SKYLIGHT COST ESTIMATING for architects and general contractors

What does a skylight cost? Consider the following criteria to arrive at a budgetary estimate.


The cost varies with the shape of the skylight. Listing common shapes from more to less costly: vaults, domes and curved shapes, pyramids and hips, gables and single sloped skylights. Non-rectangular shapes are more expensive than surfaces with right-angled corners. Non-insulated single glazed canopies cost less. To estimate the cost of an installed skylight, compute the surface area and multiply by a square foot figure in the range of $40 to $100 where $70 is a median cost per square foot for a pyramid shape. This range applies to skylights with average characteristics. Special or complex shapes may have costs outside the normal range.

Glass Composition

Most skylights have insulating glass with a 3/8 laminated interior pane and an ¼ tempered exterior pane, a low-e coating and an argon gas filled air space. The cost for this glass would be considered average when estimating and is included in the cost per square foot in the above paragraph. Single glazing typically costs about $5 less per square foot than insulated glass.

Special coatings, tints, ceramic frit, heavy glass, security glazing and non-rectangular shapes add to the cost. Additional charges range from $2 to $30 for these specifications.

Finish on the Framework and Flashings

Most aluminum-framed skylights are finished in a standard anodized color. This is included in the $40 to $100 range indicated above. Special colors add cost. Painted fluoropolymer finishes cost considerably more than anodized. A lump sum is added for painting based on the size of the project and the amount of metal to be finished. For a typical sized skylight of about 300 sf, the cost of a standard color painted finish will be approximately $2,000.

Project Size

A typical skylight project may range in size from 200 to 500 sf. Costs per sq. ft. are greater for smaller projects, less for larger projects. Add or deduct to the average range about 20% for very small (<100sf) or very large projects (>1000sf) with less modification in price for projects closer in size to the typical range.


A five-year warranty is typical. Add 5% for a 10 year warranty.

Special Structural Requirements

Skylights which are required not to impart certain loads on the supporting structure may need to be constructed as rigid frames or may have additional structural elements. Such structural considerations will increase the cost.

Technical Assistance

Please contact us directly for specific assistance in pricing your skylight.


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