Christopher French Construction Company Website

General Contractor (B)
Concrete Contractor (C-8)
Landscape Contractor (C-27)
Bonded and Insured, License # 500957
Serving Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley, California

This is our Patio Covers (2) web page.  See pg 1
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Christopher French Construction Co.
Call now (661) 313-2221
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Call Now! (661) 313-2221
Or Email,
Click Here to see our portfolio!  
All photos and text copyrighted
Christopher French Construction Company
Patio Cover Professionals
We build patio covers of all shapes and sizes!
Over 48 years of experience -
Serving Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley, California

We are a family owned business who do the majority of the work ourselves.
Patio covers are our speciality.  If you are looking for a professional in building you a patio cover in Santa Clarita or the Antelope Valley, you will be
happy to know that our expertise in designing and building will satisfy your every need at an affordable price. From shade to covered to open beams
and free standing structures, we do it all. We also repair damaged and rotted patios. We will help you design and build the patio cover right for you.
We also do hard scape and landscaping to complete any needs you may have, making our service convenient and trustworthy in coordinating the
different trades involved so the work is completed properly.  (Sorry, we don't do vinyl or aluminum products).   
See the many examples below with info and photos
about each carefully built patio cover we take pride in!
This is page 2,
See page 1 also!
Above, is an unusual patio cover built with a scissors truss to
support the roof rafters on one end of the cover, and the other
end was supported on the house roof and exterior wall. This
customer had a beautiful view which he did not want to
obstruct, by adding another post and beam in the center. The
scissors truss design was built strong enough to handle the
span and weight of the roof. It also gave more open height and
a very interesting look! This photo was taken during the
construction process.  
Special engineering was necessary, with heavy steel straps
and bolts. The posts were 2-2x10's with a 3x8 between. The
upper and lower chords were dbl 2x8's, with 3x8 knee
braces and gable supports. The large truss was built in
place with special scaffolding to support it before the bolting
was in place. The block pillars below were filled solid with
concrete and steel rebar. The connection at the house and
existing rafters were also engineered to withstand the added
stress of the wind load factor.
Do you like curves? This shade patio cover
was built with curved, or corbeled, knee
braces. Because the cover was free
standing in some areas, we had to install
these braces going in both directions. Most
often the house supports the patio cover in
one direction and the knee braces support
it in the other direction.
This patio cover was originally infested with
dry-rot, and termites in the wood deck, that
we replaced with raised concrete and brick.
The view was very beautiful, and therefore
we eliminated 2 posts that were built in the
1st patio cover years before to open-up
more mountain view.
Whether you like cures or straight, knee braces are
required if you get a building permit. Each knee brace has
a certain amount of holding power in square footage of the
roof. For example, if you have 100 square feet of roof, and
each knee brace can support 35 square feet, you would
need 3 knee braces. The house also plays into the
calculations. Be sure to check with the building dept in your
area for local code requirements.
In this photo, Andrew, is attaching with
screws the floor planks to the special
treated lumber for the floor joists and
girders, to make a wooden deck. The
treated lumber was approved for ground
contact, although we built it above the dirt.
The customers who had us build this deck
and solid patio cover, wanted something to
remind them of the homes in Pennsylvania
where they grew up. The house was built on
a raised foundation, and had old concrete
steps to access their very large backyard.
We offered building a raised concrete and
flagstone deck, but
they wanted wood, to
give it that Pennsylvanian feel they
This wood deck, built with 22 concrete piers, 4x6 girders
and 2x6 joists (all treated lumber approved for ground
contact) was very solid. Spanning over old broken patio
slabs and uneven ground, this deck was a very nice
addition to their home!
Their backyard had so much wildlife from the surrounding hills. We saw quail,
rabbits, and many different birds and hawks. The owners said it's not unusual to
see bobcats resting under their shade tree. They said they would spend many
hours sitting on the deck just enjoying the animals and sounds of nature!

Notice how the house overhang was removed so
the patio cover roof could sit on
the house wall. This method is superior in strength and aesthetics, to what they
had before, rafters hanging on the fascia boards.
See other web pages with this website:
Building a custom home from scratch! See how we built this home from the dirt up!
Portfolio (See hundreds of our photos)
Cardon Cactus (video of how we planted this giant cactus cutting)
Patio Covers and Decks (Info and photos about Decks, Patio Covers, Pergola's and Trellises)
Kitchen Remodeling and Cabinetry (Info and photos about Kitchen remodels and more)
Waterfalls (Video and info how we built a large waterfall)
Home Page (See about us)
Another view from the backyard. Besides adding lateral
support the large 6x10 knee braces added much of the
The deck is only about 16" off the ground but it still gives
a feeling of privacy and being cozy!
A view from the inside. The two ceiling fans are very
helpful to cool and to also help keep bugs away with the
moving air.
Because the wood supports beneath the deck were built
with treated lumber made for ground contact,
this deck will
last for many years!  
2x6 T&G ceilings may cost more to build, but they're more
attractive in the long run. Also, they provide better nailing
for the roofing material verses plywood. An important
note: We prime and paint the T&G planks before they are
installed to make sure the tongues are painted, otherwise,
if they are painted after installation, when the boards
shrink later (they all do) the bare unpainted lumber will
show, and it's very difficult to go back and paint those
Occasionally we have the task of heavy demolition when
someone wants to redo their backyard and patio
structures. Through the years of different home owners
adding new ideas to old ideas, sometimes starting over
with a clean slate is best.  
A very alarming and common thing we see when doing demolition on an old patio cover, due to dry rot or other various reasons, we find
the bolts in the ledger board attaching the structure to the house, which previous builders used, are not at all to code. The photo above
shows what we had removed from a patio cover to be rebuilt. Building codes in our area require ledger bolts to be a minimum of 1/2"
diameter by 5-1/2" long, supporting a 2x ledger board. With the tape measure shown in the photo, it's easy to see the short bolts used!
Each bolt should be fastened to wood framing members in the house wall, but when builders miss a framing member, rather than taking
time to find it and install the bolt properly, they install a short bolt, only to deceive an inspector or home owner. Any reputable contractor
would never do something like this because of the risk. However, it's not uncommon to find unqualified people working in the
construction industry without proper guidance and supervision. We have talked to people over the years who tell their frightening
stories of their previous patio covers falling down, the noise it made and the destruction of windows and furniture. This wouldn't
compare to any personal injuries, and thankfully none were told!   
These two photos above show how a patio cover was failing and ready to fall down. The homeowner tied the patio
beam to the house to hold it until repairs could be made. Even then, it began to pull the fascia board from the
house. Doing demolition on an old improperly built patio cover can be extremely dangerous! Dismantling any
patio cover should be done only by a qualified and licensed contractor.