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  • Cost of Roof Lantern

    Want to learn more about how much installing a roof lantern costs?

    Well, check out our detailed cost guide that covers everything you need to know and consider.

    We discuss roof lantern prices including installation fees, the pros and cons of roof lanterns and so much more!

    So, let's getting started right away...

    glass roof lantern

    Average Cost of Installing a Roof Lantern:

    Depending on the complexity of the job, it usually takes: 2 – 3 days


    How Much Do Roof Lanterns Cost?

    The cost to install a roof lantern varies widely. The biggest factors that determine the price are the size of the roof lantern and the material it is made from.

    You can get a small roof lantern made from uPVC fitted for between £950 - £1,600.

    The most common choice of material is aluminium. This is because it is not the most expensive option, but it does provide good quality and can be made using thinner struts to support the glass. A small aluminium roof lantern will cost £1,200 - £1,550. A mid-sized aluminium roof lantern will cost £1,750 - £2,150.


    The most expensive options are timber-framed roof lanterns. They all have to be custom made, which is why the cost is much higher. A small timber-framed roof lantern will cost £1,850 - £2,750.

    Roof Lantern Prices

    The cost will depend a lot on the specific size and type of roof lantern you choose. This table will give you some example prices for supply and installation of some common roof lantern choices.

    Type of Roof Lantern Average Cost
    uPVC, square, 850mm x 850mm £950 - £1,600
    Aluminium, square, 850mm x 850mm £1,200 - £1,550
    uPVC, rectangular, 1,500mm x 2,000mm £1,650 - £1,800
    Aluminium, rectangular, 1,500mm x 2,000mm £1,750 - £2,150
    Timber, rectangular, 1,500mm x 2,000mm £2,800 - £4,200
    Aluminium, Octagonal, 1,500mm x 1,500mm £2,100 - £3,650

    Supply Costs Only

    The cost of buying your roof lantern will depend on the type you choose to get. To give you an idea of the price differences, you can see costs based on shape and frame material.

    Shape of Lantern

    For comparison, these are the prices for aluminium framed roof lanterns.

    Shape Small Medium Large
    Rectangle £650 - £1,200 £1,500 - £2,500 £3,000 - £4,500
    Square £600 - £700 £850 – £1,100 £1,300 - £2,700
    Octagonal £700 - £1,300 £1,500 – £2,750 £4,000 - £4,500

    Material of Lantern

    Material 850mm x 850mm 1,500mm x 2,000mm 3,000mm x 5,000mm
    uPVC £350 - £700 £750 - £900 £2,000 - £2,850
    Aluminium £600 - £650 £1,150 - £1,250 £4,000 - £4,500
    Wood £1,250 - £1,850 £2,200 – £3,300 £6,000 - £7,500

    Additional Costs

    When you work out your budget, you should make sure you add in any extra costs that might not be included in the quote. You may also want to consider getting some other jobs done at the same time to save money and make the most any scaffolding you might need to put up.

    Adding Automatic Openers Cost

    If you have windows that can open as part of your roof lantern, then it can be worth investing in automatic openers. These allow you to open the windows without having to climb up or use a stick.


    The average cost to install automatic openers is £250 - £300 per window.

    Adding Trickle Vents Cost

    To comply with building regulations, you need to have adequate ventilation in the room with your roof lantern. One of the ways that you might make this happen is by adding trickle vents to your roof lantern. The average cost for this is £35 per vent.

    Replace a Flat Roof 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.


    The average cost to replace a flat roof is £1,000.

    Scaffolding Hire Cost

    You may need to arrange scaffolding hire for your contractor to work on your roof.

    It will depend on the type of roof they are working on and the location of the roof lantern. If you will need scaffolding, it is better to know sooner. Talk to your contractor early to find out if it needs to be arranged.

    As scaffolding hire is usually for a fixed amount of time, you can often get other jobs done that need scaffolding at the same time. This is an excellent way to save money in the long run. The average cost of scaffolding hire is £4,500.

    Install Solar Roof Tiles Cost

    Solar roof tiles are a great way to add solar power to your home. The biggest expense in the installation typically comes from the scaffolding hire.


    So, if you can combine the work with another job that requires scaffolding, then you can save money overall. The average cost for this job is £12,000. However, if you don’t need additional scaffolding hire, this can be much lower.

    Pressure Wash Your Roof Cost

    Roof cleaning has a significant impact on the appearance of your home. It can remove dirt and moss that builds up over time. It’s a good job to get done if you want to renew the exterior of your home. The average cost is £450.

    Replacing Missing Tiles Cost

    Replacing roof tiles is an excellent job to get done if you have scaffolding up. Missing roof tiles can let water in, which leads to damage. So, it’s a good idea to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. The average cost is £190


    Replace Guttering Cost

    Guttering can be easy to ignore, but it serves an important purpose. If your guttering has been neglected for a long time, then it is a good idea to take advantage of any scaffolding to get it checked out.

    If it needs replacing it will cost on average £650.

    Labour Costs and Timescales

    The labour costs will vary depending on the type of fitters you hire. It will also depend on the size of your window. If you have a very large window, a bigger team will be needed to install it safely. This will increase your daily costs but won’t make the job go much faster.

    For a mid-sized roof lantern, a team of two should be sufficient. In this case, you can expect to pay around £300 per day. The whole process should take 2 – 3 days. This means your total labour costs will be in the range of £600 – £900.

    What is a Roof Lantern?

    Roof lanterns, sometimes referred to as skylights are glass-covered openings in the roof. They are great for letting natural light into a space. They are often very appealing and can increase the value of a property.

    Roof lanterns come in a variety of different shapes and styles. They can often be fitted to any shape or size of the roof. You can glass that lies flat to the roofline, like Velux window, or you can have something that stands above the roofline. They can be fitted to both flat and pitched roofs.


    Roof lanterns date back to the Victorian Era when they became popular. More traditional styles of roof lanterns are often Victorian in appearance. These tend to be more architectural. The lanterns will have height and be made from several panes of glass—more modern designs than to be sleeker in appearance, with a more subtle profile.

    If you have a structured roof lantern, you will be able to see the glazing bars. These are the pieces of wood or metal that support the glass. They are designed to be beautiful as well as functional.

    Cost Factors of Installing Roof Lantern

    Roof lantern prices vary a lot, depending on a few factors.

    Size Of Roof Lantern

    The size you choose will be the biggest factor in your lantern roof cost. Put simply the larger the roof lantern, the higher the supply costs and labour will be. There is a big difference in price from a small roof lantern to a big one.

    Type of Roof Lantern

    The shape of the roof lantern you choose will have a small impact on the cost. The more complicated the shape, the higher the price. However, this effect is relatively small. The much larger effect comes from the material you choose for the frame. uPVC is the cheapest option, aluminium is the middling option, while the most expensive, by far is timber.

    Type of Glass

    The glass that you choose for your window can affect the cost. There are quite a few options to choose from, but they will mostly depend on which brand of roof lantern you decide to use.


    Tinted Glass

    You can get clear or tinted glass for your roof lanterns. Some manufacturers charge the same for both types, while others charge a small extra for the tinted options.

    Glazing Type

    If you choose double or triple glazed glass, this will cost around 2-3 times the cost of single glazed glass.


    If your roof lantern is overhung by trees or you have windows above, you may want to pay extra for toughened glass. These panes are more resistant to damage.


    You can get glass that encourages the water to run off in sheets rather than collect in droplets. This cleans the glass and reduces the maintenance needed. This option will attract a higher supply cost.

    Low U-Value

    The U value is a measure of how efficient your roof lantern is at trapping heat in your home. The lower the U value, the more effective, the warmer your home will be. There will be a modest increase in price for more efficient glass.

    Scaffolding Hire

    If the workers need to use scaffolding to access your roof, then you will need to pay extra. Scaffolding hire can be costly, so you should talk to an installer early, so you know if you need to include this in your budget.

    Location Of The Property

    If your property is hard to access or it is not easy to get material to the location of the roof lantern, then the job will take longer. This will have an impact on your labour costs.

    You should also expect to pay a premium for labour if you live in London or the South East.

    What's Involved in Installing Roof Lantern?

    The first step is to make a hole in your roof for the lantern. This is a messy job and will make a lot of dust and dirt. You may want to seal off the room below the work to keep the dust contained as much as possible.

    It is likely that after the hole is made it will be necessary to reinforce the roof. This is especially true if the rafters or joist had to be cut to make the hole. The most common way of installing the new support is to replace the removed timber with two new pieces. These pieces span either side of the opening.

    Once the hole is made, and upstand is built. This is the raised ledge on which the roof lantern’s frame will sit. It will be made from materials that match your existing roof.


    The frame for the roof lantern will be constructed and sealed into place on the upstand, using silicone. This creates a weathertight finish and a solid base to support the panes of glass.

    The struts that will support the glass are then constructed. Once the whole lantern frame is made, it will be positioned on to the frame that is sealed to the upstand.

    Next, the glass panels will be fitted into place. How this is done will depend on the brand of roof lantern you have chosen to go with. Once the glass is in place, there will be external caps to fit which will seal up the roof lantern making it entirely weatherproof.

    Can I Install a Roof Lantern Myself?

    There are two main sections to installing a roof lantern. The first is making the hole in the existing roof, and the second is fitting the roof lantern.

    Making the hole is the more technically difficult part. You may need to check that your roof is structurally sound before you begin. If you put the hole in the wrong place, you could damage the structure of your home. In most cases, this is a job best left to a professional.

    If you are keen on DIY and want to complete part of the job yourself, you may be able to complete the installation of the roof lantern. Depending on the brand you choose to use installation can be a simple job.

    However, if you are installing a large roof lantern, you should make sure that you have help when it comes time to lay it in place. You don’t want to drop your glass lantern and break it accidentally. Even the strongest glass will struggle with a drop from the roof to the floor.

    Choosing a Roof Lantern

    Roof lanterns come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Some of your decisions will be limited by the space that you are working with. Others you will have more control over.

    Shape of Roof Lantern

    The shape you choose will depend on the space that you have. Although you can arrange multiple roof lanterns to get the effect you are looking for.

    Rectangle Roof Lantern Cost

    These are based on the traditional Victorian shape. They are long and thin and are often placed over hallways. They work well in open-plan spaces and can be used to define the flow of a space. The price for small, midrange rectangular roof lantern starts at £650.

    Square Roof Lantern Cost

    Typically, these are placed in the centre of a space. They are modern in appearance and are designed to be symmetrical. They can be used in smaller spaces, or to highlight points within a larger room. The price for small, midrange square roof lantern starts at £600.


    Polyhedral - Octagonal To Hexadecagonal Roof Lantern Cost

    These many-sided roof lanterns give a space a feeling of grandeur. They feel a little like a tower or turret made from glass. They work well in circular or unusually shaped spaces. The price for small, midrange polyhedral roof lantern starts at £700.

    Style of Roof Lantern

    There are some choices that you can make that are more about the style and finished look of your roof lantern. You can make these style choices with any shape roof lantern.

    Cupola Roof Lantern Cost

    A cupola is a secondary structure on top of a roof lantern. It makes the lantern stand higher above the rest of the roof. These are often used on larger homes to make the roof lantern look more proportional from the outside. The cost of a cupola will depend on what sort of roof lantern you get and the material it is made from. They are custom made, so prices vary a lot.

    Double/Triple Lantern Roof Lantern Cost

    Multiple lanterns can be used to divide up a space or to provide a larger area of glass. They can be directly one after the other or separated by part of the original roof. There is no extra cost for having a double/triple lantern. It is just the cost and installation for all of the lanterns you choose.


    Finial Roof Lantern Cost

    A finial is a small detail that you can have or not. It is a shaped piece that sits at the apex of your lantern. The most popular option is a round ball shape. More minimal designs may look better with no finial at all. The average cost of a finial is around £30.

    Frame Material for Roof Lantern

    The material you choose for the frame will have a big impact on your roof lantern. The frame is the most visible part of a roof lantern so it will determine the final look. The choice of frame material can also have a large impact on the cost of your roof lantern.

    uPVC Roof Lantern Cost

    This is the lower-cost option. They have been around for a while and are easy to find. There are a lot of options, and you can get even get fake woodgrain finishes. Prices start from £350.


    ✔ Lots of colour choice

    ✔ Cheap


    ✖ Can expand in the heat

    ✖ The weakest option so need wider struts

    Aluminium Roof Lantern Cost

    Aluminium is a more modern option. It is a higher-end option. However, it is useful for creating a modern, minimal look. The strength of aluminium means that it can support larger panes of glass. Prices start from £600.



    ✔ Strong and Durable

    ✔ Can use thinner rafters

    ✔ Can support large panes


    ✖ Shorter lifespan than uPVC

    Wooden Roof Lantern Cost

    This is the most expensive and time-consuming option. The frame has to be custom-built. The final look is very traditional and is timeless. Prices start from £1,250.


    ✔ Traditional Look

    ✔ High-quality craftsmanship


    ✖ Most expensive option

    ✖ Require regular maintenance

    Building Regulations & Planning Permission for Installing a Roof Lantern

    When you install a roof lantern, you will be subject to building regulations. In most cases, you will not need planning permission, as most roof lanterns will fall under permitted development.

    Building Regulations

    There are several aspects of the project that building regulations will apply to. You should have an inspection once the work is complete the ascertain if the work is up to the required standard in all of the following areas.

    Roof Strength

    The roof must remain structurally sound after the hole for the roof lantern is made. This means that adequate supports must be fitted to ensure the roof is sound.

    Weather Proofing

    The new roof lantern must be adequately sealed to the existing roof. This often requires the use of silicone to create a waterproof seal at the base of the frame.


    The room with the roof lantern must have proper ventilation. This can be achieved through the roof lantern or by other means, but there must be adequate airflow.

    Energy Conservation

    The roof lantern that you install must meet basic energy conservation standards. The best indication of this is the U value. The roof light has a whole should not have a U value of more than 1.6.

    Planning Permission

    In most cases, you do not need planning permission to install a roof lantern. As long as you stay within three limits, that may apply.

    • The final result is no more than 150mm from the existing roof plane.
    • No addition is higher than the highest part of the roof.
    • Any side-facing windows must be obscure-glazed and over 1.7m above the floor.

    If you roof lantern falls within these guidelines, it is permitted development, and there is no need for planning permission.

    Benefits of Installing a Roof Lantern

    Roof lanterns are very popular, not only because they look good but because they offer a lot of benefits as well.

    Increases Natural Light

    With an opening in the roof, you allow light to enter the room below all day long. The addition of so much natural light into a space can have a dramatic effect on the feel of a room. It is especially effective in rooms that have few/no windows.

    Reduced Energy Costs

    With a roof lantern, you will find that you do not need to use lighting in that space during daylight hours. Roof lanterns are also very energy efficient. They offer a better thermal barrier than the rest of your roof does. In other words, they will reduce your heating bills in winter. These two effects combined can have a real impact on energy costs.

    Brings the Outside In

    During the day a rood lantern lets the sunlight in. During the night you can watch the night sky. If it rains, you can listen to the soothing drum of the rain on the glass. In all these ways a roof lantern connects your home to the outside world.

    Makes Rooms Feel Larger

    Adding a roof lantern is an effective way of making a space feel larger than it is. The added light and the views of the sky create a more open feeling which can make a room more enjoyable to spend time in.

    Increased Home Value

    Roof lanterns are an appealing architectural feature. They are often associated with wealth and luxury. So, homes with roof lanterns tend to sell for more money and spend less time on the market.


    Roof lanterns are resistant to the elements in ways that traditional roofing is not. You can expect your roof lantern to offer better protection from wind, rain, and changes in temperature.

    Low Maintenance

    Roof lanterns have a lot of design behind them. They are designed and fitted to be self-washing. So, when it rains, this will clean your windows which removes the need for maintenance. You can expect your roof lantern to last as long as, if not longer than the rest of your roof.

    Wow Factor

    Roof lanterns look impressive, both from the inside and the outside of your home. It will add a real statement piece to your home. This can make it a wonderful place to live and can make it easier to sell your home if you wish to.

    Removing a Roof Lantern Cost

    If you have a roof lantern that you want to remove it is not a terribly big job. Most contractors will be able to remove a roof lantern in a few hours and will charge you for their time and the disposal of the materials.

    The real cost will depend on how you want to fix the new hole in your roof. If you are replacing your old roof lantern with a new one, then the new roof lantern installation cost will be similar to if you were getting a new roof lantern. The price for removing the old lantern will be similar to the cost of making a hole for a new flat roof lantern.

    If you intended to restore the original roof structure, then you will need to pay to cost of the roof repair. This will largely depend on the size of your roof lantern and the type of roof it is on.

    Hiring Contractors to Install a Roof Lantern Checklist

    A wide range of contractors can install roof lanterns. Here are some of the things you should look for when choosing yours

    • FENSA Certification. You should look for a contractor with FENSA certification because this means that they should install your roof lantern in compliance with building regulations. They are registered with the local council, and you have some recourse if something goes wrong.
    • Look for an installer who is familiar with the brand and type of roof lantern you want to use. You don’t want them learning how to install it on your home.
    • Look for an installer who has good reviews and is willing to put you in touch with former, satisfied clients.


    What size roof lantern do I need?
    It depends on the space you have. The size of your roof will limit you. Your roof lantern will need to sit just inside the outer edges of your roof, so that is the maximum size it should be.

    Bigger is not always better with a roof lantern. The ideal size is one that looks proportional to the space it is lighting. Even a small roof lantern will let in a lot of light and transform a space. In some homes, you may be better served by opting for a few smaller roof lanterns instead of a single large one.

    Ultimately it comes down to two factors – the space you have, and your style preferences.
    What options are there for roof lantern lighting?
    The point of a rood lantern is to let in more natural light, so it is not a good idea to hang lights inside them. Popular options for adding lighting include LED strips around the inside of the hole or recessed lighting around the edges of the lantern.
    What’s the best position for a roof lantern?
    It’s up to you and the space that you have. However, it is popular and effective to place roof lanterns in the middle of a room. Other options include over dining room tables or kitchen islands. It is a good idea to consider the layout of your room, and which features you wish to highlight.
    How do you clean the inside of a roof lantern?
    Most roof lanterns shouldn’t require too much cleaning. However, if they are in rooms with a lot of dust, then it can be a good idea to wipe down the insides of the glass. This can be done by putting a sponge on a stick or a step ladder. All you need is a little bit of soapy water to give your windows a quick clean.
    How much more light does a roof lantern let in?
    Compared to a standard vertical window, a roof lantern will let in around 3x more light.


    Last updated by MyJobQuote on 4th August 2022.

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