Twinwall Polycarbonate Questions

peachymomoAugust 16, 2012

We recently built a new deck in our backyard and we want to add a pergola with a cover that will provide shade in the summer and keep the rain off in the winter. The deck is 18' x 18' and we were planning on overlapping the cover at least a foot on all sides, so it will be about 20' x 20'. I'm concerned that an opaque cover like metal would make the area feel too dark and/or unwelcoming, especially in the winter. So after doing some research I'm considering twinwall polycarbonate in a translucent color that allows some light through but not too much. But before I buy anything I have some concerns that I haven't been able to find sufficient answers for.

Is is really loud during a rainstorm? The deck is close to our bedroom and we don't want to be kept up during a hard rain.

Does it look dirty, and if so is it hard to clean?

How well does it hold up over time?

Also, is there any way to get a look at the different colors in person? We went to HD but they only had corrugated panels and I didn't like their color options, I'm curious about the metallic sheen colors available from some sources. I searched for examples that I could visit and the vast majority were too far away for me to be willing to travel to. Does anybody know about anything in the Bay Area, preferably the North Bay?

Thanks in advance! I'm grateful for any advice I can get, including recommendations for other products that might be better suited to our needs. If you'd like to see what the deck looks like I can post a picture.

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