A big, wide extended patio is great until the sun beats down on you! These homeowners in Elgin, TX, enjoyed life outdoors on the patio immensely. Container gardening, grilling out, watching the kids play, hanging out with the dogs… but that sun! It drove them indoors far too often.
Archadeck of Austin swooped in to save the day by designing and building the patio cover of their dreams. Now this family has been able to reclaim their outdoor living space! With a reliable shade structure, an amazing ceiling fan, and some comfortable outdoor furniture, they will rarely have a reason to go indoors. (Well, maybe to sleep.)
Covered Patio Builder Archadeck of Austin Gets to Work!
A patio cover is basically a huge roof. At one end, we can usually tie it into the home’s existing roof. But at the other end, and along the sides, we use posts to support the patio cover. Posts are supported by footings. When we complete our work, you won’t see the footings, but they are critically important because they transfer the structural load into the ground.
When we’re building a patio cover and pouring a new patio, we set footings into the ground first. However, on this project in Elgin, TX, we were working with an already-existing patio. That meant we needed to dig under the concrete slab to install footings. Then we installed large posts, 12’x12’, for this large patio cover.
What’s interesting is that one of the posts we needed had already been installed. The home builder had used a cedar post to support the original roof at the corner where there’s a cut-out in the roofline. With one of the posts supplied in advance, all we had to do was install the other five!
Materials Make a Patio Cover
While the home’s existing roof has an 8/12 pitch, we designed the patio cover’s roof with a 4/12 pitch. The numbers mean the patio roof rises only 4 inches for every 12 inches inward toward the roof’s peak. The new roof ties neatly into the home’s existing roof, and we were able to match the home’s shingles.
When we select materials for an addition like this patio cover, we follow the homeowners’ preferences and also strive to match the home. We design the new structure to make it look like it came with the home. For example, here we used pine for the ceiling of the patio cover to match the ceiling on the adjacent (small) porch cover. Our stain man was able to match the new ceiling stain with that already there, a red stain mixed with clear—we got an exact match!
Because of the span and size of this new structure, we used a 2’x10’ truss system. We built a roof wall system across the back of the patio cover, at the point where the new ceiling ends and the original porch ceiling begins. For the ridge beam, we used laminated veneer lumber (LVL), a very strong engineered wood product made from layers of thin wood and adhesives. We used natural cedar for the other beams in this project.
Patio Cover Amenities Make It Home
One of the most important parts of a covered patio is the ceiling fan! Besides providing shade, the roof over a patio can hide the electrical wiring needed for an overhead fan. These homeowners love their ceiling fan from Big Ass Fans. Just in case high winds blow through, the company supplied cables to secure the fan—in addition to the regular mount hardware. Regardless of temperature, these clients will never be without a breeze on this patio.
Since outdoor living doesn’t end at sundown, plenty of specialty lighting went into this project. For exterior lighting, the homeowners selected black barn-style lighting fixtures, which we mounted on the outside of the porch cover’s two corner posts. For the interior, we installed recessed can lighting in the ceiling.
These clients will never again have to sit outside in the blistering sun—unless, of course, they choose to! They’ve also banished the rainy-day blues by adding this large patio cover over their large patio. No more cancelled cookouts or birthday parties on account of rain.
Jim Schallon, Lead Designer at Archadeck of Austin.