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Low-cost deck roof construction

  1. Nov 13, 2015 #1

    DaveC426913

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    I'm looking to roof over my backyard deck. I have particular desires for it.
    It must
    - let in light
    - be rainproof
    - not reflect sound well
    - be bug-unfriendly (more on this)

    Most of the materials that are transparent and rainproof are also hard, and thus reflect sound efficiently, meaning it definitely sounds like you're under a roof. This defeats the purpose of being outdoors.

    As for bug-unfriendly, it merely needs to be not impossible to clean.

    One thing I've thought of is to use Palram acrylic panels:
    SUNGLAS_Page(1).jpg
    I've got them over my carport now. They're OK but very noisy.

    I thought of hanging a layer of canvas panels to dampen the sound, but then they become bug magnets (got LOTS of spiders already, putting up a gap like this will fill with spiders until the roof is opaque!) So it's got to be arranged in a way that doesn't encourage webs, and also allows the webs to be cleaned.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2015 #2

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm assuming that the roof slopes away from the house, with joists that are perpendicular to the house wall, and slope down. You could close off the space between the joists by nailing plywood to the bottom edges of the roof joists. That should seal the spaces well enough that creepy-crawlies can't get inside the closed-off area.

    You should use the wavy wood strips (closure strips, in either wood or plastic) across the tops of the joists (and perp. to them) to nail the acrylic panels to.
    ClosureStrip.jpg
     
  4. Nov 13, 2015 #3

    DaveC426913

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    Sorry. I see I have been ambiguous.

    There is a roof, but no walls. The sides are entirely open to the elements.

    ("No walls?? But that's going to let in all but the very largest of spiders" you say...)

    Well, yes. I'm not trying to keep them out. I'm simply trying to not give them a big, foot-deep, protected, stagnant airspace (such as one might find between a hard roof and a suspended layer of canvas) that they could flock to and fill with their webs and egg sacs. And if they do, at least the roof can be easily cleaned with a broom.

    Yes. I use them on my carport, to screw the panels into.
     
  5. Nov 13, 2015 #4

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    I wasn't assuming there were walls. The house I used to live in had a roof over the patio. What I described was closing off the space between the roof joists using plywood. I think you could seal off that space well enough that spiders couldn't get in, using, say, silicone caulk. I wouldn't recommend just tacking a layer of canvas, as you described. Your roof does have joists, right?

    Edit: It slipped my mind that you wanted the roof to let in light, and obviously a sheet of plywood on the underside of the joists would block that light. What about blocking off most of the undersides of the joists with plywood, but leaving a few square feet open, but covered with screening? One or two openings the width of a joist opening by a couple of feet long would let in some light, and should be less noisy that having the underside completely open.

    It seems to me that you have conflicting requirements - admit light but cut down sound, not admit spiders, but admit light. Possibly you could cover the underside with a layer of clear corrugated acrylic panel, but seal it off well.
     
  6. Nov 13, 2015 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Thus, the resortation to PF. :wink:

    The corrugated acrylic panel is the stuff that is noisy.
     
  7. Nov 13, 2015 #6

    DaveC426913

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    You know what? The whole spider issue is throwing things off.

    I want a roof that
    - lets in light
    - doesn't let in rain
    - deadens sound, so it doesn't sound like I'm under a giant sheet of corrugated acrylic
     
  8. Nov 13, 2015 #7

    Mark44

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    From my previous post:
     
  9. Nov 13, 2015 #8

    Mark44

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    What is the source of the sound that's being reflected?
     
  10. Nov 13, 2015 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Voices, glasses on tables, moving chairs, forks on plates.

    The sound of being under a reflecting ceiling is antithetical to the experience of being outdoors.

    (Though being dry when it is raining is not.)
     
  11. Nov 13, 2015 #10

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    In essence, being under a roof is antithetical to the experience of being outdoors, as you can't feel the rain fall on you. IMO you need to decide whether having light is more important than having a quiet roof.
     
  12. Nov 13, 2015 #11
    Have you conidered an awning, such as the old fashioned roll out/roll up type?
     
  13. Nov 13, 2015 #12

    DaveC426913

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    This is the 21st century. I should be able to have the good without the bad.

    (Not that I mind the rain, but my laptop does, and my cigar does.)

    Well, not so much with the letting the light in. The deck is about 16 feet square.
     
  14. Nov 13, 2015 #13

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    To paraphrase our own LCKurtz, your deck roof can be "cheap, quiet, or well-lit. Pick any two."
     
  15. Nov 14, 2015 #14

    DaveC426913

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    You give up too easily. :wink:
     
  16. Nov 14, 2015 #15

    CWatters

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    Pitched tiled roof with domed light pipes.
     
  17. Nov 14, 2015 #16

    DaveC426913

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    I had forgotten that low-cost was implied (via the thread title) as a criterion.
    Let's remove that constraint. Let's change it to 'reasonable' cost. (So vibranium / transparent aluminium is still off-the-table, but otherwise...)
     
  18. Nov 14, 2015 #17

    Mark44

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    What about my suggestion in post #4 and again in post #7, sort of making a skylight?
     
  19. Nov 15, 2015 #18

    DaveC426913

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    How does making the skylight small solve anything? Why can't I just make the whole roof a skylight?
     
  20. Nov 15, 2015 #19

    CWatters

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    Light pipes (aka sun tubes) have some length to them that helps reduce noise compared to a thin single sheet.
     
  21. Nov 15, 2015 #20

    DaveC426913

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    But my roof has theoretically zero depth. Why would I need a sun tube?
     
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