When Should You Use a Deck Mounted Skylight?

Deck Mounted SkylightSkylights are a simple way to add value to real estate when building or remodeling a home, many homeowners are not sure when to use a deck mounted skylight. Skylights provide two benefits: they create inviting interiors and add curb appeal, and deck mounted skylights are particularly popular, because they have a low profile. Deck mounted skylights can be used for almost any new skylight installation. However, there a number of factors to take into consideration before choosing a skylight.

Local Codes

First, check with your local code official for specific regulations in your area. Code issues can dictate when it is possible to use a deck mounted skylight. Some state and local building codes may require a curb (a wooden box built higher than the roof) for all skylights. Some municipalities can require at least a 4 inch curb for pitched roofs and a 9 – 12 inch curb for flat roofs. Checking with the local code official before you begin your skylight instillation can prevent problems later.

Roof Structure

After checking with the local code official, identify whether the roof is made of rafters or trusses. Although rafters can be cut (as long as they are reinforced) trusses cannot. This can dictate the size of the skylight opening. Make sure to measure the exact location were you intend to place the skylight, as measurements may vary. Deck mounted skylights may be easier to install, but they have a limited number of standard sizes. You need to make sure there is a quality deck mounted skylight available in the dimensions you need.

The pitch of the roof is another important factor when installing a skylight. Generally, a homeowner can use a deck mounted skylight on roofs that have a pitch between 14 and 85 degrees. Keep in mind, however, that the slope of the skylight can affect how energy efficient your home is. The lower the slope of the skylight, the less light and heat the home will receive in the winter and the more light and heat it will receive in the summer. This means it will cost more to heat your home in the winter and cool your home in the summer.


The final thing to consider when deciding whether or not to use a mounted skylight, is the total daylight area you wish to achieve. The industry recommendation for skylight area is 10% of the floor area you intend to illuminate. Since deck mounted skylights come in a limited number of sizes, achieving this ratio may require a little creativity. It is possible to arrange multiple skylights into an attractive grouping as long as you have a minimum of 4 inches over and under each skylight and 2.5 inches side by side.

Related Resource: Do Skylights Leak?

Although some people opt to install their own skylights, it is important to remember that a skylight only adds value to your property if it is installed properly, according to Trusted Pros. If you decide to hire someone, keep in mind that most contractors have a preference for a certain type of skylight. Make sure you hire someone who knows when to use a deck mounted skylight to support interior and exterior design of your property.