Let’s not talk platitudes about the fact that the porch and the awning above it are the face of the house. Everyone understands this very well, and therefore they try to make the “face” as attractive and original as possible. Various materials are used: metal, polycarbonate, corrugated board, metal tiles and even glass, but wood remains an option at all times. You can make a wooden visor yourself or entrust this task to professionals. Whatever it was, but before making a decision, you need to know how the visor over the wooden porch behaves in operation, what strengths and weaknesses it differs, and what care it will require.
# 1. Advantages and disadvantages
The function of the canopy over the visor is to protect the entrance area from precipitation, drain water and, of course, decorate and complement the house. Wooden canopies have been used from time immemorial, and even now they have not lost their popularity. True, with the advent of new materials for the construction and decoration of houses, wood ceased to be universal. A wooden visor will be a harmonious decoration of houses made of timber, logs, sheathed with wooden clapboard, as well as houses in the facade of which wooden elements are used.
The main advantages of wooden canopies include:
- absolute environmental friendliness and naturalness;
- chic appearance, which is ensured by the beauty of the natural pattern and the color of the wood;
- wood is a pliable plastic material that can be given almost any shape, so in terms of variety, wooden sheds confidently bypass competitors and can only compete with forged counterparts. From wood, you can make both a fairly simple canopy and real works of art with an abundance of carved and openwork elements;
- structural reliability;
- relative ease of installation.
Frankly, wood is not the most ideal material. Its disadvantages include:
- fear of moisture, fire and pests;
- in order to extend the life of a wooden canopy, it will have to be regularly treated with special protective equipment. Despite the fact that some people like to leave the visor uncovered, it is better to use roofing material on top of it, which will provide additional protection for the material.
Wood is often combined with forged elements, tiles, corrugated board and other materials – it turns out quite interesting. This combined visor is highly versatile.
№2. Tree species
It is no wonder that the most important performance characteristics of the visor depend on the selected wood species. The most commonly used breeds are:
pine is a soft wood that lends itself well to processing, has a high resin content, due to which it is less susceptible to cracking. The color of the pine is quite interesting, even noble, the pattern and color persist for a long time;
spruce has almost the same properties as pine; it is also actively used in the production of canopies;
maple is the most popular hardwood. It lends itself well to cutting and polishing, practically does not crack, and is well painted.
Whichever type of wood is chosen, it is important to pay attention so that there are no defects, wormholes and incipient decay processes on the material.
No. 3. What are the types of wooden canopies in terms of construction and design?
By type of construction, wooden canopies are:
hinged, they involve fastening the supports of the visor to the wall. This type of construction is applicable to small canopies that differ in their minimum weight. Since wood is a rather heavy material, it is impossible to make suspended canopies on its basis (when the canopy is attached to suspensions on top of it);
supporting, provide for the presence of additional supports that will support a heavy visor. This type of construction is used when the area of the canopy is large enough, and the front wall of the house cannot withstand such a load. Wooden or metal beams are used as supports.
Free-standing canopies can be distinguished into an independent group, which are used to organize a canopy over terraces, verandas and parking lots. A serious foundation must be prepared for such visors. The canopy will be in contact with the house, but will not rest on it.
The choice of design depends on what functions will be assigned to the visor. If you just need to protect the entrance area from precipitation, then you can do with an ordinary hinged canopy. If you plan to turn your porch into a small seating area with a bench or chairs and a compact table, then you will need a support structure. When arranging a terrace or a carport, you can look towards the freestanding canopies.
However, it is not enough to decide on the type of attachment – you also need to choose the shape of the visor. You should focus on your own preferences, features of the facade of the house, landscape design and take into account the properties of various types of visors.
The most popular are the following models:
single-slope canopy, which is attached at an angle of more than 20 degrees in relation to the wall of the house, due to which the normal flow of water and snow is ensured. This is the easiest construction to manufacture, so if you decide to make a wooden canopy with your own hands, and you have little experience, then a lean-to canopy will be the best choice. However, despite the simplicity, there is also a place for fantasy. The visor can be flat or concave. It is clear that it is easier to make a flat one, but a concave one will look more interesting and will perfectly fit into certain architectural styles;
gable canopies are a little more difficult to manufacture, but they are more durable, because snow loads will be evenly distributed over the roof. Perfectly such a visor complements exactly the same gable roof of the house;
cracked and polygonal visors are made much less often. They are quite difficult to manufacture, require a lot of details to be taken into account, but they look original and very interesting;
an arched and semi-arched visor made of wood is not very easy to make, but the loads on such a surface will be distributed as evenly as possible;
a domed or hipped roof canopy is also not easy to make, so you can take up the manufacture of such a structure if you are completely confident in your abilities. It’s easier to buy a ready-made visor. The advantages of this design include a streamlined shape, which is especially important for regions with strong winds.
Naturally, each of these shapes can be decorated with carvings, openwork elements and other decor as you wish.
Depending on the presence of side walls, the visor can be:
open, i.e. without walls;
closed, with side walls, which will provide additional protection from rain and wind. If the porch is large and will be used not only for accessing the house, but also for organizing gatherings, small picnics and dinners, then it is better to take care of the side walls.
No. 4. What else needs to be considered?
Many of us choose a visor, evaluating only the shape, size and, at best, the harmony of the combination with the house, but many other aspects must also be taken into account, among them:
- the canopy will be constantly loaded by precipitation, so the structure must be designed to withstand this load. For each region, the degree of load will be different, therefore, when designing, it is important to take into account the thickness of the snow cover, the strength and direction of the winds;
- no matter what form the canopy will be, simple or outlandish, it is necessary to provide for a water outflow system so that rain flows do not just pour under your feet and on your head;
- ideally, the visor should be slightly wider than the porch in order to reliably protect the entrance group.
No. 5. Buy or do?
In this case, the answer depends on your skill and ability to handle wood. If you yourself or according to the instructions can design a visor, cut out all the blanks, treat them with protective equipment, connect all the elements into an integral structure and perform installation so that everything is smooth and solid, then it will be cheaper to do all the work yourself. Moreover, in this way you can create a structure with an original design and exactly the size that is required.
There are no ready-made visors on sale as such. Just for a certain amount, you can order the manufacture of a porch canopy. At the same time, an individual approach is preserved, the canopy will have clearly required dimensions, shape and design. You do not have to spend time and energy on working with wood and comprehending the basics of woodworking. The disadvantage of this option is that the visor will come out more expensive. In addition, many people prefer to do everything on their own in order to personally control the quality of the material and all processes.
If you decide to make your own visor, then stick to the following action plan:
- at the first stage, it is necessary to create a construction drawing, which depicts the shape of the structure, decorative elements and all dimensions. When drawing up a diagram, it is necessary to take into account the climatic features of the region, wind loads, as well as the type of selected roofing material;
- prepare all the necessary materials and tools. You will need a wooden beam for supports with a section of 10 * 10 cm or 12 * 12 cm, as well as a board 25-45 mm thick for the lathing. You may have to stock up on a bar of 50 * 50 and 20 * 15 mm. The choice of parameters depends on the dimensions of the structure and the future load. The amount of material depends on the shape and size of the visor. Also, you will need to stock up on a screwdriver, self-tapping screws, anchor bolts, nails, a hammer, a level, a plumb line, a hacksaw for wood, a tape measure, a pencil;
- the nuances of making a canopy depend on the shape. A single-slope canopy, for example, is much easier to build than a dual-slope;
- the length of the rafters, triangular brackets is determined;
- bars of the required length are cut at an angle of 45-60 degrees. These are the brackets that will support the visor. They must be fixed against the wall, the distance between them is equal to the width of the canopy;
- if the design of the visor assumes the presence of supports, then at this stage pits 50 cm deep are prepared at the place of their installation, the bottom is lined with a layer of waterproofing, support beams are placed on top, and the space around them is filled with rubble or gravel, and all this is poured on top with concrete. The tops of the supports can then be cut at the desired angle. Some people prefer to screw the supports onto the existing columnar foundation;
- production of rafters and their fixation with crossbars;
- installation of a ridge bar;
- installation of plywood, timber or edged boards on top of rafters;
- installation of hooks for future drain;
- installation of roofing material;
- if necessary, the side plates are fixed;
- installation of a drain pipe, installation of a cornice strip, fixation of a drain pipe.
This is a general scheme for making a wooden visor with your own hands. There are many more nuances to consider. Detailed instructions, video and recommendations on how to do porch canopy independently, can be found on the website olestnicah.ru. Thanks to this resource for the information provided.