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The Key to Designing and Building Awning Patio Roofs

An awning roof is a structure that is built to bring the outdoors in. It’s attached at the side, or to multiple sides of a house, to extend the roof line and create an outdoor area that keeps everyone protected from rain and sun during our extreme weather. In most cases, an awning roof is an addition to a house after the initial home has been built.

Which awning patio roof is right for my home?

There are so many things to consider when designing your new outdoor awning area. Budget, purpose, style of existing home, location, climate and more. That is why there is a multitude of options to suit everyone.

1. Bearer and joist framed roof
This uses standard building principles of timber framing, roof battens and metal roof sheeting and can include plasterboard and paint – as shown in top image.

Benefits include – can be cost effective, easily build into different shapes, LED lights and ceiling fans can be installed.

Down sides – long process to install, ongoing maintenance, big and bulky, economic appearance.

2. Single skin metal roofing panels

Installed into a C-Channel or onto a beam, this is the entry level for the patio kit type of roof.

Benefits – really fast to install, finished surfaces, cost effective.

Downsides – economic appearance, poor insulation rating, noisy when raining, colour on the roof is the same colour on the ceiling, cannot be walked on.

3. Insulated panel roof systems

One of the most popular ways to modernise your home, the insulated panel roof system is installed in a similar way to the single skin panel. The panels are available with a multitude of thickness options, and are super fast to install and deliver a high end finish.

Benefits – Can span up to 10 meters long, exceptional insulation rating, LED lights and ceiling fans can be installed, different colour and design finishes available for both the ceiling and the roof, very fast installation, can be walked on, is very strong, covered by Colorbond Warranty.

Downside – Is more expensive than options 1 and 2.

4. Retractable roof systems

This is a great idea for places where shade is needed at different times of the day, or even year. Popular for commercial applications, and in smaller outdoor areas with restrictions on structures being built. There is a large variety of retractable roofs to suit every budget from basic and cheap to completely retractable walls and roofs.

Benefits – fast install, great weather control, massive variety.

Downfalls – most cannot be left out in high winds and heavy rain, can be very expensive, normally not permanent.

Construction method when joining to the house

When you look at your home to try and figure out how you can cover over that outdoor area, you will no doubt be thinking about these things:

  • what are you going to use it for?
  • how high does the ceiling need to be?
  • how much light will it block from entering into the house?
  • where is the rainwater going to go?
  • what is the new outlook going to look like from inside the house and from under the new roof?
  • what style will suit your home?
  • what colour scheme will you choose?

. . . and on and on.

There are two simple ways to install a new awning roof to your existing home.

  1. Installing to the existing fascia, or
  2. Installing onto a beam that mounted to the top plate of your external house frame through the roof.

Method 1 – installing an awning patio roof onto existing fascia

When installing the roofing to the fascia, it will either go under the exiting roofs gutters, or the gutters will need to be taken off and the existing roof can either be extended or transitioned onto the awning roof. This is a great method if you are considering enclosing the area in the future.

WARNING! The existing guttering should be taken off to remove any chance of leaking, and it should never be used as the gutter for the new roof, ever! If the awning roof is installed under the guttering it cannot meet the building Code of Australia, particularly if the gutter isn’t removed and a metal flashing installed. Once the flashing has been installed, the guttering can be re-installed if required.

One of the most common call outs we receive is to rectify leaking of an awning patio. The cause is always incorrect construction, as explained above.

Method 2 – constructing an awning using the fly over method

This is a fantastic way to build a structurally stronger and visually larger patio awning.

Building a fly over patio comes with many benefits, including airflow, height of ceiling allowing for ceiling fans, direction of slope, greater size capabilities, dramatic change of appearance to the original home.

The main challenge of a fly over awning is making sure penetrations through the existing house roof are water-tight. Specially designed deck-tite collars are used to seal the posts to the roof sheets or roof tiles. Smaller patios can use adjustable risers (I don’t like these as they are thin and not very strong) to join the new awning beam to the house. Steel posts are to be used, and never timber posts as it is very hard to seal timber to the deck-tite without the seal breaking due to expansion and contraction. Also the patio roof will move, silicone and rubber adhere to steel better than timber.

Do you need council approval and submit plans?

Yes, and this generally will cost you between $1,000 and $2,000 for basic awning designs and can be handled by your preferred installer.

MyCladders is a licensed builder, with extensive experience in roofing and cladding. We started building awning patios in 2003 and have worked with many builders and home owners to create beautiful and functional patio awnings. We construct  patio extensions from the best quality materials and never take the cheaper options. Every project is different and to give a ball park cost is hard, however using insulated panel roofing…our systems would start from $220m2 including GST.

Give us a call on 07 3177 3366 for a chat about your project.

About the author:

“Im Kendrick Myers, Director and License holder of MyCladders. I have passion to help people achieve the best results possible using Metal roofing and cladding. I do this with innovative ideas and solutions that are implemented to deliver some of the most amazing results achievable with Colorbond steel…Without our clients needing to engage an architect. On top of that, My love for design and bespoke creations means I will never sell you an idea or solution that I do not believe in.”