Save yourself a bucket load of money by doing this yourself. My brother was quoted £2000 for a veranda a similar size to mine. I built mine for £431.96. So if you want a veranda, pergola or simple lean to, why not try it yourself and save well over £1000. (I already had a bunch of bolts and screws so this would have cost another £30-£40)
If you want to try this yourself then your going to need a few basic tools including a good drill with a mix of different size wood and masonry bits, circular saw, handsaw, jigsaw, hammer, chisel, tape measure, set square and pencil.
After deciding the size of the veranda I needed to check if it would actually fit under the eaves of our roof. We live in a chalet bungalow, therefore the roof comes down quite low, so I had to decide whether the top edge of the veranda would go over the roof eave or under. Luckily the eave was just high enough to go under and allow enough run off to the end of the veranda without going too low. The measurements are:
- Top edge height (under eave)- 2400mm
- Bottom edge height – 2150mm
- Length – 2400mm
- Width – 6900mm
I was initially concerned with the run off angle of the roof (the pitch) as I needed to avoid water becoming stagnant. In the end I ended up with a 4 degree pitch which was just enough. Water tends to sit much easier on plastic than with glass so bear this in mind when planning your own.
With this being nearly 7m wide I knew two support posts weren’t going to be enough, but three post should be fine. We considered protruding 3 meters into the garden but decided that 2.4 meters was enough. The 3m length would have cost about an additional £120. I used building grade wood for the structure and some basic 2×4 pine for the purlins. If you want a chunky, stable build then look for C16 building certified wood. I shopped around and struggled to find a reasonable priced merchant with good delivery prices. In the end I found a great merchant on eBay with great prices and free next day delivery. Search for seller – Builders Emporium. I also purchased all the other items from various sellers on eBay including the 100 x 100 support posts, galvanised steel support post fixings, Vistalux corrugated heavyweight (1.1mm) plastic roofing sheets and Vistalux roofing sheet fixings. I like shopping on eBay as the prices are generally much better than anywhere else and you can read seller ratings and feedback before you buy. My other items were purchased at a local B&Q who also offer delivery on bulky items if you don’t have suitable transport. Check it out here.
So, the materials list:
- 150 x Vistalux fixings
- 10 x 2440mm corrugated PVC sheets
- 3 x galvanised 100 x 100mm post supports
- 12 x 2.4m 6×2 (47x150mm) C16 treated timber
- 2 x 3.6m 4×2 (47x100mm) C16 treated timber
- 2 x 3.6m 6×2 (47x150mm) C24 treated timber
- 16 x 1.8m 4×2 (9x18mm) pine wood
- 3 x 2.4m 100x100mm treated timber
- 12 x 120mm hex drew bolts and wall plugs
- 12 x 60mm hex bolts and plugs
- 6 x 110mm M10 bolts and nuts (including washers)
- Assortment of screws
Step 1. Measure everything up and find the equal distance for the 3 posts to be placed. Don’t go right up to the edges of the veranda. Come in about 300mm each end and 200mm towards the house along the rafter. Place the support on the floor and mark where the four holes will go. Drill the four holes with a masonry bit and insert the plugs. Make sure you have a good drill with hammer action for this or you will be there all day. This was one of the most difficult parts of the build even with a good drill. Bolt each corner down and repeat with the other two support posts.
Step 2. Prepare the support posts. Your two 6×2 timbers will sit on these so you will need to cut a section out the top. (47x150mm) Measure the total height, in my case it was 2000mm plus the 150mm for the cross beams so 2150mm total. Cut 250mm off the top with the circular saw then mark up the insert for the cross beams and cut this section out. Once complete insert the posts into the supports. They should be a tight fit and stand on their own.
Step 3. Attach the cross beams (3600x47x150mm). To ensure I had good support all the way along the two beams I cut both at an angle and attached and bolted together on the centre support post. To do this just clamp or tie the two posts together and cut one end of both beams with the circular saw at an angle. As I did this bit on my own I used a couple of the other pieces to help me steady everything whilst I drilled and attached the M10 bolts.
Step 4. Fitting the 3.6m (47x100mm) beams to the house was next, and a rather tough job. Drilling into brick again was not easy as I had to go into the wall by about 80mm. I selected a total of 10 points along the wall, drilled, plugged and fastened the beams whilst tightening with a ratchet spanner.
Step 5. The rafters. This was relatively easy once I worked out the angles to cut. To ensure the rafters fit under the eaves of the house I had to cut an indent into the wood and again at the other end to ensure I kept the 4 degree run off. To calculate the rafter cut angles I used this online triangle calculator. The below image might help you understand how I achieved this.
I did make a mistake at this point. I measured and cut the wood from each end. What I hadn’t realised is that each bit of wood was slightly different in length which meant the cuts on each one were slightly out. Luckily I noticed my mistake early on and marked all the rafters from one piece and one end to ensure they were all the same. After cutting all the notches with the circular saw and jigsaw I marked up 12 equal points along the veranda and slotted each one into place. Then I fastened each one into place with screws along the top at the front and edges along the wall. That was the structural part done. Now on to the roofing.
Step 6. The roofing had to be supported by purlins which are the smaller lengths of wood that fit crossways across the rafters. These are to ensure you get good support and fixing points along the veranda for the roofing sheets. I went for quite a small purlin (9x18mm) but in hindsight I should have gone for something a little bigger. These felt a little flimsy and were warped in places. The final job was to fix the roofing sheets to the purlins. This meant climbing up a ladder and screwing pilot holes along the sheets. I placed 3 rows of purlins and a total of 15 screws per sheet. It’s important that you use the correct roof fixings to secure the sheets in place. These capped screws will protect from water leaking through the sheets. Just ensure the screw points are at the top of the corrugated curve, not in the dip. Also, make sure you use enough to secure each one in place. You don’t want your sail like sheets flying off in a strong wind. I’ve heard you can get fixings with drill like ends which you can screw straight into the PVC and wood without having to pre-drill pilot holes.
This takes us up to the finished article. Now all we need is some nice decking and furniture to enjoy our new outdoor space. But that’s for another time. Please feel free to comment below and share your experiences.