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Translucent Material For Carport Roof?


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Hi

Considering a new custom carport and want a translucent roof. Questions:

1. Does anyone have any recommendations for a material?

2. Can anyone recommend a contractor?

3. What sort of cost are we we talking for a wood structure, roughly 22x20 feet?

Thanks

For #3, for a wood structure carport addition attached to an existing structure, a custom builder will probably start around $7000-8000 and go up depending on features (electrical, lighting, types of materials, etc.). For #1, you could incorporate filtered skylights into the roof, not sure exactly what you mean about translucence.

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For #3, for a wood structure carport addition attached to an existing structure, a custom builder will probably start around $7000-8000 and go up depending on features (electrical, lighting, types of materials, etc.). For #1, you could incorporate filtered skylights into the roof, not sure exactly what you mean about translucence.

Thanks. Basically any durable material that will admit light - glass probably overkill, but I've heard of something called thinwall. I'd like it to double up as a patio and Im thinking having ambient light overhead would make it a more attractive space.

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Hi

Considering a new custom carport and want a translucent roof. Questions:

1. Does anyone have any recommendations for a material?

2. Can anyone recommend a contractor?

3. What sort of cost are we we talking for a wood structure, roughly 22x20 feet?

Thanks

I've worked with Professional Plastics before and gotten very good results on a large order of acrylic plastic to use as windows and garage door panels. You might drive out to their showroom off of Beltway 8 in Stafford and check out their samples and also some of the odds and ends that they've got on their factory floor.

In particular, I'd recommend getting a matte finish on one side, which would face down, helping to diffuse the light. The shiny side can face up, toward the sky, and hopefully reflect more light and heat. The wonderful thing about colored acrylic is that at sunrise and sunset, it'll gather up and diffuse all the stray photons with enough intensity it that lumineces. My two dozen three-eights-inch milky-white garage door panels would light up a 5,000-square-foot interior space, and if I recall correctly, the plastic material only cost me about $640, cut to spec. Your surface area is a bit larger, but if you screw in the sheets atop a wood frame, you might be able to get by with a slightly thinner material. (Of course, that may affect the luminosity.)

Edited by TheNiche
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I've worked with Professional Plastics before and gotten very good results on a large order of acrylic plastic to use as windows and garage door panels. You might drive out to their showroom off of Beltway 8 in Stafford and check out their samples and also some of the odds and ends that they've got on their factory floor.

In particular, I'd recommend getting a matte finish on one side, which would face down, helping to diffuse the light. The shiny side can face up, toward the sky, and hopefully reflect more light and heat. The wonderful thing about colored acrylic is that at sunrise and sunset, it'll gather up and diffuse all the stray photons with enough intensity it that lumineces. My two dozen three-eights-inch milky-white garage door panels would light up a 5,000-square-foot interior space, and if I recall correctly, the plastic material only cost me about $640, cut to spec. Your surface area is a bit larger, but if you screw in the sheets atop a wood frame, you might be able to get by with a slightly thinner material. (Of course, that may affect the luminosity.)

Thanks a lot - very informative!

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Do you mean something like this?

http://www.palramamericas.com/

A carport should not run as high as $7,000-8,000, unless you are planning a really topshelf unit. You can build a fully enclosed 20x20 garage for under $10,000. You should be able to build a very nice carport for $5,000 or possibly less.

I'd use it for entertaining as well so I'd like to have at least some nice features/lighting incorporated.

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A carport should not run as high as $7,000-8,000, unless you are planning a really topshelf unit. You can build a fully enclosed 20x20 garage for under $10,000. You should be able to build a very nice carport for $5,000 or possibly less.

That's what I read into it. A fully built-out wood-framed 2-vehicle carport that's harmonious with the house -- including a gabled roof, roofing, painting, siding under the gable, and electrical for lighting and/or ceiling fans would start in that range. There are certainly cheaper ways to go, although this often means lower-quality structures that may detract from the property.

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That's what I read into it. A fully built-out wood-framed 2-vehicle carport that's harmonious with the house -- including a gabled roof, roofing, painting, siding under the gable, and electrical for lighting and/or ceiling fans would start in that range. There are certainly cheaper ways to go, although this often means lower-quality structures that may detract from the property.

Eh, you're probably right. I was looking at the way I do it, with my free architect, who is forced to draw for beer, subs who I hire myself, and some of the work done by me. I tend to forget that a lot of people...even most...are allergic to power tools. That being said, there are a lot of hungry contractors out there. Even a nice place should be able to be negotiated down a bit.

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Only downside of the acrylic plastic is it doesn't hold up well in hurricanes. I covered a patio one time and there was nothing left after the storm. It is easy to work with though if your doing it yourself.

Hurricane or not, plastic will degrade over time in the sun anyway. becoming brittle, discoloring etc.

At one time my parents had some corrugated fiberglass roofing over the patio. I can't remember if it lasted through Alicia or not. Regardless, it can crack if something falls on it with enough force.

I think either way, if the material is light enough, hurricane force winds will be bad regardless of the material, you could build it stronger (sandwiching the roofing material between wood, rather than just attaching the roofing material to the frame.

With material you can see through, you should expect to need to clean it, algae, mold, mildew, leaves, dirt, it will all be there, and you will notice.

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Hurricane or not, plastic will degrade over time in the sun anyway. becoming brittle, discoloring etc.

At one time my parents had some corrugated fiberglass roofing over the patio. I can't remember if it lasted through Alicia or not. Regardless, it can crack if something falls on it with enough force.

I think either way, if the material is light enough, hurricane force winds will be bad regardless of the material, you could build it stronger (sandwiching the roofing material between wood, rather than just attaching the roofing material to the frame.

With material you can see through, you should expect to need to clean it, algae, mold, mildew, leaves, dirt, it will all be there, and you will notice.

My 3/16"-thick acrylic windows have held up through some pretty severe storms. The important thing is to be wary of creating an aerofoil. But that's hard to avoid with carports, whether with acrylic, fiberglass, plywood, or sheet metal. It's the nature of the beast. FWIW, acrylic is more dense than plywood; if its somewhat thick and well-fastened, you shouldn't have any more of a problem than with typical construction methods.

So far, I haven't had any maintenance issues other than water spots. The manufacturer warns that abrasion by dust in the atmosphere will create the appearance of scratches. But there is a chemical that repairs those scratches. If it were ABS plastic, like my kayak, you'd have to worry about sun damage. But as I've found out, there's a chemical that takes care of that too.

There are a few things I'd be careful about with acrylinc. One is making sure that the structure provides adequate support to keep it from drooping in between. This means that the thinner the material, the more close together your cross-bracing will need to be. Ask your sales rep for manufacturer's guidelines. Another thing is to make sure that there is a slope that allows for water from above to go where ever you want it too. And lastly, be aware that the acrylic will expand and contract as it heats and cools; so will your wood or steel structure! Become familiar with the coefficients of expansion for your building materials and build to tolerances that are reasonably accommodating; you can always apply more silicone caulk.

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Lexan or Polygal. Polygal is probably the better bet for this type of structure. Either is WAY better than acrylic plexiglass.

go to www.regal-plastics.com

They are on Wirt between Katy Freeway and Longpoint.

Lexan is several times as expensive, scratches more easily, and yellows in the sun. Use a thin sheet of Lexan if you want to do a barrel roof design (which could be cool) or a thicker sheet if you want your carport to be bullet resistant (which would be dumb).

Due to its double-wall or triple-wall design, Polygal is well-suited to applications where rigidity and insulation is a big concern. If you wanted a light-diffusing alternative to sheet rock, Polygal would be the go-to material. But it's not inherently attractive, and your aesthetic options are more limited.

I say, stick with acrylic. Oh, and as a disclaimer...I don't work for a plastics firm. I was just a customer, one time, who happened to be taking the lead on this aspect of a construction project for a property that I own.

Edited by TheNiche
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