clear roof panels?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dftkarin, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Is there any type of clear or translucent roofing material that allows light to get into a coop but ALSO offers some insulation from both heat and (more importantly) cold. I'm in New England and still in the planning stages for my 5 hen coop but I would like to have a lot of light, a lot of ventilation possibilities (because its terrible hot and humid in the summer) but also be able to have it very insulated for the bitter cold of mid winter. Windows that open sound too tricky for my novice building skills - but maybe I could have permanent windows on one side and screened openings that I cover up during the winter months. Is there anything I could use for roofing that provides insulation by itself but still lets light in?
  2. well... think about what you would do for your own home... a skylight... or a series of them maybe from ebay, freecycle etc
  3. Featherland

    Featherland Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    I have 2 small skylights you can crank open for ventilation. They are a type that is used in travel trailers. In the winter at night I cover them on the inside for extra insulation.
  4. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    We're in the Pacific Northwest & doing a clear roof in the coop. We figured that the winters are mild enough & the summers rarelyu go above 85 that it would be really comfy for them. Besides, the coop is on our side yard on the property line so it'll need all the light it can get. We're hoping it'll keep the hens laying through the winter to havee 100% natural light for the full day (about 8 hrs in winter for us).
  5. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Songster

    May 23, 2008
    this is tricky, huh? i had it in my head to re-roof our existing structure with clear corrugated plastic or PVC roofing panels, then had a massive DUH! moment when i realized it was pointless to do that with insulation blocking all the light. i mean, i literally facepalmed at my own stupidity. and it's just not feasible in vermont to do without insulation, especially when you live on the side of a cold, windy mountain.

    for ventilation, i've got one open area along the roofline on the eastern side where we rarely have wind, plus two windows to be installed, plus two small vents. the windows are large in relation to the structure, second hand 12 pane glass, and will be installed on the south and west sides. in summer, when it's sweltery, those windows will be open 24/7 (with hardware cloth over the openings) and in winter they'll be closed and should provide plenty of light and passive solar heating. at least, that's the plan. the rest will be carefully closed up and insulated.

    other than double-pane skylights which would be hideously expensive (though you could probably dig some up used) and tricky to install properly to prevent leaks, i can't see any other way to bring light into a heavily insulated building. if anyone else has any brainwaves, i'll be eager to read them.
  6. MrGreenJeans

    MrGreenJeans In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2008
    You can check into corrugated polycarbonate panels - a quick google turned up this

    Looks to be a bit expensive, but it's basically the stuff they use for greenhouses. I'm not having much luck tho getting the R rating, but I'm pretty sure it's made to be frame mounted as a roof, wall, whatever.
  7. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Quote:That's what we used on our coop, but it got so hot inside that we switched to gray panels.

  8. We have winters like you and chose PalRUF, available at most hardware stores. You can see it on our hgome page below. We increased the required number of roof joists to 1' intervals in case of heavy snow load. Our run is at the northwest corner of our barn.[​IMG]
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    This is a stupid question I know, but why do you need lighting in the coop from the *roof* when you can just put windows (double-pane if you want) on the WALLS? Where they will not leak like a skylight would, nor lose as much heat as a single-thickness plastic-panel roof.

    I mean, it is not like you are trying to grow corn in there, 'just' chickens [​IMG]

    Sorry to be so dense,

  10. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Well, its partly because I can't imagine making windows that open and close so I assume that I'll have big open holes in the walls covered with hardware cloth (for ventilation) and in the winter I guess I'll cover up the holes with sheets of insulation and a board to keep it tight and draft-free? Also, because of the plan I have in my head for the coop - a lot of the secure enclosed area will be in the area under the roof, there won;t be much space to put windows on the short vertical walls of the roost area. The first story will be fenced in run, the second story will be secure roosting/nesting area. I'm totally new at this though, so maybe I'm not thinking straight.

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