CONSIDERATIONS AND TIPS FOR PLANNING TO BUILD A PATIO COVER
With any construction addition to your home you will need a well laid out plan. Adding a patio cover is no different. Patio covers can make a great addition to any home or yard. When laying out your patio cover plans you need to address the reason why you need the patio cover, a design to fit the budget, a budget for the project, a plan for the construction of the patio cover, and the required specifications laid out to legally build the patio cover.
Problem / Solution
The first thing to think about before making your patio cover plans is what you need the patio cover to do for you. Are you planning to cover a grilling area or a patio table? Are you planning to get protection from the sun or rain? Are you planning to lower your monthly cooling and heating costs? Or even a combination of needs? You should first take some time to write down everything you want your patio cover to do for you, and placement of the patio cover. This will help narrow the planning process to fit your exact needs.
Patio Cover Design
The next step in creating the patio cover plan is the patio cover design. Solara patio covers are fully customizable to perfectly compliment a yard from the various different colors that are available, down to the exact shape of the patio itself.
When planning for a patio cover design you need to know how colors affect the outcome of your patio cover. While bright colors offer the feeling of openness, it tends to show more dirt that builds up from the elements. While darker colors hide the dirt more effectively, they can make a space seem smaller. Taking these considerations into mind will help you choose a color scheme that will be best suited for your situation.
You can choose to match your patio cover plans to a modern house or even a log cabin. Once you have a plan for the patio cover design you are ready to lay out a budget for the project.
When you are making your patio cover plans you need to take your budget for the project into consideration. Ideally a fully aluminum patio cover would be the most eco-friendly, durable, and least amount of maintenance needed for a patio cover. Aluminum, however, can be costly when planning for a project of this magnitude. To make the patio cover plan more cost efficient we recommend using a combination of different materials. It is best practice to make the top strictly from aluminum. This will help protect the rest of the structure that is not aluminum. Now you can consider using a different material in your patio cover plan. Either wood or steel would be cost effective and ideal for the supporting posts. Steel is very cheap and will be protected by the aluminum top. You also need to consider how many beams that are needed to be used. The less you use the more cost effective it is. However, you need to plan around wind and snow load specifications laid out by what city you are in (this we will get into later) which may require a certain amount of posts.
You also need your patio cover plans to have the most fitting color scheme for your home or garden. Standard colors will be cheaper than custom colors; however, custom coloring might be necessary to make the patio cover picture perfect.
Obtaining Official Patio Cover Plans
At Solara, we offer patio cover plans for free. Now that you have some details about what you need the patio cover for it is time to obtain official building plans. After reviewing your specifications, we can determine if your patio cover plans require a generic or custom set up.
This is important because having a generic set up will be cheaper than a custom set up. At Solara, we offer a free three dimensional building plan for your either generic or custom set up. This 3D plan will illustrate exactly how you can receive sun and shade during the different seasons.
Solara will also give you free engineering plans as well. The engineering plans will illustrate how the patio cover will hold up in the elements.
When the plans are submitted to the city for construction this is what they will be most interested in. The design is a minor detail. This will give you a much higher chance of success when getting a plan approved, maybe even over the counter. This will depend on the city you live in.
Patio Cover Plans for the Elements
While creating the engineering plans Solara will also consider snow load and wind load. These are figures you can obtain from your city officials (building department), and considerations we will take when making your patio cover plans. These details will vary depending on where the patio cover will be constructed. For example, a customer from California and a customer from Texas could have the exact same patio cover plans but will both be still very different. A Customer from Houston is going to have to construct the patio to withstand more wind pressure than a customer from San Diego. Another example is a customer from Sierra Nevada will have to construct a patio cover to withstand more snow weight than a customer from Dallas.
Technical Patio Cover Plans
The final stage in planning your patio cover is the technical detail needed to determine the length, width, and height of your patio cover. The more projection that your patio cover has the more shade it will produce.
Too much projection, however, and you will lose more of your backyard view. An expert at Solara can assist you in deciding the perfect combination between projection and desired amount of view.
Another consideration to take into account is the height of the patio cover. The higher the patio cover goes, the less area underneath it will cover. This is important because the higher the patio cover is built, the less protection from the elements it will produce.
It is recommended not to have a patio cover lower than eight feet because it will create a cramped feeling. Likewise, it is not recommended to construct a patio cover past 10 feet because it will start to eliminate the protection from the elements. The standard size that Solara builds to is 8 ½ feet high.
These tips are best practices put forth by the experts at Solara patio covers, not necessary requirements. We will build the patio cover to a length, width, and height you desire.
This guide should give you some insight to the requirements of making your patio cover plans. Start by writing out the function you want your patio cover to fulfill. Whether it is for a garden, to cover your hot tub, or to cover a grilling area, Solara Patio Covers can customize a patio cover for you. After you detail your needs it is time to start with the patio cover plans.
- First, write up you patio cover plans and preferred design you would like your patio cover to be, detailing the shape, size, and color of the patio cover.
- After you write up your patio cover plans, now it is time to budget for the project. Knowing what materials you need, color, amount of posts, and size for the patio cover should give you a reasonable estimate for your project.
- Next, take your patio cover plans to a Solara Patio Covers dealer near you. They will help you determine the scope of your project by offering free three-dimensional as well as free engineering patio cover plans. They will also help you determine the best length, width, and height for your needs.
This step by step guide should help you get your patio cover plans in motion.