"Lean-To" Type Patio Cover without using steel ties

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Forum topic by Tony1212 posted 11-06-2014 08:57 PM 1036 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 1735 days

11-06-2014 08:57 PM

I have a hot tub on the back patio. My wife wants it covered up so she doesn’t get wet using it in the rain. (Her words, not mine). I won’t be attaching it to the house, so I don’t have to worry about attaching the ledger board to a wall. I live near Chicago, so snow load is a concern.

I was thinking 4×6 posts with a 4×6 beam on top of them. The one closest to the house would be 10ft high by 12ft wide. The one away from the house would be 8ft high by 12ft wide. Then 2×6 joists would span the 10ft between them. There would be 2×6 stretchers between the joists, and corrugated smoked lexan for the roof.

However, I hate the look of the steel ties that everyone seems to use. I realize that they are very strong and make the project go together very quickly, but damn they are ugly. Though, I am going to use them to anchor the posts to the concrete patio, but I have a plan to cover them up with some trim.

Can I use lag screws to attach the 4×6 beams to the top of the posts? That would be screwing into end grain.

Then how would I hang the joists that would be up to code but still avoid the use of the ties? I’d rather not have to buy a bunch of extra lumber to to cover them up. Could I just notch the bottom of the joists so they fit the beams and screw them in from the top?

I haven’t gotten any permits or anything yet. I’m looking to do this in the spring, but starting my planning now.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

2 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 11-06-2014 10:00 PM

Pocket screws. You can do stub tenons if you want,
which you’ll learn something by doing, but pocket
screws will be easier.

View runswithscissors's profile


2752 posts in 2025 days

#2 posted 11-08-2014 01:40 AM

Before the steel ties came along (and became mandatory under building codes), you would just toenail a structure like that. Pocket screws are essentially “toenailing” with a screw. Should be plenty strong, unless you get a lot of tornadoes or hurricanes. But you might not want to use your hot tub in those conditions, anyway.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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