What happened to our cave?

Big holes in the roof happened.  No, not those kind…the good ones.  After weathering multiple seasons with a leaky patio roof, we finally bit the bullet and had it replaced.   Additional benefits of having it done included making it strong enough to walk on for cleaning and having those big holes (aka skylights) added.  While the huge cover has been great to have in the rainy season (although the leaks kind of defeated the point), it’s massive footprint (22×28′) created a LOT of shade.  And while the structure of the roof was really well done, the sheeting, chintzy, poorly-supported aluminum panels, meant that it was incredibly difficult to walk on top of the roof.  We now have a solid 3/4″ surface that will make it really easy to sweep off once or twice a year.  Or every four years, whichever the case may be.

I had intended to purchase a couple of moderately sized skylights, say 2’x4′, but the roofer we used had a much better suggestion.  He came up with the idea of framing out 4×12′ boxes, which then could be covered with a single sheet of polycarbonate.  By running the panels under the eaves and all the way back to the house, no flashing would be necessary at the top, and by extension, no leaks should ever develop.  Another perk of doing it this way was that for the same $$ as what we would have paid for 16 square feet of skylights, we ended up with at least 80 square feet!  The patio is now WAY brighter, and we are also getting much more light into our kitchen and family room.  A win-win.

Pile of old aluminum panels
Since the roofers left things half-done during the rainiest day on record, I had to create an aqueduct to channel all the runoff
LIGHT!
View from above
This is what it looked like a few years ago, when I had to cut the hole for the upstairs drywall. The roof would then spend the next 3 years being covered with a (barely effective) blue tarp.
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