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]:
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:
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:
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!
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:
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:
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:
Then I got to screwing:
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 🙂