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Should I enclose an outdoor roofed area with tarps? Answered

I bought a house with a roofed area in the back yard.  There is a concrete slab (approx 10X20), and a metal roof about 12-15 ft high.  The roof only covers half of the slab, and I plan to put a small prefab metal shed where the slab extends.  I'd like to use the roofed area as a pseudo-workshop, but because the roof is so high, rain blows under pretty easy.  In a perfect world, I'd extend the roof and wall in the whole thing, but I ain't rollin' in money like that, so a shed for storage, and a dry work area is good enough.  My question is whether or not its feasible to hang tarps as "walls."  I know it won't be super permanent, but I'd like them to last a reasonable amount of time.  I was thinking of securing them on the four posts by sandwiching them with 1" x 4"s, because I don't trust grommits and twine to hold in wind.  What kind of tarps and hanging methods would be ideal for this, or would there be a better alternative I haven't thought of?



7 years ago

Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West used canvas for roofing, and the school there still run a challenge where students often use fabric for walls.

It's definitely possible to use tarps for walls. Maybe the school / elsewhere has some construction examples.

Good lead! The fabric they use, "sunbrella," might be exactly what I need! It breathes better than tarp and looks better too!

Well, by a quick figure, I see this costing about at least $450-$500 just for the material, not to mention time spent trying to sew the stuff together.... at that price, I might be better off just constructing the dang wall out of corrugated metal roofing panels, as it would be a whole lot cheaper.

I might have to ask this as a separate question to get good replies, but as far as constructing shed walls with corrugated metal roofing panels... how much framing would I need to do? If it requires extra studs and therefore sill plates, we're talking a bit of work... I feel like I might could do some combination (metal on the bottom, little to no framing necessary, and sunbrella towards the top) and save wasted material.

Geeze... the possibilities are endless!

Sorry the thoughts I posted pointed you towards an overly expensive option- not my intent.

Rather than promoting "Sunbrella", try using what you have. Old Frank L. W. used canvas (later replaced with plastic...). Mostly wanted to share that "pro's" are doing what you are thinking about.

Note, with your framing question- you may be treading into home additions that are regulated by your local building codes. If so, the code will have standards for framing that will answer your question. BUT, remember you may be able to circumvent codes by building structures that are not regulated ( a ~hoop-house, for ex.)

Have you tried PM's to members that have published related Instructables?

whatever I do... I need a camera so I can make an instructable out of this

Grip clips are good, but if you still want to go cheaper and just tie the tarp, use a double sheet bend on the corner instead of the eyelets. I made a temporary shade cover for a swimming pool once that lasted for two years using sheet bends to fasten the corners. It is also the way I tie tarps for protecting storm damaged houses. The rope has to break or the tarp has to self destruct for this method to fail.

Yeah, when I saw the grip clips, my first thought was, "I think I can do that with rope..."

My original thought was to tightly secure the tarps (sandwiched to the posts) so they don't get slack-ey and let rain in, but I think they would catch wind and do more harm. I guess they need to let some wind pass through.

You really HAVE to use "Grip Clips"
They are simply unbeatable for joining and securing  tarps to themselves and to structures. I keep 100 Grip-clip pros on hand  in my toolbox.


+1 . very neato device. Sure beats applying dozens of grommets (which of course fail at the worst time)