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Roofing plastic vs metal - Page 2

post #11 of 29

We went with the corrugated plastic. It is called "clear" but looks more blue-ish. We wanted to be sure the girls got enough light and thought it could be a source of passive solar heating in the winter.
We did not build out far enough for eaves! Now we have to add a gutter type thing of some sort to the low side.
Check where your drip line is gonna be! LOL!
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/70394_building_da_coop_day_2_8.jpg

Celia
Boyfriend, Yorkie and 2 Brahmas!

post #12 of 29

There are really THREE different things not just two: metal, or PVC plastic, or polycarbonate plastic.

PVC is about the cheapest. And with reason. It does not hold up well to hot or cold temperatures, is brittle and gets more so with age, carries no mfr warranty against hail, and has a short lifespan. Absolutely don't use it somewhere with real cold winters or in a situation where greenhouse-y heating will make it quite hot; and honestly I would not recommend it for most other applications either. Light-transmitting wall panels in a mild un-windy climate, maybe. Basically though it doesn't last well and so it quickly becomes a waste of money

Polycarbonate is generally around twice the price of PVC. It is great stuff, lasts a fairly long time (not *as* long as metal but metal can easily lasts as long as *you* do or longer tongue), withstands heat and cold without becoming especially brittle, typically is warranted against hail damage, and if you live in a snowy climate it is kind of nice how slippery the polycarbonate is (makes the snow slide off easily). I would recommend it in situations where you want a translucent or transparent panel.

HOWEVER YOU DO NOT want a ROOF to be clear, in almost any situation whatsoever. For a lot of reasons I won't take up space with here, No you cannot usually get useful wintertime heating from a clear roof -- there are other ways to do it, but not a clear roof. Translucent I am not sure about how it performs in a hot summer, I would *think* it would be undesirable but I don't know. I do like it for my run roof, though!

If you use either PVC or polycarbonate, YOU HAVE TO USE THE WAVY FILLER STRIPS. The reason: to avoid having the panels self-destruct due to thermal movement, you are required to predrill an extra-large hole for the screws. Because the rubber gaskets on the screws will not necessarily 100% waterproof these oversized holes, you don't want them in the valleys and must therefore screw through the *peaks*. But the roofing material is very soft and flexible and if you do not have the wavy filler strip underneath, you will either damage the roofing badly or it will be attached so loosely that wind easily rips it off. So the wavy filler strips ARE NOT OPTIONAL.

Metal roofing is generally partway between the cost of PVC and the cost of polycarbonate, depending on what gauge metal you have to use and whether you're getting plain galvanized vs paint-baked-on. It lasts virtually forever, certainly as long as you will ever need it to last and then some smile It is much more of a nuisance to cut than the plastic roofings are (you can just use *scissors* for them, woo hoo! Metal requires huge snips or a circular saw and many sparks and much noise), but not actually hard to work with. The metal itself gets hot in summer but I do not have personal experience with whether plastic roofs actually render a building any much cooler in hot-summer climates.

There used to also be fiberglass roofing panels, which were a pain (literally) to work with especially if they had started weathering but honestly I liked them and I wish they still manufactured them but I sure have not been able to find a source at least not in this part of Canada. I do not know how the price today would compare with pvc/polycarb/metal if they *did* still exist.

No matter whether you use PVC, polycarbonate or metal, be aware you will have a condensation/humidity problem if you do not insulate the underside of the roof if you're in a cold-winter climate. (Exception: if it's basically an open-air coop with MASSIVE amounts of ventilation).

Personally I think metal is the most sensible choice in most circumstances, unless you have spare change to stimulate the economy with and want to be all designer-y about how the coop looks. There are exceptions. For instance I used translucent (not clear) polycarb for the runs on the E side of my chicken building because they are shaded most of the day and can really really use the extra light; and I'm really happy with how it came out.

No matter what roofing you choose, READ THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS about what supporting structure it needs and exactly how to install it (including how much unsupported overhang you allow). Otherwise it voids warranties, weakens the roof, and makes it sometimes VERY vulnerable to blowing off or collapsing. I would hazard a guess that something like 1/3 or more of the BYC coops that I see pics of, that have metal or plastic roofing, have it installed INCORRECTLY. This drives me crazy.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

post #13 of 29

Definitely metal, yes, even in this warm climate.  For the house and sheds and everything else.  Around here probably 3/4 of the roofs are metal.  Make them white in a warm climate, of course.  And put the neoprene-rung screws on the flat part of the panel, no matter what the guy at the HD tells you.  Mine isn't even insulated.  I suppose it should be, but about 1/3 of my "walls" are hardware cloth, and I've seen condensation inside exactly once in three years.  Only thing I'd do differently:  more hardware cloth walls.

A project for this winter is to tear down a house that was built over 100 years ago.  We will be salvaging the metal roof.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Wow! Hmm lots to think about. I only have the choice of metal or plastic (whatever that means)   The roof will be green, and will be against plywood so it won't be letting light in no matter what color it is. It will have 4 windows, one on each side, along with the door. Also, my chickens are only in the coop for sleeping at night or laying eggs luckily weather in Sacramento is pretty mild when it comes to winters. Oh and the coop will be under day long shade for summer big_smile

I am so excited. We are painting the shutters green to match the roof. It is going to be so cute! And I told my Mom if we ever don't have chickens it would be an AWESOME dog house... I wish I had more money I would buy about 4 of them! lol. The guy is really nice too, which matters a lot. He is starting to build it today.

post #15 of 29

I'll bet the plastic is the inexpensive stuff Patandchickens was talking about; probably drops the price a bit for those interested in that, in the short run, anyway.

Hint:  when you pick it up, check the condition of the neoprene washers on the roof nails/screws.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #16 of 29

Metal's functionality will last much longer than plastic's functionality...especially in a harsh, hot, sun-rich climate.  But, when the time comes (and no recycling is done) and the building/structure is demolished, be it from storm, fire, old age, or whatever, the metal will slowly disintegrate back to the elements while the plastic clutters the environment with it's petroleum-based composition and will last for *many* years in the pollutant stage.

I simply don't like petro-plastic, though unfortunately I still use it as it's all around us in some form or another, but if I have the choice of something other than plastic I go with anything but plastic.   You've probably already heard of the Trash Vortex out in the Pacific .

Just something to think outside the box/coop about. wink

Best wishes,
Ed

Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
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Job 27:3-6   All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;  My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.  My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
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post #17 of 29

Thanks, PatandChickens, for that excellent pros and cons summary.

ShadeTreeGallery.com
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ShadeTreeGallery.com
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post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the wonderful input and opinions! They were very helpful smile I think I will be going with the metal roofing rather then plastic for the sake of life expectancy, and I will make a point to keep good venelation going to avoid overheating or something like that. Thanks again all!

post #19 of 29

Good job for making a solid, informed choice.  smile  I think you'll be pleased because, as you said, the metal will be long-lasting.  You also made a good point in that it will be well-shaded and will not be pounded by direct sunlight in the heat of summer.  I'm so excited for you!  Can't wait to see it.  Don't forget to post pics when it's up.  D

Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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post #20 of 29

We used clear vinyl PalRuf- very pleased at having dry birds and a pleasant run! This run is on the north side of a barn.
You can see how we did the work on my page- best to use 1 foot centers if for snow strength.
But if shade is the issue, I'd go either with opaque plastic or metal.


http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b132/LynneP/Barn%202008/RunPVCroofing.jpg


Edited by LynneP - 11/6/10 at 5:58am

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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