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Roof Lantern Installation Cost

This guide offers useful information to assist you in selecting, buying and installing a roof lantern. There is a design out there for every style of home and most budgets.

2-3 days
Average price:


A glass roof lantern or skylight is a stunning addition to any home, flooding interiors in natural light. Whilst not cheap, the cost to install a roof lantern is worth the investment. As a feature, it can add value to your property and make a strong statement.

A skylight or roof lantern lets in three times more light than a normal house window. The most common place to install a new skylight would be a kitchen or extension.

Kitchens are often poorly lit, and food preparation isn't easy, or you enjoy eating in the kitchen, but it is often dark and dingy. Kitchen skylights work well and are perfect for giving you the extra light you need.

Roof lanterns became popular during the Victorian era, so, understandably, the more traditional roof lanterns are often Victorian in appearance, usually deep and made from several panes of glass, featuring glazing bars or supports designed to complement the beauty of the lantern.

Modern-day roof lanterns are designed to be more minimal and sleek in appearance.

Roof lanterns are a highly desirable addition to any home. They immediately exude drama and luxury. Whether you opt for a lantern roof conservatory, rectangular roof lantern, square roof lantern, or any shape in between, a feeling of airiness fills the room.

Roof lanterns are available in many different shapes and styles, tailored to fit any roof's shape or size. They can be fitted to flat or pitched roofs, and sizes vary depending on the location.

A spectacular property may have an orangery roof lantern whilst on the other end of the scale. Depending on your budget, your property may be suited to a more simple, elegant option.

Roof lantern prices depend very much on the project's scale, so a small neat installation may be just what your property needs.

Roof lantern installation prices can vary dramatically from a 1,500mm x 2,000mm rectangular uPVC example which would cost between £1650 - £1800, to a timber option of the same size costing from £2,800 to £4,200 and upwards, should you opt for a premium oak roof lantern.

The average price for installing a roof lantern is £1,900. Remember to budget for those contingencies such as roof lantern lighting and roof lantern blinds.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Roof Lantern?

It is difficult to put an exact figure for the cost of a roof lantern. Costs depend on the size, design and quality you require and whether you are paying installation costs or just supply. You can be charged under £500 to over £4,000 for a roof lantern.

Contact several companies and get quotes but make sure that you choose good quality products. If you require extras such as manual or electronically opening etc., remember there will be cost implications. Roof lantern prices vary a lot and depend on several things:

  • Size - The size of your roof lantern will be the biggest factor in your lantern roof cost. The larger the roof lantern, the more expensive it will be for supply costs and labour. Unsurprisingly, there is a huge difference in price between a small roof lantern to a big one.
  • Type - Your choice of roof lantern will have a direct impact on the cost of your project. The more complex the shape, the costlier the project. But a much larger cost implication is the material you choose for the frame. The cheapest option is uPVC, aluminium is the middle option, and the most expensive, by far, is timber.
  • Choice of Glass - The type of glass you choose for your window will have a great cost implication. There are many options to choose from, but they will mostly depend on which brand of roof lantern you decide to use. You can have the option of clear or tinted glass for your roof lanterns. Some manufacturers charge more for tinted whilst others charge the same for either.
  • Glazing Type - Double or triple glazed glass will cost around 2-3 times the cost of single glazed glass. But the savings in heating can be worth the added extra.
  • Toughened - Toughened glass will cost extra but is more resistant to damage. You may want to consider this option if trees or branches overhang your roof lantern.
  • Self-Cleaning - Although an expensive option, self-cleaning glass encourages water to run off in sheets rather than collecting in droplets, cleaning the glass and reducing the maintenance costs.
  • Low U-Valve - U value measures the effectiveness of your roof lantern at trapping heat. A lower U value equates to more efficiency resulting in a warmer home. More efficient glass doesn't cost the earth.
  • Scaffolding Hire - Scaffolding hire can be costly but necessary if your contractors need to work at heights. Discuss this with your installer about whether they will supply scaffolding or whether the cost will fall on your shoulders.
  • The Property Location - The installation of your roof lantern will cost considerably more and take longer to complete if your property is hard to access. If your property is in London or the Home Counties, you should expect to pay a premium for labour.

Roof lantern costs will depend on the size and style you choose. This table will give you some costs examples for the 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 £1750 - £2150
Timber, rectangular, 1,500mm x 2,000mm £2,800 - £4,200
Aluminium, Octagonal, 1,500mm x 1,500mm £2,100 - £3,650

Supply cost only

These costs are based on shape and frame material:

Shape of Lantern

These are prices for aluminium framed roof lanterns:

Style Small Medium Large
Rectangle £650 - £1,200 £1,500 - £2,500 £3,000 - £4,500

Lantern Material

Material Small Medium Large
uPVC £350 - £700 £750 - £900 £2,000 - £2,850
Aluminium £600 - £650 £1,150 - £1,250 £4,000 - £4,500
Wood £1,250 - £1850 £2,200 - £3,300 £6,000 - £7,500

Additional Costs

Remember to add a contingency amount for things that might not have been included in the quote. If you a paying for scaffolding, why not consider combining other jobs that need doing to make the most of the expenditure?

Adding Trickle Vents Cost

Building regulations require adequate ventilation in the room with your roof lantern. Add trickle vents to your roof lantern at an average cost of £35 per vent.

Types of Roof Lantern

Roof lanterns are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Decide how much space you have to work with as this will be limiting. You will have more control over other decisions, but not about your available space.

Rectangular Roof Lanterns

Based on the traditional Victorian shape, rectangular roof lanterns are long and narrow and often placed over hallways. They work well in open-plan spaces, and the price for a small, midrange rectangular roof lantern starts at £650.

Square Roof Lanterns

Modern in appearance and designed to be symmetrical, they can be used in smaller spaces or to highlight points within a larger room—prices for small, mid-range square roof lantern start from £600.

Polyhedral, Octagonal or Hexagonal Roof Lanterns

These many-sided roof lanterns work well in circular or unusually shaped spaces, exuding a feeling of grandeur. Small, midrange polyhedral roof lanterns start at £700.

Cupola Roof Lantern

A cupola is a second-tier that makes the lantern stand higher above the rest of the roof. They need to be custom made, so prices vary considerably.

Double or Triple Roof Lantern

To divide up space into a larger area of glass, several lanterns can be used.

Finial Roof Lantern

A finial is a shaped piece that sits at the apex of your lantern. A popular option is a round ball shape. Minimal designs might look better without a finial, and the average cost is around £30.

Frame Material for Roof Lanterns

As the most visible part of a roof lantern, your choice of frame will greatly impact and determine the final look. It will also have a cost implication.

UPVC Roof Lantern

As a lower-cost option, try a uPVC roof lantern. They come with lots of colour options and textures, such a fake wood grain. Prices start at around £350. They can expand in the heat and are the weakest option to need wider struts for support.

Aluminium Roof Lantern

Aluminium is a higher-end, more modern option. It creates a modern, minimal look. Aluminium has the strength and durability to support larger panes of glass, and prices start at around £600, but its lifespan is shorter than uPVC.

Wooden Roof Lantern

A wooden roof lantern is the most expensive and time-consuming option. Although traditional and timeless, the frame has to be custom-built and requires great craftsmanship. It will need regular maintenance and prices will start at around £1,250.

Reduced Energy Costs

Roof lanterns are very energy efficient, and you will not need to keep the lights on so much. With a better thermal barrier than the rest of your roof, they reduce your heating bills in winter, saving energy costs.

Increased Home Value

Roof lanterns are appealing features, often associated with wealth and luxury. Properties with roof lanterns sell quicker and for more money.


Your roof lantern will offer better protection from wind, rain, and changes in temperature than traditional roofing. They are very resistant to the elements.

What Does a Roof Lantern Installation Involve?

  • Firstly, make a hole in your roof for the lantern. It's good practice to seal off the room underneath to keep the dust contained as much as possible.
  • If the rafters or joists had to be cut to make the hole, it would usually be necessary to reinforce the roof. Replace the removed timber with new pieces spanning either side of the opening.
  • The upstand (the raised ledge on which the roof lantern will rest) is then built from materials to match your existing roof.
  • A delay could occur between the roof being cut and the roof lantern appearing onsite. A temporary cover should be put in place over the upstand, before the roof window itself. The final waterproofing occurs when the window flashings are fitted onto the upstands.
  • Then the roof lantern frame will be built and then sealed into place using silicone on the upstand. This creates a weather-tight finish and a solid base to support the panes of glass.
  • Then the struts to support the glass are then made. Once the whole and positioned on the frame that is sealed to the upstand.
  • The glass panels can now be fitted into place. External caps are then fitted to seal the roof lantern, making it completely weatherproof - crucial things you should look check when choosing contractors to install your roof lantern.
  • Employ a contractor with FENSA certification because they should install your roof lantern in compliance with building regulations. FENSA contractors are registered with the local council. You will have some recourse if something goes wrong.
  • Look for an installer familiar with the brand and type of roof lantern you want to use.
  • Choose an installer with great reviews and a good track record.

DIY Roof Lantern Installation

Your roof lantern installation could be subject to building regulations. However, in most cases, you will not need planning permission, as most roof lanterns will fall under permitted development.

Building Regulations

Building regulations will apply to several aspects of the project. Arrange an inspection once the work is completed to ensure the work is up to the required standard.

Roof Strength.

The roof must be structurally sound after the hole for the roof lantern is made. This means that adequate support is needed.

Weather Proofing

The new roof lantern requires adequate sealing to the existing roof. Silicone should be used to create a waterproof seal at the bottom of the frame.


It is a requirement that the room with the roof lantern must have proper ventilation and adequate airflow.

Energy Conservation

The roof lantern must meet basic energy conservation standards. The best indication of this is a U value of more than 1.6.

Planning Permission

Check with your local Planning Authority. In most cases, you will not require planning permission to install a roof lantern. However, it must follow these guidelines:

  • The finished work is no more than 150mm from the existing roof plane. No part of the build is above the tallest section of the roof. Windows at the side must be obscure-glazed and over 1.7m above the floor.
  • If your roof lantern falls within these guidelines, there is no need for planning permission as it is deemed to be permitted development.
  • If you have proficient DIY skills, you could complete the installation of the roof lantern. If you intend installing a large roof lantern, make sure you have help to lay it in place.

Potential Problems and Pitfalls

The increase in natural light may cause problems

Although sunlight on a bright day can be a pro and a con for some. If you find your roof lantern lets in too much sun, blinds can be installed under the roof lantern to give you a choice to block out the sun if you'd like.

Solar heating

Solar heating can make the room too hot in the summer months. Like most problems with roof lanterns, it largely comes down to the build quality. Specialist glazing is available on the market, reflecting up to 78% of solar heat, making the room more bearable.

Roof vents can be inserted into the structure for increased temperature control without sacrificing thermal efficiency. Blinds block out the sun's warmth and maintain a more comfortable temperature.

Heat loss (in the winter)

Glazed extensions, including roof lanterns, can be far too hot in the summer and much too cold during the winter months. Modern glazing has radically improved in recent years. U-value most commonly measures the ability to retain heat.

The lower the value, the better the warmth retention. A roof lantern can be as low as 0.7 W/m²K - 3 times as thermally efficient as vertical windows. It is also creating a space that can be enjoyed all-year-round.


A roof lantern features a large amount of glazing, which means it could be affected by external noises like traffic or rainfall. Modern manufacturing has drastically improved the glass's performance to make up the roof, providing outstanding thermal insulation and reducing exterior noise.


Roof lanterns are installed in a place that can be difficult to access, so fit glass with a self-cleaning coating so that rainwater slides off it. The coating on the glass uses the sun's UV light to destroy dirt and grime. It then gets washed away when it rains, making maintenance a far easier job.

Other Issues with Roof Lanterns?

Consider installing triple glazing for winter heat retention and low-g glass for coolness in the summer months. You can have both, but it will cost roughly 50% more than normal double glazing.

It may be worth installing roof lanterns with an opening vent. This will be useful in summer when the weather can get hot. However, this will require an automatic opening, which will add a lot to the price.

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Sam J

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