I recently decided that I would retire gracefully from motorcycling, I bought a new bike in March and have only done 500km due in part to the weather, and probably more importantly due to the horrendous standard of driving in Colombia, there isn’t a day when I am out in the car that I don’t pass at least two accidents involving motorcycles.
So the bike is being sold, and I have purchased a 1982 Suzuki SJ, which I am more than happy with, but it came with it’s own problems, the main one being how to keep it from becoming a mobile swimming pool, with all the storms we are having.
I made the decision that it was time for a carport on the parking area, big enough to take our two cars, however again I was restricted by finance, and that lead to an interesting design.
To limit the number of roofing panels needed, using corregated UPVC I needed to slope the roof in two directions simultaneously, firstly it had to slope front to back, to protect the vehicles from both rain and the sun, and then it had to slope from left to right, so I could put the corregated sheeting length-ways to allow the water to run off, and use less sheets than if fitted the conventional way.
The answer to this, was firstly to cut, the back or lower posts to 1.9m, and the front or higher posts to 2.3m, I then shortened one of each pair by 10cm. I then attached the roof beams (4cm x 12cm) to the posts (9.5cm x 9.5cm) with 3/8” threaded rod, at 4.5m, allowing a slight overhang on either side, which as you will see shortly had to be disguarded.
The overall depth of the carport is 4m, but to allow for an overhang front and back the posts are set at 3.4m, the width to allow for the two cars was calculated at 4.75m, with the posts being set at the previously stated 4.5m. I attached the posts to the parking area using metal post bases with 3/8” expanding bolts, which like in previous projects I had to have the bases fabricated, because they are not sold over here.
I then slotted the 4m rafters (4cm x 9.5cm) and placed them between the roof beams, fortunately I did not nail these on immediately, I usede my japanese saw and a chisel to cut the slots, the saw was like a knife going through butter in the mahogany, definitely one of my better purchases. I also fitted corner braces to the posts to make it more rigid, with it being freestanding.
I then headed off with the trailer to buy the roofing sheets, I was told that they were 70cm x 255cm so I bought twelve and headed home, where I decided to dry fit a few before fixing them in place, and this was when I found that the sheets were not as advertised, but were 70cm x 245cm, and this made a big difference, I needed to remedy this without having to buy another six sheets, and the only way was to get rid of the overhang on each side, which left the sheets with only a 10cm overlap in the middle, which is not ideal considering there is only a fall of 10cm over a 4.75m distance, but…
The roof fitted, all the timber which I had painted with waterproofer before construction, then had to be stained, which fortunately I completed before a tropical storm came along to test it, and the overlap seems to be OK, the water ran off as it should, and now the SJ is protected from the elements, and the only time I will need an umbrella is if I am out on the roads when the rain comes :)
-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright