Patio Covers: Breathing Life Into A Boring Back Yard

Humans are social creatures. We love to entertain, host, and catch up regularly with family and friends. A lot of this socializing is done in a relaxed setting on a patio or back deck. To enjoy these spaces and be protected from the suns burning rays or Mother Natures’ occasional torrential downpour it’s important to have a patio cover.

What Are Patio Covers?

Patio covers are coverings attached to a patio or deck to shade you from the sun or to protect you during a rainstorm. These covers also protect your outdoor dining furniture and other deck furnishings from weather damage. A covered patio is often several degrees lower in temperature during summer months than not being protected. They are made from a number of different materials, but wood and aluminum are the most popular materials used for patio covers.

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Aluminum Patio Covers

This type of patio cover is one of the most popular choices on the market. Aluminum is virtually maintenance free and super easy to clean. It comes in many designs, colors, and shapes. There are two main advantages of aluminum covers. They will not rot, split, or splinter like the wood patio covers. Aluminum patio covers are very light weight and easy to carry, even if you are doing the job yourself.

Many customers love the look of wood patio covers, but dislike the maintenance wood covers demand so aluminum manufacturers are now creating wood looking aluminum patio covers. These are very popular for cottages and country styled homes.

Wood Patio Covers

Whether you are hiring a contractor or doing the labor yourself, wood covers are a great idea for the serious entertainers. There are several different options for wood patio covers depending on your budget and the level of protection you want to provide. Wood covers blend perfectly into landscape and its surroundings, creating a feeling that the cover is part of the intended natural flow of the area.

Do you just want a bit of shade on sunny days outside or do you want full coverage, including sun and rain? If you normally only sit outside when it is sunny, a flat topped roof with wood slats or beams may be just what you need for your patio. If you want to be able to enjoy your patio even during the rainy seasons, a full coverage patio cover is a more practical choice.

When deciding on which type of wood to use price is always included. Pine covers are a bit cheaper in price. If you are looking for a more long lasting wood redwood and oak are excellent choices. Both are strong wood choices, but more expensive.

Do not leave your wood covers unfinished. Wood is subject to the weather and will deteriorate over time. The posts of your covers are susceptible to weather damage and termites, so use pressure treated wood. Wood patio covers can last for years and years if you have the time and patience to take care of the cover. You should refinish your wood patio cover every other year to keep it from warping, cracking, and splintering.

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Patio Cover Kits

For the do-it-yourself people there are also patio cover kits. These kits are available in aluminum, insulated aluminum, and steel.

The insulated aluminum kits are popular because they work exceptionally well in extreme heat. They have 2 layers of aluminum with foam in between the layers. These layers and foam help you stay cool as a cucumber, well…cooler than you would be if you didn’t have the insulated cover.

For a more durable type of cover, opt for the steel patio cover kit. This type of cover can stand up to intense amounts of rain and snow. It’s also sturdy enough to hold a ceiling fan, so you can enjoy those mid-summer days without overheating.

Aluminum kits are the most affordable and most popular type of patio cover kit. This type of cover comes in many colors to match your home or you can opt for the lattice style which looks like painted wood.

Are You Happy With Your Patio Cover?

  • Yes, it blocks the sun and rain. What more could I ask for?
  • No, I wish I had a better patio cover.
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Patio Cover Designs

Deciding on a specific design for your patio is sometimes difficult. The most difficult thing about it is it’s a “permanent” addition to your home and yard. You want to find a design that you will continually like for years to come. You also want something that your family can enjoy.

The best way to select a patio cover design is to look at many pictures. There are many places online to see pictures and examples of patio covers, the different types of patio covers.

It’s also important to have a second opinion. Perhaps you have a friend that has an eye for design or decorating. You should ultimately decide on a design that fits the décor of your home, yard, and will also fit your family’s living style. There are so man patio cover designs you are sure to find something you like.


Metal And Wood Patio Cover Ideas

Patio Cover Ideas

Just like other rooms and areas in your home, your patio can have a theme. If you are looking for a more extravagant appeal to your patio cover here are a few ideas for you.

  • Instead of using regular posts for stability you can use stone, concrete, or brick columns for added eye appeal. If you cannot do the building yourself, look for a reputable builder in your area to build you a custom patio cover.
  • Japanese style patios are very popular. To add Japanese flair to your patio, add eastern type ceramic tiles to your cover. Add a few Japanese inspired statues and plants to the area.
  • Build an arbor. This is not a new idea. People have been doing this for years. If you want more privacy plant vine plants, such as climbing rose or honeysuckle, and allow the vines to cover the top of the arbor. This is a great way to fill your backyard with beautiful fragrances and get some much needed privacy from nosey neighbors. Be sure to keep these vines under control or they will take over your whole back yard.

© 2009 Stephanie

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Comments 4 comments

TulsaWoodscapes profile image

TulsaWoodscapes 6 years ago

Great Article!


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Great info & hub! Thanks!


Kathy Shepherd 6 years ago

One thing that's easy to do is to really make use of colors in your patio furniture. Things like colorful cushions on your adirondack chairs really liven things up.


Pacal Votan 7 years ago

Your hubs are telling me we should get more out of our backyard. We are selling this house and I think some improvements could make the place more appealing to folks.

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