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Old 02-25-2014, 09:49 PM   #1
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


How far apart can I space wood rafters when it is only going to be covered with "chicken wire" and large tarps for a large outdoor canopy ?

(we are in South Carolina and heavy snow is very rare, though it did happen recently)

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Last edited by DIY SC; 02-25-2014 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


It depends on the roof style. If it is a straight gable, I would still put them no less than 2 foot apart. That is because - and again other factors such as the thickness of the tarp used on the roof - the tarp could sag if they are too far apart.

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Old 03-18-2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Thanks for the advice, I was busy for a while but got a start on the project and wanted to share a photo. (the rafters are being spaced 2 feet apart)
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-wood-frame-2.jpg  
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:29 PM   #4
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Ok, I see what you are doing now. What is that for exactly?
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:15 AM   #5
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Actually it is to give my Border Collie a large area to exercise in no matter what the weather (about 80 feet long by 16 feet wide)

(she likes for me to be in there also to throw Frisbees and balls, she does not like to exercise by herself so I get some exercise too

Here in South Carolina we can go thru times where it can sometimes rain over a several day period and Border Collies get frustrated when they have pent up energy from not being able to run for a few days. (she is an indoor dog, but usually gets plenty of outdoor time)

That is why I decided to cover her yard with some large tarps, it has the added benefit of giving my dog and I some shade on the hot summer days

Originally I had a 3/4" PVC frame curved over the tops of the fence posts, but a very rare heavy snow collapsed about 2/3 of it so I am switching to a wood frame. (fortunately I had a fair amount of treated lumber sitting around from a past project we decided to put off for now)

I had put back up half of the PVC framing in the meantime so at least half the yard would stay dry and shaded, but later added extra frame support that was needed because strong wind gusts were able to flex the PVC too much and cause a collapse. It is two vertical 1 1/2 PVC pipes fastened to underneath the top of the PVC frame.

I will eventually extend the wood frame further and further till the entire thing is a wood frame.

Here are some photos of the original all PVC construction as well as some current photos of how it is as of right now -

(on the inside views you can see at the far end where I am starting the wood frame)
Attached Thumbnails
Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-frame-7.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-tarp-1.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-support.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-wood-frame-3.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-wood-frame.jpg  

Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-wood-frame-4.jpg  
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Ok, yeah, 2 foot apart would be fine for that.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:01 PM   #7
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Here's a couple pics to update my progress so far -

Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-frame-a1.jpg

Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-canopy-frame-a2.jpg
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:43 PM   #8
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Ok, meant to post an update sooner, but been busy trying to get other yard stuff done

Here are some photos that show the finished (for now) wood frame.
(I have to do a separate reply to include the rest of the photos)

(eventually I plan to extend the wood frame all the way, but I am done for right now
Attached Thumbnails
Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-b.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-c.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-d.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-e.jpg  

Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-f.jpg  
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:46 PM   #9
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Here are the rest of the photos, these show the finished (for now) frame with the tarp roof attached.
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-g.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-h.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-i.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-j.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-k.jpg  

Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-1-canopy-l.jpg  
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:45 PM   #10
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Glad you went with the 2 foot rafters. The chicken wire definitely made a difference as well. You collie should like that large space.

Last edited by TedLeger; 04-23-2014 at 08:47 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:45 PM   #11
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


That's a pretty sweet structure but blue tarps will deteriorate from sun alone in less than a year, at least here in South Florida. Now that you have a frame roof why not put up a sheathing roof deck and shingles for a more permanent roof? Might need some structural reinforcement if you do.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:45 PM   #12
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Quote:
Originally Posted by suobs View Post
That's a pretty sweet structure but blue tarps will deteriorate from sun alone in less than a year, at least here in South Florida. Now that you have a frame roof why not put up a sheathing roof deck and shingles for a more permanent roof? Might need some structural reinforcement if you do.
Thanks for the suggestion, but amazingly enough I have had similar tarps last longer.

The main reason for tarps is that I have been on a very tight budget as far as what extra funds I had available for this project.

I have considered as a future possibility of switching to a more permanent but still relatively lightweight roofing material when the budget would allow, perhaps something like fiberglass sheets might be one possibility.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:14 PM   #13
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


[QUOTE=DIY SC;1342334]Thanks for the suggestion, but amazingly enough I have had similar tarps last longer.

The tarps will be fine. They definitely will last longer than 1 year. I have had tarps sit on the ground that lasted way longer than that.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:26 PM   #14
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Hey SC..... Nice job.... and nice job takeing care of that pup

Your pics were interesting..... BUT YOU NEED MORE OF YOUR PUP...

Best
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:08 PM   #15
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy


Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Hey SC..... Nice job.... and nice job takeing care of that pup

Your pics were interesting..... BUT YOU NEED MORE OF YOUR PUP...

Best
Thanks !

Since you asked for more pics of my pup -
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Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-feb-2014.jpg   Rafter spacing for tarp covered canopy-march-2014.jpg  

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