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How to attach a patio roof to an existing
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How to attach a patio roof to an existing house

Patios are an absolute must if you spend time in sunlight and just want to relax in your own comfortable room. Even so, the weather is not always on your side and there is an upgrade that allows you to spend time outdoors regardless of the conditions – a patio roof. If you want to learn here how to attach a patio roof to an existing house, this is probably the easiest guide you can read. Patio roofs do not require professional planning and competent knowledge. Following every step mentioned here should be enough to put together a patio roof yourself.

Find the right tools for installing a patio roof

Roseville-Pavilion-by-Michelle-Walker-Architekten How to attach a patio roof to an existing house
Image source: Michelle Walker Architects

Attaching a patio roof to an existing house is not an easy task. It is doable, but it requires a lot of motivation and attention. In addition to strong morals, you also need the appropriate tools to complete this project. Patio roofs can be dangerous if they are not installed properly, especially if the area where you live is known for harsh weather conditions that often cause roof damage. Make sure you use the tools properly to avoid risk and protect yourself and your environment. You need:

  • Carpenter’s pencil for marking stains
  • level
  • ladder
  • drilling machine
  • Saw

Make sure that you have these at hand:

  • boards
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Beach board
  • Shingles
  • Rafters
  • bar
  • General ledger

Choose where the patio roof should go

There are several positions where you can attach a patio roof. Each position contains more or less different attachment processes and has advantages and disadvantages. Analyze each of these options and find out which option best suits your case. Once you’ve done this, you can learn how to attach a patio roof to an existing house.

Eaves level

Buffalo Valley Mission Ranch by Fergus Garber Architects How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: Fergus Garber Architects

For one-story houses, the most suitable position for a patio roof is under the eaves. It is perhaps the most common way of installing a patio roof, and it is also the easiest to install. You only need to use two rafters in the roof to place it. The only downside is that the fixed position at eaves height is neither high nor low.

High terrace roof

Outside-Inside-House-by-Neil-Cownie-Architect-Pty-Ltd How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: Neil Cownie Architect Pty Ltd.

Instead of installing your terrace roof at eaves height, you can go higher and remove the gutter from the house. The back channel will be placed much higher than in the above case and the effect will be a high patio roof. The difference between terrace roofs at eaves height and high terrace roofs is that you have to install a transfer flash on the terrace. This is the factor that gives you a few extra inches of height.

This is especially recommended for two-story houses in which the general ledger can be integrated into a ribbon bar. Band bars – or edge bars 0 are usually located between the floors. If you find this point and attach the patio roof there, you will get an aesthetically pleasing result while maintaining its effectiveness.

Masonry patio

Caruth-Residence-by-SHM-Architekten How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: SHM Architects

This is definitely the cleanest way to attach a patio roof to an existing house. It’s neat, simple, and convenient – attaching the return duct directly to masonry walls. This patio roof position gives you the best look and protection from the rain.

Tips to keep in mind during the installation process

You may not be able to add a patio roof according to local building codes

Carman-Bay-Cottage-Lake-Minnetonka-by-John-Kraemer-and-Sons How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: John Kraemer & Sons

Before starting work, make sure that the regulations in your region do not require a building permit for such a change. Local building codes differ, and you may be fined if you do not respect them.

Roof design load

Sunset-Cliffs-CA-by-Mark-Stocker-Design How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: Mark Stocker design

All roofs are designed to carry a certain weight caused by snow or other additives. You need to make sure that your roof is designed to support an extension like a patio roof before you start construction. The terms used to define roof loads are “dead weight” and “payload”. The dead weight is the actual weight of the frame material, and the payload is any kind of addition.

pitch

Make sure your roof has enough slope for the type of roof extension you choose. When you learn how to attach a patio roof to an existing house, you need to learn about all of the roof manufacturer’s restrictions.

Rafters

Leucadia-Mid-Century-by-DZN-Partner How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: DZN partner

Pay attention to the size, length and spacing of the rafters. The wood you use changes the end result. Pay special attention to these dimensions. There is an online SPAN CALCULATOR (link) operated by the American Wood Council. It will help you determine the calculations required.

Foundations

If you live in a colder area, you may need to choose deeper foundations due to the frost line factors. The easiest way to determine the size of the foundations is to read the international building code and your local building codes.

Support columns

Louvered-Roof-System-by-Dart-Awnings How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: Darts awnings

To ensure that the patio roof is secure, you need to add support columns. The easiest way to design these is to add one in the two corners that are farthest from the walls of the house. You can build them yourself by putting together a frame. The frame can be attached with brackets and screws. Cover the frame with your preferred material and you’re done.

Add the general ledger card

Side-yard-patio-extension-through-southwest-fence-n-deck How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: Southwest fence & deck

After you have attached the patio roof to your structure, you need to deal with the main book board. The ledger is the part that holds the patio roof together and supports it on the walls. The positioning and mounting of a ledger board is the aspect that determines how angled the roof is and how high or low it is. It also secures the structure.

Blinking

Flashing keeps water away from the ledger board. When you learn how to attach a patio roof to an existing house, this step is often overlooked. Don’t forget to attach aluminum flashes under the siding, preferably. Bend it over the ledger plate to provide additional protection and to ensure that no water gets on the wall.

Rafters

Pombo-by-All-Square-Contracting-n-Restoration How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: All square contracting & restoration

Rafters and beam hangers go hand in hand. Prepare the beam hangers by attaching them to the house and getting rafters in the color that matches your design. Then attach the rafters and use beam hangers to create a stable structure. You can also use seismic anchors, but beam hangers are easier to install and are recommended for patio roofs. 2 × 6 rafters are the most common.

At this point, you can use a sliding bevel to maintain the angle where rafters meet the ledger board. The end of the rafters can look crooked if your house walls are crooked in the first place. However, you can fix this by repositioning the rafters at that particular angle and attaching them to the beams. You can also adapt them to the specific needs of the building.

Planks and shingles

Project-of-the-month-September-2017-from-Texas-Custom-Patios How to attach a patio roof to an existing houseImage source: Texas Custom Patios

Finally, you can form the roof on the rafters structure. You can do this by placing your planks over the rafters and attaching them accordingly. You can also add shingles or other materials that you prefer. A layer of strand board is recommended if you choose shingles and black roofing felt.

Final thoughts on how to attach a patio roof to an existing house

Once you’ve learned how to attach a patio roof to an existing house, you can get creative. Leave the beams free if they match the aesthetics of your home. Use decorative decorations or flashes to make the roof look high quality.

Hide the nails and metal caps for a neat look. Once you get the structure under control, there are no limits. As soon as you are done, you can enjoy nature and charge your batteries with a portion of nature, regardless of the weather conditions.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article about attaching a patio roof to an existing house that we created with the help of Tidewater roof.

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