Modern Outdoor Structures: The Flat Roof Patio

Nothing quite says ultra modern like an outdoor patio space with a flat roof. Bringing the outside in has been popular for some time now and trending to have staying power. Building a flat roof over a patio space was first made popular by a group of architects in the mid 1950s who wanted to pioneer a new way to inhabit and negotiate living space. Soon, flat roofed homes with window walls started sprouting up in california first, then throughout the United States. One design feature these home had in common was a living or entertainment space outdoors. Much of the time, the outdoor spaces were located just off the main living space. The design was an entertainers dream. Simultaniously beautiful and utilitarian, the architecture begged for a party.

The modern movement has been resurgent for about 10 years now, muddling the word mid-century. Much like "clean lines", "mid-century modern" is now a buzz word for suburbanites chasing fast after a trend. "Do you have any of that mid-century looking stuff?" We should feel sorry for the poor clerks. Despite this, true modern junkies revel in finding an old California rancher with some work to do. Homes were built quite well in the 50's, but termite issues and lack of upkeep often require some renovation. There are a few types of classic modern outdoor structures. Here are some:


Modern Patio With Fabric Awning

Modern fabric awnings are becoming more popular of late. This type of patio covering allows for cleaning, is somewhat cost effective, and can show very well with the correct colors and furniture. For example, person could try to relate the canvas on their outdoor chaise to the fabric on the awning. The engineering of modern fabric awnings are basic. There are grommets made of metal that you slip rope through. Then you anchor however many ropes to the house above the patio, and the other side is attached to a series of outriggers. To give a nice contrast, fabric awnings can be integrated into an overhead slat roof.

A Modern Outdoor Trellis

After taking away all the curvatures and corbels, a trellis can be very appealing. A trellis is often defined as a separate structure apart from a main dwelling. However, trellis building technique can be used to attach to the back of the roof line over the patio. If your finances don't allow for exotic materials like teak, cedar is a good compromise. The tone and texture of cedar is very similar to teak and carries with it all the structural load properties as well. The trellis will also show off a well poured concrete patio. If the cedar is of a lower grade, consider staining to charcoal or redwood.

The Modern Cantilever

A cantilever is defined as a structure that is supported at one end and carries a load at the other end or along its length. In this case the cantilever would be projecting over your patio space while being attached to your home on one side. Common materials for a modern interpretation of such a structure include metal, wood, poured concrete, concrete blocks or a traditional framed wall with cement board or cedar siding attached. The key to a modern cantilever is to ensure your dwelling can pull off both the weight load and the look you're wanting to achieve. Remember that your home can only speak so loud. Homes are bound by their architecture and size. A giant flat roof projecting over an oversized patio might be a bit silly if your home is 1000 square feet or less.

Plan, Purchase, Execute

Creating an outdoor space with a modern touch will bring pleasure with every barbecue, dinner party, or birthday. Entertaining is a prerequisite. If you need help identifying the type of modern structure you wish to accent your patio with, consider employing an architect to draw up your plan. Normal mock up fees range by size, but don't expect to spend more than $300 for a proper blueprint to submit for permit. If you don't feel especially comfortable doing your own home improvement, seek out a reputable, quality contractor to erect the structure. Prepare to pay a little more for the right contractor. Constructing these types of structures is best done in spring while the ground is moist and ready for concrete.

Comments 2 comments

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