How to Cut PVC Roofing

What You'll Need
PVC roofing sheets
Circular saw or handsaw
Fine-toothed carbide-tipped blade
Safety glasses
Work gloves
Tape measure

A good alternative to some of the more expensive roofing materials, PVC roofing makes completing your greenhouse or storage shed roof quick and easy. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a durable and versatile product used in everything from plumbing supplies to wall paneling. Because it is made out of plastic, it can be molded into just about any shape. When used for roofs, it comes in large corrugated sheets meant for easy installation. In laying the roof for your greenhouse, shed or other storage area, you will likely have to make cuts in the PVC so it will fit. So as not to crack it, you will need to cut it the right way. We are assuming you have already built the frame of the structure you want to roof.

Step 1 - Make a Work Space

In order to cut the PVC roofing material, you will need a suitable work area. If you do not have a shop where you can make the cuts, you can work outdoors. Set up two sawhorses on which you can lay the PVC sheets. The sawhorses allow you to make the cuts at a comfortable height without bending over. 

Step 2 - Measure the Dimensions of the Structure

Determine how big the PVC pieces have to be. If the structure is a lean-to, the top end of the roof will likely be situated beneath the eaves of the adjacent structure. If the roof has a ridge, you must cap and seal it so rain cannot get in. Also, you should allow some overhang on both the sides of the roof and its bottom edge. Take all of these factors into consideration when you measure. 

Step 3 - Measure the PVC Roofing Material

The structure is probably big enough to necessitate several sheets of roofing. When applying several pieces of PVC roofing, you will start with the bottom and cover the entire edge, if possible. As you move up the roof, you will overlap the lower piece by 2 or 3 inches. Following this pattern all the way to the ridge is the way to ensure water runs off without leaking in. If for some reason you have to seal the roof, you can complete this job after installation. 

Step 4 - Cut the PVC Roofing Material

You may have read that garden shears work well to cut PVC roofing. While this may be true for small pieces, you should use a proper saw to cut full sheets. A handsaw will suffice, but a circular power saw with a new carbide-tipped blade is best. After measuring and marking the PVC sheet where you will cut it, place the sheet on the sawhorses. Make the cut straight and consistent. Don’t go too fast or else the sheet could crack. 

After you cut the PVC roofing to the proper length and width, you can install it on the roof of the structure. Follow it with successive layers to complete the PVC roofing job.