DIY Patio Technical Specs
Attached covers are bolted to a structure like your house or place of business. When installing this type of cover the posts may be bolted to a concrete slab in most situations but posts may also be bolted to a footing. The covers must be attached to the structure, this provides the shear strength required. They may also be attached on the sides of the structure but side attachment provides no shear strength. The main 3”x8” header beam that sits on the posts may be attached to the side wall in place of a post in some designs.
The required bolts and spacing for ledger boards are in the engineering and vary according to the size and loads of the cover. Attached covers may be attached to:
Attached patio covers must be bolted to the solid wood in your structure. If you are mounting your cover to a stucco wall finding the studs can be a challenge & time consuming. This is probably the hardest phase of the build. Here are some tips:
There are three ways to install a ledger board. Painted wood ledger, Alumashade ledger with wood inserted and Alumashade ledger wrap over wood ledger.
A painted wood ledger is a wood 2×6 or 2×8 attached to the house with lag bolts as per engineering specs. The wood should be primed and painted.
An Alumashade ledger with wood insert is an Alumashade 2” x 6.5” rafter with a wood 2 x 6 & strips of ⅜” plywood inserted. This ledger is then mounted just like the painted wood ledger board. This ledger can have end caps on it.
An Alumashade ledger wrap is my preferred method of mounting, This install is started with a painted wood ledger. The lag bolts are recessed so the bolt heads are flush with the face of the wood ledger board. The Alumashade 2” x 6.5” rafter is then ripped the entire length, top and bottom so you have a 3-sided wrap measuring 1.5” x 6.5” x 1.5”. This is then mounted over the wood ledger board and held on by the rafter hanger brackets. If you want end caps you must cut them down from 6.5” x 2” to 6.5” x 1.5”. I like this method because the lag bolts holding the ledger board to the wall are hidden. You may see this install demonstrated in our Help Videos
Permanent: Freestanding covers are not connected to a structure but are stand-alone systems. These kits come with steel post inserts as required by engineering. When installing this type of cover the steel posts are normally set into large concrete footings and Alumashade posts are slid over the steel posts. Freestanding covers may be bolted to concrete footings using our 9” steel bases. These baseplates are available as an option at an additional cost. If there is an existing slab the slab must be cut and the concrete removed at each post location for footings to be poured.
Temporary: With an existing slab sometimes it is not possible or desirable to cut the slab and pour footings. We have designed a “temporary freestanding structure” for these situations. Temporary structures usually do not have to conform to the same engineering codes as a permanent structure. Building permits are usually not required. This cover may be bolted down to keep it secure but also may be unbolted.
The engineered shear strength is lost from not having steel posts set into concrete footings. Our temporary freestanding covers use our optional 9” baseplates or our Craftsman II style posts to provide shear strength. On larger covers we may recommend using both the 9” baseplates and the Craftsman II post system.
For an attached cover the projection is perpendicular to the house. This is the direction of the rafters.
The width of the cover is parallel to the house. This is the length of the header and the lattice.
There are two types of spans. There is a rafter span and a post span. The spans are measured in the projection and width directions. The rafter span is measured in the projection direction. The post span is measured in the width direction. All the allowable spans change according to sizes and loads of your cover, so it can get a bit confusing figuring spans.
The rafter span is the distance from the house to the header on an attached cover or header to header on a freestanding cover. Our rafters are normally set 24” on center (o.c.) We have engineering for rafters to be 16”, 12” & 8” o.c.
The post span is the distance between the posts in the width direction. Post spans are determined by two factors, post attachment & header type. You must always use the least allowable span of these two factors.
Post attachment is how the post is attached at its base. The post can be attached to a slab or a footing.
Header type is the header system being used. The 3×8 standard header can have a steel C-beam inserted to increase the allowable post span. The header may also be doubled to increase the post span.
If you are attaching the posts to a slab then you are limited by the maximum allowable slab span. In most cases the maximum span with a slab attachment is less than the maximum single header span. With footings you can get some very large post spans by adding a double header with steel C-beams. When you use steel C-beams you will also need steel post inserts.
The rafter overhang is in the projection direction. It is the distance the rafter goes beyond the header. The overhang can be up to 25% of the span.
The side overhang is in the width direction. It is the distance the header overhangs the post. The overhang can be up to 25% of the post span. We normally figure a 2’ overhang.
Our standard covers can have posts up to 12’ high. Post and column heights available are 8’, 10’ and 12’. When you are planning to set steel post into concrete footings the steel post must be 2’ over your standard post or column height. This allows 2’ of the steel post to be set into the concrete footing. 2’ longer steel posts are supplied when ordering a freestanding cover. Covers may be engineered up to 15’ tall posts. This option will require you to collaborate on the design with us.
On a single header application the 3×8 header sits on top of the post. On a double header application the headers are attached to the sides of the post. On an 8’ post the top of a single header will be 8’-8” the top of the double header will be 8’-0”.
There are various colors available for our many products. There is not a price difference between colors. Our colors will vary according to your geographical location and the manufacturer. We have charts listed below of available colors
You may order two-tone or even three-tone covers at no extra charge. This option is available in our designer. In the designer you can see in real time the color changes. As with all color samples viewed on a computer screen the colors on the screen may not match the actual colors of the product. We provide color chips upon request to those who have completed the designer and confirmed their estimate.
Central & East Coast
Installation instructions are available online. They may be downloaded anytime from our Instructions page. Any information in the engineering will always supersede written instructions. It is important to consult both the instructions and the engineering when building your cover.
You have unlimited access to technical resources available via this website, email, text or phone. After you order you’ll receive Bob’s personal cell phone number so you may call after hours and on weekends if you have any install questions. We know what a drag it can be having one little question shut down the whole project for the day, especially if you have friends over helping you!
Our standard covers have a 10lb live (snow) load and a 110 mph wind load. Our engineering accommodates up to 50 lb snow loads & 130 mph wind loads. With site-specific engineering, we can design covers to even higher loads. The cost for site-specific engineering is billed on a case to case basis.
If you need higher than our standard 10/110 loads simply enter your required snow and wind loads in the “loads” section in our designer.
Once you send in your completed Alumashade design we will make sure all aspects of your cover comply with our engineering. We will then confirm the estimated price of your cover and send it back with the option to “buy now” , “ask more questions” or “save for later”.
Multilevel kits are available. There usually a very minimum upcharge for these types of covers. We do recommend overlapping the covers 1’ to 2’ depending on the height difference on the covers. i.e. if you have an overall 10’ x 20’ cover that is multilevel you would need 10’ x 21’ of material to allow for a 1’ overhang between the two covers. There are many ways to achieve a multilevel cover. This type of cover will require you to send in a drawing and collaborate on the design with us.
Combination covers are available. There is usually a very minimum upcharge for these types of covers. These covers can be a combination of lattice, solid, adjustable and AlumaVue types. This type of cover will require you to send in a drawing and collaborate on the design with us.
The Alumashade fan beams and recessed lights that are available for solid covers are not covered in the engineering for lattice structures. Some customers have creatively adapted their covers to accommodate the lights and fans and some of these designs can be seen in our photo gallery. We will sell you the fan beam and recessed light kits with the understanding that these upgrades may not meet your local building & engineering codes. As with the rest of the Alumashade kit once these parts are ordered they can not be returned.
With your order you will receive:
Our DIY Kits come with all the material and hardware you will need to complete the installation yourself. All you will need to provide is the labor and the tools. If you don’t own the needed tools they are typically available for rent at your local home
Your shade structure is an important investment in the value of your home. Alumashade has over 30 years of experience designing and building shade structures. We are able to help you begin the design phase, walk you through the permit phase and answer any questions you may have during the ordering & construction phases.
We are proud to be recognized in the industry for our custom design ideas and ability to help you with any challenges that may arise during all the phases of your project. Take advantage of our experience and our unparalleled customer service. Uncompromising standards, state of the art engineering and superior service means you’ll enjoy carefree ownership for years and years to come.
We are committed to your satisfaction and will do our best to help you order your cover properly. All dimensions, colors, styles and every other aspects of the do-it-yourself kit are your responsibility. Please be sure of your details when ordering. Carefully look over your final invoice, this is what you will be receiving. If you notice any discrepancies from your design or if you have any questions at all you must call us within 24 hours of ordering. No changes can be made to your order after 24 hours. Due to the fact that our products are custom made, we cannot allow returns of your order.
1) For moderate dirt an occasional washing with clear water using a garden hose and soft-bristled brush is recommended. A long-handled, car-washing brush is ideal for this purpose.
2) For a heavier dirt accumulation wash in the manner indicated above, but use the following solution:
1/3 cup detergent (e.g., Tide®)
2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (e.g., Soilax®)
1 gallon water
3) Mildew can collect on surfaces of all types of building products and is often evident on surfaces that have not been properly maintained. Normally, mildew will appear as black spots. Mildew is easy to remove by using the following cleaning solution:
1/3 cup detergent (e.g., Tide®)
2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (e.g., Soilax®)
1 quart sodium hypochlorite 5% solution (e.g., Clorox®)
3 quarts water
4) Environmental black streaking can also collect on the surface of a structure as a result of numerous environmental factors. We have seen this type of staining on patio covers built next to freeways. The best way to avoid this is to follow the above maintenance procedures. This type of stain is very difficult if not impossible to remove if not attended to. We recommend Gutter Zap 4 which can be found online.
5) Caulking compounds, roofing mastic, tar, etc. – If the substance has hardened try to peel off as much as possible by hand, do not use a scraper. After the majority of it has been removed or before it has hardened use mineral spirits to soften the substance. Apply sparing amounts directly to foreign substance and wipe off. Rinse the area thoroughly with water immediately after cleaning
Alumawood® is a registered brand name.
“Alumawood” is a commonly used name to describe wood-embossed aluminum tubing used to build shade structures. It originates from the brand name Alumawood® invented by Amerimax Building Products
You will often find these terms used interchangeably: Alumawood, Alumashade, Weatherwood, Elitewood, Classic Lattice, DuraCool and Ultra Lattice.
The scientific description for “Alumawood” is a wood grain-embossed aluminum alloy 3004-H36, 3015-H25, and 6063-T6 (smooth brackets). It is most often used as a low-maintenance, lifetime-warrantied, lightweight alternative for wood shade structures.
Amerimax uses a weather-resistant, anticorrosive AlumaShield® paint system with Teflon® additive that withstands the harshest conditions, including sun, rain, wind, and extreme temperatures. This paint system was specially formulated for Amerimax by Dupont.
Duraluma uses a low-maintenance, durable DuraTough Coating™ surface protection finish. DuraTough Coating™ is universally recognized for its non-stick properties, heat resistance and resistance to corrosion.
Four Seasons uses a multi-step coating system chemically cleans the aluminum sheet followed by a baked-on primer coat. The top coat paint system has a Teflon® additive that helps the cover withstand the harshest conditions.
All Manufacturers offer a limited lifetime warranty on the paint. Warranty registration information will be provided upon request.