Patio Covers

There are several factors that affect the quality of a patio cover:

  • Panel Thickness: Panels come in various thicknesses. The thicker the aluminum, the more rigid the material, and the farther the panel can safely span.
  • Panel Density (insulated only): The insulating foam comes in 1# and 2# density. 2# density has a higher "R-value" and can span longer distances.
  • Beam Size: There are many different beam types and sizes. Beams should be properly sized to meet the engineering for the span and post spacing used.
  • Post Size & Type: Posts are also engineered to carry a maximum load. Using the wrong size or type of post can cause a failure and collapse of your cover.
  • Footings: Generally speaking, the minimum footing for aluminum patio covers is 18" x 18". However, we go a bit stronger for each of our posts with a footing size of 24" x 30"
  • Fasteners: The proper type and number of fasteners must be used. Too often we find covers where an installer has used screws instead of bolts, or fewer screws/bolts than is required.

Quite simply, we don't cut corners to save time.  We invite you to visit us on any jobsite, and you will see that we use heavier panels, the proper beams and posts, dig more than is required for our footings, and use the engineer's required fasteners.


The North Carolina Building Code states that carports in our area should have a live load of 20 lbs/sf.  However, with over 40 years of installing carports and patio covers, we recognize the need to make them a bit stronger than is required.  If you have lived in the area for more than a few winters, you have seen the heavy snows that we can get.  It is our policy to engineer and install our carports and patio covers to at least 30 lbs/sf.  It costs a little more in materials, but through the years, we have found that the small additional cost of materials for a stronger cover is much less than most insurance deductibles.

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