DIY Patio Cover
How to Design your Solara Patio Cover
The first thing required to do is to design it according to your snow load and wind load (mainly reflect the substructure such as posts, support beams and headers)
Unlike other patio covers that are designed to maximize your shade, the Solara adjustable patio cover is designed to maximize the direct sunlight you will get. We will always try to design our louvers to open towards the sun since no matter which way you will direct our louver system, you will get 100% shade with a switch of a button.
We recommend to direct the opening of the louvers to the south, west or east, never to the north.
Our patented rafter can be attached on both sides, meaning unlimited dimensions. However, our louver can go up to 23 ft long, meaning if your dream patio cover 20ft x 40ft it will be easier to design it 40ft rafter x 20ft louvers.
Keep in mind, that the sun is always on the move, it rises in the east and sets in the west through the south side. The height of the sun also varies throughout the seasons, so when you design your patio cover, take in consideration. For example, if your patio cover is facing west, you will always get sunlight through in the sunset. To receive more shade, you can add visors or extend your patio cover to the west. Another example is, if your patio cover is facing south, the shade that you will receive will drastically change between sunset and sunrise. Solara recommends to download the “sunseeker app” to your phone and use the 3D view feature.
If you have a big back yard, and you do not want to cover all of it, you have to keep in mind not just practical needs, but also the atmosphere you want to create. You will always want to cover your entire sitting area and leave some overhang. Even if all of your guests are under shade, some of them may be found sitting with no louvered roof system over. To have the best hospitality environment you should consider your sitting area layout.
With the Solara louvered roof system, you can create as many controlled areas as you like. For example, one area will be separately controlled above the barbecue stand. Another area will be separately controlled next the bay window, and the third area will be controlled over the sitting area. On a sunny day this will give you the opportunity to open the barbecue stand cover for the smoke and smell, close the bay window area to let the kids watch tv without reflection inside the house, and have 80% shade for the sitting area.
A few rules of thumb: The bigger the cover, the more shade you will maximize. The lower the cover, the more shade you will get. And the bigger the slope, the better the weather proofing.
Depending on how big your project and where you live, prices can vary since our DIY Kits are all customized.
Generally, non-snow areas prices run $18-$21 per square foot. Snow areas will run $23-27 per square foot.
We will send you written instructions and a link to an installation video.
Depending on the size of your patio cover, with 2 people, your cover should take 1 and 1/2 days to 2 days to install.
Delivery time runs from 3 to 4 weeks and can be longer in the summer months.
Solara accepts several forms of payment (ex. ACH payments and Online/Mobile Quick Pays)
Wind load is how fast the wind is in your area. The building codes will require to design the louvered roof system for the fastest wind load that has ever occurred in your area. They will usually add 30% and calculate wind gusts as well. For example, the slowest wind load that you can design your patio cover is 90 miles per hour and it can go up to 120 miles per hour. Our louvered roof system’s generic engineering will cover up to 115 miles per hour and will be approved for roll formed and extruded louvered roof systems. We can always make site specific engineering for your louvered roof system.
Snow load means how many pounds of snow you have per square foot. Building departments will calculate the snow load area as the heaviest winter that location has received. We add a cushion of 30% and add weight of rain as well. The term used is psf. (pounds per square foot) For example, if your building codes require 30 psf. and your patio cover is 20×15 (300 square foot) we would have to design the louvered roof system to carry 9,000 lbs. load. Solara has generic engineering up to 30 psf. and we can always calculate a site-specific engineering for your needs. The generic engineering is approved for roll formed or extruded louvered roof systems.
You can have different exposures in the same city. Building departments will calculate the span by different exposures for the same wind even if it’s in the same wind and snow load area. For example, a louvered roof system that will be installed in a 90 mph with 10 Psf. snow load in an urban area will have less exposure than the same patio cover with the same load in a rural area. The exposure can also address the height of the louvered roof system. There will be different exposure for a louvered roof system that is installed on a ground floor than at the penthouse 4 or 5 stories high. Commercial and residential louvered roof systems will also have different exposure, although they’re in the same exact location. Our louvered roof system’s generic engineering will cover exposure A and B and in most building departments you will just need to increase the loads to permit your louvered roof system in exposure C.
Yes. We do offer a gutter system, however since our cut edge technology does not force us to have support on the edges of the cover, we don’t force you to buy the gutter system and keep your louvered roof system affordable. After thousands of louvered roof systems installed all over the world, we know that most people spend their time when it’s raining either indoors or underneath our cover. Most of the louvered roof systems are installed on first level on the yard and you can let the water run to your garden so there isn’t any need for an expensive gutter system. Gutter systems also require maintenance keeping it clean and properly working can be a hassle that will require ladders, tools, etc. If the gutter system is clogged, your louvered roof system can leak. We feel that less maintenance and less labor is a better system. We do recommend to install the gutter system on our patio cover when it’s being installed on the 2nd level or higher and the water drainage is directly to your downstairs neighbor’s porch. With the Solara louvered roof system, you can always add the gutter later on.