Clear roofs, non-insulated
Engineered, clear non-insulated roofs. Used to protect open spaces such as patios, balconies or carports, allowing light under it and into the house. Made of multiwall polycarbonate or glass. Clear, semi-clear (‘ice’) or tinted finishes. Can be combined with solid roof sections to reduce costs. Supplied with or without support posts. Can be installed year-round. Offered with installation service or DIY kits. All use a common support system made of prefabricated industrial grade aluminium: posts, cross beam and joists system. See our roof primer section for detailed information and comparison with the other roof products we carry. This page refers to clear covers installed with a support system – posts and frame. For covers over existing structures such as pre-built pergolas – see our pergola cover section.
Our glazing method differs from other systems available in the market place as we offer a continuous glass pane up to 14′ long. This way, using no purlins, the roof has a cleaner look, no ice dams, snow slides down undisturbed and therefore no leaks. We offer two glazing methods: laminated glass and tempered glass. Both in single pane configuration.
Laminated glass – a safety glass made of two layers that keep together even when cracked. In the event of breaking, layers are held in place by an interlayer sheet, typically of polyvinyl butyric (PVB), between its two or more layers. The interlayer high strength prevents the glass from breaking up into sharp pieces. This produces a characteristic “spider web” cracking pattern upon impact. The overall thickness of the single pane glass we use is approximately 7mm. The PVB bonding sheet is invisible through the glass can be noticeable only from the side of a cut sheet. This is best to protect from falling objects it is used in most applications. Similar glass is used in some car windscreens and as large commercial glazing. Glass panels can be made to 8′ long, so roofs using these options are limited to 8′ projection. It is also more expensive than tempered glass or multiwall polycarbonate.
Laminated glass edge, note the bonding interlayer in between the glass layers. Typical shuttered laminated glass.
Tempered glass – the common safety glass found in your smartphone screen, glass tables and furniture, bus stops, some car windscreens, cookware, and glass doors. It is made of annealed glass sheets that are heat tempered in a kiln, so ends up harder and stronger than regular (annealed) glass. Tempered glass takes much more abuse than annealed glass – it is up to six-time stronger. If brakes, it shatters into small particles rather than spikes at the annealed glass, so is relatively harmless. Tempered glass panes can be made to 14′ long. They cost about the same as the multiwall polycarbonate sheets. However, they are awkward to handle, susceptible to breakage in an untrained hand and need special crating when shipped. We do not recommend this glass for DIY projects.
Typical cracked tempered glass.
Construction – Glass is mounted on an engineered ‘T’ bar system, supported by 3″ aluminium square tubing system and crossbeam. All engineered to withstand snow and wind load. A Standard non-insulated glass roof system comes with a gutter at the front end. The Wall hanger has a sway to compensate if the foundation heaves. See the self-install tab for more information.
Self install – we do not recommend a glass roof for DIY projects. Glass is difficult to handle at best of times, so a typical panel of say 10′ long, 6mm thick that weighs 200 lbs will crack just for looking at it. For self-install projects we recommend using polycarbonate sheets, they are feather light and can be tossed around without damage.
Insulated glass roofs – we also offer an insulated glass roof system. Here support sections – posts and cross beams are similar to the non-insulated. Joists and wall hanger are thermally broken. We suggest using this system only if the covered area is enclosed or will be so in the future. Else there is little benefit using this. See our insulated clear roof page for more details.
CRN10 – clear glass roof.
CRN20 – clear glass roof, side view.
CRN30 – clear glass roof, front end.
CRN40 – clear glass roof, viewed from below.
CRN50 – gable style clear glass roof.
CRN60 – glass roof attached to side fascia.
CRN70 – blue tint glass roof without gutter.
CRN80 – blue tint glass roof bottom view.
CRN90 – clear glass patio cover.
CRN100- detail of clear glass patio cover.
CRN110 – Laminated glass roof. No gutter.
CRN120 – Laminated glass roof. With gutter.
Multiwall polycarbonate roofing is the most popular system used. Feather-light panels, yet strong and can take more abuse than glass. Offered in wide selections of finishes, where it can be installed up to 24′ projection as a continuous panel, no joints, while glass can not exceed 14′. At most areas can be installed up to 14′ projection with simple span support, which answers most of the residential needs. Panels are UV protected so will not be harmed by the sun, and unlike acrylic panels will not lose their lustre. Further, some finishes are UV reflective, meaning protecting you from UV. See more in our polycarbonate section. Our polycarbonate clear patio cover systems come in two flavours:
- Standard structure, non-insulated, continues joist system. The structure is not thermally broken. This is used for open areas, no walls intended. The system is water and leak-proof but not airtight. The system uses 3/8″ (10mm) honeycomb or multiwall polycarbonate sheets at continuous length to the full roof projection. Finishes available: clear, ice and tinted. All-aluminum support structure is made of 3″ posts, 4″ “I” cross beam, integral gutter at front. 6″ HD “I” beam available for extreme configurations. Posts, beams and joists offered in white or black. Custom colours available.
- Thermally broken joists, used for insulated roofs, both water and airtight. Use this system for a structure where sidewalls may be added at a later stage to create an enclosed room. Panels offered in 5/8″ (16mm) and 1-1/4″ (32mm) thick multiwall panels, available in clear, ice and tinted finishes. All-aluminum supports structure is made of pre-printed 3″ square posts and cross beams. Posts offered in white, sand, bronze and black, roof joists in white and sand.
Colours and finishes – all panels are ribbed. The clear panel, while clear of colour still obstructs the view. The best overall performer is the ‘ice’ finish, allowing plenty of light, yet blocks the sun and hides the twigs and dead insects that find their final rest on the roof. A word for the wise – our product is polycarbonate, not acrylic. While the two materials are similar in appearance, strength and durability are much different, as well as price. See our polycarbonate section for more.
CRN210 – clear and ice finishes – polycarbonate multiwall sheets. Note the ribs on the clear panel.
CRN220 – multilayer polycarbonate sheets, different thickness and colours.
CRN230 – standard system. Clear polycarbonate patio cover.
CRN240 – standard system. Clear polycarbonate patio cover.
CRN250 -standard system. Clear roof over basement entrance.
CRN245 – clear polycarbonate roof over a deck.
CRN260- standard system. Clear insulated roof over open space, top view.
CRN270 – thermally broken system, ,translucent “ice” polycarbonate roof, insulated panels and structure shown.
CRN280 -thermally broken system, translucent “ice” polycarbonate back entrance cover, insulated panels and structure shown.
CRN290 – thermally broken system, a clear insulated roof over open space, bottom view.
CRN300 – non-insulated clear patio cover, free standing.
CRN300 – clear polycarbonate cover over basement stairs entrance.
CRN310 – front clear patio cover.
CRN330 – clear multiwall polycarbonate basement entrance cover.
CRN340 – second floor balcony cover, solved water leaks on ceiling beneath.
CRN350 – front porch cover, note hanging on fascia board. Requires reinforcing to support roof.
CRN360 – Multiwall polycarbonate roof over elevated deck.
CRN370 – Multiwall polycarbonate roof over elevated deck, reflecting light back on deck.
CRN380 – multiwall polycarbonate roof, ‘ice’ finish, with optional side wings.
CRN 390 – clear glass railing with clear glass roof over front porch.
CRN 400 – clear glass backyard deck cover.
CRN 410 – clear polycarbonate roof with aluminum railing.
CRN 420 – clear polycarbonate roof at backyard.
CRN 430 – polycarbonate clear porch cover with integrated aluminum structural railing.
CRN 440 – polycarbonate clear porch cover with integrated clear glass aluminum structural railing.
A clear patio cover is every home owner’s dream, sitting at dusk with a sundowner or stargazing at night. Reality is different. A clear glass roof only stays clear for little time. In spring and fall leaves and buds cover the glass. In summer midday sun torments you, and glass will be the last resting place for dead insects and Canada geese droppings. All that if you live away from the city, where pollution will render the clear roof less so. In winter there is not much to see, let alone that only few sit out when snow is on the ground. Add to that the cost of a clear roof – higher than a comparable solid roof, so one may have a second thought, As a compromise, keeping costs at bay and yet get a lot of light in, we offer a combination roof: solid aluminum cover, with several glass or polycarbonate panels. The clear panels can be installed randomly or above house’ windows and doors. Prices are less than a comparable all clear roof, and yet house is not darkened. Clear panels are 24″ wide, offered in clear glass and in clear, translucent “ice” or tinted polycarbonate. For high snow load areas or wide projections we also offer our 8″ pan patio covers with stylites –
see the patio cover section for more details.
CRN200 – clear roof view in summer and winter
CRN210 – combination solid / clear patio cover using polycarbonate clear panels.
CRN220 – combination solid / clear patio cover using clear glass panels.
CRN230 – combination solid / clear patio cover using clear glass panels. Note that the existing house’ roof is too low, so the cover is installed above it.
CRN240 – clear panel over a door.
CRN250 – combination clear / solid panels.
CRN260 – three clear panels c0ver at back entrance.
CRN 270 – combination patio cover.
Clear roof frequently asked questions
- What is this product used for?
To cover patios, decks and alike. Lean-to configuration.
- Do you have a catalogue?
Clear roofs are a niche product. We have no brochures or generic shop drawings. Consult this website for info. We can provide site specific shop drawings at a charge.
- Can I get just the top, with the aluminium structure without the posts?
- Can I get just the top without the aluminium structure?
Yes. It is a different category product, see our pergola cover page.
- Can I use wood posts?
You may, but sort of defeat the purpose.
- How strong is the roof?
Strength is subject to projection. Please enquire with specifics.
- Can it carry heavy snow?
Yes, if done within specified perimeters.
- How strong is the polycarbonate roof?
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.
- How far out – projection – can I go?
Depends on your specific snow load. Commonly about 13’ projection. Please enquire with specifics.
- If I need deeper projection, say 20’, can it be done?
Yes, using an additional row of posts in the middle.
- What about overhang?
Can be done. Up to 2’ over the cross beam.
- How many posts will I get?
Depends on the projection and your specific snow load.
- What is the space between the posts?
Typically about 8’. Can be more or less per your specifics.
- I need a wider span between the posts, can I get it?
In certain configuration can be done, using double posts and a heavy-duty cross beam.
- How tall are the posts?
Posts come standard at 8’ in length. Can be cut to shorter heights on-site or we can supply longer posts. The optimal height is 7’ – 8’ at the front. More than 8’ tall is less efficient.
- Is all cut to size?
Yes, save for the posts as stated above.
- How wide are the panels?
Unless otherwise specified 24”. Polycarbonate can be cut to size. Glass cannot be cut.
- How long are the panels?
Polycarbonate up to 24’, laminated glass up to 8’, tempered glass up to 12’
- How do I connect it to the wall?
Installing wall hanger needs to be done properly, else the roof will come down at heavy snow. You need to select the right anchors / bolts per your wall. We cannot recommend site unseen.
- I don’t have enough height on the wall. Can I hang it on the fascia board?
We strongly recommend against it. Fascia board is not meant to carry load. If you have no other choice you’ll need to reinforce it as described here.
- What finishes are available?
Aluminium posts and structure in black or white. Cover: glass in clear or tinted, polycarbonate in clear, tinted and ice.
- Is clear polycarbonate really clear?
No. All are ribbed, meaning that the clear does not block any light but will obscure the sight. See pics on the main page for samples.
- What is in a kit?
Kit includes the following, all made of pre-painted aluminium
- 3” posts with top and bottom brackets.
- ‘T’ bars to accept the clear panels.
- Wall hanger.
- Rear shelf that hooks into the wall hanger and accepts the panels.
- Front gutter.
- Two side fascia panels.
- All fasteners and brackets.
- If gutter, wall hanger and rear shelf are over a manageable lengths will supply in cut length with connectors.
- What is not included?
In a supply only kit we do not include bolts to the ground and to the wall – we don’t know what you have there.
- How thick are the clear panels?
Typically 6mm glass and 10mm multiwall polycarbonate.
- Will polycarbonate fade?
No. One side which is clearly marked is UV resistant. Install this side up.
- Will polycarbonate yellow?
No. Acrylic panels like Perspex may yellow, this is polycarbonate, like Lexan.
- What do roof width and projection mean?
The width is on the house wall, projection is from the wall out.
- I want to have a free-standing structure, can it be done?
Yes, but it involves more than the standard configuration and costs much more. Please enquire with specifics.
- Will it leak?
No, if properly installed.
- 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 permit drawings and engineering?
Yes, at a charge.
- Is there any special requirement for the products?
Consult your municipality for applicable code and specific requirements.
- Can I remove the panels for the winter?
You could, but you don’t really need it.
- Can I install it myself?
If you have DIY experience and trust yourself to do so you probably could. If you’ll follow the instructions it is straight forward.
- How many people are needed to install?
Clear panels are feather-light. However, they are cut to length so may be awkward for one person to handle. Two persons and a six-pack will do.
- Can it be installed over a BBQ or fireplace?
If at a good height, you may.
- What tools do I need? See instructions. If need to cut a polycarbonate panel use a suitable blade and brace the panel so will not vibrate. Test cut before final cut.
- Are installation instructions available?
- Install instructions for base structure with aluminium panes
- Install instructions for clear polycarbonate inserts
- More product specs and simulation for solid, glass and polycarbonate
- How long does it take to get it?
- What about shipping?
Our prices exclude shipping. Note that the product is bulky and not shipping friendly and need to be well packed which adds to shipping costs. We may get a 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 well tied together, else the wind will bend it. Note that there could be long sections – to the width of the roof.
- Do you ship glass roofs?
Glass roofs do not ship well. It requires special packaging which may render the self-install savings void. If you live far you may get the structure from us and source glass locally. Further, it is not recommended for an untrained person to install glass panels. You are assured to end up with a lot of broken glass.
- I live in the US. Would you ship there?
Yes. Will include freight cost in our offer. Note that cross border charges, if any will be borne by you in addition to shipping costs.
- 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.