Replacing a pvc patio roof

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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.

This post contains some Amazon affiliate links in which I earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases through these links, at no extra cost to you. Thank-you for helping to support my blog!

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

Roof story

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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.

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

But what to get next?

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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.

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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.

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

Roofing I used:

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12′ pvc opaque white roof panels (from Home Depot in Canada)

(But you’ll soon learn about my error in this choice…) 

Need a new porch roof? Learn with these tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate. Click to read the full tutorial.

Other main supplies used:

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Why spray painting the plastic support strips for a pvc opaque white patio roof is a good idea! Click to full tutorial.

About the plastic strips

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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 spray painting the plastic support strips for a pvc opaque white patio roof is a good idea! Click to full tutorial.

Much better!

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!

How to install plastic support strips for a pvc roof panels for a new patio roof. Click to full tutorial.

How to install plastic support strips for a pvc roof panels for a new patio roof. Click to full tutorial.

Attaching the plastic strips

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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!

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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.

GUT DROP.

I had assumed all white was translucent.

What do they say about assumptions again?

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

Why translucent is a perk to consider

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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.

 

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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.

Not exactly what this photographer who requires lots of natural light was hoping for.
Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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!

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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!

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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…

Roofing comparisons

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PVC roof panels

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  • 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

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  • 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?

Need a new affordable porch roof? Learn tips on replacing a pvc patio roof for a beautiful bright white plantation look! Includes pros, cons and info on pvc vs. polycarbonate, and what NOT to do! Click to read the full tutorial.

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:

diy screen door build

Screen door from scratch

Reclaimed wood garden walkway

shed black barn door with rusty junk hardware

Shave the Shed project

Visit many other unique DIY projects HERE

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Junk Drawer, Outdoors
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25 thoughts on “Replacing a pvc patio roof

  1. Donna, it’s gorgeous, and I think you found your silver lining 🙂
    I hope you have another area in your house that lets in lot’s of light.
    You sure have had a productive summer!

  2. The roof you picked is stunning; I love it! I think you made the right choice. But personally, I don’t know about the reduced light. I’d find that tough (but that’s because I have a small dark house!). If I was going to do this, I’d probably try to work a compromise; i.e. install in a section with a clear ‘skylight’.

    • Thanks Sara. The first thing my contractor suggested was to add 2-3 clear panels so I get a little of both. But he can’t guarantee they’d be lined up with the rafters underneath. I’m too OCD to not have them line up! haha

      In a perfect word, I could have clear all winter, then 2 months out of the summer, opaque white. Part 2 is yet to be determined…

  3. I think your roof is beautiful. Just add a couple strings of pretty outdoor lights for evenings or not so sunny days. It is true that building materials are taking an extra long time to arrive. We’ve been waiting about a month for a new shower/tub combo to come in for a local home improvement company to install in our second bath. Luckily we have a second shower in another bathroom to use while we wait.

    • Thanks Sharon, it really truly is pretty to look at! And a big yes to checking out some string lights. I had them on my last roof and never turned them on because they were too bright. I’m going to attempt to find some lower wattage solar types this round perhaps… doubt they come in white though so I’ll have to paint that too!

      Can someone please just invent white stuff? Ok, I will. LOL

    • You are absolutely right Toni. It’s a really HOT back yard all summer long with no tree protection for the house and my 2nd story gets VERY hot.

      I’m just uncertain if I want to pay this high of a darkness price 10 months out of the year for 2 months of heat relief. haha (groan…)

      • Donna, all of your summer projects look wonderful! I especially love the patio. I would eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner out there as long as I could. I hope you’re correct about the opaque not showing the seam grime. That would bother me.

        I look forward to your next project. You’re very inspiring! I need to get to work on my own new home.

  4. WOW! That turned out beautiful. I love it. I’d be out there all there. I always thought this was downstairs. Is this off your bedroom?

  5. Hi Donna,
    When I had a back porch roof of metal panels it made my house very dark, too. Instead of changing out the whole roof, I replaced every other panel with a clear panel which made the inside much brighter. Maybe you could do something similar…?
    Emily

    • Thanks Emily! Yes, my roofer had suggested that as well, but he felt it would be really tricky getting the panels to line up with the framework underneath… which I would need thanks to my OCD! haha It’s certainly a great thought though! I’ll give it a little more time to see how it plays out first. Honestly, I’m nearly use to it…

  6. Donna, love the new roof, so fresh.
    Try “daylight” bulbs inside to help on dark days.
    You are definitely an inspiration.

  7. Aaaiiiii, I feel your pain, Donna. We have so many large beautiful trees in our yard, which is a blessing with the temps here in South Africa, but it does mean our house is pretty dark. And when we built our patio, we originally choose translucent panels too, but they always looked so messy from the leaves and whatever elephants were roosting in the trees 😀 Anyhows, we saved up and had one of those metal roofs put up. The ones where you can open the panes/shutters/panels (no idea what the right word is). It was a lot more expensive, but it made so much difference. Enjoy your new beautiful plantation-style roof. It looks gorgeous.

  8. We have sections of translucent panels in our indoor riding arena. They are at the top of the walls where the wall and roof meet. Their purpose is to let light in. Beautiful the first year but then they yellow from the sun and not so pretty. Less light comes in now that they have yellowed also. Your new roof is beautiful!

  9. Wow, just started following your story, what an inspiration. And such talent! And that you are a local gal, so much the better for me.
    We have recently purchased a cabin at Cultus Lake that is in need of much work. Thankfully my hubby has that skill set. (I’m the designer/landscaper/and helper.)
    We have a pvc patio roof similar to yours that we will need to replace. With a small cabin and not a lot of windows I think I’ll have to go with the translucent pvc. Love the details of your blog- we will follow it this spring when we work on the exterior.
    Looking forward to digging more into your blog posts.
    PS- I love getting out on my bike too; clears the head.

    • Congrats on the cabin!! My absolute dream right there…

      If you go to the clear, I’d recommend to avoid the PVC and go polycarbonate. It apparently lasts a lot longer and the pvc clear may yellow. Not sure how long mine will last so I guess we’ll see if I made another mistake! haha oh boy…

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