Learning how to install a patio roof can help you get the most use out of your patio. A good patio roof will not only protect you from rain but also sun.
In order to install a roof, some sort of support system for roofing panels should already be in place. These systems can vary widely, depending on the patio design. Be sure to check your local building codes to determine if you need a building permit before you begin the project. If you already have an arbor that covers the patio, or support for a patio awning, you can use that to support the roof with a few modifications.
To modify an arbor to install a patio roof, begin by checking the arbor for loose connections or unsound wood. These problems should be addressed before beginning. Also, the arbor should be constructed out of lumber able to hold roofing panels. If you have any concerns about the weight of the roof, contact a professional who will be able to assess the situation and tell you how to install a patio roof for your home safely.
Once the arbor is determined to be suitable, install blocking that is two feet on center perpendicular to the rafters. For this job, it is important to use small pieces of blocking that will fit between, and be flush with the tops of the rafters. Depending on the size of your patio, renting or buying a nail gun may be well worth the cost. Be sure to use galvanized nails for this step.
How to Install a Patio Roof Using Corrugated Metal Panels
Corrugated metal panels are inexpensive and easy to install, making them ideal for a do it yourself project. Be sure to buy a corrugated metal roofing system, which includes roofing panels and closure strips to support the panels.
Installing Closure Strips
To install the closure strips, attach the strips to the top of the blocking with galvanized screws. The strips should snap together ensuring proper spacing on the horizontal. Once the closure strips are installed, vertical closure strips should be installed on top of the rafters. These strips will fit between the closure strips that were installed over the blocking and should be attached with galvanized screws.
Laying Out Panels
Once all of the closure strips are in place, begin installing the corrugated roofing panels. If the structure supporting the roof is slanted, start installing panels at the lowest end. If the patio is attached to a house, start on the end opposite of the house. Be sure to overlap the edge of the panel to cover fascia or protect supporting lumber from rain damage.
Pilot Holes and Fasteners
Before installing a corrugated metal panel, be sure to drill pilot holes in the panel. The diameter of the pilot holes will depend on the manufacturer's recommendations. Often the holes are larger than needed to allow for thermal expansion of the panel. Plan on drilling a pilot hole in the panel at every other rib of the closure strips, for each set of closure strips that the panel covers. Use the fasteners that come with most corrugated metal roofing kits. These fasteners have a rubber seal below the head to help create a tight bond.
Attaching Panels to the Frame
After the pilot holes are drilled, installing the panels is a simple task. Put the panel in place and screw each fastener into place through your pilot holes. You may want to add a small bead of caulk around the pilot hole to help make an even better seal between the roofing and fastener. When you need to install your next row of panels, overlap the roofing by several inches. Run several beads of caulk along the overlapping edges of the panel and sandwich them together to prevent leaks.
Working on a ladder can make easy tasks difficult, so consider asking for help to complete this project. Someone who can help move panels and retrieve tools as needed will help the job go quickly. Of course, if you are uncomfortable working on a ladder, you should consider hiring someone who knows how to build a patio roof and can do the work for you.