Modular polycarbonate panel system used to cover suitably built structure. Used to protect open spaces or as insulated roofs for sunrooms or solariums. Strength depends on sub-structure – we do not offer the support system. Offered in clear, semi-clear, and several tints. Can be installed by us or a DIY kits.
Open air pergolas are useful in the summer, but less so when weather turns bad. If you have an open air pergola and want protection from the elements this is a practical, long term and inexpensive solution. The insulated panels also protect from direct sunlight with available solar reflective layer on translucent “ice” panels, so you could sit comfortably under the midday sun. Correctly installed, the cover is train and snow proof, so the pergola can double as a storage place in winter.
Panels come in several thicknesses, depending on the required strength and snow load. Installation uses couplers that allow for thermal expansion – similar concept as our self supporting roofs. Couplers are either snap together soft polycarbonate at clear or matching finishes, or aluminum mechanical connectors for larger applications. See more details in the FAQ tab.
See respective tabs for components and FAQ.
PCC05 – pergola cover installed on existing joists.
PCC10 – pergola cover installed on existing joists.
PCC20 – clear polycarbonate roof installed for an enclosed configuration.
PCC120 – note the blocks between the joists.
PCC130- open air pergola cover installed over purlins.
PCC140- open air pergola cover installed over purlins. Note the wall plate.
PCC145 – ice – semi clear pergola cover
PCC150 – added cross trim to an open wood pergola.
PCC160 – ice polycarbonate cover over steel structure.
PCC170 – open end pergola cover.
PCC180 – free standing pergola covered.
PCC180 – BBQ cover.
PCC 190 – hot tub permanent cover.
PCC200 – ‘Ice’ cover. Allows lite through, yet protects from the sun.
PCC210 – polycarbonate cover over existing steel structure. Noe that the joint falls in between the joists.
PCC215 – semi clear pergola cover
PCC220 – panel installation, bottom view.
PCC230 – irregular shaped second floor deck, covered with clear multiwall polycarbonate.
PCC230 – installation, top view.
PCC240 – top view, installed pergola cover, using poly snap couplers.
PCC 245 – multiwall polycarbonate cover, showing coupler lines and keeper washers in between.
PCC250 – top view using Ultrajoint aluminum couplers.
PCC500 – 10mm (3/8″) panel cross section.
PCC510- 16mm (5/8″) panel cross section.
PCC520 – clear and translucent “ice” panels.
PCC530- tinted and translucent “ice” panels
PCC540 – 10 mm (3/8″) soft snap couplers.
PCC550 – 16 mm (5/8″) snap couplers.
PCO560 – snap cover install detail.
PCC590 – Ultrajoint – hard coupler, aluminum coupler detail.
PCC600 – schematic Ultrajoint – hard coupler, aluminum coupler detail.
PCO610 keeper washer installed
PCO620 – multiwall polycarbonate panel with installed breather tape.
Pergola cover frequently asked questions
- What is this product?
Multiwall polycarbonate sheet.
- What is it not?
It is not the corrugated fiberglass sheet you find at the home stores. It is also not acrylic sheets or glass.
- If it is not corrugated, what is it?
It is a double or triple wall sheet.
- How do the prices compare?
Prices are much more expensive than the fiberglass and slightly more expensive than the acrylic.
- What is wrong with acrylic?
Nothing,, just not good for this use. Acrylic is good for jewelry display boxes or to make synthetic fiber. Polycarbonate is used for mission critical products – eyeglasses, cellphone bodies, aircraft windows, to name just a few.
- What about glass?
Exposed woodwork is bound to shift and warp. Glass does not take this well, it will at best open at the joints, and altogether crack. Further, glass’ heavy weight comes on account of structure load resistance, so for same snow load it will need a stronger structure. Lastly, for DIY -in untrained hands glass will not end well.
- What is this product used for?
To cover open air structures, such as pergolas.
- Is it available with prefabricated support?
Yes. It is a different category product, see our clear roofs page.
- How strong is the material?
Sheets are made from polycarbonate resin. Polycarbonate resin is inherently stronger than both glass and acrylic. Polycarbonate is 200 times stronger than glass and is 30 times stronger than acrylic, and about 15 times stronger than modified impact acrylic.
- Notwithstanding the above, panels are as strong as the supporting structure. Can be installed over a proper structure with joist centers commonly up to 24”.
What it means is that the support structure does the heavy lifting, while the panels rest on it. Similar to an aircraft wing, where the thin metal sheet is braced by the strong skeleton within.
- Can I walk on the sheets?
No. Use a board – plywood sheet – if you need to walk on top. Use a blanket in between so sheets will not get scratched.
- What thicknesses are available?
- We carry 10mm (3/8”) and 16mm (5/8”). This addresses most requirements. Other thicknesses are available, from 6mm (1/4”) to 32mm (1 ¼”).
- What is the weight of the sheet?
10mm:- .35 lbs / SQFT; 16mm: .55 lbs / SQFT.
- What thickness do I need?
For 12” to 16” joist centers and a generous slope you may use 10mm thick panels. For wider joists centers and minimal slope we recommend 16mm thick panels. We do not recommend exceeding 24” joist centers.
- What about overhang?
Material needs support, so can not be extended past the support structure either to the sides or the front.
- What finishes are available?
Clear, ice and tinted. All are ribbed, meaning that the clear does not block any light but will obscure the sight. See pics on main page for samples.
- What is in a kit?
Kit includes the following:
- Multiwall polycarbonate sheets to cover the specified area.
- Soft couplers at stock lengths or precut.
- Edge trim – a ‘C’ channel to finish around the perimeter.
- Breather tape – pressure sensitive adhesive tape, to be mounted on the front and rear end of the panels. This will stop bugs from getting into the cavities, yet allows the panels to breath.
- Rubber-head keeper washers.
- What size are the panels?
We stock multiwall polycarbonate panels at 4’ wide and up to 22’ long. Kit will be cut to size per your measurements, at multiplications of 4’ wide. Can be sulloed up to 48’ long. 6’ wide panels are available as well at same price, but are subject to a minimum order size and longer delivery time. Also they are awkward to work with. Panels can be easily cut on site to final measurements.
- What do width and projection mean?
Width is on the house wall, projection is from the wall out.
- I have a free standing pergola, which are the width and projection?
The pergola slopes on the projection; the width is parallel to the ground.
- You show aluminum – hard – couplers and soft couplers. Which do I need?
For most common installations soft couplers will do. We recommend hard couplers for enclosed areas such as solarium and sunroom roofs or for extreme installations.
- Will it fade?
No. One side, which is clearly marked, is UV resistant. Install this side up.
- Will it yellow?
No. Acrylic panels like Perspex may yellow, this is polycarbonate, like Lexan.
- What is the warranty?
Ten years, provided installed correctly.
- Is my existing wood pergola suitable?
To demonstrate, in Toronto area snow load is calculated at 27 PSF. If your pergola is 10’x10’, to comply with code it needs to carry 2,700 lbs. Not a typo. Open-air pergolas are not built to carry load, so a regular pergola is most likely unsuitable. Further, pergola needs to be well anchored to resist wind load, else it will fly away at first storm. Top of the pergola needs to slope to allow water and snow to slide off. Most open air pergolas tops are level, in which case they cannot be covered without modification. If building a new pergola or modifying existing one make sure your carpenter is aware of all that.
- Can the pergola reinforced and slopped?
Get a verdict from a qualified carpenter.
- My pergola has unequal joist centers, or the joists do not fall under the coupler. Can the coupler be bid air?
Can be, but not recommended and difficult to install. Most likely will need purlins.
- Will it leak?
No, if properly installed.
- Can I caulk the edges to wall or between panels?
No. material expansion / contraction cycle will tear off the caulking bead.
- How do I clean it?
Rinse with water will remove most dirt. Else use warm mild dish soap, gently wipe with a soft cloth, rinse and dry with a soft cloth to prevent water spotting. DO NOT use sponges, squeegees, brushes or sharp instruments as they may damage the UV protective coating.
- What is my area snow load?
We have load tables for Ontario so we can help. For other provinces / states please consult your local municipality or search online.
- Do you provide pergola specifications?
No. A competent carpenter will do, or you may hire a designer to do so. We may assist with guidelines.
- Can I remove the panels for the winter?
You could, but we do not recommend it. The couplers are made for a single snap, so you will require new couplers every season.
- My pergola has lattice purlins for shade. Can I install the panels over it?
Not recommended. Best is to remove the top woodwork and install the panels over the joists. Purlins may prevent joists from warping, so we recommend installing spacer blocks in between the joists.
- Can I install it myself?
If you have DIY experience and trust yourself to do so you’ll find it surprisingly easy.
- How many people are needed to install?
Panels are feather light. However they are cut to length so may be awkward for one person to handle.
- Can it be installed over a BBQ or fireplace?
If at good height, you may.
- Does it come with a gutter?
No. A third party gutter can be attached to existing woodwork.
- What tools do I need?
Drill, level, measuring tape and a mallet. If needs cutting use a suitable blade and brace the panel so will not vibrate. Test cut before final cut.
- What else do I need?
You’ll need to buy wood or metal screws to mount the panels. Ensure that screw head is bigger than the washers’ hole. Flashing where it meets the wall is a good idea. You may find same at the big box home stores.
- Are installation instructions available?
- What about shipping?
Our prices exclude shipping. Note that product is not shipping friendly and need to be well packed which adds to shipping costs. We may quote shipping quote upon request.
- Can I haul it myself?
You need a proper vehicle or trailer, or rent a truck. Note that panels are cut to your measurements so can be long. Carrying on roof racks can be done if supported by some 2×4’s and well tied together; else, the wind will bend it.
- How long does it take to get it?
Stock items about ten working days. Non-stock items 3-4 weeks.
- How will it fit with the rest of my house decor?
We don’t know.
If you need information that is not given here, please email us and will reply and update the list.