $1000-$1500 depending on model and options.  If your roof has multiple skylights, the cost could be even less as you get into cost efficiencies with multiple skylights.

A new roof should be considered an investment, not an expense.  A slightly larger investment on your new roof and skylights now will end up costing less that tearing up your new roof to replace the skylights in the future.

Paying Twice

Skylights have seals that can fail.  What happens when the seals fail in your old skylights 6-8 months after you got a new roof installed.  Now you have to replace it which requires tearing up that brand new roof to pull those skylights out.  Then you are paying for labor, more shingles, underlayments and dumpster fees, which you just paid for when you had your roof replaced.  Don’t forget the noise and mess that you had to deal with when the roof was replaced…you will now have it again.

 Old Skylights and a New Roof Can Leak

I constantly hear that skylights have been great and never had a leak, but as a contractor disturbs the skylight by working around it and installing a flashing kit, the skylight has been disturbed and more likely to leak.  

Building materials expand and contract over time and what many homeowners don’t understand is that you must partially disassemble the skylight to re-flash the skylight. This process can create many problems in the structure of the skylights if they have started to corrode. Not to mention, re-flashing an existing skylight can void its warranty.

Replace Now Rather Than Later

Skylights have a pretty short life span that creates leaks and moisture build up, but also expensive energy loss.   As they crack and leak, you will need to replace them anyway, so do it when it is most cost effective and take advantage of the technology advances from the last 10n years.  An advanced Low-E 3 coating provides more daylight and better heat control than previous models.

By replacing the skylights while you are doing the roof replacement, you’re ensuring you aren’t Paying for your roof twice, and with the new energy-efficient models and new technology, you may even be able to take advantage of tax credits.  

Tax Credits

Just like new vinyl replacement windows, skylights offer sustainability benefits. The skylight is installed on the roof to take advantage of the sun’s energy, making it ideal to help make your home warmer during the winter months.  Most Velux skylights are certified by Energy Star and choosing some of the upgraded features will allow you to claim a solar tax credit on your taxes.

The Time to Replace Your Roof and Skylight is Now

Replacing your roof can be an incredibly stressful and complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be! Roof Right, located in Carroll County, Maryland, works directly with clients to ensure that every step of the process is as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Since 1994, we have been providing excellent service to Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County and Montgomery County. Schedule a virtual estimate today!