Joining porch roof to mobile home

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Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Saigo » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:33 pm

I posted about this earlier this week, but it seems to be one of the posts that disappeared. And I've done more research since then anyway, so I can kind of cut to the chase. My question is this:

Is there any way to legally (as in, according to the 2006 International Residential Code, which my county uses) join a porch roof to the roof of a doublewide mobile home by bringing the porch roof over the eaves of the house and attaching it to the roof decking?

I fear that I know the answer, but I have to ask before I start tearing things down. My research seems to indicate that the word "attach" is a problem, because as I've designed it, the inner edge of the porch roof would be attached to the roof of the house, and supported by it. Which is to say that the porch roof would not be a free-standing structure--no inner row of posts up by the house. The house is anchored to the property per FHA requirements and is certified as such, and the porch is anchored by two rows of concrete pilings set 2' into the ground, but I don't know if this makes either structure sufficiently permanent.

I'm confident in the strength and durability of my design, but this business of codes and permits is burning holes in my stomach. This is my first experience with home ownership, and home renovation, and it's making me want to throw it all down and homestead a piece of Alaska, where all you have to worry about is bears, and not the blasted intrusive government.

Thanks in advance.

Troy
Austin, Texas
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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Rod » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:59 am

Saigo,

The only way you'll possibly get approval is with a set of stamped engineer drawings.
The chances are an engineer will find that the structure of your roof is not designed to bear any additional weight other than the snow load for your area. Being in Texas and most likely a southern zoned home I'd say the chances are slim.

Are you completely opposed to posts by the house?

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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Yanita » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:18 am

Hi,

To try and circumvent codes is going to cause you alot of grief, with the powers at be, your home owners insurance and the structural damage that your home may recieve.

As posted above, your homes roof is not designed to carry that extra weight. Regardless of where you live all MH's have a tendency to shift even miniumally during different seasons. If both of the structures are not on the same foundation then you are going to have damage. Once again, this site does not support the idea of attaching anything directly to your home.

Sorry your orginal post was lost during the transistion to the new format.

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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Saigo » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:33 am

Rod wrote:Are you completely opposed to posts by the house?


Well...not necessarily. The critical thing here is the relationship between the roof of the porch and the roof of the house. Here is why:

This mobile home, unlike many, actually has both eaves (about 2' of overhang) and a moderate slope to the roof (about 1' of rise in 5' of run). Also, because of the sloping hillside site, I couldn't put the porch deck more than about 6" below the floor level of the house without digging deep into the uphill side (I tried, but I found the buried electricity and water lines less than a foot below the surface--how's that for code?). What this means is that I can't really join the porch roof at the eaves, because this would leave a ceiling height of no more than about 8', which would feel like a cave--especially if I design any kind of slope into the porch roof.

So--it's really more about the ceiling height than the second row of posts. I'd be willing to add the second row of posts and make the porch roof a free-standing structure if I could also add the 30" or so of flashing to carry its roof over the roof of the house and join it there.

Does anybody know if this can be made to agree with the 2006 residential code? I know that flashings are often made to bridge the gap between a mobile home and an addition, but what I'm wondering about is the "over the roof" character of this one.

Troy
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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Saigo » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:49 am

Yanita wrote:To try and circumvent codes is going to cause you alot of grief, with the powers at be, your home owners insurance and the structural damage that your home may recieve.


This has been an ugly learning experience for me, I can tell you. I started this project about 18 months ago, when the existing 1/2 perimeter deck rotted out sufficiently that it was unsafe. I started work on replacing it myself and didn't give it a second thought; after all, I own this property, don't I?

Now, I'm discovering that nobody except the government truly owns anything.

Anyway, by this point, I've completed the rebuilding of the original 1/2 perimeter deck, and I've extended it all the way around the house. Thank God that I didn't attach it to the house at any point. It is fully free-standing, and from all I can tell from attempting to decipher the code, I pretty dramatically overbuilt it. It looks like all I'll have to do is maybe add a couple of slats to the railing and a small amount of additional bracing between the posts on the downhill side to make it pass. Also, thank God that I didn't get far on the roof project before I got worried about the Letter of the Law.

It helps that I live way out in the county, where regulation is less intrusive. From what I'm hearing from locals, the county will probably work with me--my area is overflowing with obviously non-permitted construction, so the county will probably be overjoyed to hear from me at all. If I lived in Austin proper, I'd be tearing it all down no matter how well I built it, since I am not a "professional."

Troy
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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby JD » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:23 pm

Saigo wrote:Is there any way to legally (as in, according to the 2006 International Residential Code, which my county uses) join a porch roof to the roof of a doublewide mobile home


Hi Yroy,

To me, this is almost a trick question, to which as Rod has the correct answer. IRC requires a permit for any structure attached to your home. When building typical projects with common acceptable plans and materials, a rough drawing is usually sufficient to get a permit. Any time you think outside the box, planning offices will almost always require an engineer's report before they will issue a permit.

But to follow what I think is your train of thought here, I would think you could build a "cricket" into your roof and still build to code. The additional posts would be a certainty. If you were able to get an engineer's report, there would probably need to be reframing of your mobile home and some foundation work. I do not know exactly what would be required, mostly because I would never do what you propose. I would think that you would be creating a major headache. Personal opinion. But to finish with that train of thought, IRC, IBC or the models BOCA, ICBO, UBC, etc. are focused on safety and not so much design. If the math works out to a safe structure meeting minimum building requirements, they may issue a permit. This is not saying that it is a good idea or trouble-free design.

JMO
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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Saigo » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:12 pm

OK. So by now it's pretty obvious that I'm at a dead end with my original design. Can any of you all recommend another approach that will accomplish the same end? What I'm looking for is sun and rain shelter to cover most or all of a non-attached 7.5' deep deck. Maybe something sufficiently lightweight that the attachment complications wouldn't come into play (like the sheet metal patio cover that my grandparents had), or something hung from the eaves of the house and not attached to the deck at all? Maximizing headroom is a prime concern if it can't overlap the roof. I've checked into awnings, and while they would take care of the sun shielding, most aren't designed to handle rain or even light wind. Not to mention the fact that they're sick expensive. I'd really prefer something that I could build myself in stages, and so pay as I go and not have to take on debt for this project.

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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby JD » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:22 am

The easy fix includes two things you did not like and one thing many others on this site do not like. That would be a standard aluminum awning which IS attached to the home. These are completely legal and secure in most parts of the country, but are not allowed or advised in a some places. Check with your local planning office to find out if they are legal and look at other homes to see if this is a common installation in your area. High winds and snow are the primary reason. 99% of the aluminum awnings in my area (in the low lands, not mountain areas) are awnings attached to the home (preferably the wall studs). Sometimes they will get actual wind damage, but that is very rare. Awnings blowing off or crushing down is also rare, and most of the one's that do, fail because of improper installation. Anyways, this would be the "costly" aluminum and give you a low ceiling height. Actually, it is the standard ceiling height over a deck in my area, with the hanger being installed at approx 7' 10". If you find the right supplier, the cost is not so bad considering the ease of installation and when installed properly will out last wood awnings 2-3 times.

To continue with your original plan, you would just need to reroute the water and electrical in the ground, which is not that big a deal usually. Hire an electrician for the electrical though. But this would only be worth it if you redesigned your deck to a lower level (digging out) to avoid roof crickets. Whatever you do, I would only recommend that an awning be at least 2"-3" lower than the roof level minimum, 4"-6" is ideal.

JMO
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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Saigo » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:18 pm

JD wrote: If you find the right supplier, the cost is not so bad considering the ease of installation and when installed properly will out last wood awnings 2-3 times.


What I've been finding so far comes in around $100.00 per foot. Is this the cost that you're referring to?

Troy
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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby JD » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:46 pm

That sounds like an installed price to me. I would think that materials only would be half that or less. The labor price per foot goes down significantly with larger awnings, but material prices will stay pretty constant. I have several suppliers that I have gotten awnings from, but Amerimax is my guy now. Best quality and service. I think some of these suppliers scoot the parts individually through the warehouse and then kick them onto the truck! Amerimax products come freshly packaged and flawless. Real nice people too. I don't know if they can supply your area, but you could call them for a price. The website is http://www.amerimaxbp.com/patio-covers. They have a dealer locator link in the navigation bar. Now there could be a retail / wholesale thing going. I may get better prices as a contractor. I dunno.

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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Saigo » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:20 pm

Thanks for the recommendation. Amerimax is just a couple of hundred miles up the road in Plano, so it should be possible to find somebody selling their products retail around here. I've filled out their contact form, so we'll see what they have to say.

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Re: Joining porch roof to mobile home

Postby Mark440 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:38 am

Troy -

I'm really interested to see how you come out with this project.

When I bought my place, it had a 30 x16 galvanized metal sheeting roof over a portion of the deck. The rocket scientists who put it up used single 2x4's spaced 4ft apart to span the 16 feet, and then 1x2's running perpendicular to the 2x4's. Needless to say, it had more sag to it than...well, let's leave that picture out of the minds eye! It was also fully attached to the front facia - and where they couldn't nail or screw - they glued.

I tore all of it off...roof, railing and posts - and hauled it off to the dump. I've resurfaced the deck - but still would like something to block the sun and provide some "shelter" from the rains. Although the old structure was saggy - it was nice to sit out there during a good heavy rain!

I've played with a hundred ideas/designs and the problematic piece is always the "roof-to-roof" connection point. I recognize that it needs to be "flexible" to allow for shifting differences, but it also needs to be somewhat solid so that rain from the upper roof flows down slope without massively leaking - or being a point of entrance for water damage.

I'm far enough out in the sticks that they don't much care what I do out here as long as I don't set fire to the place!

Keep us posted on how you conquer this beast of a project.
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