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Build Patio Covers

Updated on January 24, 2013

Patio Covers Design, Ideas And Plans

If you are even considering building your own patio cover, then there are several options or things to consider before you even take one step into your local home improvement warehouse. The first thing to consider or get a decision about is what type of cover you will be building. If you have an existing patio area that you simply want covered, you have different options than if you have a blank space and a completely open palette to work with. Similarly, if you own a ranch style home with an extended roof line that covers a poured slab, you have even more limitations – or options, depending upon how you look at it. The most common types of patio covers are the wooden pergolas or freestanding covers with wood or tile roofs. As more people are building outdoor patio kitchens and entertaining spaces, the types of covering options continues to evolve. At one point, there were only a few – do you want wood or wood. Then, tile, cultured stone, and even metal entered the picture and the designs and plans have changed.

Wood is still the most common type of material to work with because of its availability, ease of construction and flexibility with regard to design options. If you build a patio cover using cement blocks, cultured stone and tile, you have more rigid materials with which to work. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some amazing patio structures built with stone and tile work. In fact, if done well, these can be some of the most amazing and elegant looks.

This is the ceiling surface of a custom patio cover.  Photo by
This is the ceiling surface of a custom patio cover. Photo by
Your patio cover could look like this when they are covered with greenery.  Photo courtesy of
Your patio cover could look like this when they are covered with greenery. Photo courtesy of
Here is an example of an attached patio cover.  Photo by
Here is an example of an attached patio cover. Photo by

Building Wood Patio Covers

Wood has been the material of choice for thousands of years and remains one of the most popular today. The range of options available, when working with wood is really almost limitless. I’ve seen pergolas and even larger, extended patio covers made of wood that were truly works of art. You can have tiers, built in benches, swings, etc. As far as your imagination can go, you can likely have it built with wood. You can even have electrical and sound capabilities built into the wood patio cover structural elements so that they remain hidden when complete. This is one concern when building a covered patio, you don’t want to see all the exposed wires or even lighting sometimes. With wood, you can cut out spaces for lighting in wider beams or even hide it between beams or enclose it in part of the structure. It is a much more custom look that you will pay for, but it will be well worth the investment in the end in terms of aesthetic appeal.

Since pergolas are the most popular type of wood patio cover, let’s discuss them for a moment. If you aren’t familiar, a pergola is sometimes confused with the term gazebo or arbor. Let’s clear this up. An arbor is similar to a pergola in that it has some posts and usually a beam or two that supports some type of roof structure. Usually, an arbor is quite small and supports a growing vine or an entrance to a garden. It is uncommon for an arbor to be more than a few feet in span. It may be tall, 8-10 feet, but it will not be large enough to sit beneath typically. This is simply not its function. A gazebo, on the other hand, usually has more than four sides and has a more fully covered roof structure to it. While it may not be completely waterproof, it will provide more solid shade than the other two. Many times, a gazebo has either built-in benches or seating and has some low wall structures. These walls may be like a railing, but usually only one side of a gazebo is the entrance point.

A pergola is either a free standing or can be attached to the home’s exterior wall. They are similar in construction, so I’ll discuss the free standing pergola only. This one has four posts (more if it is a particularly larger patio) and beams that support the lattice roof structure that they have. This roof allows for dappled light to pass or not depending upon how it is used. Often times, owners of a pergola will have plants or other vines growing up each post that then grow over the top to provide for that ‘living’ patio cover that can provide not only shade but flowering greenery as wall. You will find that this added ambiance is what makes pergolas so attractive.

YouTube promo for Alumawood...

You can see how this vinyl patio cover kit ended up looking.  Photo by
You can see how this vinyl patio cover kit ended up looking. Photo by

Using Patio Cover Kits

There is another way to get the patio cover of your dreams built and that is to use a kit. These kits come with all (or most) of the material and instructions for you to be able to assemble your patio cover in no time. You will still have to either pour the footings or mount the posts on some type of stable surface, but you would have to do this anyway. Where patio cover kits save you time is in the assembly and construction time. You will not need to cut any pieces, maybe a little trimming here or there at your discretion, but it is already done for the most part. You simply need to get all your parts ready, get the necessary hardware, such as tools, screws, brackets, etc. and get to work. Grab a few friends, neighbors or family members and you can be sitting under your new covered patio probably in one weekend. Then, you can sit back and relax on your covered patio furniture listening to all your neighbors ask “can you tell me how to build a patio cover like that?” You’ll just grin and know that it was all in a weekend’s work.

Check Out Patio Covers Place for More Detailed Info:

Build Patio Covers

A more comprehensive look at patio covers, patio cover designs and other ideas relating to your patio living needs.

How To Build A Patio Cover

Here is a specific article describing the process, materials and such for building your patio cover right.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Every weekend i used to pay a visit this website, for the reason that i wish for enjoyment, for the reason dccefbeebgde

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      No tools are needed and they leave no holes.. Hang plants, wind chimes, or whatever you can think of on Alumawood patio covers with Alumahangers. Just google the product Alumahangers.

    • profile image

      Outdoor Bar Set 

      7 years ago

      I totally agree with you that wood is the best choice for patio covers. Not only for the reasons you gave but it just looks awesome.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Patios can really add beauty to your house. I love vinyl patios, much more good to the eyes for me. Nice post, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      patio covers austin 

      8 years ago

      My friends always come to our house that's why I want my outdoor space become more enjoyable especially my patio. I'm planning to change the designs of my patio covers in austin. I want to choose among open, roofed or enclosed designs. Can you help me with this matter?

      I've seen this site at

      Somehow, it gave me an idea but I still want to consult an expert like you.Hope you can help me. Thanks in advance :)

    • patioman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from USA, Arizona


      It's hard to give you a concrete number for something like that. It depends on your region, the quality of the patio and materials, etc. However, what you get back in terms of enjoyment, memories, and overall quality of life in your home will surely be a wise investment.

      Realtors often talk about curb appeal or how your home looks to potential buyers. If your patio cover or covered patio space is attractive and well done, many people will be able to see themselves enjoying it. This alone should be 'recovered' from the cost of your investment in the patio project.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      what will the addition of a 12x20 covered patio add to the value of my home?

    • patioman profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from USA, Arizona

      Thanks Michael! When you love patios, you just can't stop talking about 'em. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      9 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Awesome info & great hub patioman!

    • patioman profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from USA, Arizona

      I've checked out your gazebo site and found some useful ideas there. Thank you for popping in to add your 2 cents. Wishing you all the best on your pergola or outdoor covered patio.

    • profile image

      patio roof 

      9 years ago

      its great idea for patio roof


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