Glossary of Terms

5/8″ plugs:

Also known as buttons. These are used to cover the 5/8″ holes drilled to secure the post wraps to the posts.


A patio cover that is screwed or lagged to a permanent structure, versus a freestanding cover.

Awning Panels:

Also known as pans, they come in different widths, 6″, 8″ flat panels, 12″ and 24″ W-panels, and 48″ insulated roof panels.


Measures 3″ x 8″. Usually runs the length of the cover is and is supported by columns or posts. The rafters on a lattice cover and the flat pans on a solid cover are fastened to the top of the beam.


These are used to attach the rafters to the structure and beam, and used to attach the posts to the beam and concrete.


A raised texture that is designed to give the aluminum a wood-grained look.

End Caps:

Plastic end caps are used to finish off the ends of the aluminum rafters or decorative ends on a solid color. They give a big of architectural distinctiveness, by having different decorative shapes.


Screws, anchors, bolts and lags used to build the patio cover. Most fasteners are painted to match the color of the patio cover.


A cube shaped hole dug into the ground to be filled with concrete in order to support the posts if there is not a concrete slab. Footings are needed on all freestanding covers, and steel posts are embedded in the concrete. The size of the footing is determined by code specifications.


A patio cover that is not attached to any structure, but standing alone.(Note: Freestanding covers always require steel posts and footings.)


The measurement from the ground to the ceiling portion of the cover.


International Code Council. The governing body that writes building codes that are accepted and enforced by the individual cities/counties.

Insert Beam (C-Beam):

A 3″ x 8″ steel beam used to increase the column spacing. (Requires steel posts and footings.)


Insulated Roof Panels.3″, 4″, or 6″ thick foam panels with embossed aluminum laminated to each side. Used to construct an insulated solid cover, or used as the roof on a patio enclosure.

Lattice Cover:

Also called open lattice…where the patio cover roof consists of lattice tubes spaced equal distance apart allowing filtered sunlight to pass through.

Lattice Tubes:
Available in three sizes: 1.5″ x 1.5″, 2″ x 2″, or 2″ x 3″. They usually run parallel with the header beam and are attached on top of the rafters.


The description of the measurement used to determine the overall distance from one end of the cover to the other.(i.e. 10′ x 20′ patio cover…the 20′ is the length.The projection is always given first.)


The self supporting distance past the last point where the panel, beam or rafter is attached.

Patio Cover:

Also known as a lattice patio, pergola, flat pan cover, solid patio, awning, alumawood, among a few.


Also called columns; are placed under the 3″ x 8″ beam or under the gutter and are the main support of the patio cover. There are many types of posts and/or columns available.

Post Kit:

Everything needed to install the post of column; brackets, fasteners, etc.

Post Spacing:

Or column spacing; is the distance between posts or columns as determined by the code specifications. This can be increased by the use of a steel insert beam and steel posts and footings.

Post Wraps:

2″ x 6″ in size, one is placed on the inside and outside of each post for looks and strength. Post wraps are foam filled to enhance dent resistance.


The description of the measurement used to establish the distance from the house or structure to the furthest point out from the structure, excluding trim.


Used in the roof portion of a lattice cover, measuring 2″ x 6.5″ and run perpendicular to the beam. They are attached to the top of the beam and at a ledger board back at the house wall.

Rafter Tails:

Rafter material cut to 12″ in length with a miter, scallop, corbel or bevel shape on one end, and attached to front fascia of a solid cover.

Solid Cover:

A patio cover that uses solid aluminum panelsas a roof to keep rain and sun from coming through.


The distance from the house attachment to the support beam.

Steel Post:

Also known as an insert post, measures 3″ x 3″ square. The length is determined by the height of the patio and addition the depth of the footing.


The measure of the aluminum used in the pieces of the patio cover. A higher number equals a thicker potion. Common thicknesses are .018, .024, .032, etc. A thicker piece of material is used to attain a greater span.

Tributary Width:

Approximately half of the distance of rafter or panel span, plus the overhang.Used to determine post spacing.

Trim Kit:

Decorative only, and fastened to the front fascia of a solid cover. See Rafter Tails.

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