How to Design an Overhead Patio Cover

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Adding an overhead to your patio can provide you with the feeling of a room outdoors. It will help shield you from the scorching sun and heat, give you more privacy and be an aesthetically pleasing addition to your backyard.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Decide how big you want the patio overhead to be. This will largely be determined by the area of your patio, how many people you want it to be able to accommodate, how much money you are willing to spend on materials and how much effort you're willing to put into the construction. Don't start by planning something large and elaborate if you don't have the time to finish the job properly.

  • Decide exactly where you want your patio to be, and make a scale drawing that shows all of the posts you will use.

  • Decide how tall you want your overhead to be. Think about the time of day you will be using it most. If you will be using mostly around sunup and sundown, then it needs to be lower. Since the sun comes at a side angle, a lower overhead will shield you more.

  • Make a plan that shows how your overhead will look. Think about the current look of your backyard and house. Make a design that will fit comfortably with the feeling of the environment. This is a good time to decide if you want to use straight beams or a crisscrossed lattice-style for the overhead's ceiling. Decide between arbor and pergola styles.

  • Decide on the wood type and stains that you'll use. Some wood is more expensive than others. Pick one that is affordable but looks good in your backyard.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think about what kind of plants you want to use around and on your patio overhead. You might want to include lattice on the sides so that you can have vines or other plants growing on it.
  • You may be required by the building department in your area to submit plans for the patio overhead.

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