The Cost of Installing a Roof Lantern

All you need to know about installing a roof lantern including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

The Cost of Installing a Roof Lantern

What the job entails

Roof lanterns were once highly fashionable in the Victorian and Georgian era, but today they are making a comeback and have become an affordable and efficient way to add some extra natural light to your home. The typical cost for installing a roof lantern in the UK today is around £2500 and this is a pretty big job that will take around 3 days to complete. Architects are now pushing roof lanterns as they realise that they are straightforward to install and pose few problems in terms of building regulations and planning permission. They are available in a wide range of shapes and styles, everything from small domes or pyramids to including long hipped roof designs, a roof lantern can greatly improve the look of a home and they are usually made from either uPVC or timber frames and highly thermally efficient glass. Roof lanterns are great for adding huge amounts of natural light and they are also environmentally friendly and look awesome too!

On a flat-roof extension, installing bi-folding patio doors and a roof lantern can make the space as light as a conservatory. Whereas glass-only designs are difficult and expensive to implement since the introduction of tighter building regulations, roof lanterns look fantastic and provide plenty of daylight while still offering good levels of thermal efficiency. Roof lanterns also cost less and are easier to install with fewer planning issues than glass-only extensions. Roof lanterns can even be fitted with blinds or solar reflecting glass for even higher efficiency. Though lanterns fitted in the roof may not be the best idea if your home is overlooked by neighbours as they could pose a security and privacy risk. Modern roof lanterns almost always fall within your permitted development rights and they comply with all current building regulations, but you should always check with your local planning department to be sure.

Roof lanterns can make good financial sense as the light that comes into the building will save on electricity bills so the lantern will often pay for itself over the long term. Most roof lanterns will also have one or two opening panes for proper ventilation when required. Discussing implementing a roof lantern with an experienced and professional designer/installer could be the best home improvement decision you make. But you do really need a professional for this sort of job as it is beyond the skills of most DIY enthusiasts. So, if you want to add some additional light to your home with stunning looks then get in touch with a local specialist so they can help you to transform your home. It is possible to install a roof lantern yourself but you would have to be very confident indeed in your DIY skills and would have to liaise with Building Control to ensure the lantern complies with all building regulations.

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The Cost Of Roof Lantern Installation

A good-quality medium-sized timber-framed roof lantern of around 3m x 3m will typically cost around £4000 fully installed. Whereas a smaller (around 750mm x 750mm) uPVC framed lantern can be installed for around half that price. Expect to pay £700 for a ventilator and anything from £1000 to £4000 for bespoke blinds.

Due to the scale and time involved for the project, the cost of a tradesperson's time and labour can be quite high, particularly for more specialist/complex jobs or for larger scale installation.

Below are some estimated costs of installation for roof lanterns.

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
750mm x 750mm roof lantern £1700 2 Days
1500mm x 1500mm basic roof lantern £2600 2-3 Days
1500mm x 3000mm roof lantern £3250 3 Days
3000mm x 3000mm roof lantern £4000 4 Days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs to install an average 1500mm x 1500mm basic roof lantern - Total Cost: £2600

45%

Materials
£1170

55%

Tradesmen
£1430

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

Ventilation should be carefully considered, especially if the lantern will receive a lot of direct sunlight or if the lantern is above a kitchen where lots of heat will be generated. Roof lantern ventilation can be provided via trickle vents, top hung opening sashes or opening skylights. Obviously opening windows or skylights offer much more ventilation than trickle vents, but trickle vents are much cheaper and easier.
This depends of course on the type of room below and amount of light required, but many are surprised by just how much extra light even a modest 1000mm x 1000mmm roof lantern can provide. The size and shape of the room (and therefore the roof) will obviously dictate the right size of the lantern in terms of the aesthetics, but the room usage will dictate the actual glass area or amount of light required.
Essentially, a roof lantern sits on top of a roof, whereas a skylight is part of the roof, so is included as part of the roof construction. However, both terms are often used interchangeably to describe various types of roof glazing systems so don't depend on the correct definitions being used even by manufacturers.
Yes - opening vents can be added at 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.
True Pilkington Active 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, carrying any dirt away and leaving the glass clear at all times. However, Pilkington is the leading industry standard and not all self-cleaning glass on offer is quite as effective. So before paying extra, check exactly what type of glass you are getting.
Technically, yes you can, but this is not recommended unless you are an experienced builder.