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  Design Guidelines


Understructure configurations are completely customizable to fit the requirements of your project. Click here to see some of the typical types of understructure or bents as termed by the industry. Have an idea not shown? Run it by our design team. We are happy to help with achieving a design unique to your project.

When determining the walkway cover width and height, keep in mind blowing rain and sunlight direction. A width to height ratio of 1 to 1 at a minimum provides optimal rain and sun protection. Your local building department will have minimum height requirements. 8’-6” height to the bottom of the support beam typically provides the minimum height requirement and a great looking system with superior protection.

Column and Beam sizes
are driven by first the structural requirement and second by the architectural aesthetics. 4” x4” columns are typically used for function. Larger 6”x6” and 8”x4” columns provide a more substantial, stout appearance. They are also used when structural loads require stronger members. Click here to see profiles and engineering properties of our column and beam components.

Spacing between Columns is determined by site requirements and then structural requirements of the deck system. The columns should not be spaced further apart than the maximum span of the deck system. 12’ column spacing is most commonly used for appearance and cost utilization of deck materials. Columns should be set back from the curb to prevent vehicular damage. Also, when placing columns, keep in mind your local building department minimum clear means of egress and avoid placement of columns in intersecting sidewalks.

Perfection canopy columns are also internal drain columns, so no extra distracting downspouts or rain gutters are required. When laying out the canopy columns plan for at least one drain column every other understructure. Certain circumstances may require more. Consult one of our knowledgeable design team members for project specific drain column locations.

Foundations are required by all structural construction systems. Walkway Cover foundation sizes are determined by calculating the required resistance to uplift and download of forces dictated by your local building code. The style of foundations or configuration can be customized to fit your project requirements. The actual size of foundations varies greatly from one canopy design to the next. Formal engineering calculations by a State Certified Structural Engineer are required to determine the required dimension of the foundations specific to your project. Our project shop drawings will include specifically engineered foundation sizes according to your selected foundation type.

Choosing a deck profile is made simple. Click here to see profiles of available roof deck components. The deeper the profile of the deck the further it will span. You can also select a heavier wall thickness to achieve an even greater span. Our super span 7580 H deck can span as much as 28 feet. At 7 ½” deep by 6” wide it is the longest spanning deck in the industry. Deck span all depends on the required load resistance dictated by your building department. The most common deck configuration is our 3060, which is 3” deep by 6” wide; in most parts of the country you can span about 12 feet. It also provides the most value per foot for the project. If you prefer something different than the corrugated deck appearance, you can select one of our soffit style or standing seam deck systems. All of which we will provide project specific engineering calculations and signed and sealed shop drawings.


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