How to Build a Two-Story Covered Patio

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Constructing a two-story patio can provide outdoor sitting space on two floors, but a protective railing will be required around the second-floor area. Designing and building the patio is similar to building a standard porch in all respects. To build the patio, invest time in designing it to look as if it's always been part of the house. With good planning and upscale materials used for the project, the two-story patio can add market value to the home.

Things You'll Need

  • Home design books
  • Remodeling magazines
  • Sketch pad and pencil
  • Measurements of your home
  • Building permit
  • Consult home design books and remodeling magazines to review patio construction. Sketch a patio that will have posts constructed of bricks and mortar or a support framing made of wood. Draw a patio that has a roof line complementing the home's roof. Create a structure that looks as if it's always been part of the home by matching architectural details. Plan to use brick columns on the patio, for example, if the house is brick. Enclose roof overhangs on the patio to match the home's overhangs.

  • Decide on a final plan and sit down with an architect to review it. Never proceed with building plans until an architect has given approval. Obtain a building permit. Go over all building codes and restrictions with local authorities.

  • Install a foundation for the two-story patio. Build the two-story structure on top of a concrete porch, for example. Construct the porch flooring to consist of solid concrete no less than 18 inches thick. Construct a wooden patio on a wood floor base, as another option, but install concrete footings for wooden support posts under the floor to rest on. Build concrete footings at least 24 inches square reaching 18 inches deep into the soil to hold the weight of each individual support post. Keep in mind that each footing may support thousands of pounds in weight.

  • Construct side posts, roofing rafters on the second floor and railings on the second level to secure the structure. Use bolts to attach all wood components to the framework of the house. Allow all mortar used in any part of the structure to dry for 48 hours before adding any type of weight. Wait to add roofing weight to posts covered with bricks and mortar, for instance.

  • Install exterior-grade plywood covered by asphalt shingles on the second-story roof. Match the roof covering to the roof of the home in every respect. Purchase shingles that match the home's roof coloring as closely as possible. Paint all overhangs and railings last. Finish the patio flooring with indoor-outdoor carpet or tile on both levels, unless wooden plank floor will be installed on one or both levels.

Tips & Warnings

  • With basic building skills, an individual can construct part or all of the two-story patio. Hire experts to assist in any areas that seem overly complex for builders or workers onsite.
  • Include metal railings in your patio design only if other porch areas of your house have metal railings. Otherwise, use wood railings. Avoid using metal in any form on the patio structure as part of the framing that will actually hold up weight. Metal can easily bend over time.
  • Open a doorway access on the second floor after the structure is secured to house framing and railings are firmly in place. Prevent family members from accessing the upper level before safety features are in place, because falling from a second story easily could injure or kill someone.

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References

  • Photo Credit Porch Columns with Trees image by oakrise images from Fotolia.com
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