Choosing a Prefabricated Patio Cover Kit

There are three basic styles of patio covers manufactured, Flat pan, W-pan and Insulated. Each manufacturer has their own proprietary specifications with all the parts designed to fit together.

The design of the roof panels in combination with the thickness of the metal that the panels are made from will determine the spanning capability of the roof panel at a specific design load. Patio covers made from aluminum are rot and rust free providing decades of service at a reasonable cost. The prefabricated nature of the product makes them a good do-it-yourself project.

For example: a 3″ tall W-pan formed from.025 aluminum will give you a 20# snow load at a 10′ span. Each suppliers design will have different spanning capabilities so check with the supplier for exact numbers. Your local permit office can tell you the snow load for your area.

“W” or “V” Pan Style Covers are typically 2.5″ or 3″ tall and 8″ to 24″ wide. The name comes from the v or w shape of the pans. The panels interlock and are used with a “G” shaped exterior fascia/gutter frame work to complete the cover. This style cover is available formed from.020,.025,.032 and.040 thickness aluminum. A few companies offer a steel version. This style cover is popular because of the excellent shade and weather protection afforded at a reasonable cost. “W” pan styles are more difficult to keep free of leaves, hail damage dents will show, and they do radiate some heat from the sun.

Flat Pan Style Covers are most often 3″ tall, in a 8″ or 12″ wide pan. The lost common thickness is.030 aluminum. This style cover is popular because of the excellent shade and weather protection afforded at a reasonable cost. The covers are most often sold with an attaching channel, side fascias and a front gutter section to complete the top of the cover. Because of the flat style they can be used as a top for a screen room. They are subject to hail damage, the resulting dents will show, and they do radiate some heat from the sun.

Insulated Covers are made from two sheets of aluminum bonded to a closed cell foam core. The density and thickness of the foam core combined with the thickness of the aluminum all effect the spanning capability of the panels. Insulated panels carry greater loads, do a great job of blocking out heat from the sun,and make a very good roof for sun rooms and screen rooms. This type of cover gives you a ceiling, roof, and insulation in a low pitched compact area.

Eave attached or wall attached. Your cover can be installed on the eave or under the eave. If you are installing the cover in corner situation local code will require a wall mounted installation with gutters on the house above the cover.

With a few extra parts it is possible to work around fireplaces. For areas where you have a bay window or an angled wall you are attaching to the insulated panels are more accommodating.

The next consideration is the supporting post and beams. Set back beams support the roof panels and create an overhang. Typically, over hangs are 6″ up to 24″, an over hang of 18″ looks the best. The design of the beam, the thickness of the metal and the size of the beam will determine the beams spanning ability between post. Spans between post can be 6′ up to 20′ with 8′ between post the most common.

Post can be installed on the concrete slab or deck on a bracket or mounted in the ground in cement. The most common post are 3″ x 3″ x 8′ or 10′ lengths. Larger sizes and a host of post styles are available to accommodate most any architectural style. For screen rooms the screen wall framing eliminates the need for post and beams, as the screen walls act as supports for the roof.

Pre-fabricated Patio Covers offer a variety of solutions to providing shade and weather protection for your patio area. Covered patios get much more use then non covered decks and patios. They add value to your home and enhance your out door living environment. Options include ceiling fan accommodations, sky-lights, wall enclosures, custom arrangement of parts to accommodate your needs.

For example, arbor parts can be combined with a patio cover for a southwest look, or to provide partial shade.

Personalized Patio Covers

As much as we love entertaining friends and family on our patios, the weather can sometimes go against it. It can get too windy to gather by the fire pit or too rainy to relax on the chaise lounge on the deck. The snow may be cause for chills, and even the sun could project uncomfortable heat.

The solution-patio covers! Installing them over your patio allows you to continue enjoying the outdoors while keeping nice and dry or relaxed and cool when the weather isn’t cooperating. Besides this obvious reason, patio covers can also be constructed for decorative purposes. They can add personality or create a unique ambiance over an otherwise ordinary patio.

When personalizing your patio cover, first consider the overall house design including the type of patio you have. Do you have a traditional Spanish patio? A contemporary or modern one? Or perhaps you have something avant-garde with odd-shaped outdoor furniture and out-of-this-world lighting. This will substantially determine what kind of patio cover you decide to install.

As far as designs go, you can have either an open or roofed or enclosed cover. An open covered patio sounds like a contradiction. But it simply refers to gazebos or patios with a large pergola over them. They’re open on all sides but covered from above. Gazebos and pergolas somehow evoke a romantic atmosphere. With the gazebo, some lighting may be installed under its roof or along its columns. The same goes for the pergola. However, it is more common to have gentle creepers grow along the pergola’s lattices to provide a light shade.

The roofed patio cover is just as its name suggest. You have a roof built over your patio. It’s like those 70’s ranch-style homes. With this type of patio cover, you can create a cozy and homey ambiance and a fireplace can even be installed to accompany furniture can be big and cushy.

The enclosed patio cover design is usually made up of large glass windows or glass panels held together by steel or aluminum frames. It’s representative of the classic sun rooms or sitting rooms that had arched floor to ceiling windows in frosted or clear glass. Today’s enclosed patio covers may be all glass or have a wide sky light or sun roof.

Whatever design is chosen, the ultimate goal of installing a patio cover is to allow you, your family and friends to enjoy the view and feel of the outdoors while in the comfort of an indoor setting.

Awning Not For Yawning – Patio Covers a Good Idea

Planning a lunch with the family? Are you having people over from overseas and you want to entertain them? Do you think it’s going to rain on the day they come over? Not to worry! Install a patio cover for your home and you can entertain guests through any weather, rain or shine.

Every home owner needs the assurance that things will go according to plan no matter what lift throws at them. And this is what a patio cover will provide for those who just love entertaining people in their home. Peace of mind, at last.

Didn’t you hate it when you had people over you wanted to impress but the weather was so scorching hot that your outside brunch turned into a lunchtime cook-out? You should have had a patio cover in place and that harsh midday sun wouldn’t have spoilt the party.

Didn’t you hate it when it started storming even though it was hot and humid all day? Well, the pouring rain would not have soaked your guests or spoilt their hair had you installed a patio cover, awning or even a screen room. There are no set rules but common sense should tell you that your entertainment area should be prepared for any occasion or weather.

Installing a patio cover is one way to stop the sun and rain from ruining your day but you may be worried about it not feeling like outside anymore. Well, depending on your home and its environment, you should be able to find the right type of cover that won’t close everything up.

Better yet, these days you can even go high-tech and install a clear patio cover that can block out harmful UV rays. These are probably more expensive but the convenience is brilliant. Clear roofs with up to 98% UV protection are great for the summer months, while being equally effective during the rainy season.

These types of covers also give you the option of going completely clear allowing maximum light, 50% shade or even 75% shade for those really hot areas. Feel like you’re outside but enjoy protection from the elements at the same time. It’s win-win for everybody.

Sun rooms take it one step further and acts as a glass house, letting light in but keeping the bugs and wind out. If your place has a view, it could be a wise choice, especially for the protection from wind and sand.