Why pay someone else to do something that you can do yourself? I built a patio cover for my house, and so can you!
Houses are money pits. Between the taxes, the maintenance, and the repairs, it’s a wonder anyone can even afford to own one. One way to save a bit of money is to take on some home repair and renovation projects yourself. For instance, the bay windows at the back of my house leak during thunderstorms and the backdoor freezes shut during winter. While it would be difficult and expensive to fix both the windows and the door, I decided that since both overlooked my patio, a patio cover would effectively keep foul weather away from the bay window and back door, making it a cheaper and easier fix.
If you’re interested in making your own patio cover, read on for instructions on how to do so.
Selecting Materials to Build a Patio Cover
While looks are important, you want to make sure that the materials fit the structure. Since my patio cover was going to have a slight slope, shingles were out. A tar roof would work, but it would be heavy smell like a BP oil spill. I decided on corrugated metal roofing because it’s resistant to high winds, is light weight, and is structurally sound.
Using corrugated metal also allows me to reduce the degree of slope, or roof pitch, needed to a mere 10 percent, or a 1-to-10 pitch. This meant the patio cover could start at the edge of the house’s roof at a height of eight feet and slope down to seven feet, leaving a clearance of more than six and a half feet between the lowest part of the frame's headers and the ground at its outer edge.
Materials Used (Lumber)
2” x 6” x 10’ boards (joists)
2” x 8” x 10’ boards (beams)
1” x 6” x 10’ boards (metal roof nailers)
4” x 4” x 8’ treated (patio cover posts)
Tips for Purchasing Materials:
- Be flexible. I had originally planned on using 4”x4” beams and joists, but local codes wouldn’t allow for them, so I used 10”x2" headers and 6”x2" joists, which worked out just fine. Also, be prepared to modify your plan at the store when you’re getting your materials, as doing so can save you money. For instance, I chose drywall screws instead of nails because, for some reason, they were less expensive, and they won’t try to work themselves back out after a few years. Another substitution I made was choosing three- and four-inch deck screws instead of framing nails. Although more costly, they hold much better than framing nails outdoors.
- Shop around. Shopping around for the best prices for materials was absolutely necessary. In the same town, in an area of less than 10 miles, the difference in prices was enormous. Total material costs ranged from $2,200 down to $800.
- Beware the store associates. Some are aggressive and want to push customers into an insane buying frenzy, bringing up a storm of confusing nonsense that somehow equates spending more to saving more. The lumber store I bought from had an associate who simply made sure I bought the correct materials for the job by looking over my plan and suggesting shorter screws for the joist hangars and a lower grade of lumber for the areas of the patio cover that would not be exposed to the weather. The associate also arranged for delivery, which cost $25.
Getting a Building Permit for a Patio Cover
Some people said a building permit was unnecessary, while others said it was impossible to get without a contractor's license, or that it would raise my property tax, etc. So I called the permit and licensing office and got the correct answers.
- Yes, a permit was required.
- No, it wouldn't raise my taxes,
- As long as the property owner didn't care if I wasn't a licensed contractor, they didn't either.
Getting the building permit was actually much easier than I thought. I took the plans to the town’s permit and licensing office, filled out some paperwork, and the next morning I got a call and went back to the permit office to pick up and pay for the permit, which came to $85. They made a couple of alterations to the plan that not only were easy to accommodate but also made the project easier and cheaper! To prepare for the final inspection, I took pictures of each critical step to show the building inspector, which made the final inspection a snap.
Beginning Construction on the Patio Cover
Early the next morning the materials arrived at my house. Once the materials were unloaded, I began carrying the ten foot long boards and corrugated metal sheets to the back yard, laying them out in a pattern to roughly match how they would be assembled. I also separated the corrugated metal sheets, wiped each one down with a light coat of vegetable oil, and then re-stacked them. This was something I had seen a neighbor do a long time ago, when I was a child. I don’t know if it served any purpose other than making me feel better. It’s a step I probably could have skipped, but who was I to doubt the wisdom of the ancients?
Step 1: Installing the Ledger Board
First I removed the 1/4” plywood dressing right below the drip edge and saw a very solid framing 2”x4” underneath, perfect for attaching the ledger board, which attaches the cover to the roof frame. The local building code required a 2”x6” ledger board, which meant I had to saw off two inches of wood from the top of the bay window’s box.
Next I pre-drilled 1/8” holes, 6 inches apart, in the ledger board, because it was treated lumber and the deck screws would need a little help getting started. After attaching the ledger board with 4” decking screws, I used a large staple gun to staple the phone, internet and cable lines to it, on the inside toward the house, to better protect them from the weather.
Step 2: Dig Post Holes
It was a little bit difficult to figure out where to dig the post holes. I wanted them to be exactly 9.5' from roof edge, but the house’s foundation was recessed 2' from the roof’s drip edge and stuck out 26” from under the bay windows. How was I going to get an accurate measurement? All sorts of neat tools I saw people use on TV shows and formulas from various math classes flashed through my mind. Here's what I did:
- I stood up up a couple of posts at the roof’s edge, using a bubble level to make sure they were perfectly upright.
- Then I measured and marked nine and a half feet on a couple of joist boards and laid them on the ground, with one end by the upright posts and the markings on the other end showing where the hole should be dug. I did this at both edges of the ledger board, and laid two more ten foot joist boards between them.
- I then used my square, or angle iron, to make the corners square.
- I marked the spots for the three post-holes, with the middle post-hole going where the two 10 foot joist boards met.
- I then measured corner to corner, one way and then the other, and made slight adjustments until both measurements came out the same. With the exact centers for the post holes marked, I marked 18” circles around them because I planned to dig the holes 18” deep and wanted them to be as wide as they were deep, in accordance with local building codes. (See pictures above)
- I started digging the holes with a simple shovel, all the while thinking about those post-hole diggers, the ones with motors and big augers, that take two people to operate, like I saw used on various home improvement TV shows. Before I could formulate a plan for renting a hole digger, though, I had already finished digging all three holes with just a plain old shovel. Then I used my garden hoe to tamp down and compact the dirt at the bottom of the holes.
Step 3: Make the Posts Even
Next I scratched my head as I thought about how I’d make sure that the tops of the three posts would be even once they were placed into the post holes. Moreover, without anyone to help hold things in place, I needed to figure out how to attach the rest of the frame to posts that would already be standing upright.
What I came up with worked, although I never saw it done on TV. I laid a board on the patio slab, and set a bubble level on the end of that board. Then I took that end of the board to the hole and stood the 4”x4” post up straight, holding it by hand, and lifted the board with the bubble level up until it was level and then made a mark on the 4”x4” post. I then laid down the post and measured seven feet from its top and marked it. The difference between the two marks was how much taller I wanted the post to be, so I attached a length of treated 2”x4” to the end, adding enough length to the post so that its height would be perfect. I did this for all three posts.
Step 4: Assemble the Frame
The rest of the frame I assembled on solid ground, not wanting to hold everything in place with one hand while installing decking screws with the other.
- Cut four braces at precisely 45 degree angles. I cut them from a single 10-foot long 2”x10” board. I measured the width of the board with a ruler, then marked that length from the end of the board and cut from there to the corner to make a triangle of wood that was exactly the right shape. I measured the short sides of that wooden triangle-shaped block and they were exactly the same so I knew it was cut at a 45 degree angle. I used that to mark the lines I would cut to make the braces. I made the two outside braces three feet long at their outsides, and the two inside braces two feet long at their outsides.
- Square the pieces for assembly. With the braces cut, I laid out the frame on the ground in the position they would eventually be in. I pre-drilled the screw holes with a 1/8” bit to prevent cracking and on the braces I pre-drilled halfway into the wood with a 1/4” bit so that the screws could sink deeper. After attaching each piece, I checked each joint to make sure it was square and that nothing had been knocked out of place. Luckily, the pieces stayed where I wanted them to and I didn’t have to make any further adjustments. After assembling the frame I marked 24” all along the center and on the ledger board and attached 11 joist hangars to each. Then it was time to get the frame, which weighed about 300 pounds at this point, ready to be raised.
- Prepare the joists. (11 ten-foot long 2”x6”s). I had to cut an angle and a 1/2” notch at the top ends so the roof of the patio cover would come in below the house’s drip edge. I then cut off seven inches from the other end at an angle so it would mach up to the frames’ header at the far end. For this I made a template from a piece of cereal box cardboard, cut out the pattern and drew it on the ends of each board. Then I cut with a circular saw and used a bow saw to take out the last little bit of the notches. If I had one, I would have used a jig saw. For the far ends, I made another template, one without a notch, to ensure all the angles and lengths were the same. A real pro might have made measurements for each cut instead of making a template, but I didn’t want to risk the possibility of human error.
Step 5: Raising the Frame
To stand up the frame without help, it was necessary to attach prop sticks; that is, I used a single framing nail to attach a 10-foot long 2”x6” board (I used my joists) to the outside of the frame, one board length away from the bottom of the frame, on each side. These two boards would rotate on their nail, their end holding up the frame as I lifted, while their other end would be on the ground, preventing the frame from going back down.
Then, in the middle, I attached a 10-foot board to the center post and lifted it from the very end, the leverage cutting the strength needed to lift the frame in half. As I lifted the frame I walked in toward it, and had the frame standing in its post holes without having to strain myself. Next I attached the joists to the left and right sides, and with the corners secure I was able to remove the prop sticks and center lifting board and install the rest of the joists.
Step 6: Pour the Concrete
At this point I had the frame attached to the joists, and the joists attached to the ledger board on the house. To make the frame perfectly level across the top, I lifted the posts just a little and tossed in just a bit of dry concrete ready-mix to raise its height just enough to make my bubble read perfect. Then to make the posts exactly straight up and down, I lifted and moved the bottom ends in the post holes, measuring with the level after each adjustment. After letting things settle for about a half hour, I re-checked everything with the leveler again. It was still plumb and square, so that meant it was time to pour some concrete.
I chose six 80-lb. bags of post-set concrete. I mixed one bag at a time, using my garden hoe to stir in water until the concrete became a near-liquid, something resembling sloppy mud. Then I used my shovel to put equal amounts into each post hole, repeating this process until I got to the last bag. For the last batch of concrete I added less water and mixed it to the consistency of raw cookie dough and, wearing work gloves, I grabbed gobs by hand and formed it into a dome at the base of each post to prevent water from pooling. Then I used a block of scrap wood as a trowel to tap and smooth the surface of the concrete. Then I let the concrete set.
Step 7: Finish the Job
After that it was simple but repetitive work. I attached 1” x 6” boards to the top of the joists, and then screwed the corrugated metal roof to them. The most difficult part was getting the upper end of the metal sheets to go under the drip edge and roof decking of the house and to butt up against a bead of clear-drying roof cement I had put in there with a caulking gun. Also, putting a bead of sealer along the edge of the metal sheets before overlapping them was a bit demanding, though absolutely necessary.
The job was done at that point. As for the corrugated metal roofing, I chose rubber washer metal-into-wood screws with ¼” bolt heads and used a ¼” magnetized drill adapted socket to put them in. That type of screw goes into into every valley at the top and bottom ends of the panels and every other valley throughout the rest of the roof, into the 1” x 6” boards placed 24” on center.
Where the Patio Cover Attaches to the Roof
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Roller on August 01, 2020:
I forgot to mention, why on earth would you spray foam where the main roof meets the porch roof? If you gave allowance for "height" of the corrugated sheets and measured correctly then the sheets would have gone under the house shingles. Under the shingles, at the edge, the flashing would, should, get nailed down and slightly bent down and nail under the corrugated metal. Spraying foam shows it was not inspected but a legit building inspector. Their job is on the line and anything against code, or common sense, could come back and bite them on the butt. Spray foam is used to fill gaps in door and window jams, inside walls, and whatnot but not for roofing! Spray foam is not meant to be in the weather, especially the sun. The sun will dry it up until its brittle and it blows away. There are tools for certain jobs and spray foams job isn't meant to fill space, or correct mistakes, where you didn't plan correctly. But hey while you're at it you could just duct taped where you foamed it lol. You and others may think I am being rude but giving people advice, the wrong advice, when you're not a contractor or carpenter and they naively go out and spend the money and posts start sinking, rotting, screws rust and break, roof leaks where spray foam was, ultimately costs them. But those people assume it has to be right because it was written and posted on an actual website for DIYers. If I am not sure on something I won't pretend and give people the wrong advice. Stick with your own avenue.
Roller on August 01, 2020:
Growing up in construction and carpentry there are so many things that were done wrong and/or no common sense. So no Monica and friends it's not a nice jobs. One, no licensed inspector passed this construction unless they were family, a friend, or you padded their pocket. If you were putting up a fence then cementing in the post is fine, because its not holding up a ROOF. And if you're cementing in a post then you just cement in the post. So why would you attach a 2x4 to the post AND leave it in the cement? The post is pressure treated for a reason; which in your case you just cemented in an untreated piece of wood which will rot in no time at all AND since it's in the ground it will attract termites or other wood eating insects. When they're done eating those 2x4s they will look for any untreated wood close by (shed, porch, house, etc). When putting up posts correctly there is a raised metal piece that gets cemented in, then the post sits on it. Also, you don't cut the post UNTIL its standing. You measure from the ground up, mark it, stretch chalk-string and while stretching it at the opposite post you make sure its level, snap string so it marks all the posts at once. Then cut the tops off. Plus, you never put the cut end of a treated post in the ground. Posts dont get treated completely through which is why they sell the same chemical used in a paint can to touch up ends. As for the construction of it. There is a special bracket that sits on top of the post that holds the beams that go from post to post. Then, the rafters, which should be 2x6 after 10 or 12 feet long. Anything shorter and you can use 2x4s. The rafters sit on top of the beams which, by code, each one should be held down by hurricane straps. The other ends of the rafters should be sitting in metal "hangers" which are screwed into a 2x6 that takes the place of fascia. After the roof is covered with plywood, it needs to be covered with tar paper or membrane. Then a piece of flashing should get tucked up under the house's shingles or current roofing. Depending on the pitch of the roof will determine what can be used to cover the roof. If it is only slightly pitched then it should be covered with rolled roofing and nailed down accordingly. Metal drip edge should be nailed on top of tar paper but under roofing. At the ends of the rafters a 2x6 or 1x6 gets nailed or screwed followed by fascia. As for screws, depending where you live will determine how long those sheetrock screws last. You said, for some reason they are cheaper. Ah yeah, common sense would tell you why they are called sheetrock screws and not exterior screws. Geez. People do your homework and don't follow someone's suggestions just because it worked for them because they never follow up and tell you how its holding up way later when they are forced to repair it. By cheap and itll be cheap.
jessica on July 07, 2020:
do you find your roof gets really hot? Does it radiate heat onto the patio?
Chris E on June 10, 2020:
Thanks for the article, we are currently installing a very similar patio roof as we speak.
roofgenius on May 09, 2020:
Roof Pitch to Angle Calculator enter pitch in the first box – calculation is automatic
Robin Holbrook on May 03, 2020:
Ian, I’m a 74 year old Gramma in Texas. I came across this article while trying to figure out how to mesh a patio cover and my 55 year old home. I’ve done quite a bit of remodeling and built one home, an expensive home. I was taken Abakan at quite a few things this individual in building his cover and surprised he actually posted and BOASTED about his work! This is the sort of DIY work I have to immediately tear out of a home to bring everything up to code! The sinking of wooden posts in cement is just the beginning! The addd weight on the edge of the roof is very problematic and he is taping into the facia board (although he’s calling it something else!) and expecting that to hold a structure? It’s not structurally sound piece! You can’t even hang a basket from it! It’s just to finish off the edge! Oh my! Even I know this! I take it he is renting! I bet he had some damages to pay when he left! ALWAYS fix the problem rather than try to cover it up; especially if you don’t know what you’re doing!
SylviaMcT on April 18, 2020:
Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I'm not very handy, but we're going to give this a shot. ha ha
Burjbeans on October 30, 2019:
noticed that many of the residents in my city were actually getting new roofs or patios or even pools done without any permissions so im not sure what to think of that tip..
Eliott Walter on October 30, 2019:
This is pretty detailed.. I'm def saving this for the future if i ever need to expand my roof. winter is usually the best time to know what you'll be needing to do..
Soloved on October 01, 2019:
I just want to say, never concrete 4x4's directly into the concrete. They will get too much moisture and will fail. Always use an anchor system and secure the 4x4 above the concrete in an anchor system made of galvanized metal.
Chuck Wiggens on August 19, 2019:
wow super detailed thank you! I printed it our so i didn't have to keep coming back to my computer!
Julie on July 19, 2019:
The author/builder lives in tornado alley USA. Recently (2019) had an EF2 tornado rip through his neighborhood. Guess what is still standing? That's right. His patio cover. Proud to call you my brother.
Nope on July 06, 2019:
As others have said DO NOT DO THIS
-Ledger to fascia: Very weak. Lag it to studs.
-Drywall screws: Will rust and fail catastrophically. Framing nails only- it’s in the code
Jeff K. on May 09, 2019:
I would never build a patio cover like this and expect to get paid.
At close to the beginning of the article it shows a sketch on how the patio is to be built, with the header on top of the posts. Yet the 2x headers are butted against the posts. Then the building inspector calls it good ???? I think whoever issued you the permit just stole $85 from you. Yes cities and other government agencies do steal money from people.
Ian on March 09, 2019:
This is terrible. The author obviously has zero building experience. DO NOT follow these plans, they will lead to catastrophic failure. Screws CANNOT be substituted for nails. They do not possess sheer strength and will snap off. You can bend a nail into a pretzel. This article is full of terrible advice.
Cardinal from North Carolina on March 01, 2019:
Awesome! Very informative article. keep it up
Antonetta Kowalew on April 17, 2018:
I bought plans from woodprix and I made it very fast. If you enjoy free woodworking plans, you will love woodprix. Get inspired by all the endless possibilities of furniture plans and other wood projects to build, for both indoors and outdoors.
qg on April 04, 2018:
"it is just horrible when someone does such great work" Youo like this roof. So I think:
Sounds a bit extreme. IF those guys, who looked at it thought it was sound and well made. Since you like the existing roof, you should just move it. You should be able to use a sawzall to cut the patio roof off the house. Depending on the lengths of the rafters and width of the patio (Spans), you will support the upper roof structure temporarily with 2x4s for posts, screwed to 2x 8,10, ? beam and cross braced with 2x4s to prevent swaying in both directions. This temporary beam can be 1/3 of the length back from the upper end of the roof or less. But you don't want it in the way of gutter removal, ledger installation, or your new permanent posts, if you don't plan to support it using the house. for temporary posts beams and braces, use 3" screws or longer or scaffold (duplex) nails, Temporarily sway brace the lower roof beam posts in both directions. Hence all are braced both ways. Which means all 4 ways. You can cut your temporary posts bit long and just drive them toward vertical to unload the house roof slightly. You will want some bottle jacks or screw jacks and some pairs of 2x4s nailed together so that you can raise and lower the temporary beam with them. Make one end of the 2x4 flush or even with each other and let one extend 6-8' beyond the other at the top. you can nail or screw this longer end to the beam while the shorter 2x4 lifts it....then it wont fall on you when you lower the jack and remove it or otherwise fuss with the height. put the jacks in place and with just a little tension and leave them
Now your roof is standing by itself. It can be moved a bit without falling as you change its position.
You can raise it above your old roof. Or you can cut it or otherwise adapt to attach it to the house as in the article's above diagram. The lower beam will likely tolerate some change in roof pitch. Look at the fastenings and make your plan.
Separate it from the house roof. Maybe just jacking the upper end up will pull the nails. Maybe cutting nails or the roof itself with a sawzall and a few blades will suit you. Figure it out so you don't tear up your house
1- Then elevate it above the roof, leaving the gutter accessable. Finish the upper end as you like. Determine the desired height and install your permanent posts, beam, and bracing. Lower it onto the beam and fasten
2- or sway it out beyond the shingles. Lower and swing it back under the shingles to the position shown in the above drawing. If needed, with a sawzall and a few blades, you can cut the roof and rafters to the estimated length. You may not need posts this way. But the load you were worried about with the roof as it is now will not have been changed. So check with an engineer. If needed, install permanent posts and beam.
I'll reiterate: Your downhill beam should tolerate a slight elevation change of the uphill end, but the downhill posts should be braced during the operation and permanently appropriate to the final design..
Any decent carpenter should be able to plan and hold your hand through this. Any new posts have to suit your floor plan and with a raised roof, you will now have a gap on the uphill side, which can be dealt with by adding a sheet metal or shingle wall on the beam, which extends into the house gutter. It will bear no weight, simply to keep rain out. Or leave it if the wind and the rain are not a problem.
Now you don't have to build a new roof. However, YOU MUST pour a pier for each new post and you must brace the whole thing to compensate for the house no longer providing sway bracing...in both directions. I cannot over state what the house is doing to keep your structure from falling over. If you do not re-attach it well you may have serious problems. If it is well thought out, designed, and fastened, it will take much less effort, time, and materials. you end up buying a bunch of 2x4s and a couple bigger 2xs Infinitely cheaper and still useful. Call one of those guys who laughed at the roof and you enjoyed. Give him 2 days of work, and go fishing on the other days you sere going to do this. And you can go out to dinner lots of times on the money you saved. Even after you buy a sawzall (get a cheap one with a guarantee like harbor freight), a kkgood cordless drill and bits (I like the torx # 25 bit for screws), a flat bar, sledge hammer or 2# maul will do, a step ladder, a skill saw. and 2 jacks. and some pizza for your family or a friend to hold up a post, while you screw it in place. Sorry I don't normally write anything like this. A good carpenter will make it pretty simple. If the usual horrors do not come out of the wood work. Or you could buy a leaf blower and tape a drain pipe to it and blow out the gutter 4 or 5 times a year.
Anita Hasch on April 01, 2018:
Love all the info.
rotnkiley on July 07, 2017:
i have a patio roof now that the previous just set on top of the roof..it looks pretty to someone that doesnt know any better until u realize there is a gutter that needs to be cleaned from roof of house sitting inder the roof of the patio...after buying the home and realizing this is what i have to deal with every year...i'm looking into doing these plans...and ripping the old one down...it is just horrible when someone does such great work to find a mistake or flaw like this that ruins the whole idea...so maybe going to the inspector isn't such a bad idea because i'm sure an inspector would not have agreed to the set up of my home. So many contractors have come and looked and said wow, that is a lot of stress to put on the house roof why didn't they do it this way (the way in this article). i wanted to enclose the whole patio but unfortunately, because of this mistake it has to be completely torn down because of this evee they didn't remove before putting patio roof up...so yeah these directions are very helpful...
Wichita Roofing on June 21, 2017:
This is fantastic and my husband will love using it!
sandy tromin on June 07, 2017:
awesome details! The idea that you didn't have help lifting all that up by yourself, you are The Man! also, the extension you put on the posts...genius plus you thought of doming the cement base...never thought of that. Great job
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on February 21, 2017:
Thanks for sharing and showing the project step by step. Now you have all that extra space. Protection from the rain and too much sun.
Henry on November 10, 2016:
Thanks I'm getting ready to attempt my covered patio project, very great blog entry thank you!!
jack on November 05, 2016:
instead of the gap filler 3x expansion foam, would it be better using flashing ?
free on September 24, 2016:
I wish there was a picture of the frame before he raised it.
Michael on March 17, 2016:
Good information and well written. One thing dry wall screws should never be used for anything exterior and truth be told only for dry wall. They are cheap metal and rust and break very easy.
Donny on February 23, 2016:
thanx, but very little about http://myrooff.com/building-a-porch-roof/
Terry from Texas on February 08, 2016:
Very informative and great info, thank you for sharing Jed.
One quick question: Gap filler 3x expansion foam - not sure what this is, cannot find at my local home depot. Wish to have a good seal and hoping you can recommend by product name so can find similar.
Grant Az on January 04, 2016:
This was really helpful thank you so much for taking the time to share this information.
john on November 05, 2015:
Any particular reason you used lumber instead of metal for the frame? I have a 24' x 45' patio cover we are building and we are considering a pre fabricated horse shelter that is all metal including the posts. I will probably case the posts afterwards with faux wood for aesthetics. any thoughts?
Terence on September 13, 2015:
I've never done this before, but thought a lot about it through my head. Almost same plan. A few things I would've done different: poured concrete no higher than 6 inches below ground level to let grass cover concrete footings. drywall screws rust. would have used a piece of flashing where the roofs meet instead of caulk - flashing goes under shingles and over metal roof.
Christine on July 10, 2014:
I was looking for ideas for our home where the uncovered patio faces the west. I really liked yours the best. My boyfriend is a Master Carpenter so I know he will loves the pics when I show him this. I noticed your from Oklahoma also where at? I am east of OKC.
Jed Fisher (author) from Oklahoma on June 18, 2014:
It stays surprisingly cool. The metal blocks radiant heat and the patio is on the north side of the house. This keeps it comfortable during the hottest parts of the day, the late afternoon.
cheryl oden on June 12, 2014:
Since it is not insulated does it get really hot underneath during the summer?
john r. roush on March 06, 2014:
a wonderful article!! i too had questions and this answered all of them!! thank you for taking the layman's view instead of the contractor's, it clearly explains everything!!
Troy Eckstein from Aliso Viejo, California 92656 on January 19, 2013:
You could use a ledger board. Usually a 2 x 6 with L brackets attached to your rafters that will lift up the patio cover higher. Here is a picture that shows how this attachment works. http://alumawoodfactorydirect.net/open-lattice?alb...
Troy Eckstein from Aliso Viejo, California 92656 on January 19, 2013:
If you use the Alumawood patio cover material it can be easier than this. You can bolt the posts directly to your concrete with out footing as long as you are attaching to your house. You can attach to the fascia or your house wall. You can find installation instructions at www.alumawoodfactorydirect.net and get some design ideas. You can build a 11' projection x 20' wide for as little as $1,600.00 for all materials needed. All you need to do is cut your posts to size. Good luck everyone.
sandy on July 31, 2012:
How would you attach the porch roof on top of an existing metal roof?
I need to start on top of the roof to allow enough room for an out swing door. I'd like to start 4 feet up on the roof and come out about 6 feet from the end of the existing roof. How do I connect and seal the connection?
monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on July 25, 2012:
Nicely done Jed. Sometimes I really wish that I had a house instead of a townhouse. I am definitely into doing things myself but I can only change what's on the inside of my place!
Jed Fisher (author) from Oklahoma on July 17, 2012:
My house roof is 4:12 pitch and my patio cover is 2:12 and that is fine in my town. Lowering the outer end, that will make the joists too short as they pivot at the end attached to the house. The roof material and how much snow weight the structure can support are what determines if the pitch is too shallow. I used metal because it's light and it's okay. Maybe let the inspector enter your house by the front door and walk through so that their first impresion of the patio cover is from underneath as they step out of the back door onto the patio. If they see solid construction they may not check the pitch at all.
jamesdandy on July 17, 2012:
I have an issue with my patio cover pitch. Used an Online calculator and came up with a 4.7/12 pitch, which I thought was good since I used 3 tab which in my state requires a min. of 3.5/12 pitch. I built the thing using the original dimensions and didn't bother to check the pitch again till it is completely roofed and patio cover done (except for gutters). I use an Android pitch/angle app on my phone after I was done and it says it's only a 2.76/12 pitch! Yikes! Re-checked my original numbers that I started with and realized I calculated the gable measurement wrong and it should have been doubled. So I guess what I'm asking... is there any safe and easy way to lower the pitch to 3.5/12 without pulling everything apart and starting over? I think I would have to lower my 4x4 posts and header/beam by 5-6 inches to accommodate the required pitch! That's seems like it's going to change the angle of my rafters so much so that they won't stay in the joist hangers and each rafter (all 20 of them) will each have to be removed and the angle re-cut. Argh! Before anyone tells me to just leave it and not worry so much, it has already been permitted with the county at the 3.5/12 minimum pitch and the inspector will surely check the pitch when he gets there after I schedule the inspection. Tried to do the right thing by getting the building permit and I may have to pay dearly for it:( Any advice will be helpful. Except for name calling of course...
John on May 04, 2012:
Good job. Only a few questions/comments: (1) Instead of 1x6 boards for the purlins, I would have used 2x4s. Reason: I've found that 1x boards split pretty easily. (2) On your corrugated iron panels, did you put the screws into the peaks or into the valleys? (3) Did you use galvanized fasteners (screws and nails)? If not, you'll see some rust sooner or later. (4) I'd use treated lumber for everything! That's probably overkill on my part but having built a few shed-type roofs over the last 30 years, I've found that high winds can really push rainwater around.
Don on April 02, 2012:
Could you post more pictures of the finished roof? Would like to see it from a distance and from standing under it, looking up. Thanks! Great post.
Jed Fisher (author) from Oklahoma on March 19, 2012:
Almost a thousand dollars.
Stephen on March 18, 2012:
About to build a very similar project. Curious, what was your total out of pocket expense?
Jed Fisher (author) from Oklahoma on February 19, 2012:
Taking pictures as I went did make the city building inspector happy.
brian on February 19, 2012:
this whole page makes me very happy. it was a one stop shop for answering every question i had. my project is a little larger but the plan is identical. thank you, thank you, thank you. i think i'll do the same for my project when i start it to help others too.
LoveOurPlanet from Austin, Texas on November 10, 2010:
Nice. My home has a galvanized metal roof and I'd love to add a front or back porch extension someday.
Jed Fisher (author) from Oklahoma on November 10, 2010:
Thanks for the encouragement!
Money Glitch from Texas on November 09, 2010:
Great detailed hub on how to build a patio cover; thanks for sharing. Congrats on being selected as a nominee for this week's HubNuggets Wannabe Contest. Good luck to you! :)
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on November 06, 2010:
Excellent hub. Well written and easy to understand. Great job (rated it 'up')
Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. Welcome to HP
Jed Fisher (author) from Oklahoma on September 28, 2010:
Thanks, Giselle. After reading how-to articles and watching how-to shows, I noticed the main thing they lacked was the perspecivtive of the individual who actually does the project.
Giselle Maine on September 26, 2010:
Wow! This illustrated step-by-step guide is awesome. The end result looks great. I especially like how well you documented all the steps. Other home improvement guides often gloss over some tiny-yet-critical decisions, but yours seemed to cover everything. I'd definitely recommend this article to anyone looking to make a patio cover.