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Musaw17 04-19-2013 08:49 PM

Beam span
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I am building a 20 x 20 permitted patio cover. I am planning on using 3 2x12 pressure treated boards for my beams to support my trusses. I need to support a 30 psf dead load and 10 psf live load. Can some suggest the maximum span for my 6x6 posts. I am hoping to put a post every 10 ft.

I have attached some very rough sketches.


woodworkbykirk 04-19-2013 10:27 PM

you have to consult a local engineer to spec that, we dont know where your located so if its going to deal with snow loads, wind loads and what your local codes call for

GBrackins 04-19-2013 10:27 PM

here ya go ...... this is from the 2009 International Residential Code, your code may vary

Good luck!

GBrackins 04-20-2013 12:01 AM

the will help you size the beam and location of columns, it does not however address the concerns raised by kirk. you'll have to determine wind loads so that uplift, lateral and shear forces can be determined. You patio cover must be anchored to a foundation, and properly braced to resist racking forces.

construction of this type typically falls outside of the prescriptive nature of our building codes, which in a lot of jurisdiction requires review/design by a professional engineer or architect. should your building department not require this review/design by a design professional and you are able to obtain a building permit based upon your design does not mean there won't be any potential issues. Physics does not always work well with the fact your got a permit.

you can roll the dice and take your chances, or you can hire a professional engineer and ensure the success of your project. Good luck!

one cut 04-20-2013 10:38 AM


Originally Posted by Musaw17 (Post 1163074)

I have attached some very rough sketches.

I actually like your sketches.

MJ Force 04-20-2013 12:11 PM

With an addition like this it would be wise to seek the advice of the building department in your municipality. If an addition of this size is permitted in your neighborhood they would likely want detailed plans including setbacks. Your own drawings may satisfy them if done properly and you adhere to all local building codes. (ie; materials, dimensions and whether/how an addition can be supported by the existing building.)cya.

Your neighbors may get a little excited if they notice something going on in your backyard.

taylorjm 04-21-2013 03:16 PM

Are you attaching it to the house? That may cause you more problems then it's worth verses putting in 2 more posts and making it a free standing structure. Are you putting in trusses and covering it with shingles or just a lattice structure?

You mentioned wanting to put a post every 10', but you only show 2 posts on your sketch running across the front. Are you planning on spanning the entire 20' with just 2 6x6 posts?

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