How to build a wood patio cover

How to build a wood patio cover

A wooden patio cover is a stylish and beautiful addition to your home. It will protect your patio furniture and guests from the elements and provide welcome shade when the sun is shining down on your back yard.

Here are instructions for building your own patio cover. But, before you begin, check with your local code enforcement department to see what permits, if any you will need to obtain. For instance, if your cover is to be attached to your house, you may need a building permit. The plans below are for a structure that can stand alone, however, attaching it to the house is as simple as using some galvanized T attachments.

Materials needed:

  • tape measure
  • circular saw
  • electric drill with screwdriver attachment
  • ladder
  • shovel or post-hole digger
  • 8 treated 2×4’s of the appropriate length
  • 4 treated, carved, 4×4’s, 8 feet long
  • 4 concrete pyramid bases
  • corrugated plastic of appropriate size
  • one box 2 inch coated decking screws
  • a handful lead headed nails
  • treated lattice, and lattice frame (optional)
  • one small box 1 ½ inch coated decking screws (optional)
  • 4 to 6 galvanized T attachments (optional)

Begin by measuring the size of your patio and determine if you want to cover the entire area, or just a part of it. Using these measurements purchase your 2×4’s, buy extra, just in case. Buy your plastic and optional lattice based on these measurements.

Once you have purchased everything assemble it in your backyard. Double-check your list to verify that you have everything. Then begin.

At each corner of your patio, dig a hole, large enough to sink one pyramid base. Place the bases in the holes. Do not cover them up yet. Measure, distance around the outside of each side; make a note of these measurements. Then measure again. Cut your 2×4’s to these measurements.

Lay four 2×4’s on edge to form a square (or rectangle), at the corners place the first end on the outside of the next, then at the end of that one, place it on the outside of the next, and so on around. Screw the corners together. Place the other four 2×4’s atop and perpendicular to the first ones alternating inside and outside. Screw these in place. This crosshatch pattern will provide maximum strength. Depending upon the size and shape of your cover, and the width of your corrugated plastic, you will want to attach one or more 2×4’s across the center to act as an anchor for your plastic, and stiffener for your cover. Measure the space under the horizontals and inside the verticals. Cut the 2×4’s and attach them horizontally.

Secure the 4×4’s into each pyramid base. Place the top that you just finished atop the 4×4’s. At this point you will probably need to enlist the help of some friends for lifting the top and steadying the 4×4’s. Once the top is in place screw it to the 4×4’s at the corners.

Measure the length of your cover, and cut your corrugated plastic to fit. Place the plastic on the top of the frame and nail it in place using lead headed nails.

Fill in the holes at the base of your patio cover, make sure it is packed tight. The weight of the roof should keep it in place.

You may want to add additional security by placing a lattice fence along three sides of the frame. This is lattice framed with special lattice framing pieces on the sides and top.

Measure the inside between the 4×4’s, this will give you the length of your lattice. Determine the height of your fence, usually, 4 feet is the best, this will be the width of your lattice.

Based on your measurements, build a frame.

  • Cut the lattice framing pieces to the size required.
  • Cut the lattice to your measurements.
  • Screw the bottom and both sides together.
  • Slide the lattice into the frame and the top.
  • Attach the framed lattice to the inside of the 4×4’s, at either side, the bottom touching the patio.

This will provide strength for your patio cover as well as privacy.

Lastly, if you wish to attach this to the house, provided you have placed it close enough, place a galvanized T connector between the eves on the house and the patio cover. Attach this with coated nails, two on the house side, two on the cover side. Continue at about three foot intervals all the way to the end.

Now stand back and admire your work. This will serve your family for many years and best of all you did it yourself.

Now stand back

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