How to Install Skylight Panels in Metal Roofing Techniques and Tips

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How to Install Skylight Panels in Metal Roofing Techniques and Tips


Installing skylight panels in metal roofing can bring a wealth of natural light into spaces like carports, sheds, and barns. These skylights are an excellent way to brighten up areas that lack insulation and traditional windows. In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing skylight panels, ensuring a secure and efficient setup. We’ll also touch upon the benefits of using roof lanterns in similar applications.

Choosing the Right Skylight Panels

Before starting the installation, it is crucial to select the appropriate type of skylight panel for your project. There are several types available, including curb-mounted skylights, tubular skylights, and polycarbonate panels.

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For uninsulated areas like carports or sheds, polycarbonate skylight panels are an ideal choice. They are durable, lightweight, and easy to install. They also allow plenty of light to filter through without compromising the structure’s integrity.

Preparation and Safety Measures

Preparation is key to a successful installation. Ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials, including:

  • Polycarbonate skylight panels
  • Metal roofing screws
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Sealant (such as butyl tape or elastomeric sealant)
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety gear (gloves, goggles, and harness if working on a high roof)

Safety is paramount. When working on a roof, always use proper safety equipment to prevent accidents. If your roof is particularly high or steep, consider using a safety harness and ropes. Additionally, avoid stepping directly on the skylight panels, as they can be slippery and may not support your weight.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

1. Measuring and Cutting the Panels

First, measure the area where you want to install the skylight panels. Ensure that the panels will fit snugly between the existing metal roofing sheets. Typically, polycarbonate panels come in standard lengths, such as 12 feet. You can cut these panels into the desired lengths using a saw.

2. Preparing the Roof

Before placing the skylight panels, clean the roof area thoroughly to ensure a smooth installation. Remove any debris, dust, or old roofing materials that might interfere with the sealing process.

3. Installing the Skylight Panels

Begin by installing the bottom panel of your metal roofing where you want the skylight to be. Place the skylight panel on top of this bottom panel, ensuring a healthy overlap to prevent leaks.

  • Pre-drill the Holes: To prevent the polycarbonate panels from cracking, pre-drill holes for the screws. Use a drill bit slightly larger than the screws to allow for expansion and contraction of the material.
  • Fastening the Panels: Secure the panels with metal roofing screws. Place screws approximately every two feet along the edges and center of the panel. Be gentle when tightening the screws to avoid cracking the panel.

4. Sealing the Joints

Proper sealing is essential to prevent leaks. Apply a generous amount of sealant under the overlapping edges of the panels. You can use butyl tape or an elastomeric sealant for this purpose. Ensure that the sealant is placed below the fasteners to create a watertight barrier.

  • Top and Bottom Overlaps: Ensure that the metal roofing panel above the skylight panel overlaps well over the top of the skylight panel. This prevents water from seeping underneath. Similarly, the bottom overlap should extend sufficiently to keep water out.

5. Final Checks

Once the panels are in place and sealed, perform a thorough inspection. Check for any gaps, loose screws, or areas where the sealant might need additional application. Ensure that the panels are securely fastened and that the sealant has created a tight seal.

Benefits of Skylight Panels

Installing skylight panels in your metal roofing offers several benefits:

  • Natural Light: Skylight panels flood your space with natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. This can make areas like carports and sheds more pleasant and functional.
  • Energy Efficiency: By allowing natural light to enter, skylight panels can reduce your reliance on electric lighting, thereby lowering energy costs.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Skylight panels can enhance the visual appeal of your space, making it look brighter and more inviting.

Considering Roof Lanterns

In addition to skylight panels, you might also consider installing roof lanterns in your home or other insulated areas. Roof lanterns, which are a type of skylight, are typically larger and more ornate, providing a striking architectural feature while also bringing in abundant natural light. They are ideal for spaces that require a more elegant lighting solution, such as living rooms or dining areas.


Installing skylight panels in metal roofing is a practical and straightforward way to bring natural light into uninsulated spaces. By following the correct techniques and safety measures, you can ensure a successful installation that enhances the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your structure. Whether you’re working on a carport, shed, or barn, skylight panels offer an efficient lighting solution that is both cost-effective and visually pleasing. And for more elegant lighting solutions in insulated areas, consider exploring the benefits of roof lanterns.


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