Want A New Vinyl Patio Cover? Tips For Installing It Yourself

If your patio has become a favorite place to relax and enjoy the fresh air, you may be looking for a way to protect it from the elements. One of the best ways to build a weather barrier is to install a vinyl patio cover over the space. Most vinyl patio covers come in kits that make it easier to do the installation on your own. Here's a look at how to install a new patio cover in your yard.

Identify the Anchor Points

Before you can install the patio cover, you'll need to know where you want to attach it to the house. You need to have enough room for the roof to slope away from the house. Measure the distance from the patio pad to the roof line. Then, plan on a half-inch slope per inch of building height. Once you know how much angle you need on the cover, you can identify the mounting point on the roof by measuring back from where the end of the patio cover will reach. You'll want enough of a slope to ensure adequate water runoff, so if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, you may want to angle it a bit more.

 Install the Header

Attach the header track (the strip designed to hold the top of the cover) where you want the patio to connect to the house. Use a level to make sure that the track is straight. Use a grease pencil to mark the holes where the bolts need to go so that you can pre-drill the holes in the house.

Once the holes are drilled, place the track in place and secure the screws to hold it. Seal around the outer edge of the strip with weather-proof caulk.

Cut the Covering Pieces and Posts

Measure the covering pieces so that they are a foot or two longer than the patio itself. This allows for the space needed to create an angle for water run-off. Measure the posts for each end based on the length of the covering pieces. You'll need to cut the posts to the proper height to maintain the slope.

The best way to make sure that the posts are the proper height is to rough-fit the patio cover pieces. This way, you can see the angle that the pieces will sit on based on the pole height. Make sure that you clearly mark where you need to trim the post so that you only have to cut once. After all, you can't put any pieces back if you cut it too short.

If you're installing the posts directly into pre-dug holes in the ground, add an extra foot or two to the height to account for the part of the pole that will be in the hole. If you're going to put the poles into concrete, you don't need the extra height. After cutting, install the posts.

Install the Cross-Beam

Once the posts are inserted and secured, you can install the cross-beam on the top. The cross-beam is designed to fit all the way across the posts to secure the top cover strips. Attach the cross-beam using bolts in the top of each post.

Attach the cover strips to the house and then to the cross-beam, using sheet metal screws to hold them in place. Each of the vinyl cover panels should attach to the one beside it, and then secure on each end with the screws.

Vinyl patio covers provide you with overhead cover so that you can enjoy your patio without the intense heat of direct sunlight or issues with rainfall. Make the most of your patio space with these installation tips, or call a patio contractor to help you.