What Are Skylights Considered To Be

Roofer. Carpenter. Glazier. Who, exactly, should you call to have a skylight installed? Is it part of the roof? You want a roofer, then. But maybe it really calls for removing rafters and adding headers and … oh, dear. It sounds like a carpenter’s job. But it is a window, so window installers and glaziers should handle it. What to do?  

Hole in Your Roof

Think of what a skylight does. It admits abundant, beautiful daylight through … your roof. It is a window; it does need interior finishing and trim; it requires framing. But above all, it is a hole in your roof.

That means you want a professional roofer to install your skylight. Why? Who knows your home’s roof better than your roofer? Who is best able to prevent water leaks, install flashing correctly, and seal around the skylight? 

Not Just a Window

Because a skylight has glass, a carpenter or glazier may argue that it is just a window. Windows are easy to install, they claim. Framing, insulation, a little molding and you have a window in your wall. Wait — it doesn’t go in a wall; it is a hole in your roof. 

You can immediately see that a skylight or sun tunnel is more than merely a window. With a skylight, you expect it to offer full protection every day from every kind of precipitation while still letting in daylight

Anatomy of a Skylight

Sure, a skylight is a piece of window glass facing up to the sky. It is far more than that, however. Velux® skylights, the kind Imperial Roofing Contractor installs, are complex systems of glass, wood, metal, and other components. Each part plays a role in letting sunlight in while keeping moisture out:

  1. Twin panes of Comfort™ coated glass are tempered safety glass with argon gas between, providing insulation
  2. The glazing on both panes of Comfort™ coated glass fights heat gain (heat getting into your home) and heat loss (heat escaping in colder months) while allowing natural daylight to flood your room
  3. Gaskets around the glass drain condensation outside
  4. Wood framing provides insulation value and makes installation easy
  5. Metal exterior cladding is visually attractive while providing ample protection
  6. Flashing around the installation opening prevents water from seeping into your ceiling; step flashing, head flashing, bottom flashing and counterflashing all work together to keep water out

All of those features are for fixed (stationary) skylights! With the many variations offered by Velux®, you can find a skylight with moving parts that do much more than just admit sunlight:

  • Solar-powered fresh-air skylights
  • Skymax® large span skylights
  • Electric or manual fresh air skylights
  • Sun tunnels
  • Architectural skylights with custom shapes, such as octagons, square, or pyramid systems

Complexity Causes Concerns

With increasing complexity, your decision to ask a roofer to install skylights and sun tunnels becomes smarter and smarter. A handyman carpenter or a window installer may (may) be able to stumble through the installation of one flat, stationary skylight.

But with added features, dramatic flourishes like pyramid skylights, or expansive areas of large span skylights, you need a roofing expert. You need a company with highly skilled technicians familiar with steep-slope roofs, roof anatomy, and waterproofing. 

What would you do if, partway through the installation of a solar-powered fresh-air skylight, your carpenter handyman reports that, sadly, the work is beyond his abilities? How would you react to the window installer who confesses, once he’s cut a hole in your roof, that yours is the first skylight he has attempted? 


Ask a window installer, glazier, or carpenter, if their skylight installation comes with any warranty against leaks. Usually, they will politely evade your question because they cannot offer such a warranty. 

With a roofer handling the installation of a high-quality Velux® skylight or sun tunnel, you get a 10-year no-leak warranty. This is not something Imperial Roofing Contractor has slapped together; the 10-year warranty comes from Velux® and is available only to homeowners who have the skylights installed according to the exacting standards of Velux®. 

The warranty is only in effect if the Velux® installation instructions are followed carefully. It “covers correct skylight and appropriate flashing installations (product and labor) against leaks…” Roofers know flashing.

You may not even know what flashing is, but all that thin, flexible metal backs up your home’s shingles and seals around the skylight opening — and the counterflashing that seals over the flashing — add up to the multiple layers of prevention you need to have a leak-proof skylight. 

Please consider Imperial Roofing Contractor for your next skylight installation. Our expert roofers know how to, literally, put a hole in your roof without causing water leaks. We can install, repair, and maintain your skylight so you get years of enjoyable views and lighting without worry about water. Contact us today!