A friend’s idea to build an elliptical coffee bar was the inspiration for the design of this metal-framed porch overhang on a 25-year-old Georgian Colonial in northeast Arkansas. Joe Little, president of Little Homes, in Jonesboro, Ark., approached designer and fabricator Randy Tietloff to create the overhang.
The finished frame, which was welded in a shop and then brought to the site, weighs about 60 pounds.
The process began by taping a large sheet of tracing paper to the entryway’s brick wall, then tracing the curve of the transom window onto the paper . Tietloff calculated the arc and fed tubular 3/4-inch steel into a pipe-bending machine, forming the steel to fit the soldier course of brick above the door’s transom. A second tube bent into a slightly larger curve was then welded to the first using 6-inch spacers. After fabricating two additional trusses, all three were welded together to complete the frame.
The brick and mortar were sound, so the crew was able to drill for metal lag shields and fasten the frame using six 3/8-by-6-inch lag screws. Although the lag-screw connection made the frame made it virtually self-supporting, the two 9-inch diameter structural fiberglass columns add support and complement the design. They are glued in place at the base and screwed to the trim boards and steel frame at the top. It took about two hours to attach the frame to the house.
On the roof, architectural-weight asphalt shingles were installed over a peel-andstick membrane adhered to 1x6 board sheathing. All wood trim, sheathing, and 1x4 beaded pine ceiling boards were fastened directly to the frame using self-tapping metal screws without the need for pre-drilling.
To avoid cutting the brick for flashing but to still seal against leaks, the roofer laid two beads of silicone against the brick, one under the shingles and one on top.
Carpentry took about 10 hours, including the elliptical trim board on the front of the porch.
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.