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Old 07-27-2014, 03:13 PM   #1
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I am planning a covered porch project and my local building dept is not very informative. I am planning on completing this project with an experienced contractor friend. I myself have intermediate construction and slightly less carpentry experience, but much more skilled than the normal DIY'er. I am in the process of awaiting approval from my HOA and beginning to start drawings to submit to the city for review and approval. I want to ensure my drawings are accepted and to IBC before I do as to not add to their expensive fees and delay the project. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

This project will be a 14ftW x 14ftL Porch Cover that will be attached to the home on one end and an open gable on the other end (Pavillion Style Cover). See attached sketch that was submitted to the HOA for ideas. The main issue(s) I am having is the following:

1.) My concrete pad is not thick enough to support this structure (2.5" thick), so I plan to pour footing 12" diameter sonotubes going 30" below the frost line. I want to minimize the amount of footers as I am trying to preserve the existing concrete patio. Therefore I would like to only pour 2 footers and attach the other end to my home. The bottom of the 2nd floor rim joist is located 10'9" above the existing slab which would make for a very tall cover and I was hoping to set the beams on top of 8 ft posts for aesthetic reasons. How could I attach this structure to my existing home? Should I attach a ledger to the home into the existing wall studs with Ledger lock screws then attach the beam (2-2x12s w/ 1/2" plywood sandwiched) to the ledger?

2.) Checking span tables it looks like for this structure I would need beams to set on top of the 6x6 posts that are constructed of 2-2x12s w/ 1/2" plywood sandwiched and a ridge beam of 3-2x10s. This is based on a 20PSF snow load requirement and 10PSF dead load. I also determined for my span that 2 x 8 rafters are required. Can anyone verify this information? Also what is the best/simplest way to attach the beams to the post and the ridge beam to the beams? I have some ideas, but looking for additional feedback from others.

As you can see, I am not experienced in planning these projects, but I know once I get the plan completed and approved, me and my buddy will have no issues getting this done. Any advise will be greatly appreciated
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:22 PM   #2
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Have you considered paying a designer/architect/engineer to make the drawings?

In this area any structural drawings are unlikely to be approved without an architect or engineers stamp---

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Old 07-27-2014, 11:47 PM   #3
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I understand your response and not to sound condescending...
But I have no interest in spending more money designing this thing than actually building it.

My local building department will absolutely accept a set of plans that are not from a licensed engineer or architect, they are only concerned about code. And they charge a hundred bucks each visit for plan review. I have no problems paying the permit fees (which exceeds $400), but there becomes a point when it doesn't make sense to even do this project, which I estimate will only be $1500 in materials.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:14 AM   #4
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I know it sucks but ultimately what it comes down to is is your city inspector needs to approve....providing it needs to be pre approved. Does it absolutely ? Codes vary depending on locale as we all know. BTW, my distant neighbor knew carpentry, and decided to add a second floor to a small house. After getting the framing in place the neighbors only started then to complain (for whatever reason)....point being...if neighbors didn't complain the city was absolutely clueless what was going on in their own backyard so to speak. But you didn't hear this from me...ssh
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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I understand many do without permits, however I do want to make sure I am covered. I don't want to risk tearing this structure down and paying fines, I don't want to worry about insurance not paying a claim if something happens and I really want to make sure it is done right. This will be an integral part of our outdoor entertainment 3 seasons of the year and will be sheltering an outdoor kitchen and bar. I have some ideas after brainstorming with my buddy. I will sketch something up and post later.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:46 AM   #6
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Most lumber yards will spec out a beam---make a call and see if you can get the info---
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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I do most of my design and drawings myself.In place of taking them to the city building dept. and arguing with them over small details and delaying the project I take them to an engineer.He looks them over and for usually $100 puts his stamp on them.
After they are stamped by a structural engineer the building inspector (usually a civil engineer) has no say.
Money well spent for me.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:01 AM   #8
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Your post is a little confusing, it seems you are going to get permits which is a good thing for sure. You have a Building Department that will look over any plans you will provide, another good thing.
Now for the meat of my post; the beam design you want to do is not covered under the IRC for prescriptive designs, (no ceiling joists or rafter ties) assuming that your jurisdiction is using the IRC or some equal of it. So if you can not design by prescriptive means then you would be required to have it designed by a licensed design professional like an architect or engineer in order to meet code and get a permit.
At least, that is the way it works in most places.

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Old 07-29-2014, 06:15 PM   #9
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I am confused. Beam design is not covered for a vaulted ceiling? It is used very frequently in pole barn, outdoor pavilions, patio covers and even interior structures with little or no professional engineering in many cases. Timber frame construction was something I actually considered, but I pulled back the idea due to thinking this was something that would require additional engineering.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:56 PM   #10
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Oh and hurricane ties will be used for beam and ridge beam to rafter connections.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:58 PM   #11
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I am unclear what span tables you are referring to for the main beam. As others have noted, main beams for vaulted ceilings are generally designed either by an engineer, an architect, or the lumberyard supplying the beam, so far as I know there are no prescriptive tables for such elements. In many jurisdictions, you can submit your calculations to the building inspector, and get your beam approved, but in some jurisdictions you have to get an engineer's stamp. You should ask your building inspector what the rules are. From your description, you may have the skills and knowledge to perform the necessary calculations, submit them, and save some money. Asking folks on an internet chat forum who have not seen your site to verify your beam design is not a good idea in my opinion, you have no idea what value, if any, to place in their replies, and your building inspector is unlikely to be impressed with the opinions of a chat forum, so realistically what are you going to do with an answer?

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