Assembling the porch roof frame

Good progress on the porch roof today. It’s always nice to get to the assembly stage after spending days prepping the wood.

The wood-framed awning that we are adding to the tiny house is a translucent shade that I’ve been building in various forms for over 20 years. This frame of very high-quality 1 3/4 x 2’s is covered with a heavy duty white tarp that is stapled on tight and then sandwiched in place with battens. The result is a beautiful white translucent shade that doesn’t darken the porch or the tiny house.

The downside of this bright effect is that it comes with a lifespan of 2-4 years, although that might be less in our current parking space underneath the massive horse chestnut tree! This is one of several reasons that we have it on hinges so we can easily fold it down for cleaning or tarp replacement.

You could go with a heavy awning fabric here but you would lose the translucence and create a dark space. I’m still looking for a product that will let light through and last longer. I’ve considered sail cloth but I think it will get dirty over time. Polycarbonate is another option although not exactly the look that we want.

If you didn’t care about the darkening effect covering a frame like this in metal roofing would be very strong, last a long time and you could fold it down to protect the windows and the doors while driving or fold it down to lock up the entire front of the house.

After assembling the frame with 4 inch long screws and inch and 1 1/4 screws for the battens, we drove to get a length of half inch schedule 40 pipe that will sit below the main beam supporting the awning. We did this on the front porch of our big house and it gives an interesting Japanese-inspired effect that is also convenient for hanging things like plants or chairs. The only difficulty is that ever since the local steelyard got rid of all their salvage steel we have to buy new and strip off the lacquer so it will rust into the look that we like. Once again Liz comes to the rescue to complete this annoying and tedious task!

– Brian

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