Improving the outer portion of your house may require tough decisions. One of which is to whether install a patio cover or not. But first, it is imperative to understand what patio covers are.
A patio cover is an outdoor shade solution attached to the outer wall of your home and is typically placed in the backyard. Adding this structure allows you to hang out outside and, of course, on your patio comfortably.
While patio cover kits are widely available, if you lean more towards durability, style, and endurance, it is best to have it constructed by trained professionals with the best materials there are.
Nevertheless, it is always beneficial to learn a thing or two about patio covers. That way, it will help you make the right decision for your backyard.
What Is the Point of a Patio Cover?
Deciding to put up or attach a patio cover is a practical and aesthetic choice.
For starters, the patio cover provides shade during a hot summer day. You can still hang out outside as you are protected from the scorching heat of the sun.
Second, it keeps your patio furniture and outdoor decorations dry during rainy seasons. That is if you opt for a closed patio cover.
Third, it adds visual appeal and value to your house. For example, if you’re aiming for rustic feels in your backyard, a pergola or a farmhouse design could be your best option.
Overall, the point of a patio cover is to extend the comfort you enjoy in your living room to the backyard.
A patio can already be inviting, but you may decide not to hang out in the said area if it is openly exposed.
Hence, the patio cover only makes your backyard or patio enticing to anyone who wishes to cool down. With that, it will allow you to save energy from constantly using the air-cooling system indoors.
What Is the Difference Between a Pergola and a Patio Cover?
A pergola is an outdoor structure made of an overhead frame consisting of joists running one direction and rafters running the opposite. They can be freestanding or attached to the house and can be made to compliment a garden and/or create an extended living space in the backyard.
Pergolas typically lack a roof or solid covering. However, newer designs allow the attachment of retractable canopies as protection from the sun’s heat or rain.
On the other hand, a patio cover is considered an extension of the house as the structure is attached directly to the main building. Unlike pergolas, a standard patio has a roof. Hence, it is primarily constructed for practical purposes.
Pergolas and patio covers are often used interchangeably. Both are located in the backyard or the outdoor area. Perhaps that’s why they are often switched in conversations.
They are different, however, in terms of design and structure. Nonetheless, pergolas can still be classified as patio covers. And some homeowners consider them at the top of their choices for aesthetic purposes.
Open vs. Solid Roof Patio Cover
Choosing if you wish to build an open or solid roof patio cover depends primarily on the function of the outdoor area.
An open lattice roof, for example, is perfect if you want to maximize air circulation, which will allow you to cool off and feel the natural breeze outside. Also, it will provide you with ambient light controlled through the partitions of the rafters or roof louvers.
Now, if you want full coverage of your patio and a lot less moisture getting through, go for a solid roof. This patio cover protects you completely from extreme sunlight and rain. In addition, you can add a ceiling fan to get plenty of air circulation.
What Are the Materials Used for Patio Covers?
If you want a sturdy and long-lasting patio cover, choose the suitable materials for the construction. Moreover, your preferred design is also influenced by certain elements added to the structure.
Here are some of the most common materials used for patio covers.
The most traditional material to use for a patio cover is wood. It gives a rustic vibe and classic look that goes with different home architectural styles. Most open patio covers are almost entirely made of wood.
However, as elegant as a wooded patio cover may seem, it needs high maintenance as it is prone to decline due to factors like weather and termite damage.
Patio covers made of aluminum often take a modern design. But more than the flexible style, aluminum is highly durable. It’s resistant to different types of damages and is low maintenance.
If you’re living in areas prone to damages caused by seasonal weather changes, your best option is to build a patio cover made of aluminum.
If it’s a cheap patio cover you’re looking for, then vinyl would suffice your outdoor shade needs. It’s less expensive compared to wood and aluminum, and it also requires less maintenance.
The downside, however, is that it isn’t as durable as the other materials, and your choice for style is somewhat limited.
You can opt for fiberglass roof panels for your patio, especially if you have an extra budget for the project. It’s stylish, highly robust, and maximizes your protection from rain without sacrificing the amount of light you can get from the outside.
Different Types of Patio Covers
A pergola is an excellent option if you plan on putting the patio cover near your garden. You can cover the structure with climbing plants like honeysuckle or wisteria, or passionflower. You can also decorate the grids with fairy lights to make the area more enticing.
Awnings have been around for quite a long time. But they remain a reliable outdoor shade solution. They could be installed easily through an outdoor beam and stretch at a downward angle. Likewise, you can opt for a stationary or retractable awning.
If it’s a festive look you’re after, then canopies would suit your taste. Canopies are mostly made of polyester. Hence, you’ll have plenty of options in terms of patterns, sizes, and shapes.
4. Thatched Roof
Nothing says vacation in your backyard like a thatched roof. This traditional look emulates the ambiance of a tropical paradise or a luxury resort. It’s like having your own tiki bar in the comfort of your own yard.
5. Shade Sails
Simple patio cover solutions can be translated to the shade sails. This simple top only needs material with endpoints that you could tie or attach on a hook or a sturdy surface.
It’s relatively cheap and easy to install. However, one huge disadvantage is that it could easily get damaged as the materials are fragile.
6. Standard Patio Cover
A standard patio cover is your most practical option if you’re looking for a functional shade solution. They are more permanent, durable, and could require less maintenance.
You can also install it easily as most patio covers only require simple steps to attach it to the house’s main structure successfully.
How Do I Install a Patio Cover at Home?
A do-it-yourself patio cover construction can sometimes suffice your outdoor shading needs. But there are several downsides to this choice.
For starters, even though patio cover kits are available, there are plenty of things that could go wrong during the installation process.
Moreover, the materials may not be as sturdy and durable as you want them to be. As a result, you may end up spending more on repairs and maintenance.
If you wish to have a patio cover constructed or installed at home, don’t hesitate to seek services from nearby professionals. That way, your vision, and taste can materialize in the finished structure.
You can decide on the type and design of the patio cover or seek the contractor’s recommendation.
A patio cover will only make your backyard cozier and appealing. Therefore, make the best out of your planning and research. Hire reliable construction professionals like TNT Home Improvements who are well-versed in building quality patio covers. If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our Patio Cover page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.