Build A Patio Cover In Five Easy Steps
If you find your patio unusable during hot summer days due to the heat, the solution is a patio cover. Patio covers come in all shapes, sized, and materials and a wide range of costs and level of difficulty in building/installing. One of the least expensive and easiest patio covers to build is a lattice cover. With only rudimentary carpentry skills, a few tools, a free weekend, and a trip to your local home improvement store, you will have a shaded patio that you can use all summer long.
Building the Patio Cover
- Planning. Measure the patio area that needs to be covered and calculate your materials. Lattice is made in 2'X 8' and 2'X 8' panels, so if your patio is 8' X 12', you will need three of the larger panels. You will also need treated wood posts set eight feet apart, treated wood 2 X 8 planks for the frame to support the lattice. If you are putting the posts into dirt you will need concrete to set them; if the posts will sit on a concrete patio slab, you will use post anchors and concrete expansion bolts to attach them.
- Materials. Purchase your materials and make sure you have all the tools you will need. These include hammer and nails, screws and a screwdriver, a measuring tape, carpenter's square and a level, wooden stakes and string, and a post hole digger if the posts will be set in dirt. If the posts will sit on the slab, you will need a power drill and concrete drill bit.
- Piers and posts. Measure the spots for your posts. If placing them in dirt, dig holes 18" to 24" deep, set the posts, bracing them upright with wood stakes and string. Pour quick-drying concrete around them and use your level to make sure the posts are perfectly vertical. Allow concrete to dry. If you are setting the posts on the slab, mark your spots, drill holes, and set the concrete post anchors with expansion bolts. Nail or screw the posts to the anchors and level them.
- Framing. Build the support frame using the 2X8 wood planks attached at the top of the posts around the perimeter, and additional planks across the frame every four feet to support the lattice.
- Lattice Siding. Lattice panels are a good choice to provide garden shade. They also allow good airflow. Starting at one corner, screw the lattice panels onto the frame planks. Cut the final panel to fit if necessary.
Now sit back, relax, have a cold beverage, and enjoy your shady patio.