Questions about metal porch roofs.
May 16, 2008 8:02 AM   Subscribe

I have some questions about the metal roofs on our porches.

We have, as is common in our region, metal roofs on our front and back porches. (This is a photo of a house in our neighborhood, but not our house. Same kind of roof though.) They are in good enough condition in that they keep the rain and snow off of us, but cosmetically they're in need of some help. So I've got three questions.

1) What the heck are these roofs called? I am ashamed as a librarian that I can't find any information online about them. Are they considered awnings or roofs? Are they aluminum? In my searching I've found similar stand alone items to cover car ports, flat ones that are rippled and look like fiberglass, fabric "sun catcher" ones, and much smaller versions that only cover windows. But for the life of me, I can't find anything like this from a vendor online. FWIW, we're Angie's List members, and I've searched there as well. Is there a specific name for them that if I knew it, would open up a whole new part of the internet?

2) If you have had one of these replaced, what was the rough cost to replace it? I feel like I can't get a good idea from the little information that I've found online to get a rough estimate - most of the awning companies require registering with their website and a salesperson would contact you (and due to my inept searching, even those vendors I've found the small window ones, not porch ones). Basically before I go to a contractor, I need to know if this is a project that is thousands of dollars, or a couple hundred. (Clearly, I have no idea but don't want to register anywhere. I'm not ready for a hard sell.)

3) I have seen similar but smaller ones in our area that have been painted. I think this might be a good temporary band-aid to my issues (especially since we're repainting shutters and doors this year) but my husband is dubious. What advice would you have as to painting a metal roof on a porch, presumably in late spring/early summer in Western PA? Particularly, my husband's issue is that he doesn't think it would support his weight, and the one over our back porch is large enough that we wouldn't be able to reach the middle otherwise.

Thank you for your help. I truly feel like I'm grasping at straws here, and it's frustrating...
posted by librarianamy to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Metal awnings is what I would call them.
posted by sulaine at 8:22 AM on May 16, 2008

In my experience they are called aluminum awnings. Here is a google image search of that term. It seems there are a lot of items similar to yours. Here is a forum post about painting aluminum awnings. And yes, an awning that large would not support an adult's body weight.

I'm not sure of replacement cost since it would be based on total size but I think "awning" is the term you are after for searching.
posted by pixlboi at 8:23 AM on May 16, 2008

Here is a website that sells them. I think canvas awnings look much nicer if you are going to replace them.
posted by sulaine at 8:24 AM on May 16, 2008

Metal awnings here too.
posted by unixrat at 8:24 AM on May 16, 2008

I think canvas awnings look much nicer if you are going to replace them.

Yeah, but the material degrades after a few years. Aluminum will stay up for quite a while longer.
posted by LionIndex at 8:36 AM on May 16, 2008

I would leave them in place. Unless they are extremely bent or falling apart there is no need to replace them. Clean them thoroughly and use spraypaint. Make sure you mask off where they attach to the house with tape and newspaper. If you are creative you can paint them in various colors by masking separate panels.
posted by JJ86 at 8:41 AM on May 16, 2008

As far as supporting your husband's weight, he could build temporary shoring underneath or he could rent scaffolding to place above the awning. If he is handy, then making temporary scaffolding with 2x4's and plywood is a simple task.
posted by JJ86 at 8:52 AM on May 16, 2008

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