And here we are with another edition of Sad Saturday where we keep it real and share the other side of DIY – the one that doesn’t always turn out! This time I’m sharing what happens when you try and go too cheap with an important project. This is definitely “live and learn.”
Half of our long front porch is covered by the roof. The other half was created as part of our garage conversion and has a lattice of 2 x 6s beams with 1 x 2s running sideways. I thought we could just leave the pergola look here, but we learned after a year that while it looks nice it lets sun and the famous Oregon rain beat down on our freshly painted railing and makes the porch slippery to walk on.
So, we decided to put Sun Tuf clear panels on top of the lattice. These panels let in light but screen out the damaging rays and, of course, keep off the rain. They’re not cheap ($20 for a 2′ x 8′ panel) but the alternative was to let the elements continue to damage the porch.
We needed to cover 24′ of porch, but only needed 6′ lengths. So we purchased 10 panels and had the home improvement store cut them to 6′. Our plan was to use the 2′ scraps to cover the final 4 feet of porch- and save a few bucks.
Clever, thrifty us.
And this is what it looked like. The porch was just about as wet as it had been with no expensive panels!
Where we’d saved money by piecing the panels, it was incredibly wet. Water dripped from a dozen places for seemingly no reason. We’d used special screws with rubber washers. All the panel pieces were overlapping each other just like roofing shingles. There was no reason water should have been running and dripping like there was no roof.
Then a friend explained that when water trickles down from one piece of paneling to the next, it will siphon itself back up between the pieces even though this means it’s running up hill. The more water, the more siphoning. And even though you’ve got a roof with no leaks, the water will come dripping off all the beams like a hydroponic garden.
Back to the store for more Sun Tuf panels. Sigh.