How to Install Patio Covers

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A patio allows you to enjoy the outdoors while staying close to your house on a nice concrete footing. However, you will still be exposed to the elements. If you want to protect yourself while still being able to enjoy your backyard, think about installing a patio cover. A patio cover usually comes in a kit and is extremely easy to install yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Patio cover kit
  • Step ladder
  • Level
  • Drill with a 5/16-inch bit
  • Wood Screws
  • Caulk
  • Tape measure
  • 3/8-inch bolts and nuts
  • Concrete bracket or post-hole digger and concrete mix
  • Water for the concrete Mix
  • Sheet-metal fasteners
  • Hacksaw
  • Determine where the patio cover will be attached to the house. The patio cover needs to have enough room to slope down one inch for every foot away from the house (for example a 12-foot length of cover will slope down 12 inches).

  • Your kit should come with a header track which connects the cover to the house. Place the track in the spot where the cover will be. Use the level to make sure it is straight. Mark where it will be attached to the house and pre-drill your holes using a 5/16-inch bit. Place the track back back in place, make sure it's level, and attach it to the house using wood screws. Caulk around the track.

  • Measure your covering pieces. They should be one to two feet longer than your patio is.

  • Determine the height of the outside posts you need. Remember that you will need to drop the end of the cover 1 inch for every foot. If your cover attaches to your house at a height of eight feet and travels ten feet, then your posts should be 7 feet 2 inches tall (8 feet -10 inches = 7 feet 2 inches).

    Also determine if your posts will rest on concrete or in the ground. If they will be in the ground, you will need an extra two feet to the length of the posts.

  • There should also be a tilt beam which will attach on top of your posts. Place posts on the ground no more than eight feet apart and place the tilt beam in the grooves in the top. Make sure all posts are square with the beam and screw them together using 3/8-inch bolts.

  • Once the apparatus is put together, you can stand it up. If you are placing the beams on concrete, mark where they rest and attach 3/8-inch concrete brackets to the concrete and then screw in the posts to the brackets. If they will go in the ground, dig two 2-feet deep holes with the post-hole digger and place the posts in the holes. Fill the holes with concrete (the mix and water should combine to make a consistency of mud) and let dry before continuing

  • Once the posts are up, attach panels on either end of your patio. They should be square with either end of the header track and square with the tilt beam. Use sheet metal fasteners to attach the cover panel to the tilt beam and the header. You may need to trim the panels to the correct length for your patio. If so, use a hacksaw to cut them.

  • Attach the rest of the panels by connecting the edge of a panel to the one before it. Repeat this for all panels. Attach them to the house with the sheet metal fasteners

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to keep your posts plumb and your rails level. This will go a long way to helping the stability of your cover.
  • Make sure your posts end up at an even height. If you are placing them on concrete and the concrete is uneven, you will have to use the hack saw and cut them to be an even height.

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References

  • Photo Credit flickr.com/exalthim/CC BY-SA 2.0
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