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Last updated on June 28th, 2023

Roof lantern installation cost guide

If you're looking to maximise the natural light in your home, roof lanterns are a great way to do that. In this guide, we look at the average roof lantern installation cost in the UK.

A roof lantern, also known by some as a skylight, is a glass opening in a roof built deliberately to increase the natural light in your home. Roof lanterns were a big deal for the Victorians and thankfully they’ve made it back on the list of popular features for modern British homeowners. They can be fitted to both flat or pitched roofs, and either lay flat to the roofline or raised above it.

But how much does a roof lantern cost? Read on for relevant costs.

ItemRange - LowRange - High
Labour (two man team) 2- 3 days£3,600£9,000
Standard roof lantern with installation cost £2,550£22,500
Small roof lantern made from uPVC fitted 750mm x 750mm £1,500£8,400
Small aluminium roof lantern 750mm x 750mm£2,400£13,500
Small timber-framed roof lantern 750mm x 750mm£2,700£15,000
Mid-sized aluminium roof lantern£4,000£30,000
Additional cost - Finial roof lantern detail£30£300
Additional cost - automatic openers£750£3,000
Additional cost - trickle vents per vent

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

How much does it cost to install a roof lantern?

The average roof lantern installation cost in the UK is around £3,600 – £9,000. The price you pay for installing your roof lantern will depend on a number of factors, including the specific size, shape and style of the roof lantern itself.

For accurate prices, we recommend speaking to your local roof lantern specialists to get detailed quotes in your area.

Additional costs for roof lantern installation

When planning your budget for installing your roof lantern, it’s worth considering extra costs that you might need to cover. The condition of your roof is extremely important, so if there are any issues with existing roof damage you will need to get it fixed before or at the same time as fitting the roof lantern.

If you’re planning an extension with roof lantern, the cost should be built into the total cost of the extension project. For more details on the price of an extension, take a look at our house extension cost guide.

Adding automatic openers cost

Due to the location of a roof lantern, it can be tricky to open the windows manually – if you have a roof lantern with windows that open. A simple solution to this is adding automatic openers, which will cost in the region of £750 – £3,000 per window.

Adding trickle vents cost

To make sure you comply with British building regulations, you need to make sure there is sufficient ventilation in the room where your roof lantern is installed. One way to ensure this is by adding trickle vents to your roof lantern – these are small openings in a window that allow air to pass through.

The average cost for trickle vents is around £50 per vent.

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Replace a flat roof costRoof lantern installation cost

If in the process of installing your roof lantern it becomes clear that the flat roof it is going on is damaged or in bad repair, it might be a good idea to get it replaced at the same time.

You don’t want to install a roof lantern then have issues on the roof surrounding it a few years later.

To find out more, check out our roof repair cost guide.

Scaffolding hire cost

Some roof lantern specialists will supply their own scaffolding to carry out the work, but other might need you to organise it for them. When discussing the roof lantern installation find out whether they will need scaffolding to be arranged separately.

You can find out more about prices in our scaffolding cost guide.

Labour costs and timescales

As with most home improvement projects, the labour costs will vary depending on individual tradespeople, the work involved and where you live. For an average roof lantern installation, you can expect to pay labour costs of around £1,200 per day. The project should take two to three days in total.

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Other cost considerations for installing a roof lantern

To help you plan the costs for your new roof lantern, here are some of the other factors that will directly affect the total price of the work:

Size of roof lantern

The size of your roof lantern will be one of the biggest contributing factors to the total cost. As you’d expect, the bigger the roof lantern the more expensive it will be. Both materials and labour costs will increase with bigger roof lanterns.

Type of roof lantern

The shape and structure of your roof lantern will also affect the cost. If you want a more complex shape or even a bespoke design, you can expect to pay more. Also, the material you choose for the frame will impact the price – uPVC is the cheapest option on the market, with aluminium frames somewhere in the middle, and timber being the most expensive.

Type of glass

A roof lantern is effectively a type of window, so the glass you choose will affect how much you pay. There are a number of options you can choose from, which are worth discussing with your local roof lantern experts:

  1. Tinted – There may be an additional charge but can often be the same price as clear glass.
  2. Double or triple glass – Double or triple glazed glass will cost two to three times the cost of single glazed glass.
  3. Toughened – This is a sensible option if your roof lantern is directly underneath trees or other potential hazards.
  4. Self-cleaning – A clever option to minimise the need to manually clean your roof lantern glass.
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Checklist for installation of a roof lantern

  • Ensure your roof is strong enough and in good enough condition to take the weight of a roof lantern.
  • Check with your local planning office to see if you need planning permission.
  • When planning roof lantern installation costs, speak to your local specialists for accurate quotes.
  • Shop around for fair and competitive prices for installing a roof lantern in your area.
  • When hiring a tradesperson ask to see examples of the recent work and review their ratings and reviews by previous customers.

FAQs for roof lantern installation

What is the difference between a roof lantern and a skylight?

The terms roof lantern and skylight are often used interchangeably – both meaning a glass window installed into a roof. Depending on the manufacturer or tradesperson, they may use one or other of the terms to mean the same thing.

Is it possible to have an opening on a roof lantern?

Yes. Opening vents can be added at an extra cost, which can be operated either with some sort of handle or remotely, using a motor. It is even possible to get automatic opening vents which are part of an automated climate control system, the vents will open when the temperature rises, but will automatically close if it starts raining.

Is it worth investing in self-cleaning glass?

Yes particularly for hard to reach roof lanterns. Self-clean glass is an incredible piece of technology. Photo-Catalytic glass is used to offer the ultimate in low maintenance by harnessing the ultraviolet energy to power a chemical reaction that actually breaks down organic dirt. In addition, rather than forming droplets, the water essentially slides off the glass.

Can you fit a roof lantern yourself?

If you’re an experienced and skilled DIY enthusiast then you may be able to install a roof lantern yourself, but we would highly recommend hiring a professional to do the work. A poorly installed roof lantern could cause a whole heap of problems down the line so hire an installation expert, ideally a tradesperson who is registered with FENSA.

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Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

Our estimators are Chartered Members (MRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). See full disclaimer.

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