Building Patio Cover that taps into existing roofline. Where do I

renoincaliApril 16, 2008

start? Checked with the city and since I am not closing in the walls, the requirements regarding setback from other structures (garage and pool in this case), are less stringent.

My question is where would be the best place to get plans? Where do I track down an architect that would be the most economical? Going to build (DIY) with an old carpenter friend, so contactors won't be any help.

Thanks

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jasonmi7

What do you mean by 'patio cover'? Like a real, framed roof or a sunscreen?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:44AM
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heimert

Look for less experienced architects, since they're more likely to take on a small project. Alternatively, see if a better known one will take it on as a project for someone on his staff.

Just offer to pay hourly rates, and make sure you cap it at some reasonable amount.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 9:36AM
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renoincali

jason - yes, its a real framed extension of the roof to cover the patio. I have one of those rooflines that terminate at the same height, if that makes sense, no gables, so I would have to tear off a section to tie-in my "A-frame" patio cover perpendicular to it. I am probably doing a bad job of explaining this, so I will try to post pictures later if I can remember how.

I would have probably went with a simple aluminum cover (although not my first choice for many reasons), but due to the patio being raised, the ceiling of it would be at seven feet! So thats why I am exploring this more involved/expensive, but also,IMO, more attractive and functional alternative.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 11:44AM
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renoincali

The patio cover/roof extension would extend about 17 feet out and run about 30 feet along the house. Looking at the third picture, imagine a triangle that starts at the far right, extends 30 feet at its base (along the existing fascia) with its two "sides" meeting(roof peak) at a centerline just to the left of the patio doors at an undetermined height.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 12:03PM
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jasonmi7

Oh yeah. Been there, done that. Even have pictures. Let me email you since I can't link other websites here.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 12:14PM
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sierraeast

If you are in california, you might check in w/ your building dept. In our county, we can't tie into the facia, but rather cut the overhang back and run the patio rafters on top of the existing wall and tied into the existing rafters/joisting 2' back. Might save you a little trouble if the way you have it planned isn't code.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 1:06PM
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sierraeast

If you find that you have to cut the existing overhang but you have vaulted ceilings, you would have to cut the vaulted rafters flush to the wall on the inside, run an engineer's spec'd header on top of the wall, and tie the vaulted rafters as well as the patio rafters to the header w/ approved hangers.

Another avenue w/o cutting the overhang would be to build a freestanding unit with post & beam on the house side as well with the only thing being able to attach to the existing roofline being the transition roof flashing from existing roof to patio.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:25PM
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renoincali

jason - sent you an email. Let me know if you don't receive it.

sierraeast - we are in SoCal and we would want to cut off the overhang (eaves, right?) flush to the wall, so that when we step out of the patio doors it would have a more open feel.

Here's a rough drawing:

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:20PM
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sierraeast

Right on! I thought you were going w/ a simple lean-to patio cover.I saw the joist hangers on the existing facia, so thought that was where you were headed. You are going to gable off and valley into the existing. Nice! It will make it look as if it was an original part of the house. Awesome!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 10:41AM
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renoincali

Those joist hangers are from the old wood slat patio cover that I tore down (before it fell down!). Have you constructed a similar cover? Any insight would be appreciated. Do I need an architect to calc loads, spans, etc, or will I be able to determine this myself? My big question is how high up the existing roofline will my peak have to go, the roof pitch, engr wood requirements, etc.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 11:11AM
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montalvo

I've built several patio roofs by simply mounting a beam to the roof, directly above the outside wall of the house, and then mounting joist hangers to the beam. The beam sat on 2X6 spacer blocks with a triangular block atop that so the beam wasn't tilted.

Below is a patio roof I built 15 years ago. It's a bit elaborate, what with the curved rafters, but it shows how the beam was attached to the roof. Here I didn't use joist hangers but instead dadoed the beam to accept the rafters.

Bob

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 11:46AM
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sierraeast

Imo, You should match up the pitch of the patio w/ the same pitch as the house. That is what will determine the height. The width or span of the patio, the pitch of the roof will dtermine that. There are many factors to consider. You wont have an enormous load , just the weight of the framing anf roof type w/ a patio cover. You also want to be concerned with wind shear or lift, so it will need the appropriate footings/piers anchoring the posts and things like rafter ties to tie it all together. This is why i would suggest a licensed structural engineer to calc out all your structral members. Well worth the consultation. Another consideration for you would be to hire a competent carpenter to assist you with at least the roof cutting part of the framing and can help you with tying in the new facia w/ the old showing where your overhangs will be cut, etc. as well as get the initial layut of the patio started. Painting and roofing diy is going to save you money, but valley construction is somewhat complex for a begginer, so a competent carpenter following the calc's of an engineer should get you on track. If you haven't already, it starts at the building dept for permitting. On a project like this, as long as you have a plot plan of your property showing the existing house, you can scetch in the proposed patio. From there it's a matter of explining on paper and drawings that you can diy the framing details laid out by the engineer, roofing type,etc. It would be good for you to know things like nailing schedules of the plywood sheathings, stating rafter and connector types, basically what is required by code for the framing and roof. You can get this info from the building dept as well as conversing w/ an engineer. The carpenter can also guide you as well as long as it coincides w/ the engineers recommendations and code. There are books on roof framing should you diy the whole project, but getting familiar w/ the whole process well before you start will help rather than diving in head first.

Here is a link that might be useful: tauton books

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 1:36PM
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montalvo

sierraeast is right on target in describing the best way to construct the patio roof that you described. I had to partially disassemble the first patio roof I built (without permit) when I sold the house.

But if cost is a consideration, that process, as well as the labor and materials that go along with it, are going to cost substantially more than a shed roof extended from above the fascia as I described in my post. By starting your shed roof rafters from on top of the roof, you'd likely have another foot and a half of height above the patio floor (i.e., 8.5'). Even with a 1/4"/foot of drainage pitch, you'd still have about the same clearance at the outer edge of the patio because the patio floor probably has that same pitch.

Another consideration is the amount of light over the patio. Your pitched design would let in more light than a shed roof so you might want to consider the solution I used in the above picture, i.e., 2X2's mounted 3-4" apart and then covering the entire thing with translucent, colorless sheet fiberglass. It allows lots of light but still shelters you from most of the sun's glare.

Bob

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 3:34PM
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sierraeast

forgot to mention montalvo's awesome patio cover! Nice, creative work of art!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 4:37PM
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renoincali

sierraeast - so would I pay the structural engineer for the plans that I can build to, or after the engr consultation do I still need an architect? Also, my plan (hope) is that perimeter columns (with the necessary concrete footings) will be enough to support cover/roof. Probably a question for the structural engr, but I thought you might be able to give me some insight. See drawing below:

Bob - thanks for your comments. While cost is always a consideration for most on these forums (or they probably wouldn't be here to begin with), I am trying to learn from my past mistakes of being "penny-smart, dollar-stupid" when looking at a long-term, quality of life expenditure. I started off looking at the Alumawood covers: $7000 installed, or purchase a kit from a company in Las Vegas for $2800-3500 DIY. In my situation as I explained above, I would be compromising by not having a closed cover (Alum slats) or having a cover sitting on top of my head (by the time it reached the end of the 17'). I going more for an outside extension of my indoor living space with open rafters that will give it more height. If I had a newer home (mine is circa 1958) that had a high back wall where height was not a limitation, it would be more practical. Your cover above is beautiful, but I gotta believe way north of that $7000 figure I mentioned above. Thanks again

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 5:02PM
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sierraeast

Dont want to steer you in the wrong direction and for pro results, an architect could come up with ideal drawings, but i have simply drawn to scale on standard sized paper smaller projects like yours to be submitted to the building dept. You should probably start there to get the info needed, but a plot plan of your property / house with all dimensions including utilities located to insure that you will be fine concerning setbacks is generally a requirement along with framing details, etc. Typically here a standard footing is 12" x 12" with a post base either incorporated into the pour, or the use of a 1/2" "j" bolt where a post base is then bolted down to that. I generally increase the depth to 18" and use 8" sonatubes which are round forms made of cardboard and are easily peeled after the cure of the crete. Typically i leave 6" above grade so overall you end up w/ 24" of pier. If you are going over the existing concrete slab in your picture, you can simply saw cut a 12" x12" square where your posts will be located, dig out and pour your footers that way. Your building dept will have the required footing size for your area , but again, at the advise of a structural engineer. If you can come up w/ some decent dawings to scale it will help the engineer to visualize your project. You might also try to find a draftsperson who is also an engineer to not only structuralize, but draw up the plans as well for submittal to the building dept. That would eliminate the need for an architect.

on our build we found a floorplan we liked and found a draftsperson/licensed structural engineer who engineered the plan to ca. requirements along w/ changes and submitted to the county. It was far less expensive than going to an architect. You can draw up what you are wanting w/ measurements and the draftsperson can fine tune it as well as include all code aspects/engineering to be submitted as long as they are also licensed structural engineer.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 5:55PM
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montalvo

First, let me echo sierraeast's comment about not needing an architect for plans acceptable for a permit. I've drawn up my own plans on several occasions, including for the roof in my picture. But I wouldn't attempt to design anything that involved taping into the existing roof without assistance from an engineer as sierraeast recommended.

And I wasn't suggesting that you'd consider the arched roof shown in my picture, although from a cost standpoint, it was pretty cheap (less than $600 in materials and I did the work myself. That was 15 years ago, when lumber was cheaper and my bones were less brittle.). But a shed roof attached to the top of the roof above the outside wall might well give you 8.5' headroom at the outer edge of your patio, if your patio has the pitch away from the house that's typically required by code. And as I said, you could have it be both protected from the weather and let light in using spaced 2X2's and fiberglass. But ultimately, you've got to feel good about the look that you're trying to achieve. My point is that a shed roof might give you much of what you want for way less money.

Bob

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 7:55PM
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