DIY Self-standing and Overlapping Patio Cover in Alexandria/Fairfax VA

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Old 07-09-15, 02:26 PM
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DIY Self-standing and Overlapping Patio Cover in Alexandria/Fairfax VA

Good afternoon all,
I have been looking at older posts to get some ideas and avoid placing repetitive questions. Yet, I'm sure I will ask some of those. Sorry about that in advance but it might just be that I'm not 100% sure of the answer given out there.

My self-standing patio cover is to be done in two sets. (1) lower patio cover (2) larger and taller patio cover build at different times. On this thread I would like to discuss/get advice on the first one. I'm only mentioning the second one so that people know what is next, in case the approach considered has to be adjusted based on that fact. Also, I want to do it as professionally done as possible. I don't want to have someone look at it and say "that doesn't follow code". I do want to follow code to not raise eye brown but the code book looks like Chinese to me (I don't speak or read Chinese, in case it's not obvious).

The first picture below shows the layout of the area to be covered. I have sliced the area into 4 areas. Areas 1 and 2 is what most of this thread will be about. Area 3 and 4 is for the larger, higher, heavier cover.

The second picture below gives more detail on how I visualize the layout and the measurements. I want to have 7 or 8 columns. 7 columns (where the blue dots are), if the beam won't look odd when being stretched 16 feet (see between area 2 and 4), it would give it a more open appearance. Otherwise, the 16 feet would be broken down into two 8 feet.

Area 1 is 8x8. Area 2 is 12'3" x 7'10 - 8'. I believe Area one can have 4 posts and share two posts with area 2. On the left side of area two, approaching area 4 is where I don't know if it should be two posts or 3 to match the left side.

Here is what I have so far:
  1. I will use 6x6 columns and they will be about 9 feet tall. That part of my house's ceiling goes 8 feet in high
  2. I will dig 24 inches in deep to use concrete tubes
  3. I will use 10" tubes for the 6x6 posts
  4. I will use PT wood for the post (from HomeDepot OK, any kind of PT?)
  5. I will use PB 6x6 Zmax Gavanized Post Base PB66z. Some slope needed to avoid water concentration.

I will be asking my questions in parts to avoid smoke coming out of my ears
Questions I have and I can't find the information regarding the patio covers. I see decks though.
  1. I want my structure to be self-standing. How far do I have to be from the actual strucuture of the house?
  2. To avoid touching the structure and guttes of the house, I want the roof of my patio cover to overlap a bit over the house. This is to prevent water from gettign in between the house and patio cover. I'm thinking about 4 inches overlapping for when it rains in windy days.
  3. The pitch of the roof should have some pitch to push water away. Should the supporting columns also have the same pitch?
  4. How high avobe ground should the Zmax seat? I read somewhere 2 inches. Now I have grass but I might want to have pavers or even concrete in teh future.

I believe I can start digging withing the next two weeks, put the concrete posts and do the rest at baby steps. I have no previous constructions experience so it will all be new for me. Also, I will be doing more of the work by myself. If there is someone on the board that is a "pro" at doing this things and want to supervise my work from time to time, I'm OK paying for their time to check on my work and get some questions answer... I just want to make sure I do it RIGHT.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 07-09-15, 02:30 PM
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Here is the first picture
Firs Pic here
http://i62.************/2u94ebd.jpg
http://i60.************/zvdjwm.jpg
Name:  back 2.jpg
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Size:  52.4 KB

Name:  Blueprint.jpg
Views: 800
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Name:  Setup.jpg
Views: 539
Size:  19.4 KB
 

Last edited by Merlin703; 07-09-15 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 07-09-15, 04:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums! We have pros on the forum that are more than glad to help with the project. So this free standing roof thingy will be covering quite an area, right? Have you thought about the overall slope and in what direction it will be? Have you considered snow load? Posts are a beginning. You will need to consider bracing in both axis directions and the type of header you will use to rest your roof rafters on, how they will be connected, and what type roofing you will have. Just some things to chew on while you are in the planning stage. This is good reading and may help you with "code" things, although it is primarily for decks. It will give you some insights as to what you can and cannot do with wood connections, like laying in your bands rather than bolting them to the outside. If you have questions, ask. http://www.awc.org/publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-12.pdf
 
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Old 07-09-15, 05:04 PM
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Chandler, thanks for the reply. Yes, hopefully one of the pros lives nearby in the Alexandria/Fairfax area in VA.
I wanted to address each section independently to avoid throwing it all out there and confusing myself and well as others. At this stage of the thread, I wanted to focus on the footings and columns. then move on to the rafters and cross boards with.

Yes, I saw the document but it's for decks. It might be obvious, to the one that knows, which section applies to decks and which sections applies to patio covers but for me... it is not. There is a lot of information on the document and I didn't want to focus on one thing that might not work for a patio cover.

One of my pics shows the drawing and the wood I'm considering on using for the rafters, which is 2 2x9 boards. It might be too much but.. I wanted to address that after I feel I got the bottom of the cover all clear.

Do you know how close to the structure of the house I can have my self standing patio cover?
Does the concrete footing listing on my post OK?
Is the idea of patio cover that is above and overlapping the roof of my house OK according to code? The idea is to keep the water away.

The first picture I have below is of the back of my house. The tree looks close but it's not. The slope of the roof would be towards the tree. The water travels from the back of my house towards the tree then to the right. Water from around my my house is moving towards to right corner and further away from the picture. I wold think putting gutters on patio covers would look really odd, right?
Are the braces to rest on the concrete footings I listed good for what I want?

I wish my pictures would be more clear from what they are. The original does. I will see if I can swap for a better quality. I tried to use something like tinypic but didn't work.
 
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Old 07-09-15, 07:52 PM
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Regarding your question about how close and how deep:

PRESCRIPTIVE RESIDENTIAL WOOD DECK CONSTRUCTION GUIDE

All footings shall bear on
undisturbed soil
at least 12
inches below
the undisturbed ground surface
or below
the frost line, whichever is deeper
.
Contact the authority
having jurisdiction to determine the specified frost line.
Bearing conditions shall be verified in the field by
the
building official
prior to placement of concrete.
Where
the building official
determines that in-
place soils with
an allowable bearing capa
city of less than 1,500 psf are
likely to be present at the site, the allowable bearing
capacity shall be determined by a soils investigation.
DECK FOOTINGS CLOSER THAN 5'0"
TO AN
EXTERIOR HOUSE
FOUNDATION
WALL MUST
BEAR AT THE SAME ELEVATION AS THE
FOOTING OF THE HOUSE FOUNDATION.
 
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Old 07-09-15, 08:48 PM
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Alright so when the footing is within 5' feet from the wall, it has to be leveled with the inside floor of the house. Good, I didn't think of that and it does make sense.
Is a foot away from the house wall OK or too close?
 
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Old 07-09-15, 09:35 PM
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Make sure the overall roof line will not obstruct the existing structure, its gutters, nor your ability to clean and maintain them.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 05:03 AM
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Thanks, out of the 4 questions I asked at the beginning of my thread, I believe I have the first two answered.

For the first question, I wanted to know if there are any restrictions on how close the concrete footing column can be to the actual house. I now know that if it's closer than 5', it has to be leveled to the house floor. I still don't know if there are any restrictions on proximity.

For the second question, I wanted to know if there are any restrictions (code perhaps) if the roof of my patio cover overlaps the roof of my house (this is to prevent water). Since I didn't received a "no" I believe it means "it's OK"

My other two questions have not been answered. I wonder if I should have not placed all 4 questions at once and start a new thread to address each question instead. Let me know if anyone has suggestion on the best way to get answers. I thought by organizing my question at the beginning of my thread, I would make things easier for the reader... guess not


From first post at beginning of my thread.
I will be asking my questions in parts to avoid smoke coming out of my ears
Questions I have and I can't find the information regarding the patio covers. I see decks though.
I want my structure to be self-standing. How far do I have to be from the actual structure of the house?
To avoid touching the structure and gutters of the house, I want the roof of my patio cover to overlap a bit over the house. This is to prevent water from getting in between the house and patio cover. I'm thinking about 4 inches overlapping for when it rains in windy days.
The pitch of the roof should have some pitch to push water away. Should the supporting columns also have the same pitch?
How high avobe ground should the Zmax seat? I read somewhere 2 inches. Now I have grass but I might want to have pavers or even concrete in teh future.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 06:18 AM
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I'll enter as the party pooper - When a Permit is Required - Fairfax County, Virginia You need a permit to build your structure. You will therefore need detailed plans to present to the permit office.

I now know that if it's closer than 5', it has to be leveled to the house floor
That is not correct, it reads the same elevation as the FOOTER of the house, not the floor of the house.

You may want to invest in some software to help you draw up some plans to present. Punch Home Design Software for PC and Mac | Interior Design and Landscape Design | Punch! Software has some relatively user friendly programs to help you along. You can download them, but the file is huge - make an extra pot of coffee to keep you busy during the process. I bought my first one 10 years ago, and keep updating on line to the next available edition.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 11:59 AM
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Czizzi, thanks for the reply.

If I'm understanding your entire response correctly, I will not get help here to do this DYI with no permit, right?

If the above is correct, (1) I have to purchase some software worth near $400.00 (2) learn to use the software to draw something that can be presented to the country to get a permit (3) get the permit (4) then come back here to see if I can get online help to do my project?

Please let me know if the above is not correct. I called the country twice. The first time, they said I needed a permit. The second time the person that answered the phone for covers 15 x 15 (I forgot the actual measurements but that was about what stuck in my head). Obviously, my cover will be larger than what the person on my second call said was OK.

I wanted to do it with no permit BUT following code because I don't plan on moving any time soon. I might do an expansion to my garage, which would involve tearing most of the build down. This is not for another 5 years or so.... or it might never happen. The whole build was on my backyard so unless my neighbors complain, no one would know. My next door neighbors don't care and the one behind me is always building stuff on their backyard. That neighbor does it on the weekends which makes me believes is DIY.

Going through the process of spending $400.00 plus learning how to use the tool then reaching out to get questions answer..... by then my kid might be in college and we might have to do something else. I'm not 100 % against getting a permit, although I would prefer not to, but what kind of business do I reach out to get that part done for me? If you know the name, perhaps that would be the way to go.
I also wanted to see if I could find someone local to come check my work and plans to make sure I'm not screwing things up. Of course all for a fee. That would ensure the quality is good. I want to be proud of my work.

I hope to get some further honest advice from you. No sugar coding needed.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 12:25 PM
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The roof line is so convoluted, any portion of it may tend to be out of slope with the rest of it due to set backs, making (1) the part at the house too high, or (2) the part at the low end so low a dog couldn't pass under it. You must maintain a reasonable slope on the entire roofline from the deepest part to the edge if it is to all end at the same place.

Oh, we don't sugar coat things, believe me. We'll give you general advice, but that advice will also be in the form of getting it permitted. Even though you plan on staying in the house for years, once that day comes and there is no permit, your house price just dropped, and it all may have to be torn down before it will sell. Scenario two: if, during your building, the inspector happens by, or a neighbor rattles the cage, not only will he put a "stop work" order on it, you will need to get a permit and pay fines over and above the cost of the permit.

I have a Punch program (although it may not be the version Z has) and I know darned well I didn't spend $400 on it. Couldn't have. Probably more in the $100 range. You will need to calculate all your slopes versus lengths. The program does it for you. I'm not saying to go buy a particular program, either. If you can do drawings free hand, more power to you. I can't. But the AHJ will need the drawings for the permit.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 12:55 PM
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Like I said, I'm the party pooper.....

I have the Punch AS4000 which is very dated but still does what I need to do which is provide visuals for my clients to help them make design decisions. I just checked Amazon, and you can get the same program used for $30. For a quick reference, go to the beginning of this thread I started recently looking for advice from my friends here on options for a low pitched roof. Surprisingly, the structure looks a lot like what you are proposing. Go to the beginning of the thread here- http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ro...low-pitch.html

Like any new software, there is a learning curve and it only does what you tell it to do. It is a very simple CAD program, but it will get you past the permit stage. Anytime you build something up in the air with an open roof, it becomes a large sail (or kite if you will) and becomes the weak link in a wind storm. So, your neighbor does have a vested interest in your project, and you should too if you have young ones around. Even with the county blessing, it still may blow away in a major wind event, but you would have minimized that chance by building it to code and having it signed off on by someone with the correct knowledge.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 01:13 PM
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Mine is Pro Platinum Suite 4.5. Yes the instructions in PDF format at 460 pages long, but totally searchable.
 
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Old 07-11-15, 04:18 PM
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Guys, thanks. $30 bucks is not too bad. (1) I do want to make it safe and be proud of it (2) I don't mind at all an inspector.
I will have to do more digging to make sure I understand that part of the game better.
I'm a first time home owner, and first time living in a single house. How can I figure out how much my property tax will go up? Is is just very minimum or... depends?

Thanks for the links to the other thread. I'm actually driving to Niagara, at Denny's right now, on a vacation trip.
 
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