Patio Roof Structure

  • TYPE: 3D Design
  • DATE: Summer 2018
  • CLIENT: DIY domicile project
  • TOOLS: SketchUp Pro, Twilight Render

I think it was Shakespeare who wrote “All the world is but a deck and come hither yet nay, stay away hot sun and cold rain”. With his inspiring words to guide me I set out on a quest to build a lean-to roof structure over my homes rear deck.


I measured up the existing deck and exterior wall. I quickly built an accurate SketchUp model with minimal details. I planned on using corrugated roofing with 18″ joist to joist spacing. The corrugated roofing is secured with screws and needs accurate joist spacing for the screws to line up. I modeled the 3D lumber to actual dimensions. So a typical 2″ x 8″ dimensional lumber is really 1.5″ x 7.5″. In the end the finished project was a real world exact copy of the virtual SketchUp model.

Modeling the project in 3D also helped ensure the height of the roof structure. Over hanging eves on the exterior wall meant I only had 8 feet of elevation to work with . The 3D model allowed me to set the slope the roof to shed rain while maintaining some headroom. The 3D model showed me that with the least recommended slope I would have 6′ (1.8m) of headroom at the outer edge. Not ideal but acceptable to me.

And here’s the final build. Final cost went a little over my budget of $1500.00 so I had to reuse the old railings. But the important thing is it is engineered to a snow load of 120lbs. per square meter. The roof also protects the rear window and door that were getting pummeled by wind and rain. The house is 90 years old and the roof will help extend the life of this old house.

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