A free standing patio cover is a great idea for any home. It can be located on the front, rear, or side of the home. It can serve various purposes but it is usually desired because of the protection from the elements that it provides. It will allow you to spend time outdoors shaded from the sun and untouched by the rain or it might be used to keep the harmful UV rays from ruining your car or boat.
Some patio cover roofs are not solid but decorative, where the joists are exposed to the sky and block any of the sun’s rays that are not directly overhead. Any way you use it, it is a good investment in the value of your home.
Since a free standing patio cover is considered an extension of your home, even though it might not be attached, you will probably need to procure a building permit from your city or town office before you begin. Additionally, if you have a neighborhood association you will need to get the green light from them as well.
Do you already have a patio slab? If so, you are ready to install your cover. Otherwise the first step you need to take is pouring the slab. Once that is done, you can plan to build your cover from scratch or buy a kit from one of the many suppliers. A quick Internet search will bring up many of them, often with free shipping. Other wise, check with your local home improvement store.
Generally speaking, you will have posts along the sides; one on each of the four corners and spaced down the side at whatever interval that your local building code requires. These will be connected by a beam, and cross-beams or joists will run perpendicular to them.
The roofing material will be attached to these joists or in the case of an open ceiling design, the joists complete the picture and are fashioned decoratively. If even more sun protection is required, a lattice can be attached above or vines may be trained to cover the joists.
Choice of Materials
There are many choices of materials today. This is indeed one of the greatest benefits that the building material industry has given us. When we can build a weather resistant patio cover, it will give us many more years of use with less maintenance than regular wood.
For example, two very popular building materials are aluminum and fiberglass. Both are relatively unaffected by the rain, snow, and heat. In the past, cedar or redwood was considered the best material to be used in the cover’s construction but these are getting very expensive.
One of the most popular materials now is Alumawood. The best of both worlds, it looks like wood but wears like aluminum. The manufacturer claims that it will sustain up to ninety mile per hour winds.
In conclusion, a free standing patio cover can make a great addition to your home, either for storage or for recreation and entertaining. And when you design and install it yourself, you will save money and have the satisfaction on a job well done.
Sustainable Building Materials