Ultimate Patio Cover Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy
Saturday, 07 March 2020

 If you're working on developing your outdoor space, be it a yard or garden, then creating a shaded space is a valuable addition. Creating the perfect outdoor space takes a lot of time and can be expensive. If your garden needs a lot of work, you may be planning on removing everything that's currently there and starting from scratch. If you've already gone through this process, then you'll know how much work it can take, and installing a new patio is often a major milestone when developing your outside space.

 A patio is a big investment in itself, and you'll probably spend hours looking at all of the different options available. Once you've chosen and laid your patio down, you'll then want to think about protecting it. This is where a patio cover comes into play. This is the best way to make sure that your patio stays in great condition for as long as possible, and will also provide a fantastic shaded spot you can relax in through the summer.

What type of patio covers can you choose from?

There are several popular types of a patio cover, and each as its own benefits. These are both aesthetic, as well as the features they provide. The commonality is that they are all able to provide a shaded spot to relax in and protect your patio. For great patio covers, check out alumawood patio covers phoenix for some great options.


This is a more traditional type of patio cover and will probably bring to mind striped covers that have a distinct cheerful character. Awnings may be a more classic solution, but they have been developed significantly in the last few decades. Usually made out of fabric, they are easily extended and retracted when you need them. They are also great for protecting the inside of your house as they stop direct sunlight from hitting your carpets or furniture, which can cause the color to fade over time.


While many patio cover options extend directly from your house, a pergola is a free-standing structure that can provide shade and protection wherever you need it. This is a great option if your patio isn't directly outside of your house, or if you have an area in your yard that the sun hits directly. The great thing about pergolas is that they come in a great variety of styles, meaning you can pick what fits in with the mood of your garden. You can choose from traditional options that are made from wooden beams to more modern styles. The walls are all open with just the four columns and a roof, making the area that you install your pergola an open and airy space, while still having protection from direct sunlight. You can also plant and encourage plants to grow around your pergola, with vines and ivy being great choices to make the structure feel like a natural extension of the yard.

Note also that as a pergola is a structure of its own and not a part of your house, you may need a permit or planning permission before you have one installed. It's also essential to take good care of your pergola, cleaning and treating it regularly to keep it in good condition.

Umbrella or parasol

This is the most cost-effective way to shade yourself and your patio from the elements. It's also the simplest, and is great if you don't want or need to invest in anything that will be more expensive or take a lot of effort to install. A large umbrella is a perfect thing to have as the base of a table with chairs around it, so that you can enjoy food in your garden. Umbrellas with tables and chairs come in lots of different styles, from cast iron to wooden, so there will definitely be something you can work with. The other great benefit of umbrellas is that they are mobile, so you can move them depending on where you want to hang out and where the sun is.


This is a great option if you have a contemporary or more modern house. A lattice patio cover is made from lots of thinner pieces of wood to form a criss-cross pattern as the roof of a structure that comes out of the side of your house. This allows for some sunlight to pass through the small gaps in the middle of the pattern. Choose a material that has been treated, so that it's able to withstand both direct sunlight, as well as harsher conditions in the winter. If you don't like the sunlight coming through your lattice pattern, then you can also opt to have fabric added to dilute some of the light and give a softer touch. This can be removed and stored very easily when you aren't outside using the shader.

Solid patio cover

This is probably the most varied option you can choose. A solid patio cover, as the name suggests, is made from one piece of material and is solid in its structure. You can choose from wood to metal, and they are the best option if protecting your patio is your main priority. They provide the best protection from direct sunlight with their solid structure, which doubles to protect from water damage. Harsh rain and snow can lead to a significant amount of damage for your patio that you'll need to continuously maintain. A solid patio cover minimizes this significantly. They can also increase the square footage of your living space, providing a compromise from a full extension like a conservatory, but can add value to your property in the same way.

As there are so many options, you'll want to do some research and find some inspiration. This board is a great place to get started, with loads of interesting build and examples of patio covers.
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