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Looks good. But will it last the winter? That’s the question.

So there’s the most recent addition to Ye Olde Wreck: a clear acrylic porch cover to keep the worst winter rains from blowing in under the front door.

So far so good and I look forward to sitting under it when the first gentle fall rains arrive. But will it last the winter? That’s the question.

The structure was designed to hold a 1/4-inch flat sheet of plexiglas that would bear up through a nuclear blast. Well, at least through the gale-force winds that sometimes clobber this very exposed corner. Substituting fragile corrugated acrylic was a risk. But I think you’ll understand my reasoning: Plexiglas, $250; acrylic, $10 at a builder’s garage sale.

Seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I saw it completed I bet The Wandering Monk $0.05 that the roof wouldn’t last the winter. He bet $0.25 that it would. We’ll see.

In any case, if the acrylic shreds, the structure can be retrofitted with the real deal later. Or I can slap a slab of plywood up there as a temporary solution.

Goofy rooflines in that area, too. Everywhere else I’ve managed to eliminate roof craziness over the five years I’ve been working on the house; but here we only managed to make the lines and overlaps more complicated.


  1. Joel
    Joel September 2, 2018 3:40 pm

    Still want to see a full picture of the new greenhouse window.

  2. Claire
    Claire September 2, 2018 4:43 pm

    You will, Joel. I just can’t say when. Finishing the exterior of the window will be among the last things I do this summer (after gutters & such). No idea at all when I’ll finish the inside of the window. This winter, I hope. Guess I could take some in-progress shots.

    You do see half of it in that photo, but it’s not a great view. Anyhow, the outside is less noticeable than the inside of the window.

  3. Bruce Edwards
    Bruce Edwards September 2, 2018 5:45 pm

    What about another layer or two of acrylic sheeting?

  4. Scott
    Scott September 2, 2018 6:30 pm

    I lived in Florida back in the late ’70s, and the roof of the screened in back porch was that green translucent corrugated plastic stuff. it went through quite a few storms without any damage. I also dropped A TV antenna on it from maybe 8 feet without any damage.

  5. Claire
    Claire September 2, 2018 7:13 pm

    I think the green stuff is heavier, Scott. And Bruce, I fear that more layers might just be more layers to shatter when the wind lifts it up. But we shall see …

  6. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 2, 2018 8:41 pm

    What about another layer or two of acrylic sheeting?

    Unless the edges are thoroughly sealed and the space between the layers filled with dry gas, you’ll get moisture by infiltration or condensation. Then you could get stuff you don’t want, growing there. Eventually, you will anyway.

    Like multiple-pane windows.

    a 1/4-inch flat sheet of Plexiglas
    OTOH if wind gets under the Plexiglas and lifts it, it’s a much heavier missile than the acrylic.

    The roof-line does look like some of the shapes my drafting prof used to torture us with. 😉

  7. Joel
    Joel September 3, 2018 5:40 am

    BTW I see the upper eaves all got painted as well. That’s on the road side of the house, isn’t it? So as far as the neighbors are concerned you’re approaching completion. I’ve said it before but they must love you.

  8. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson September 3, 2018 5:46 am

    Just glancing at the photo, not knowing the gauge of the acrylic, I’d say it will last years, until the UV rays ruin it. It looks like it’s screwed down between the corrugations, and every 12 inches or so along the perimeter. If it is also secured on the ‘rafters’, then the wind won’t find much to grab and rattle. That corrugation adds a lot of strength. I’m with the Monk.

  9. Claire
    Claire September 3, 2018 5:47 am

    Yup. That’s on the road side, and the neighbors do speak fondly. 🙂 Very observant of you, Joel.

    What you’re seeing are new cedar fascia boards (the dark blue). I’m currently caulking and painting new plywood soffit boards we placed under the eaves (which few neighbors will ever see and which I find a painful and tedious job). Finally come gutters, which in this climate will make a huge difference to the long-term health of the house and which will further change the look of the place.

  10. Shel
    Shel September 3, 2018 6:18 am

    I hadn’t paid attention to the roof before, but the word that leaps out at me is “character.” The place really has it.

  11. Pat
    Pat September 3, 2018 6:53 am

    The house is really looking good. I suspect you will have a grand housewarming some day — whether solicited or not.

  12. patrick fowler
    patrick fowler September 3, 2018 9:59 am

    Hi Claire, that orange and blue is really cool…Leo colors I think. I used them many times in the signmaking biz…have not seen those colors much in the last 10 years though. Your house is ” creative cool ” nice job…Patrick

  13. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 3, 2018 10:17 am

    Your house is ” creative cool ” nice job…


  14. progunfred
    progunfred September 3, 2018 11:12 am

    It’s even kinda cute. Nice.

    How loud will the rain be on that acrylic sheet?

  15. Claire
    Claire September 3, 2018 2:01 pm

    “How loud will the rain be on that acrylic sheet?”

    Probably pretty loud when it gets serious. But I won’t mind that at all. With the house so well insulated, I don’t hear rain on the roof as much as I’d like to. And if it makes too much noise, my bedroom’s on the opposite side of the building, so at least it won’t keep me awake at night.

    Thanks tor the comments & suggestions, guys.

    I also like the orange-blue combo, Patrick. The house has five exterior colors: yellow (actually khaki) for the body, pea green for soffits and skirting, maple red for doors and window trim, dark blue for main trim, and peacock blue for incidental trim. (According to the Monk, it all adds up to “Mexican.” Except, he adds, my colors aren’t bright enough for that.)

  16. Claire
    Claire September 4, 2018 8:01 am

    That’s good to hear, jc2k. It is polycarbonate, so we shall see. The video was impressive, but I wish they’d done tests other than for impact. I wonder how the stuff’ll hold up with high winds trying to lift its edges.

  17. Zendo Deb
    Zendo Deb September 4, 2018 10:47 am

    I would add a 45 degree support between the upright and that side roof support. Should be mostly out of the way over the handrail, and will add a ton of structural stability. (Triangles are much stronger than parallelograms for that kind of thing.)

  18. Zendo Deb
    Zendo Deb September 4, 2018 10:49 am

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the acrylic. They use that corrugated stuff on barns – for skylights – and for building greenhouses.

  19. […] never been entirely happy with the plan to paint the back door the same color as the trim. Looking at what Claire’s been doing with her house – she’s got three colors going on and it looks really good. Counting the white of the […]

  20. Gramma
    Gramma September 5, 2018 10:13 pm

    As I look closer at the panel, I wonder if a matching corrugated 2×2 or 2×3 might add rigidity and longevity. Mount one across each end, and another across the center support? Bolts and fender-worshers instead of screws?

    Rattling? Does motion increase fatigue in the plastic? (If I was forced to listen to rattling, I would probably fatigue the thing into the recycle bin.)

    Vent / pressure relief gusts by leaving a gap under the eaves? So the awning doesn’t connect directly to the outside wall(s)?

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