I have a patio door with a load bearing header and frame that opens out to a deck. The only cover on top of the door is the roof overhang with a gutter running along it. The door is in an exterior corner. There's a wall and the drain from the gutter on one end of it and a light fixture on the other side. So there's not much space around the door frame itself, either above or on the sides.

Image of the door

I'd like to install an awning over the door to get some covered space in the deck.

Is it ok to use the patio door header and frame for attaching the brackets of the awning so we can get some more space? Are there any codes around what kind of loads I can put on it?

This is a load bearing header and frame and I'm not sure if I can do this. The awning canopy will be vinyl or poly-carbonate, likely 96 x 40 inches with brackets on both edges and one in the middle.

  • 1
    I expect that a prefabricated awning would apply most any load into studs outside the door's width. Is the 40" dimension parallel to the wall? An image of the awning and of the door would be helpful.
    – popham
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 21:04
  • Added an image of the door. Don't have the awning yet, since I'm still trying to figure out what I can do to get some cover over the deck area. I don't think pre-fabricated awnings will fit in this area, so I was going to get some brackets and canopy material and make one that fits.
    – Munir
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 21:24
  • 1
    What loads will it see? Any snow? Is so, then how much?
    – popham
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


Make your brackets tied to the door's king studs. A snow load of 30 psf over your area is 800# applied at 20" eccentricity for a bending demand of 8000#-in (half the load at each bracket). The strength of an SPF stud is (675psi)(1.5)(1/6)(1.5in)(3.5in)² = 3100#-in. The snow, then, stresses the stud at 2.6 times the stud's strength.

Just be sure to make your canopy flimsy enough that a substantial snow will break it and shed the snow that broke it.

  • Thanks for the detailed answer. It snows a few times in the year, maybe 1 or 2 winter storms and some flurries. Perhaps a retractable canopy that can be folded in might be better.
    – Munir
    Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 6:15
  • @Munir, or just sweep the snow off periodically.
    – popham
    Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 6:42

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