How to Build a Patio Cover

Patio covers are not only seen as an extra addition to your patio but also as another piece of furniture for your home, adding extra style and grace to your home’s surroundings. It also protects and shades those who wish to relax on their patio from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Following the instructions provided below will allow keeping some extra cash in your pocket and still enable you to build a safe haven of your very own.

Tools required

  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Ladder
  • Post-hole digger or shovel
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Tape measure
  • Staple

Materials required

  • Plywood
  • Corrugated plastic or tarp
  • Deck screws
  • Nails
  • Shingles
  • Flashing


  1. Find out the size of your patio and decide if you would like to cover all of it or just a section. Then find out the pitch and angle at which the patio cover will extend. Use a tape measure to make sure all the measurements and dimensions are accurate.
  2. Make 4*4 posts that will be used to hold up the patio cover. At the corners (edges) where the base of the cover will be, dig a set of holes, large enough to accommodate the post base.
  3. Fill the holes at the base of the patio cover with stones, and secure that it is tightly packed. This should give added support to the weight of the roof.
  4. Then you will create a support beam at the top of the posts by using 2*12 boards and setting it into the roofline then screw the corners together.
  5. Use the ladder to climb up to the top of the post to create a crosshatch pattern across the top of the posts using the rafters. Mark off the rafters to 2 feet at the center. Use the design of the roof pitch as a guideline and cut the rafters and tails. Nail in the rafter with the hammer or nail gun using headed nails. Make sure a minimum of 6 inches of the rafter overlap the edges of the post and edges
  6. Place a block in between rafter tails. For every third rafter, drill 3½ inch holes in the center. And measure a piece of metal screening and staple it to the inside of each block previously drilled with 1½ inch-diameter holes.
  7. Install a 5/8 inch roof decking; this again will take two persons. Install flashing where the existing roofline and patio roofline intersect. Then take the tarp paper or corrugated plastic and install it on the roof, starting from the bottom and working your way up to the top.
  8. Start from the bottom of the roof and put in a drip edge and install shingles. When installing the shingles, make sure they overlap each other. Then install a roof jack 2 feet on either side down from the ridgeline.
  9. Finish the underside of the roof by installing sheathing on it. Then wrap the post base with 1*6 boards, cut it to length, and wrap it close to the base.

Tips and Warning

  • A post-hole digger is the recommended tool to make the hole for the base, even though the holes can be made by using a shovel.
  • A lattice fence can also be built around three sides of the patio cover if you desire to add additional security.
  • It is recommended that two or more persons do most of the work, especially the roof framing, the decking, and the sheathing.
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