Los Altos Covered PatioTraditional Patio, San Francisco

The homeowners desired an outdoor space that felt more rustic than their refined interior spaces, but still related architecturally to their house. Cement plaster support arbor columns provide enough of visual tie to the existing house exterior. Oversized wood beams and rafter members provide a unique outdoor atmosphere. Structural bolts and hardware were minimized for a cleaner appearance. Structural connections and supports were engineered to meet California's stringent earthquake standards.

Ali Atri Photography

Example of a classic patio design in San Francisco with a fire pit —  Houzz
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This photo has 46 questions
Donna Riley Architect wrote:May 6, 2014
  • Devin Darnell
    Thanks for the response, here is my patio, sorry I don't have a good picture during the day. I want to put a pergola in the "u" area of the patio. I would have the rain run of either to the front and have a gutter on the pergola, or have it run back onto the houses roof, which will also have gutters.
  • Devin Darnell
    Sorry I thought I attached this picture yesterday.
ddaniel337 wrote:Feb 16, 2014
Carol Reifsnyder wrote:Dec 26, 2013
  • james_mccarthy

    How far does the polycarbonate go under the standard shingles? From the looks of the photo it appears to stop at the edge of the shingles ...Thank you.

  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    Just a few inches. Only enough to make sure that rainwater will flow off the shingles and onto the polycarbonate.

rayholm wrote:Sep 11, 2015
  • Ondina Brusso

    Please let me know if this pergola will be good in Miami, Florida with all the rain and hurricanes sometimes. If not, which will be the best one for Miami weather? Thank you kindly for your response.

  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    You should most likely talk to a structural engineer to make that determination. I imagine that such a structure is possible, but an engineer would design the connections and roofing to withstand the wind loads that you face in your unique climate.

Quat Le wrote:Jun 17, 2017
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    The distance between these posts is about 14'. We have done spans as long as 20' with a larger beam. And with a steel beam veneered with wood, spans could be even longer. In any case, you should consult with a structural engineer. Factors such as the the height and thickness of the beam, the type of wood (glue lams are another option), the connection method to the post (these had steel posts),if the arbor is connected to a bldg for shear strength, etc. will all determine the size of all wood members.

  • Quat Le

    Very valuable details. Helped me a lot with my design decisions. Thank you very much for sharing.

allshookup wrote:Sep 12, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    There are gutters on the roof eaves and the arbor polycarbonate roof overlaps the gutters and roof edge by a half foot or so. There are rain water leaders but the pillars obscure vision of them. During very windy rain storms, water does blow into the patio area, as we designed this area to be "weatherproof" and not "waterproof".

  • allshookup

    Thank you for such a quick response! I am waiting on my GC as I type this


Miriam Contreras wrote:Jul 13, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    Those are low voltage light fixtures manufactured by a company called FX Luminaire (FXL.com). The ones used in this project were model TC and were Halogen bulbs. The lights facing towards the lawn are model TS. They have since come out with an equal products in LED, which we would recommend.

  • Miriam Contreras
    many thanks for the prompt response
amijm wrote:Feb 2, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    Please click on the photo and the string of questions and answers will hopefully satisfy your questions.

  • dfuture
    Anyone know where the furniture was purchased?
samohd wrote:Nov 6, 2014
bethbarham wrote:Nov 2, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    This question has before. Please feel free to go to the photo on our Houzz site and review our previous answers: Not knowing where you are located, it might be best to shop on-line if a local outdoor patio furniture store does not carry such furniture. You might check frontgate.com and modernwicker.com. You can also do a "wicker furniture" search for comparison shopping. Circular furnishing are becoming quite popular as evidenced by a few of our projects.
  • Erin Schwab

    Will this style of roof allow sunshine to come through the windows? I am trying to decide between a solid roof and a pergola style structure. I don't want to lose the sunshine coming into the home but also want relief from the sun on our patio.

keolalani wrote:May 16, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending upon your take on artificial grass) this is real grass. It is a dwarf fescue blend.
  • keolalani
    You can't beat the real thing but we have issues here in phx growing good looking grass so I'm leaning toward synthetic. This grass looks great.
nancber wrote:Dec 29, 2013
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    The structural members of the pillars are steel posts on a concrete foundation. The posts are then "boxed" out with 2x wood studs and plywood, then coated with cement plaster to match the house. The girth of the posts was for esthetic purposes only. You should consult with a structural engineer prior to building such a structure, as the foundation size, connection points and how it is attached to the house are all very critical issues on the arbors overall structural integrity.
  • farrahbradley
    what type of stone was used for the flooring and for the fire pit? Also what kind of beams are being used for covering and where can I get it from?
Gary Ruckman wrote:Aug 3, 2018
Gary Ruckman wrote:Aug 3, 2018
olgacgut wrote:May 21, 2018
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    I'm not sure if this is a question or just a note that you attached to remind you of the photo.

madreamsky wrote:Apr 27, 2017
Joann Monaco wrote:Oct 4, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    Hi. The area under the arbor is 24' x 16' with the firepit circle projecting out about 12' x 8'. It is a ample space for this family of 4, but when they entertain large groups, it is not generous. Depending upon your entertainment needs, you may want to upsize.

dorethea_g_ricks_civ wrote:Jul 18, 2016
Bill Tussy wrote:Jul 6, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    I'm not sure I understand your question. This arbor and patio was custom designed, then build by a craftsman contractor. The entire process took about 1 year.

Lola Whiteside wrote:May 10, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    Most structures such as these require building permits. Also a structural engineer should be involved, as the collapse of such a structure could cause property damage and personal injury. This structure cost close to $200/sf in the SF Bay Area which has one of the highest construction costs in the County. I imagine that in Riverside the cost to construct would be around 30% less. We are landscape architects who design custom structures, so we do not sell items nor finance. I recommend you contact a local landscape architect or architect in your area for some consultation.

hbrown6512 wrote:Apr 22, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    The roof is a combination of standard composition shingle in the ridge, and polycarbonate plastic on the sloping sections.

deblehmanconsult wrote:Mar 22, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    It is held on with wood screws with neoprene grommets about every 18" o.c. Temps in the SF Bay Area range from the low 30's to the high 90's. You may want to check with a polycarbonate supplier to see if any weather issues exist. I imagine shrinkage and expansion could be potential issues. This product is uv resistant, commonly used for greenhouses.

sunydays01 wrote:Feb 17, 2016
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    It is Arizona Sandstone, the same stone as the cap of the fire pit and all the surrounding paving.

wbmusser wrote:Dec 20, 2015
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    The center roof is standard composition shingle, but the lower slopes of the gable are covered with "polycarbonate" a plastic material that is flexible, durable and non-flamable. We cannot attest to its lifespan, but we have some installations over 10 years old that have no signs of degradation or deterioration.

Tom M. wrote:Oct 7, 2015
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    The San Francisco Bay Area climate is a very forgiving one, so hot, humid days are rare. This patio sits on the east side of the house, so it does not receive any direct hot afternoon sun. The entire face of the arbor is open as are the sides where the arbor overhangs the adjacent side roofs, so there is plenty of air circulation. Yes the heaters are hanging from the ceiling and meeting all code compliance distances. A fan was never considered, and we mostly install fans for the purpose of discouraging insects, not for temperature purposes.

allysonvon wrote:Sep 12, 2015
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    This structure was connected to the 2 story back section of the house, but independent of the side roofs. Our structural engineer indicated that it could have been independent, connected to all 3 sides or the one as we have it. We chose the direction we did as it provided structural support and minimized disturbance of the side wings.

vicki McPherson wrote:Aug 29, 2015
Allison Westwood wrote:Jul 10, 2015
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    Our clients had concerns about loss of light into their adjoining rooms as well. The center ridge is solid shingle roof, however the majority is covered with polycarbonate sheets that are opaque white. This allows for filtered sunlight and plenty of muted brightness under the arbor as well as into the house.

eagadz wrote:May 25, 2015
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    The rafters are 3 x 10 and the beams are 6 x 10. These members were sized in accordance with their spans and loads. Also, the type of wood could impact the sizes, as some wood has greater structural strength. Aside from structural requirements, wood members should be size in order to achieve a an esthetic hierarchy and scale.

eagadz wrote:May 20, 2015
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    The posts are 5"x5" steel with a welded plate cap and threaded rod. The rod then extends through both wood beams and is bolted down. There are numerous alternative methods for such a connection. I recommend consulting with a local structural engineer to determine the best method for your location.

alicow wrote:May 7, 2015
jkv1 wrote:Feb 12, 2015
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group

    This structure was painted with a semi-solid stain. We generally use stains on outdoor exposed structures as a stain will not chip and flake like latex paint, although its durability is about equal. The stain is mostly for cosmetic purposes - to achieve a uniform color or complementary tone. The wood itself should be durable and resistant to rotting - such as redwood or cedar. If you use a wood that is not durable, painting on a regular basis with a latex or enamel paint is critical in preventing dry rot or termite damage.

laurenmhurley wrote:Dec 6, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    This was a custom build fire pit, with a natural gas line, stone veneering and cap, a custom fire ring. Such a fire pit can cost in the upwards of $7,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may see lesser costs depending upon labor rates where you live.
Yvonne Luna wrote:Nov 3, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    It is a 5' 6" diameter fire pit with a 30" diameter fire pit opening, providing a nice 18" wide perimeter for setting plates, drinks, or feet! This pit is also only 14" high, as we like to make our pits a bit lower for ease of seating and conformity to most seating heights.
sarijita wrote:Sep 8, 2014
eli_1971 wrote:Jul 7, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    No there is not. We contemplated an intake fan and vent, but determined that there was adequate ventilation on 3 sides of the arbor. The uppermost portions of the 2 sides adjacent to the house are gapped enough to allow for cross ventilation and the escape of smoke. But this is something to consider and evaluate in any specific circumstance.
Adriana Sirafi wrote:Jul 2, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    Yes, Polycarbonate is a waterproof material. It comes in sheets and the seams of the sheets are where potential rainwater leakage can occur. So, the architectural detailing of the seams is of critical importance.
Adriana Sirafi wrote:Jul 2, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    Sunlight into to adjacent rooms was of critical importance and therefore led to the use of the translucent polycarbonate roofing. The opaque polycarbonate now provides a softer and less harsh sunlight pattern under the arbor and into the house.
Muriel Mackey wrote:Apr 20, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    It is about 26' wide by 18' deep. For more information, you can click on the photo and you will find a series of questions/answers.
lizqualls wrote:Mar 23, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    The doors are manufactered by Anderson Windows and Doors, a major manufacturer of windows in the U.S. Visit their website for all the options that they offer.
juanpimentel wrote:Feb 17, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    There are numerous sized beams. The lower beams are 6x12 cedar. The ridge beam is a 4x12 parallam, veneered with cedar sheathing for an overall appearance of a 6x14. Before building such an arbor, make sure that you consult with a structural engineer, as different wood types have different structural span tolerances. Also, the connections between the beams are very important.
    just now
sallyavellino wrote:Feb 9, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    The patio pavement is Arizona Sandstone, Buckskin color in an Ashlar pattern. This stone is set atop a concrete base with expansion joints and an antifracture membrane to control surfacing cracking or fracturing of the stone.
Creative Concepts Contractors Inc. wrote:Feb 7, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    If you mean the fire pit top, it is Arizona Sandstone, cut into semi circular sections and the exposed face chiseled for a natural look.
Rebecca Kennedy wrote:Jan 4, 2014
  • PRO
    Kikuchi + Kankel Design Group
    The center peaked part of the arbor is solid standard composition shingle roofing. The translucent side portions are polycarbonate. For more info on polycarbonate, please see our photo #3 and a previous answer to a question.
Lola Whiteside wrote:May 11, 2016

    What Houzz contributors are saying:

    lolalina
    Laura Gaskill added this to 10 Reasons to Consider a Sectional for Your Outdoor SpaceJul 14, 2016

    7. An outdoor sectional can curve. Wondering how to make your fire pit even more inviting? Surround it with a curved sectional. There is something so welcoming about the curved shape — it’s sure to become the most popular spot in your backyard.

    What Houzzers are commenting on:

    rodrigo_martinez3
    Rodrigo Martinez added this to Other 19Sep 11, 2019

    You can sit by a campfire under a roof

    damaris_terry
    Damaris Terry added this to Damaris' ideasSep 4, 2019

    The shape and pitch of the pergola. The height and the beams.

    efoy72
    erin morrissey added this to backyardSep 3, 2019

    open and closed and pitched roof

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