How To Build A Patio Shade

What You'll Need
Cement foundation posts with brackets
4x4 wood posts
Brackets to attach 4x4 posts to the top of the frame
2x2 pieces of wood to go across the top for shade
Paint supplies
Concrete and wheelbarrow or bucket to mix it in

Installing a patio shade in your back yard can be a good way to increase you outdoor living space. Whether you choose to install a patio shade canopy or the more traditional patio shade cover you are sure to appreciate the shade they provide on hot summer days. Either one is relatively simple to build.

Step 1- Setting The Foundation

You will need to set the foundation post 8 to 10 feet apart for the length and width of your desired patio cover. Dig the hole for the base and place in the foundation tubes, mix the concrete and fill to the top making sure to insert the mounting bracket for your posts. Ensure that the foundation is level from post to post or your shade will be uneven. Allow adequate drying time before mounting the posts. 48 hours should be enough time.

Step 2- Attach The Posts

Use 5 inch bolts to attach your posts to your foundation brackets. You will need to pre-drill and use a washer and nut combo to securely attach the bolt. Hang additional posts on top of your foundation posts to form the frame for the 2x2 lumber that will be spread across the top of the shade.

Step 3- The Shade

The shade is going to be provided by laying out multiple 2x2 boards of the same length across the top. The spacing can vary but the easiest way to make sure that it is consistent is to use a two inch block of wood as a spacer between each fixed piece of lumber. Screw in one 2x2 at a time working your way across. You also have the option to use a bracket for each 2x2 board. This can end up making your project budget increase though.

Step 4- Secure It

Brace the upper corners of your structure with 2x4 braces. You want to make sure that your patio shade stays in place for more than the next wind storm. The braces should be applied at an angle in order to support both sides of the corner. You can use bolts or screws. If you use bolts be sure to make pre-drilled holes and attach securely with washers and nuts.

Step 5- Paint It

Choose either a good quality outdoor paint or a stain that is weatherproof. By doing this you will protect your investment of time and money. Cover the whole structure filling in all gaps and crevices. If needed sand the wood before painting or staining to make it smooth and even.

You have many choices for materials when building a patio shade. There is wood, stone, brick, stucco and wood composite to choose from.

Make sure that you have a solid, level foundation to start with. Then choose the material that you feel is best for your structure. All of them have pros and cons in using to build. Check with your cities building committee to make sure that you are following all regulations.