Title:
Under-deck shedding and drainage system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention comprises a grid structure that with the addition of panels and a panel holding means, and the further addition of a gutter and downspout provides an effective under-deck water shedding system where the grid and panel components generally are set or slide into place and generally can be lifted or slide out of place for adjustment, maintenance or removal.



Inventors:
James Jr., Burkart A. (Reston, VA, US)
Application Number:
09/862257
Publication Date:
03/21/2002
Filing Date:
05/22/2001
Assignee:
BURKART, JAMES A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/14, 52/302.3
International Classes:
E04D13/04; (IPC1-7): E04D13/00
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Primary Examiner:
GLESSNER, BRIAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RONALD H.SHUBERT (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A shedding apparatus, for use under decks, the apparatus comprising a low-ledger, with an upper-face and an adjacent upstanding-face, said upstanding-face extending above said upper-face, with an upper-edge at the top of and extending normal to said upstanding-face, a high-ledger, with an upper-face and an adjacent upstanding-face, said upstanding-face extending above said upper-face, a plurality of sloping-members, each with an upper-face, a first-end, a second-end, and with one or more small projections from said upper-face, such as one or more partially driven nails, a plurality of cross-members, each cross-member comprising a middle-portion and two end-portions, each end-portion with an upper-face, the middle-portion with an upper-face and two ends, said upper-face of the middle-portion and said upper-faces of the end-portions practically co-planar, one or more panels having corrugations, a panels holding means, said low-ledger and said high-ledger adapted to be attached to a proximate structure, said low-ledger and said high-ledger oriented such that said upstanding-face of said high-ledger faces said upstanding-face of said low-ledger, said sloping-members disposed normal to said low-ledger, and each substantially extending from said upstanding-face of said low-ledger to said upstanding-face of said high-ledger, said first-end of each sloping-member resting upon said upper-face of said low-ledger, said second-end of each sloping-member resting upon said upper-face of said high-ledger, wherein said sloping-members can be positioned at generally uniform intervals along the ledgers, said cross-members generally parallel with said low-ledger, said middle-portions substantially extending from one sloping member to the next, said end-portions of said cross-members resting upon said upper-faces of said sloping-members, each end-portion proximate one or more said small projections of said sloping-member, wherin said cross-members interface with said projections and said sloping-members, wherin the end-portions of said cross-members are held by an interface with said sloping members, and wherin said sloping-members are laterally restrained, wherein a grid support structure is formed, whereby grid members can be snapped or set into position, unsnapped or lifted out of position without requiring tools for fastening or unfastening, whereby the grid can be installed, adjusted, and uninstalled from below itself, whereby the ease of installation and removal is facilitated, and whereby, access to the area above the grid for maintenance and other reasons is greatly facilitated, wherein the upper-faces of the cross-members are substantially co-planar, said panels resting upon said cross-members, oriented with rise and fall of corugations normal to said low-ledger, said panels overlapping, wherein a substantilay planer shedding surface is formed over the grid, whereby said panels can be set into position, shifted or lifted out of position without requiring tools for fastening or unfastening, whereby the panels can be installed and uninstalled from below, wherby the ease of installation and removal is facilitated, and whereby, access to the area above the panels for maintenance and other reasons is greatly facilitated.

12. Said shedding apparatus of 11, wherein said low-ledger comprises a 2×2fastened to the face of a deckboard, whereby said low-ledger can be proficiently manufactured from wood and is aesthetically pleasing in a deck environment.

13. Said shedding apparatus of 11, wherein said high-ledger comprises a 2×2fastened to the face of a deckboard, whereby said low-ledger can be proficiently manufactured from wood and is aesthetically pleasing in a deck environment.

14. Said shedding apparatus of 11, wherein said sloping-member comprises a 2×2 with said small projections, whereby said sloping-member can be proficiently manufactured from wood and is aesthetically pleasing in a deck environment

15. Said shedding apparatus of 11, wherein said small projection of said sloping-member is a partially driven nail,

16. Said shedding apparatus of 11, wherein said end-portion of said cross-member is of diminutive thickness, wherein said upper-surface of said sloping-member and said upper-surface of said cross-member are substantially co-planer, wherein the vertical height of the grid is reduced providing a sleeker profile, whereby the apperace of the awning from outside and below is less obtrusive and aesthetically pleasing.

17. Said shedding apparatus of 11, wherein said-cross-member comprises a wood slat with a plastic bracket at each end, whereby said cross-member can be proficiently manufactured from wood and plastic brackets, and is aesthetically pleasing in a deck environment.

18. Said sheding-appartus of 17, wherein said plastic bracket is ⅛″ pvc with a hollow, wherein said hollow of said plastic bracket is fitted around said projection of said sloping member.

19. Said shedding apparatus of 11, wherein said panel holding means is a panel clip.

20. Said shedding apparatus of 1, further comprising a spacer, said spacer comprising a wood slat and a fastening means, wherein the spacer is fastened to the upstanding face of the high-ledger, whereby each spacer effectively replaces a cross-member, and whereby said sloping-member is laterally constrainted by said spacer, yet said sloping member can be lifted out and re-set into position without use of tools.

21. , Said shedding apparatus of 11, further comprising flashing at at the high-ledger as a panel holding means.

22. Said shedding apparatus of 11 further comprising a fascia-board.

23. Said shedding apparatus of 11 further comprising a gutter and downspout.

24. Said shedding apparatus of 11 further comprising endboards, said endboard comprising a joist hanger and a plate with a face, said joist hanger fastened to said face of said plate, said plate adapted to be fastened to a proximate structure, wherein said low-ledger or said high-ledgerr sets in said joist hanger, whrereby the ledger can be set into and lifted out of said joist hanger without fastening or use of tools,

25. A grid apparatus for supporting panels, the apparatus comprising a low-ledger, with an upper-face and an adjacent upstanding-face, said upstanding-face extending above said upper-face, with an upper-edge at the top of and extending normal to said upstanding-face, a high-ledger, with an upper-face and an adjacent upstanding-face, said upstanding-face extending above said upper-face, a plurality of sloping-members, each with an upper-face, a first-end, a second-end, and with one or more small projections from said upper-face, such as one or more partially driven nails one or more cross-members, each cross-member comprising a middle-portion and two end-portions, the middle-portion with an upper-face and two ends, each end-portion with an upper-face and an under-side, said upper-face of the middle-portion and said upper-faces of the end-portions practically co-planar, said low-ledger and said high-ledger oriented such that said upstanding-face of said high-ledger faces said upstanding-face of said low-ledger, said sloping-members disposed normal to said low-ledger, and each substantially extending from said upstanding-face of said low-ledger to said upstanding-face of said high-ledger, said first-end of each sloping-member resting upon said upper-face of said low-ledger and said second-end of each sloping-member resting upon said upper-face of said high-ledger, said cross-members generally parallel with said low-ledger, said middle-portions substantially extending from one sloping member to the next, said end-portions of said cross-members resting upon said upper-faces said sloping-members, each end-portion proximate one or more said small projections of said sloping-member, making an interface as a holding means, wherin a grid structure is formed, with a substantially co-planer upper-surface is formed, whereby the grid members can be snapped or set into position, unsnapped or lifted out of position without requiring tools for fastening or unfastening, whereby the grid can be installed, adjusted, and uninstalled from below, wherby the ease of installation and removal is facilitated, and whereby, access to the area above the grid for maintenance and other reasons is greatly facilitated, wherein the upper surfaces of the cross-members are substantially co-planar, whereby providing a support surface for panels.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS The present application is a continuation-in-part of patent application Ser. No. 09/450,290, filed Nov. 27, 1999, Notice of Allowance mailed Apr. 10,2001. The present application also claims benefit of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/206,168 filed May 22, 2000.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

REFERENCE TO MICRROFICHE APPENDIX

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a shedding and drainage system that can be installed, accessed and removed from underneath. More particularly, the present invention relates to a shedding and drainage system that can be installed under existing decks. A major application of the present inventions is its installation under decks to help keep the area dry and clean.

[0002] Typically, decks have planks for flooring with openings between the planks where water and other mater will infiltrate. Usually decks are attached to building structures. Many decks have useable space underneath, including lower decks and patios. It is often desirable to protect areas under decks from infiltration, particularly of rainwater, and divert the infiltration away from the area. Ways of dealing with infiltrations though decks include: building a flat or sloping roof at some level underneath the deck planks as part of the deck structure; attaching water shedding panels directly or indirectly to the deck joist; attaching water channeling troughs to the deck joists.

[0003] A flat roof can be built below the planks and above the joists as part of the deck structure. This, of coarse has to be done during deck construction. A sloping roof with framing can be built under the deck, much preferably previous to completion of deck construction.

[0004] Panels can be attached directly or indirectly to the bottom of deck joists. The author has witnessed plastic and plywood panels simply fastened to the bottom of deck joists. Corrugated plastic panel manufacturers suggest using shimming or sistering to obtain a slope. In the sistering procedure, sistering boards are attached to the sides of deck joist, varying elevation of the boards such that, starting from a highest elevation, the bottom surface of each successive board is lower than the previous. The corrugated panels are then fastened from below directly to the sistering boards. In the shimming method, shimming boards of various sizes in the vertical orientation are attached to the bottom surface of deck joists such that, starting form the highest elevation, the bottom surface of each successive board is lower than the previous. The corrugated panels are then fastened from below directly to the shimming boards. From the perspective below, the panels are connected to the sistering or shimming boards above though the concave portion of the corrugation. Most the flow then would be through convex positions of the corrugations.

[0005] Corrugated paneling is installed after the deck is constructed. A major problem with using shimming, sistering and similar methods is that debris tends to collect at the shimming boards and sistering boards, causing water pooling and leakage. Another problem is that it is difficult to get an adequate slope without using a large amount of wood. For example, to get a ½″ slope per foot for a 12 foot length, sistering to deck joist, one would have to use nominal 10″ wide lumber, if shimmering one may trim a nominal 2×8. Another problem with fastening panels from underneath is that they tend to look ugly and unfinished. Because of these shortcomings, the author has replaced and continues to replace panel installations by homeowner's and handymen, including a shimmed system that was installed by a handyman just weeks before the author was asked to replace it.

[0006] Variations of trough (gutter) systems can be installed either during or after deck construction. Thibodeau U.S. Pat. No. 4,065,883 and Mickelsen U.S. Pat. No. 4,860,502 define a trough disposed between joists with flanges or lips that are fastened to the top of deck joists. A major limitation of theses inventions is that they would have to be installed when the deck is being built. Also, the spacing between joists would have to be standard throughout for these to fit properly—a situation that is unusual. In addition, it would be very difficult to access the enclosed areas, without taking apart the deck, to do maintenance or solve leakage problems.

[0007] Invention of Mickelson U.S. Pat. No. 4,860,502 has troughs attached to joists sides that can be installed on existing decks A major problem is that, although Mickelson can accommodate some variance in joists spacing, using the spring property of the trough, it is a pre-manufactured product and it would be very difficult to accomodate and largely irreglar joist spacing of a great many existing decks.

[0008] Moore U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,511,351, 5,765,328 also has troughs attached to joists sides that can be installed on existing decks. This trough, made of a flexible material, extends under the deck joist. Ends of adjacent troughs overlap each other and are fastened to the joist at the overlapped portion. The overlapping and fastening occurs at the bottom joist surface for one embodiment-type, at the side of the joist for the other embodiment-type. Both types hide joists from view. Variations in distances between joists may be accommodated mechanically, but the satisfaction of the appearance of irregular troughs is questionable. A transverse gutter collects the drainage from the troughs and channels it to a drainpipe. A gutter on the opposite end of the troughs collects infiltration between the troughs and the adjacent structure. The flow then is channeled to one end of the trough effluents to the atmosphere. The inventor does not seem to have made provisions for the installation of chair swings, fans and the like through the troughs. This invention has been marketed to the public through Dri-B-Low inc., using aluminum as the flexible trough material and insisting on professional installers.

[0009] A major problem with all these trough-type drainage systems is that they are practically dependent on joist orientation and regularity of spacing between joists. Many decks are built with sections of joists going perpendicularly or diagonally to other sections. Some decks have sections at different levels. The mechanics and appearance of integrating irregular and/or transversely oriented troughs, perhaps at different elevations, is awkward as best and probably unworkable in a great many situations.

[0010] Another major problem is achieving satisfactory appearance. For appearance purposes, bottoms of decks with troughs in the joist area may preferably be covered, adding additional material and weight to the structure, and, making access for maintenance and leakage problems even more difficult. A series of aluminum or plastic troughs, hanging below the joist, as by Dri-B-Low, does not seem to blend in with the deck environment. Convenent organizations have concerns about a single gutter and drainpipe at a deck; how much resistance (probably justified) would they have about dozen aluminum gutters (troughs), hanging below deck joists, flowing into other gutters.

[0011] With the exception of Moore, handling infiltrations between the trough and the structure is another problem that the generally is not addresses by the previous inventions. Presumably, at least for existing decks, a lot of caulking and flashing would be required in the joist space. If there is a maintenance problem with these, access could be very difficult. Moore takes care of this problem with another problem, with a gutter that channels the infiltration at one end of the gutter where it drips. Supposedly, this is in preference to the expense and appearance of an additional downspout.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

[0012] Accordingly, several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

[0013] (a) to provide an apparatus that protects areas under decks from infiltration of precipitation and debris, and the ensuing lingering moisture and wet deleterious conditions, thereby, protecting property abs making space below decks more useable and comfortable;

[0014] (b) to provide a apparatus having a relatively simple geometric configuration, consistent repetition of patterns, and materials that pleasantly blend with deck features, whereby the installation of the apparatus esthetically enhances appearances under a deck;

[0015] (c) to provide an apparatus having an unobtrusive blended and pleasant appearance, particularly from public view, which enhances the ability to obtain permission for use in communities under strict design covenants

[0016] (d) to provide an apparatus that has a finished appearance in and of itself, such that it does not need to be covered with building materials, which add weight, expense and limit accessibility

[0017] (e) to provide a system not dependant on joist configuration, which enhances appearance and versitiliy of workable configurations, including combinations of rectangular, circular, triangular and cascading areas.

[0018] (f) To provide system that is complete in that it that effectively intercepts, collects and channels infiltration to ground level and direct it away from the protected area;

[0019] (g) to provide an apparatus that has a substantially planar and unobstructed shedding surface with a sufficient slope, which allows debris to be washed and/or blown away whereby the system properly functions requiring little or no maintenance;

[0020] (h) to provide a system with a holding means, whereby most members easily can be easily lifter, unsnapped or otherwise temporarily displace from positions without requiring tools, thereby allowing easy access and maintenance;

[0021] (i) to provide a modular system with standard parts which enhances pre-manufacturing of stock items, custom fabrication of other items, kitting, and installation

[0022] (j) to provide a system where the majority of members usually typically are slid or snapped into place, such that the apparatus proficiently can be installed from underneath existing decks

[0023] (k) to provide a system with part are held together by bolt and screw fastening means and snap/gravitational holding useful in situations when a deck is rebuilt or the installation of the implementation is moved from one deck to another.

[0024] (l) to provide a system that is relatively light in weight, comprises non-structural members, and are removable—thereby avoiding requirements for building permits

[0025] (m) to provide a relatively inexpensive kit, whereby the apparatus can be installed by contractors, handymen and homeowners

[0026] (n) to provide a means of installing swing chairs, fans and the like trough the apparatus

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0027] An rather complete embodimant of the invention can be briefly described as panels over a wooden grid, with a gutter and downspout. The invention includes ledgers for primary support, which are attached to an adjacent structure, such the underside of a deck and adjacent house. The wooden grid can be adjusted during installation to accommodate the irregularities of the adjacent structure. Generally, grid and panel members are set and scooted into position and can be lifted and scooted out of position for access.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0028] 1 Profile of the invention

[0029] 2 Details of the low-ledger assembly fitting into the joist of an endboard

[0030] 3 Details of the low-ledger assembly fitting into the joist of an endboard

[0031] 4 How a grid secion is disposed

[0032] 5 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Slit: Unconnected: From Above

[0033] 6 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Slit: Connected: From Above

[0034] 7 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Slit: Unconnected: Side View

[0035] 8 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Slit: Connected: Side View

[0036] 9 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Hole: Unconnected: From Above

[0037] 10 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Hole: Connected: From Above

[0038] 11 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Hole: Unconnected: Side View

[0039] 12 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Hole: Connected: Side View

[0040] 13 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Peg: Unconnected: From Above

[0041] 14 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Peg: Connected: From Above

[0042] 15 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Peg: Unconnected: Side View

[0043] 16 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Bracket with Peg: Connected: Side View

[0044] 17 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Solid Bracket: Unconnected: From Above

[0045] 18 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Solid Bracket: Connected: From Above

[0046] 19 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Solid Bracket: Unconnected: Side View

[0047] 20 Cross-Member Sloping-Member Connetion; having Solid Bracket: Connected: Side View

[0048] 21 Spacer; From Face View

[0049] 22 Spacer; Side View

[0050] 23 Low-Side Configuration with endboard

[0051] 24 Low-Side Configuration with fascia board

[0052] 25 Low-Side Configuration hybrid

[0053] 26 High-Side Configuration simple ledger

[0054] 27 NOT USED

[0055] 28 High-Side Configuration ledger under header

[0056] 29 High-Side Configuration using offset bracket

[0057] 30 High-Side Configuration ledger on face of header

[0058] 31 Overlapping panels disposed over rafter

[0059] 32 Profile view of panels clip disposition

[0060] 33 Plan view of panels clip disposition

[0061] 34 Panel holding means with nail and overlapping panels; front view

[0062] 35 Panel holding means with nail and overlapping panels; view from above

[0063] 36 Panel holding means with nail and overlapping panels; side view

[0064] 37 Disposition of Mid-Level Endboard and Mid-Ledger

[0065] 38 Mid-Ledger Front View

[0066] 39 Detail of Mid-Ledger fitted into Mid-Level Endboard hanger

[0067] 40 Wood Post Bracket: side view

[0068] 41 Wood Post Bracket: front view

[0069] 42 Disposition of Mid-Span Hangers at Mid13 ledger and at Low-Ledger

[0070] 43 Mid-Span Hanger: end-view

[0071] 44 Mid-Span hanger: blocking attached to joists

LIST OF ELEMENTS

[0072] 1 high-ledger

[0073] 1a 2×2 component of high-ledger

[0074] 1b {fraction (5/4)} board compont of high-ledger

[0075] 1a1 upper face high-ledger

[0076] 1b1 upstanding-face high-ledger

[0077] 2 low-ledger

[0078] 2a 2×2 component of low-ledger

[0079] 2b {fraction (5/4)} board component of low-ledger

[0080] 2a1 upstanding-face low-ledger

[0081] 2b1 upstanding-face high-ledger

[0082] 2c filler low-ledger

[0083] 3 sloping-member

[0084] 3a 2×2 component of sloping member

[0085] 3b1 raised staple; projection from upper face of sloping-member

[0086] 3b2 partially driven nail; projection from upper face of sloping-member

[0087] 4 cross-member

[0088] 4a cross-member slat

[0089] 4b cross-member bracket

[0090] 4b1 cross-member bracket with slit

[0091] 4b2 cross-member bracket with hole

[0092] 4b3 cross-member bracket solid

[0093] 4b4 cross-member bracket with peg

[0094] 5 spacer

[0095] 5a spacer slat

[0096] 5b spacer filler

[0097] 5c spacer screw

[0098] 6 endboard

[0099] 6a endboard plate

[0100] 6b endboard hanger

[0101] 7 fascia board

[0102] 8 panel clips

[0103] 9 high-ledger flashing

[0104] 10 panels

[0105] 11 trim

[0106] 12 gutter

[0107] 13 deck joist

[0108] 14 adjacent beam

[0109] 15 deck post

[0110] 16 deck header

[0111] 17 nail and hole panel holding means

[0112] 17a oversized hole

[0113] 17b nail

[0114] 18 mid-level endboard

[0115] 19 mid-ledger

[0116] 19a 2×2 component of mid-ledger

[0117] 19b {fraction (5/4)} board component of mid-ledger

[0118] 19c notch

[0119] 20 wood post bracket

[0120] 20a wood plate

[0121] 20b side bracket

[0122] 20c bottom bracket

[0123] 21 mid-span hanger

[0124] 21a long screw or bolt

[0125] 21b ledger bracket

[0126] 21c double board blocking

[0127] 21d blocking fastener

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0128] A perferred embodiment of the invention as presented herein generally is described using commercaily availval materials and using parts that can be manufacture/fabricated from commercaily available amterials. A practictioner could fabricate speciality parts or use alternate materials, or alternate methods of manufacture. Although pressure treated lumber is a source material described in the following, it generally may be subsitited with cedar, redwood, oak, mahogany and other woods, plastcs, metals etc.

[0129] Componts can be made as follows

[0130] Some basic parts, which are common constituents of can be pre-manufactured and stocked. Nominal 2×2(s), hereinafter called 2×2(s). can be pre-manufactured by ripping 2×4s in half. The resulting stock item has an actual cross-sectional dimension of about 1.5″ by 1{fraction (11/16)}-inch with a smooth straight cut surface on one side. Nominal 1×2(s), hereinafter called 1×2(s) can be pre-manufactured by ripping 2×2 fence pickets in half. These have actual dimensions of about 1.5-inches by {fraction (9/16)}-inches with a smooth straight cut surface on one side. Nominal {fraction (5/4)} deck boards have actual dimensions 1 of about 1-inch×5.5-inches. All wood members of the present embodimant are pressure treated. The 2×4s, from which the 2×2s are cut, are dried-after-treatment for increased stability.

[0131] The invention has a high-side and a low-side, so named, even though in some implementations the invention could be level. The invention is primarily supported at the high-side by a high-ledger and at the low-side by a low-ledger. When attached to a deck, the high-ledger is usually attached to a deck header, deck beam, or house structure. The low-ledger is usually attached to deck posts, a deck beam, or indirectly to deck joists.

[0132] FIG. 1 illustrates a profile of the invention attached to a deck structure. The invention has a high-side and a low-side. In practice, under decks the high-side usually is located at the house-side of the deck and the low-side is to the opposite side of the deck. In this embodiment a high-ledger 1 is fastened to a deck header at the high-side a low-ledger 2, is held by endboards 6, which in turn are fastened to the deck at the low-side.

[0133] The a high-ledger 1 comprises a 2×2 1a fastened to the side of a {fraction (5/4)}×6 deck board 1b the 2×2 extends the full length of the deck board. The cut side of the 2×2 faces upward, constituting an upper-face, and is about 2.75-inches below the top of the deck board, the 2.75-inches of deck board constituting an upstanding-face adjacent to the upper-face. Flashing 9 fastened to the back and top of the deck board, projects over the front of the deck board. The flashing is a panel holding means. The high-ledger 1 is fastened to the deck header with deck screws and brackets.

[0134] The low-ledger 2 comprises a 2×2 2a fastened to the side of a {fraction (5/4)}×6 deck board 2b. The 2×2extends the full length of the deck board less about 2-inches at both ends. The cut side of the 2×2 faces upward, constituting an upper-face, and is about 1.5 inches below the top of the deck board, the 1.5-inches of the deck board constituting an upstanding-face adjacent to the upper-face.

[0135] FIGS. 1,2 &3 illustrate a means of supporting the low-ledger board at its ends. An endboard is disposed at both end of the low-ledger. Each endboard 6 comprises 2 sheets of ¾-inch B/C plywood fastened together With screws and/or nails, the higher quality faces exposed, to make a 1.5-inch thick plate with a face dimensions of about 10-inches wide by 16-inches long, the width extending horizontally, the length extending vertically. Nominal 6-inch joist hangers 7 are disposed on a face of each endboard, ⅛-inch above the bottom edge of the endboard. Each endboard is fastened to a deck joist 11 and the adjacent beam 12.

[0136] Fillers 2c, comprising plates of ½-inch plywood, with about a 5-inch by 2-inch face area dimension are fastened to the side of the deck-board, one on each end and on the same side as the 2×2. The outside edges of the plates are roughly flush with the deck board at its ends and at its lower edge. The ends of the lower-side assembly fit snugly into the joist hanger 7 of endboards 6, one of which is disposed at each end of the lower-side ledger.

[0137] A plurality of sloping-members or rafters 3, each having two ends, are comprised of 2×2s 3a, with the cut sides of the 2×2s facing upwards, constituting and upper-face, and staples 3b partially driven into the cut side. The staples have a 1″ crown and project about ⅛″ above the face of the 2×2. The staples are centered across the face of the 2×2 such that each leg is about ¼″ from the rafter's edge. Starting at end of each rafter staples are disposed uniformly, about every 2-feet. The staples represent small projections above the upper-face. An alternate embodiment could be partially driven nails protruding above the upper-face, ______ figure. The rafters rest one end on the high-ledger the other end on the low ledger. The rafters are disposed perpendicularly to the lower-side ledger and generally uniformly about 24-inches on-center from each other generally about the full extent of the low-side ledger. The 1{fraction (11/16)}-inch dimension of the sloping members normal to the upper-face, represent sides of the sloping members.

[0138] FIG. 4 is a plan view illustrating relationships among the rafters and lateral members. Lateral members in this embodiment comprise spacers 5 and cross-members 4. PP

[0139] A cross-member comprises a 22.5″ slat 4a with 2 brackets 4b. The brackets can be made from ⅛ inch thick PVC with a face dimension of about 0.75-inch by 2-inches. The ⅛-inch thickness of the brackets constitutes a diminutive thickness. Each bracket has an upper-face and an under-side. Each bracket has on its face a slot, or a hollow, 4b1 about ⅛-inch wide, 0.025 inches long and open ended to one if its 0.75-inch edges. The brackets are fastened to the cut face of the slats, one bracket at each end of the slat with the slotted end facing longitudinally away from the slat, the bracket projecting approximately ⅝″ beyond the end of the slat. Stapling is a convenient means for fastening the bracket to the slat. Regular sized cross-members, using 22.5″ slat, can be manufactured and stored as stock items. The ds of the slats and the approximate ⅝-inch projections, of the plastic brackets beyond the ends of each slat, represent end-portions of each cross-member.

[0140] Smaller sized cross-members and be easily made-up in the field by taking a slat pre-fab with a bracket on one end, cut the slat to fit, then attached the another bracket with screws.

[0141] The cross-members are disposed perpendicularly to the sloping members, the cut side of the slats facing upwards, the brackets of the cross-members resting on the sloping members, the projecting staples of the sloping members project through the hollows of the brackets, holding the brackets in place.

[0142] The upper-face and sides of the sloping members together with the small projections therefore representing an interface with the end-portions of the cross-members. In the situation shwn in figure ______ the cross-member, where the hollow is an open ended slot and the enmd-portion is of diminutive thickness compred to the middle p[ortion, the interface between the side of the rafter and the end of the cross-member is an important part of the general interface between the corss-member and then rafter

[0143] Spacers, comprise 1×2 slats about 22.5″ long 5a, two—0.5-inch thick wood fillers 5b, and deck screws 5c projecting through the slats, the spacers and into the vertical face of the high-ledger. The slats are oriented with the 1.5-in dimension vertical and the 0.75-inch dimension horizontal. Fillers can be approximately square in configuration, about 1.75″ across and 0.5-inches thick. The upper edge of each filler should be level with the upper edge of the slat; therewith the bottom edge of each filler is about 0.25-inches below the bottom edge of each slat. Spacers can be pre-manufactured by placing the two fillers and the slat into a temple, basically to keep the top edges even, pre-drilling a hole slightly smaller than the screws, then inserting the screws. At installation spacers are set such that the bottom edges of the fillers rest on the ledger, then spacers are fastened to the vertical face of the high-ledger. Regular sized spacers can be pre-manufactured and stocked.

[0144] The cross-members in combination with the rafters, the spacers, and the upper-edge of the low-ledger form a grid with a substantially planer upper-surface. The high-ledger is at an elevation higher than the low-ledger such that the slope of each rafter. ? The grid is made stable by the fact that the rafters are fitted into a slot made by the spacers at the high-ledger, the cross-member laterally restrain the rafters, The vertical face of the low ledger and the vertical face of the high-ledger restrain lateral movement of the rafters. Fastening the rafters at the extreme ends of the ledger, coming up through the 2×2's with screws, finishes containing the complete grid.

[0145] A plurality of corrugated plastic panels 7 rest on the upper-surface of the planer grid. Each panel has a nominal width of 2-feet and an actual width of about 26-inches. The panels are oriented so the rise and the fall of their corrugation is parallel to the low-ledger. The panels overlap about 2-inches, and are thus held to each other due to the corrugation. The panels generally overlap over the sloping-member as is illustrated in FIG. 31. The panels extend approximately from the face of the {fraction (5/4)} board of the higher-side ledger to about 2-inches beyond the {fraction (5/4)} board at the lower-side ledger. The panels generally are held into place by clips 8 at the low-ledger and by the projecting flashing 9 at the high-ledger. The clips and the projecting flashing represent a panels holding means in the proximity of the low-ledger and the high-ledger, respectively.

[0146] The panel clips 8 can be made from about 1-inch by about 4-inch strips of galvanized sheet metal. Each strip is bent along its long dimension ½-inch from one of its ends 90-degrees up, and bent at 1-inch from the same end 90-degress up to produce a j-configuration, with a slot ½-inch deep and ½-inch wide. The clips are fastened by nail or screw to the upper-edge of the lower-ledgers {fraction (5/4)} board generally one clip for each sloping members, in line with the rafters, projecting horizontally about 2-inches beyond the upper-edge corner of the {fraction (5/4)} board away from the sloping member. The clips are tightened against the overlapped panels.

[0147] An improved design of a panel clip 8 is shown in FIG. 32. This clip has a drip edge 8b bent in its formation, to prevent water from traveling along the clip towards the low-ledger underneath the panel. The typical deposition of a clip in relation to a sloping-member is illustrated in FIG. 33.

[0148] The flashing 9 at the higher-side ledger is L-shaped, with the short leg about 1.75-inches long and the other leg about 2-inches long. The flashing is disposed with the short leg fastened to the face of the {fraction (5/4)} board with the bend of the L-shaped flashing at about the same elevation as the upper edge of the {fraction (5/4)} board, the long leg projecting over the spacer with a slightly downward slope. Generally the flashing extends the full length of the high-ledger. The flashing profile can be varied to adapt to various conditions of the deck-header as is illustrated in FIGS. 26 through 30.

[0149] Having an aluminum gutter 10 with a flat side, the flat side is fastened, by screw, to the outside face of the {fraction (5/4)} board of the lower-side fascia, about one screw per foot length of gutter. The flat side has a vertical dimension of about 3.5-inches. The screws are disposed about 1-inch from the top edge of the gutter's flat side. The gutter has a high-end and a low-end. The elevation of the gutter drops usually at least 1-inch in 20-feet from the high end to the low end. The upper-edge of the flat side at the gutter's high-end is at about the same elevation as the upper edge of the lower-side ledger's {fraction (5/4)} board. The upper-edge of the flat side at the gutter's low end is up to a maximum of about 2-inches below the upper-edge of the flat side at the gutter's high end. A downspout protrudes from the gutter near its low end, at a post of the deck.

[0150] A length of 1×2 trim 12 disposed longitudinally with and projecting above the rafter at the extreme ends of the assembly can help hide from view edges of panels and flashing. Offset bracket assemblies 13 comprising a Simpson deck-tie connector extended with a plate can be used to fasten the high-ledger beneath a deck header 14. Various configurations of high-ledger and low-ledger are shown in FIGS. 6,7,8,9. FIG. 10 shows a layout with various ledger attachment means.

[0151] Alternate cross-member sloping-member interfaces are illustrated in FIGS. 5 through 16. Details of the preferred embodiment, the slot and bracket, are presented in FIGS. 5 through 8. Other options are: the partially driven nail of the sloping member combined with the drilled hole in the bracket, FIGS. 9-12; the partailly driven nails disposed on either side of the solid bracket, FIGS. 17 through 20; and the peg and hole combination of FIGS. 13-16. The peg can be accomplished be driving a nail or screw through the bracket. The corresponding hole can be easily drilled into the sloping member. A comonality among these alternatives is insertion of elements of one member into containing elements of the other, without fastening. Another commonality is that the end-portions of each cross-member rests on the sloping-member. these commonalities allow efficiency in placement and removal. The bracet and slot combination is preferred due to its ease of manufacure and installation.

[0152] Several alternate high-side configurations are shown in FIGS. 26 through 2. Each has a ledger with an upper face and upstanding-face. For the ledger represented in FIG. 26, the face of the adjacent srtucture constitutes an adjacent upstanding-face. The different configurations flashing 8, of each figure, contribute as a panel holding means. The panels are are constrained horizontally be the upstanding face and from above by the flashing. In addition the flashing caulked, acts as capable weather-guard, directing infiltration onto the panels.

[0153] An alternate panels holding means at the high-side is shwon in Fig. Panels have holes of about ¼″ dia whcihn slips over a nail head and is secure horizontally. Good in windy locations.

[0154] Several alternate low-side configurations are shown in FIGS. 23 through 25. FIG. 23 shows a low-ledger held by an endboard. The endboard can be fastened to a jost with screws and to the beam with a bracket. The gutter in this case is fastened to a beam which is different than the case of FIG. 1, where the gutter is fastened to the low-ledger. this is preferrable since it takes the weight off the awning. In both cases the gutter is hidden by the adjacent deck beam. In FIG. 24, the low-ledger is fastened directly to deck posts and a fascia board is fastened to deck posts, the bottom of the fascia-board approximately level with the bottom of the low-ledger. The fascia-board hides the gutter as well as provides support for the gutter. The configuration of FIG. 25 is sort of a hybred of the configurations of FIGS. 23 and 24. FIG. 25 has endboards as well as a fascia-board and the deck beam. This is used in cases where a deck beam is present but the required slope of the panneloing would place the bottom of the gutter below the deck beam. The configuration is also used in cases where an obstacle, such as an intervening deck post, displaces the gutter away from the beam. In such a case the fascia boiard enhanses the apperarance as well as provies a surface for attaching the gutter.

[0155] The low-side configuration ill vary with deck coniguration, however, each configuration includes a low-ldger. The low-ledger may be fastene directly to deck posts or indirectly with endboards.

[0156] The the high-side and the low-side configurations have alternates for adaptation to the deck and adjacent structure. A commonality of the alternates is a high-ledger and a low-ledger each with a upper-face and an adjacent upstanding-face. This structure allows efficiency of installation, access and removal, by placing and lifting. Another inportant result of these features is that the grid can be adjusted during installation, to adapt to the imperfect geometry of decks and adjacent buldings.

[0157] Panels are supported by the grid surface. The panels holding means thenholding apness to the grid, restraining vertical or horizontal displacement. In general panels rest on a grid and are held, or contained, at the highside and at the low end. Preferabley panels a re held by flashing at the high-side and by panel clips at the low-siade. Generally, the oldong means at the high-end include the upstaning face of the high-end and the flashing. The flashing when caulked acts both as a holding means and a moisture barrier. The clips hold panels at the bottom. An alternate holding means at the top requires aliging holes though overlapping panels and fitting the aligned holes about a projection from the sloping-member surface, the projection being a partially driven nail Using pre-drilled holes about ⅛″ in diameter and inishing nails seems o work well. In rare instaces, in very indy locations, it may be necessary to fasten one or more panels. This may be done by snding a wood screw through a rafter into the high-portion of the panel, panels above. The penetration typcailly does not leak. Tightening clips it is typically done by reaching over the fsaia board or beam and pulling the lip tight against the panels. Sometimes this is not possible, for example, in situations where a gutter has low ledgers on both ide and panels on both side. In such cases, positioning the clip wih a screw driver.

[0158] Installations with sloping-member spans greater than 10′ require additional support. This may be accomplished though the use of a mid-ledger. A mid-ledger is likw a low Iwdger execpt that parts of the upstanding face, or deckboards are removed, creating hollows through which sloping members pass. The upper-edge of themed-ledger supports the panels, thereby a mid-ledger replaces a row of ross-members.

[0159] In order to increase the possible area covered by the invention mid-span supports are required. FIG. 37 shows a mid-ledger 19 fitted into a mid-level endboard 18. A mid-ledger is like a low-ledger except that it has slots 19c FIG. 38 for the sloping-members to pass through. FIG. 39 show a side view of a mid-ledger hung from a joist. A mid-ledger is made the same way a low-ledger is made, except that it is preferable to trim ½″ off the {fraction (5/4)} board to make it 5, which gives a lighter look. Notches 19c are cut out generally every 24″ to coincide with the location of the transversing sloping-members. Panels are able to rest on the upper-edge of the mid-ledger, such the the mid-ledger in effect replaces a row of cross-member and becomes part of the grid. Mid-Ledgers are usually need for sloping-member spans greater than 10′.

[0160] Mid-Span supports are also required along the length of the ledgers, for otherwise unsupported lengths greater than 13′. If a deck post is present wood post bracket 20 FIG. 40, can be use. The plate 20a for the wood post bracket is made simularly as the plates for endboard, by fastening 2 sheets of ¾″ plywood together ant cutting to shape. Brackets can be attached to the sides 20b and bottom 20c to complete the unit which can be stocked for later use. Mid-span hangers 21 FIG. 42, can be used where no post are available. FIG. 42 shows mid-span hangers utilized to increase the span for a low-ledger 2 and a mid-ledger 19. Blocking 21c can be made by fastening 2—{fraction (5/4)} board together. The blocking is then fastened to deck joist 13, for which screw and washers 21d can be used. A bracket 21b is fastened to the underside of the ledger's 2×2s and the face of the ledger's {fraction (5/4)} board the extends below the 2×2. A hole is drilled through the bracket and 2×2. After the panels are set, at long screw 21a is driven through the hole and the high-corrogation of the panels above and iton the blocking. The result is very leak resistant.

[0161] Other embodiments of the present invention are possible and preferred in some situations. Various plastic or sheet metal panels can be used. Fiber-reinforced plastic panels are preferred due to their lightness, stability and strength. The sloping members can be wood, metal, or plastic. Wood members are preferred mostly due to aesthetics. The equivalents of cross-members could be of wood, metal or plastics. One inexpensive embodiment is a plurality of metal j-beads, 2 to 10 feet long, with the two short legs notched out at the locations of the sloping members, with nails projecting from the sloping members to hold the j-beads in place. If looking for strength, another embodiment has been the use of 2×4s for sloping members, 2×6s with joist hangers replacing the lower-side ledger and the upper-side ledger.

[0162] In some situations it is preferable to attach a 2×2 to the side of the adjacent structure, in place of the upper-side ledger board. In some situations it is preferable to eliminate the endboards, attaching the lower-side ledger directly to deck post, and providing a fascia board to hide the gutter. Where at beam or fascia board presents a flat surface, the gutter should be fastened to these rather than the lower-ledger's {fraction (5/4)} board to distribute the weight.