What Type of Patio Cover is Best?By: Carports, Tents and Sheds Staff Writers
If you have a patio, then chances are at some point you have given some thought to whether or not you want a patio cover above it to provide some protection from the sun and rain. Outdoor patio covers can offer protection and give you an opportunity to enjoy your patio even at times when the weather may not otherwise cooperate. There are many types of patio cover designs to choose from so deciding what type of patio cover is best for your particular circumstances will depend on the look you are hoping to achieve, how much protection you are interested in, and your budget.
Patio coverings can be constructed from various materials in a variety of designs. Here are a few options for patio cover materials and patio cover design to choose from:
Patio Cover Materials:
Wood patio covers – A wood patio cover offers solid construction along with the beauty of wood. Wooden patio covers are typically attached to the side of the house and offer extended living space under the patio cover. Wood patio cover designs can include solid wood construction that resembles a porch awning or cover, or can be more open, such as in a lattice design.
Metal patio covers – A metal patio cover also offers strength and durability, although it is not quite as attractive as wood. Metal patio covers can also be attached to the side of the house or can be freestanding structures. A metal patio cover can be constructed from solid metal, or the frame alone can be metal and the covering can be made from another material.
Aluminum patio covers – An aluminum patio cover is a less permanent and less sturdy structure than a metal or steel patio cover, but serves its own purpose. Aluminum patio covers are constructed from an aluminum frame that is covered by another material on top. Sometimes that material is canvas or vinyl, but it can be virtually any type of material that would hold up well as an overhead covering. For those looking to save money on the purchase of a patio cover, you can buy aluminum patio cover kits and assemble them yourself. Since they are fairly lightweight, they are easier to handle and assemble than other types of patio covers.
Vinyl patio covers – A vinyl patio cover is a low maintenance option. The patio covering is made from vinyl and can be ordered in a wide variety of colors. It does not rust like metal, is not subject to water or insect damage like wood, and is one of the least expensive options for a backyard patio cover.
Canvas patio covers – A canvas patio cover is comprised of an expanse of canvas over an aluminum or metal support structure. Canvas or fabric patio covers can be ordered in a wide variety of colors and patterns and offer the most design options. A fabric patio cover must be made with a heavy duty, weather resistant fabric so that it holds up to constant exposure to the sun and precipitation. Canvas or fabric patio covers are similar to awnings and can either remain overhead or be retractable.
Patio Cover Designs:
Lattice patio covers – A lattice patio cover offers the benefits of some overhead protection, while not completely enclosing the space over the patio. Lattice patio covers can be constructed from wood or vinyl and the space between the lattice work can vary depending on how open the homeowner would like the outdoor patio cover. A lattice patio cover can add interest and style to a backyard space.
Retractable patio covers – A retractable patio cover is basically the same as an awning. Patio covers that are retractable are attached to the side of the house and can be retracted when not in use or opened up when needed. They provide the best of both worlds because you only need to use the patio covering when you want to and it remains out of the way when it is not needed. Retractable patio covers function the same way as retractable awnings.
Free standing patio covers – A free standing patio cover is not connected to the side of the home, but is rather a freestanding structure. Depending on the material the freestanding cover is made from and how large it is, some freestanding patio covers are portable and others must be firmly anchored into the ground. A gazebo canopy can function as a freestanding patio cover.
Should you buy or build a patio cover?
Buy patio covers – There are loads of patio cover designs and styles available for purchase from various retailers and patio cover companies. Some patio covers are ordered in standard styles and materials and can then be assembled either by a contractor affiliated with the company, an independent contractor, or you can install the patio cover on your own. Other companies will give you design ideas or have a selection of designs to choose from and will then build your patio cover on-site.
Custom patio covers – A custom patio cover can be designed and installed by a professional to provide the look, size, style and feel that you want, no matter what your needs. This is a high cost option but the results can be a beautiful patio cover that blends in with the décor of your home and provides enhanced outdoor living space.
Patio cover kits – If you don’t want the expense of having a patio cover professionally installed but don’t want to build a patio cover completely on your own, then a patio cover kit may be the way to go. Building a patio cover can be a rather complex task, but with a patio cover kit, you have all of the supplies you need pre-measured and pre-cut, as well as a detailed plan for how to construct the patio cover. It still requires work, but can be handled by most people with basic carpentry skills.
Patio cover plans – If you are interested in building a do it yourself patio cover, but don’t want to have to start at square one, figuring out the patio cover design, measurements, material requirements and more, then it is best to purchase a set of patio cover plans or download free patio cover plans online. Do it yourself patio covers can be a lot of work, but if you find a good and detailed set of plans, a DIY patio cover shouldn’t be too difficult to complete. You will need more than just basic carpentry skills to complete DIY patio covers, since you will still need to measure, cut and assemble every aspect of the cover and will also have to know how to select the proper materials, but the plans will help you get the job done right. If you are considering building a patio cover but are not exactly sure how to build one, then it is best to do some research before you make that decision. You can do a search online for “how to build patio covers” to find information that will help you through the process and will help you decide for yourself whether a DIY patio cover project is right for you. You will also be able to find lots of patio cover ideas and patio cover pictures online to help you decide what type of patio cover you think would be best for your home.
When it comes to patio shade covers, there are many choices to consider. From the material that you use for your patio shade cover to the design or style of the cover, there are many options to choose from, so finding the option that is the best patio cover for your needs should be a fairly easy task. If you decide to buy a patio cover, you can check online to compare prices, find local companies that will build or install your patio cover, get design ideas, see photos, and more. If instead you would rather build a patio cover, you can find patio cover plans online, as well as helpful hints and other information that will make the process of building a patio cover easier and will result in a more successful outcome.
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