If you have ever wondered how to install an aluminum carport or patio cover, then just read this article and it will be easy for you. I have installed a lot of them, by myself. Some of them were very large.
First you need to order the cover. Measure the area you want to cover and make sure of where the posts will be and how they will be attached. This kind of cover is very light, and needs to be secure. If you don’t install this cover right, the wind can take it away, a heavy snow can collapse it, or it will leak in even a light rain.
After you know what size you need, and have purchased it, you are ready to begin. If the cover is to be attached to another structure, install the first gutter/ beam to the structure using lag bolts with washers every sixteen inches, making sure it is level. These are pretty self explanatory in that the wide part of this piece goes to the bottom as it actually is a gutter. If it is free standing, you will need to install posts on each side, and attach the first gutter to the posts on one side. Next you need to install the corners to this piece. This is done by screwing it onto the first gutter with two self tapping screws. Now you are ready to install the end gutters. Insert one of these gutters into the corner and attach it with two screws. Make sure you let this gutter drain slightly. I suggest about one half inch per ten feet. You need to have a helper to hold this up on one end, or rest it on a support post or step ladder. At this point, you need to seal this corner. ( After you have installed the roof panels, this can’t be sealed. ) Install another corner onto the other end of this gutter. Next you need to install the other end gutter in the same way. Now you can install the last gutter. Make sure to check the corners to make sure that they are sealed. This is the frame that will hold the roof panels. You need to square up the frame. This can now be anchored to the posts.
The panels are somewhat different from one manufacturer to another, but they all have basically the same construction method. Install the first panel at the end of the frame, and screw it into place with two screws at each end of the panel and seal these screws. Next put another panel into the frame, and it should lock onto the first panel by hooking it on in an upright position and laying it down to lock. Do not force it, if it doesn’t go in easily, you have something in a bind. Look at the panel and get this step right. These panels do not require any sealer at the seams, only on the screws. Screw this panel down, and repeat this process until you are at the end. The last piece of the cover may need to be cut. If this is the case, cut very carefully with tin snips, or score it with a utility knife and bend it back and forth until it breaks off. . Install this panel as the other s were installed, and seal all screws.
These covers usually come with clips to anchor the panels to the top of the gutters, make sure to use these clips on every panel, this will keep the cover from collapsing in a heavy snow.
Now you need to put a downspout on to carry the water off. Mark the location and drill holes around until you can get a short metal cutting jig saw blade in and cut out the hole. Attach the downspout. Clean up your mess, and enjoy your cover.