Outdoor Cat Enclosure/Catio – Part 10: Roof!

The cat enclosure has a roof!  And what an ordeal THAT was!  Not an ordeal, really, just… well, OK, it was an ordeal.  In terms of the big home improvement stores, I’m definitely a Home Depot gal.  Not for any reason other than there’s 2 close-ish to me, and the Lowe’s is more of a pain-in-the-ass to get to.  However, I’ve grown accustomed to my 2 local Home Depots and know where to find almost anything I need.  I’ve spent hours wandering their lumber aisles and electrical aisles and nail/screw aisles like a kid in a candy store.  Unfortunately they don’t carry the polycarbonate roofing panels I wanted for the cat enclosure [they do at Home Depot’s further away].  But my local-ish Lowe’s does.  And since I dislike driving any further than I need to, I went to Lowe’s.  Well, let me back up a few steps.

We got let out of work early yesterday so I headed first to Home Depot for some supplies for my enclosure door [that’s Bonkers’ tail to the left]:

183a

I’m not sure what kinds of braces will work best for the door so I bought 3 different kinds.  I’ll return whatever I don’t use.  I also got more Simpson StrongTie screws, since they worked so awesome for the frame braces.  Then I headed up the line to Lowe’s.

I was SO excited to find their big display of corrugated polycarbonate/plastic roofing materials.  They had clear, white and grey, in 8′ and 12′ lengths.  Since neither of those will fit in my little Honda, I went up to the lumber service desk and asked them to cut 2 of the 12′ ones in half for me.  And they were like “sorry, we can’t cut those”.  Um… OK?  They suggested I borrow a friend’s truck.  Um… No.  If I can’t do it myself, I don’t want it!  So I went back to the display and read through the brochure.  It said you can cut the panels with a utility knife or snips:

183c        183b

Score!  Now where to find me some snips…  I figured if they won’t cut them for me, I’ll cut them myself, dammit!  Take that, Lowe’s!  After what felt like half an hour of wandering the store I finally asked where they hide their damn snips and a weird little clerk pointed me in the right direction.  Then I picked up a mini 6′ measure tape [which is actually kind of cute], paid and left.  I noticed a wood cart/rack thing in the parking lot, right near the door, so I hauled the ungainly panels over there and got them set up to cut:

tuftex plastic polycarbonate roofing cutting with snips at lowe's        183e

cutting tuftex plastic polycarbonate roofing with snips at lowe's        183g

They were fairly easy to cut – especially with the huge-ass tin snips I bought!  And once they were cut, they easily fit in my car!

183h        183i

The panels come in “good, better, and best” and I grabbed 2 of the “best” by accident.  But it’s turns out to be a good thing because [according to the very helpful brochure] they are virtually impossible to break, can handle wildly varying temperatures, and can handle a snow load.  Perfect!  Plus they block 100% UV rays so the kitties can relax and not, um, get sun burnt?

Once I got them home, Bonkers instantly approved.  He loves ANYTHING plastic:

bonkers laying on tuftex plastic polycarbonate roofing tiles

Once I had them out in the yard, I lay them on top of the cat enclosure and realized I’d have to cut them smaller.  I decided to lay them the short way vs. the long way – my 4 6′ panels lined up nicely across the top.  I used the wax/grease pencil Abbie gave me last year for stained glassing, which worked perfectly for marking the panels for further cutting:

183k        183l

Then I cut them to the right size, placed them back on the roof of the enclosure, got up on my little ladder, marked where I wanted screw holes with the grease pencil, put them on the ground, drilled pilot holes where the red marks were, and lay them back on top:

183m        183n

Then I got to screwing:

outdoor cat enclosure / catio clear tuftex plastic polycarbonate roofing tiles        outdoor cat enclosure / catio clear tuftex plastic polycarbonate roofing tiles

It took 50 minutes to cut the 4 panels down, pre-drill the holes, and screw them to the enclosure.  I overlapped each panel by 2 ridges.  The last panel was too wide, so I cut that down to size before screwing it down.  So now the enclosure has a roof!  A beautiful crystal clear polycarbonate roof that I can sprinkle birdseed on and watch the cats go nuts 🙂

183q        183r

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9 Comments

  1. You rock. I enjoyed reading this blog. Your confidence and persistence has inspired me that I can do this.

  2. Small cars are such an annoyance when it comes to projects! I love your persistence! Did you know they make wavy wood trim to put under edge of the corrugated wiggle board? You’ve already got yours screwed down … but on bigger projects it helps support the plastic roofing, like on our greenhouse. (For when YOU build a greenhouse!) 😉

    • Nine Dark Moons

      ya, i saw that on their website [after i’d screwed mine down]. if i was using it on a shed or something, i’d re-do it with the wood supports, but it’ll deflect a bit of rain and snow from the cats, and that’s all i need it for on this project. they also make glue-stuff that you can use to seal the edges of adjacent panels. another good thing to keep in mind! i wish i had enough room for a greenhouse – OMG!!!

  3. You’ve introduced me to corrugated polycarbonate/plastic roofing materials. Might have to find a project for it. And thanks, Lowes, for all your help. Grrr. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Nine Dark Moons

      It seems like such a versatile material – so many uses! I am already pondering what else I can use it for 🙂

  4. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Nicely done. I would have probably given up, but your persistence paid off.

  5. You are SO creative – no obstacles for you! The enclosure is amazing! Great job!

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