• pergola with hanging vines

To Have Or Not To Have A Patio Cover

By Debbie Lockhart

Come rain or shine, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that if you have a patio – you are going to want to invest in a patio cover. It will provide protection in the winter and fall and shade in the summer and spring. The tougher question to answer is: what type of cover should you invest in?

Patio Cover Options

The Perfect Pergola

patio pergola looking out at city

The pergola, (also called an arbor or arbour), is the most popular patio cover option. Vertical posts or pillars that usually support crossbeams and a sturdy open lattice define it. It will provide a sitting area that allows for breeze and light sun, but offers protection from the harsh glare of direct sunlight. Designs incorporating wood rather than brick or stone pillars are more affordable and are increasing in reputation. It is a wise choice to go with a weather-resistant wood, such as Western Red cedar or Coast Redwood. Depending on your patio design and taste, you can then paint, stain or have woody vines flow throughout your new addition!

Go For a Gazebo

backyard gazebo with outdoor fireplace

For those of you who desire a more seclusive, private getaway spot, and possess a slightly larger backyard than the norm, a gazebo may be the best patio cover option. A gazebo is generally defined as a freestanding, open-sided structure with a solid roof and (usually) a floor, though designers are constantly reinterpreting the form. Today’s versions are just as likely to be square, rectangular, or round; have sleek lines and lights. Again, cedar and redwood are the least expensive material choices, however, they also can be built of metal, stone, or even reinforced concrete. Floors, which are often raised by one or two steps, may be wood, brick, concrete, or stone. Most often, the roof is clad in cedar shakes, though other materials, including copper and slate, may be used, particularly to echo that detail of the main house. Painted or left unfinished, the gazebo will add a touch of class to your patio.

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Can you Cope with a Canopy?

backyard canopy with wicker furniture

Similar, but less sturdy than gazebos, is the canopy. The both have the same design top but usually the canopy does not have sidewalls and can be easily transported. The tent model uses tall center poles and perimeter ropes to tighten the tent fabric into place to create the roof. These tents are normally much larger and are designed to give a larger party area. These are popular for weddings and banquets for your backyard festivals.

Yearning for Awnings?

outside kitchen and awning

Once you’ve established what kind of patio cover you’re going to go with, the next decision is whether or not to include awnings. The awning or overhang is a secondary covering attached to the cover. Your contractor will discuss the difference between using acrylic, cotton, polyester yarn, or vinyl stretched tightly over aluminum, iron, steel or wood materials. Aluminum awnings are often used when a fabric awning is not a practical application, where snow and wind loads may be a factor.

Design your dream patio cover today. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, a trusted home contractor is awaiting to give you the perfect answers designed to fit your budget. End