Building and Installing Your Own Patio Cover or Awning
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Building and Installing Your Own Patio Cover or Awning

Understand the differences between wood, plastic, metal frames for awnings. Applications and advantages of pergolas and retractable models. Cost and installation guide.

While it is nice to have a patio open to air, sometimes there is a need to cover it. There are a variety of awnings and patio covers to meet all architectural styles and designs. Awnings / patio covers come in various colors and the design extensions are limitless. Awnings and patio covers of the highest quality are widely available today. Despite the superb designs and styles, most are affordable. Some are precut, others are prepainted and some are prefabricated. The majority of patio covers and awnings are prepainted which eliminates you having to repair or repaint them. You can even build your own patio cover. There are no special skills required except a basic mechanical aptitude and knowing the dimensions. Many patio accessories are already custom made - all you have to do is read the manual and install them in the proper place.

Types of patio covers and awnings

Essentially there are two basic types of awnings and covers for patios – permanent fixtures like pergolas and gazebos or temporary (removable) cover like retractable awnings, umbrellas and canopies Permanent covers require more work to install and are expensive but they significantly improve the aesthetics of your landscape. Once built, they allow you ample time to enjoy the outdoors. It's also nice to know that adding a feature like this to your home not only increases the visual attractiveness but also adds value to your home. For those who simply want basic shade from both the rain and sun, there are temporary patio covers available in all styles. Some like the umbrella can keep the rain and sun away and during the winter the umbrella can be stored away. For those who prefer privacy, a wind screen can be designed into the patio cover. One great reason to use a patio cover is to protect the entire area from bird poop, falling leaves, dust, and insects. This junk can often interfere with dining alfresco or simply relaxing outside. A patio cover can make cleaning up a lot easier and hygienic.

Wood frame covers

The majority of wood frame covers are customized and precut. But you can always design your own. If you want an intricate style and design, you may require the assistance of a professional. Wood frame covers are light weight and come in various shapes and sizes. Wooden patio covers are very durable and add value to your home. Other options can be added to wooden covers such as electrical wiring and even drop panels to prevent the wind, rain and insects. The one major disadvantage of a wood patio cover is the cost, time required to build it and the annual maintenance.

Plastic covers

Plastic covers made from a variety of materials are now available. These see through light weight covers offer you all the benefits of being outdoors with all the protection and convenience of being safe inside a building. Some of these plexi glass structures are tinted to prevent the UV light of the sun from coming through.

Metal patio covers

Metal Patio Covers made from aluminum are very popular because they require less maintenance, are sturdy and durable. Many aluminum products are resistant to infestation by termites and ants. Aluminum frames are precut and very easy to install compared to a wood patio cover. The two disadvantages of the aluminum covers are that they can be damaged in very high winds and storms and they are not retractable.

Pergolas and arbors

Pergolas and arbors are great coverings if you are looking to enhance the aesthetics of your home. They are not very durable and often fail to protect against the environment.  Pergolas can be built in various styles and designs and can truly make the place look neat.

Retractable awnings

Retractable covers are generally more expensive than aluminum covers. If one does not want a permanent cover over the patio, a good option is select a canopy or a retractable awning. These covers can easily be rolled up when not needed and easily fitted when the need arises. However, the repeated rolling and extension of the canopies also leads to faster wear down. All retractable covers come in a variety of fabrics, styles and designs. Patio Umbrellas are also an excellent option and also the least expensive. The large umbrella provides adequate shade from both the sun and rain. They are easy to install and take down. However, compared to the other patio covers, the umbrella is essentially a cosmetic cover. It offers little or no protection against fierce winds and hail storms.

Maintenance and durability

The majority of patio covers available today are durable and can protect you from a variety of harsh environmental conditions such as the hot sun, rain, wind and extremes of temperature. Plus, some of the modern patio covers are virtually maintenance free and stay looking new for years. Some aluminum patio covers are also insect resistant and environmentally friendly.

Cost

Patio covers cost significantly less than enclosures. But the covers generally last longer and offer the same protection. Covering for the patio adds value to the property and when it comes time to sell, you will get back every penny you spent.

Some don’ts

Last but not least, before you start erecting patios and patio covers, make sure that you have spoken to the building inspector about the rule and regulations. Each local county and state has its own rules and you have to abide by them. In some cases permits are required to install patio covers. There are a few things that a patio cover can not be used for. You can not cover a garage, car port or storage room with a patio cover. In addition, enclosed patios cannot be heated.

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Comments (10)

I will have to show this to my "better half." We have been debating about what to do with our patio. Thanks!

Thank you so much Bob for this valuable information. I'm dreaming of a patio and your article is fully detailed. Very best wishes.

Thanks for sharing information...Have a nice day...

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I know that when it comes to repairs the first thing to do is to have a detailed research about it.

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Look it over, but I also suggest you look elsewhere too, then you decide which really fit your needs. :)

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I know that when it comes to repairs the first thing to do is to have a detailed research about it.

I found some answers here Patio Cover Houston

Look it over, but I also suggest you look elsewhere too, then you decide which really fit your needs. :)

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Having patios is really nice for your home. Just make sure that the patio cover constructor you want to build for your own house has the best services.

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5 years experiance in aluminum patio covers, life time on the materials.

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John C

Thanks for these additional information.

We have been using patio umbrellas for some shade and for additional decor to our patio. Speaking of styles, there are a lot of outdoor umbrella styles and forms that can be used in any situation.

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Thank you so much! I think many <a href="http://mycoolpatio.com">patio accessories</a> are great, and I am excited to try some of these out! You have done a great job on this post!

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