Replacing a pvc patio roof
I spend a lot of time on my patio.
But over time, the roof had really deteriorated. It became an eyesore full of grit I couldn’t clean, and the list of leaks grew by the year.
At LONG last, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to stroke this one off the list! Finally! After 15 long years, no more gunge to look at nor leaks to tiptoe around! The patio ceiling is now a gorgeous crisp, clean white, with a plantation vibe! It’s beautiful.
BUT… not all went as planned. But in my case, it may work out better…
Lotsa ifs in that last sentence, isn’t there? When making a long term decision, ifs are too iffy for comfort!
So! I’d like to share how replacing a pvc patio roof played out so you can possibly avoid doing what I did.
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When I first moved into this house about 15 years ago, the patio roof that runs off the 2nd main floor was pretty dirty where the panels joined. And the roof also leaked.
But as time went on, the leaks grew increasingly worse. And looking at roof joins I couldn’t clean was really weighing on me.
The final straw was when a big wind storm ripped one panel off. BINGO!
It was time. Replacing a pvc patio roof was in order.
But what to get next?
My first thought was to rip off the entire roof and start over with a beautiful dream peaked version, so I could get a better view of that gorgeous mountain view out back!
But after getting quotes in the thousands upon thousands, I decided not this round.
My 2nd choice? I had always mulled over clear panels instead… maybe I could still enjoy the view that way?
Then we had one of the hottest summers I have ever remembered. And if it wasn’t for the white roof panels filtering out some of the sunlight, I don’t think I would have sat under this patio all summer long like I did.
I was also aware of pvc (cheaper) vs. polycarbonate (twice the price). But I felt, my own pvc roof lasted a long time, so I’ll just stick with that, since this isn’t my dream roof anyway. What if I wanted to change it down the road?
So cheaper while getting in some sunlight became the main goal.
I hired a local roofer, and waited until the pvc white roof panels came in stock. It was a long wait. Supplies are hard to get these days. Have you noticed?
While waiting, I pressure washed then re-painted all the wooden rafters (which took a week!) with a semi-gloss trim paint to freshen things up nicely.
Roofing I used:
12′ pvc opaque white roof panels (from Home Depot in Canada)
(But you’ll soon learn about my error in this choice…)
Other main supplies used:
- Plastic support strips for my given roofing
- White spray paint for plastic
- Cordless drill
- Extension cord
- #10 1.5″ hex head self-sealing roofing screws in white
- Ladder or sawhorse ladder to create easy scaffolding
About the plastic strips
These plastic strips attach the roof panels to the roof framing. It was suggested that I get the strips that come for my chosen roof panels and not to switch brands, as they all differ slightly.
This was an eleventh hour decision. We were going to try and use my original wood strips still on the roof, but once the work started, they didn’t fit. ARG.
So I hightailed it to Home Depot and within an hour I was painting them white at home, since the strips only came in brown.
Why these plastic roofing strips don’t come in white for white roofing I’ll never personally understand. But luckily, painting went fast and the roofer was able to come back the next day.
THIS is the white spray paint I used, which worked really well, and dried quick!
Attaching the plastic strips
The strips were then nailed onto the roofing framework.
Then the pvc roof panels were attached with white 1.5″ self-sealing hex screws.
I got to enjoy overseeing another doing this part for a change! There was some demolition and rebuilding beyond my own current skill set and too high off the ground for my comfort level. Plus… he was so fast!
Next, roof panel install time!
Once the contractor placed up the first panel, I noted that the light didn’t penetrate through it. I spoke up, but it was possibly assumed that maybe my own roof panels were just broken down so much they became more transparent…
I shrugged my shoulders, figured once the entire roof was on it would look different (talk about denial) and took my cats to the vet.
Upon returning, I came home to a beautifully completed roof… but with absolutely positively NO light of any kind penetrating through. At all. Oh no…
So I immediately went online to investigate why.
The listing for my chosen roof panels read OPAQUE.
I had assumed all white was translucent.
What do they say about assumptions again?
Why translucent is a perk to consider
In a quick nutshell? This is big. So hear this one loud and clear.
Translucent roof panels allow light to penetrate through, leading to a brighter home interior.
Case in point: When I lived in my last farmhouse with a wrap around porch, while I loved porch living, I didn’t love how dark it made the interior of the house.
I swore I would never have a wrap around porch again.
Replacing a pvc patio roof with white opaque panels gave a similar result.
I lost a lot of lightness to the interior of the house.
As disappointing as that was, I walked around the yard admiring how pretty it looked from down below. You can see a lot of ceiling from the ground. And all I saw was pristine white!
I mean… this is gorgeous. Translucent white didn’t look this white! It really is just jaw-dropping pretty!
So while still frustrated with myself, I decided to give it a fair chance.
Over the next 2 days, my mind started to change. Every time I looked at the roof from inside the house, I loved what I saw.
And slowly forgot about the increased darkness.
Then a big rain storm hit, and for the first time in years, no leaks! I felt so protected under that very pretty white roof!
Another possible perk about opaque white crossed my mind too.
Grit accumulates where the roof panels join, and with a translucent roof you really see it. And can’t clean it.
I have to wonder if the opaque white may hide it better…
So, here’s a little side-by-side comparison of the two plastic roofing choices so you can get a complete picture…
PVC roof panels
- Price efficient but doesn’t last as long as polycarbonate.
- I couldn’t find it in translucent white.
- Opaque white blocks all sunlight out, will darken interiors, but may hide grime, and looks much whiter than translucent white.
Polycarbonate roof panels
- Pricier but is guaranteed to last longer.
- Comes in translucent white, (and other colours) allowing 45% sunlight through.
- Clear is PVC protected, but doesn’t cut out the heat or brightness as much as translucent white.
So… what’s the right choice?
I personally think it’s a personal choice. Decide what your ultimate goal is, then do your homework on the roof panels… and read the fine print I didn’t.
And now that I have an opaque white pvc roof, will this choice ultimately be ok?
While I lost some sunlight, I gained a super pretty white ceiling with a stunning plantation vibe… which is much prettier than what I had.
Which leads me to think, maybe my mess-up is more of a dress-up after all…
And you can bet I’ll keep you posted as time goes on!
Do you have one of these roofs? Which did you pick? How do you like it?
Other updates done this summer:
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