What To Look For In Outdoor Patio Covers

You think that just because you have HGTV on your television network and have a little skill that you can build outdoor patio covers?  Well, you might be right!  There are a few considerations to take into account and that’s what we’ll cover here today.  But, before we get into that, determine where you’ll get the most benefit from the shade provided by your structure.  Many times, people will build a patio not taking into account the various angles of the sun in the summer and winter.  If you build a patio cover too tall, it may miss its mark in providing the proper shade for you when you need it most.

Patio covering materials can include fabrics, metal and wood to awnings and canopies.  Before you get to that point, figure out how your structure is going to look and where it will be in relation to your home.  Taking another step back – if you are going to be building this patio, you’ll need to check not only with your home owners association (if you have one) but, quite possibly, your city for proper codes and permits to pull.  If it’s a simple patio structure that you are after, it will likely need no permits, just HOA approval in most cases.

Types of Metal Patio Covers

Corrugated metal roofs can create great patio covers.

Corrugated metal roofs can create great patio covers.

Aluminum patio covers are probably the most common type of metal cover.  This is because of their light weight and ease of assembly.  All they would require to install are simple tools that most do-it-your-selfers have at home – a drill, hammer,  jig saw, caulking gun, metal snips (possibly) and some standard tools that would be required like a ladder, tape measure, etc.  Sometimes, in areas where a more rustic feel is desired, steel sheeting can be used.  This ages to have a nice rusty patina to it.  Like an old barn or some similar look.  These roofs can still be seen on structures many decades old, so you know they hold up.

Other Patio Cover Ideas

Wooden patio covers can take many different styles.  Sometimes, the patio is simply covered like one would with an extension on a home being used as a sunroom.  The walls are either open between the posts, mesh netting could be framed between the posts to allow air to flow but bugs out or even retractable awnings could be used to provide shade.  Patios are versatile structures.  It could be covered with a post and beam type layout and be called a pergola or even a gazebo with enough attention to the roof detail in the structure.  Typically, pergolas have flatter patio roofs, whereas a gazebo has a more angled appearance and can even have an actual wooden roof.    Again, pergola and gazebo covers could have patio awnings that serve to provide more shade when necessary. Finally, we realize that some people feel that they lack the skill to design and install an aluminum or canvas patio cover that is custom made to the patio space that needs to be covered. For those who are not inclined to install a fixed patio covering, there is always the option of buying one of the many retractable motorized awnings that are available on the market. However, even retractable awnings that can be opened and rolled up either with an awning motor or with a hand crank will require installation. If you are not handy enough to make your own canvas or aluminum patio cover, then you would probably be better off, if you paid someone to install your retractable motorized awning for you, as well.

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