Patio covers and canopies can be a great addition to any patio. They can provide shade or shelter from the elements, keep out insects and protect furniture from the elements.
As you explore cover and canopy options for your patio, some things to keep in mind are the durability of the material and whether or not you want your patio cover or canopy to be permanent or semi-permanent.
In terms of options, one of the most common patio covers is an awning. These can come in many materials, shapes and sizes, but canvas and aluminum are two materials often used. Patio awnings can be permanent fixtures, manually removable, or retractable via a crank or with the bush of a button if they're motorized.
Pergolas are another patio cover option. These intricate structures allow climbing plants to grow up and over them, providing shade and shelter but allowing some sunlight to filter through the leaves of the plants. Common materials for pergolas are wood, vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass.
For a more sturdy and permanent patio cover, you may want to consider a roof. These can be as simple as a cover supported by posts to a full-fledged roof attached to the house, with wiring, lighting and heating. In some cases these can feature skylights or retractable features to allow for sunlight to stream into the patio space.
Lastly, if you're unsure of which patio type best suits your needs, consider a combination system—attach a retractable awning to a full roof, or add an airy pergola next to a more permanent patio covering.
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas
Learn about the different options for patio materials and surfaces.
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