What You Need To Know About Patio Covers

When you are thinking about being able to enjoy your home more, probably one of the first things that comes to mind is – SPACE! Creating more space to enjoy your favorite activities means getting your outdoor space more user friendly.  As we spend more time enjoying our homes and the outdoor spaces, including patio covers in that discussion usually comes up.  The simple reason being, you get the most bang for the buck with this type of project.

It is true that you can build one yourself or have help from well-meaning friends (…or those that owe you a huge favor, ha!)  What makes your patio cover more enjoyable in the quickest amount of time possible? Hiring pros!

Not only will you have your patio covered more quickly but you will know that it is built with safety in mind and to code – if that is even an issue depending upon your design.

Because of the several different types of structures you can build and the materials you can choose from, having it done right is important for not only your safety but long-term investment as well.

The last thing you want is for your patio to be a ‘health hazard’ each time you go out there or when there is a slight chance of inclement weather that will threaten the integrity of your structure.

So, What Type Of Patio Cover Did You Have In Mind?

You may not have given it too much thought and you found our site as a way of researching the topic itself.  Would you believe that there are almost an endless amount of ways to cover your patio as there are to designing a home or landscape area?  Well, it is true.  The reason is that as long as your plans are within the guidelines of your city code or home owner’s association covenants and regulations – almost tougher than pulling permits sometimes it seems – then you can probably have it built.  You may even be able to tackle the project yourself or with the help of a small crew of your friends for the heavy lifting.  As you read on, you’ll learn when this would make sense and not use the pros.

The broad categories of patio cover designs include open, roofed, and enclosed.  As the names suggest, you can almost get an idea of what the structure will look like, at least in concept.  How you execute the details of your project will allow for much personalization, customization and range of design ideas.  As outdoor spaces become more and more popular with home owners, it is being increasingly easy to find contractors that can work with your plans to build you exactly what you are looking for.

Learning About ‘Open’ Covered Patios

This is how a patio cover can add elegance and ambiance.

This sounds a bit confusing at first.  Open covered patios?  If you are thinking about having a more open patio concept, then you are probably inclined to be thinking about gazebo or pergola types of structures.  These are similar in nature.

A gazebo is usually a structure that has more of a roof-like element to it.  It may also be more of a Victorian style with benches built into it.  Gazebos have more of a closer, intimate feeling to them.  A pergola has more of a criss-crossed type lattice structure to its ‘roof’. The term roof here is in quotes because it is more of an open structure, usually having trained vines or plants growing up and over it providing shade and ambiance.  This can also be quite intimate, but because of its open nature has more of a restful feeling about it. Click here to see some pictures of pergolas.

Both types of open structures can be enjoyed much of the year depending upon your climate and weather of course.  Many pergola builders have mastered the craft in all corners of our country as the various designs can highlight the flowers and outdoor experience of the seasons.

The open patio styles are what are more classic for the popular surge in outdoor room spaces.  With these rooms, entire kitchens or entertaining spaces with kitchen appliances are made to bring the indoors out.  Many products and manufacturers are now offering items that are made to be exposed to the elements.  Stainless steel and stone items are the most common choices.  The partial covering offered by the plants or vines does provide some relief from mother nature to the appliances.

What About Other Covered Patio Designs?

While a gazebo structure may technically qualify as a “roofed patio”, what we are really discussing here are more formally covered patios.  In this case, patio covers that use framed members, with sheeting, and roofing materials like felt paper, and shingles.  This is definitely a job for the professional builder.

These types of covered patio areas are like the traditional ranch house styles of the 1970s – where the patio area is an extension of the rear part of the home.  The key to updating this look is in the post options and using paint and furniture items to bring a more modern feel to that outdoor space.

Now, How About Those Enclosed Patios…

Look at all this glass - that's an enclosed sunroom.

photo credit

These types of rooms are more commonly called sunrooms or sitting rooms.  More popular in times gone by, but like all things, making a comeback.  Similar to the type of patio covers mentioned above, these spaces are very customizable offering each customer to personalize their space.

These porch-like spaces can provide a more enjoyable outdoor experience for longer periods in the season because of their enclosed nature.  Being screened in or enclosed with the use of retractable awnings or motorized awnings can provide another level of protection.  Enclosed areas can also be made to look and function as an indoor room with the use of pillars and draperies.

Remember, what you are really after with any type of outdoor patio space is to be more able to spend some quality time outdoors.  You may just need some down time after work.  Maybe you have children and want to watch them play outdoors without the pounding sun.  Entertaining outdoors will leave your guests impressed and rejuvenated.  No matter what type of option you choose, your patio cover will help you enjoy your time  with friends and family.

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