Patio covers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but do you even need one? If you have a garden that you’ve put some time into making it the perfect space for chilling over the summer, then you should consider a patio cover. There’s nothing better than getting a group of your friends and family together on a warm sunny day and eating food and drinking under the protection of a patio cover. From solid covers to parasols, patio covers are made to protect both you and your patio from the elements. This is usually protection from direct sunlight, but some patio covers can also protect your patio from water damage and reduce the time and money you need to spend maintaining it.

Types of Patio Cover

There are five main types of patio cover. The least expensive is the umbrella, which is very cost-effective but ideal for sitting under during the summer. It won’t provide much protection to your patio, but has the added benefit of being very portable and means you can move it around your garden or yard and store it easily.

The next step up from an umbrella is an awning, which is what cafes and restaurants use to provide cover to their customers in the summer. These pull out and retract quickly and give a larger area of coverage than an umbrella.

A lattice is a great choice if you’d like something a bit more solid. These are similar to awnings, but the cover is made of long strips of wood made into a lattice, rather than a cloth material. This makes them sturdier and better able to withstand wind and rain. Sunlight and rain can get through the holes in the lattice, though, so there isn’t as much protection from water.

You may want to cover somewhere else that isn’t connected to your house. This is where a pergola is an ideal choice. This is made from four beams serving as columns to hold up a solid roof. These are usually built from wood and stand on their own, acting as a fantastic area to find shelter under.

Finally, you can choose a solid patio cover. This is like a lattice or awning, but has a solid roof that may be wooden or metal. With no holes, this will provide complete cover regardless of the weather, protecting you in both the sun and rain. These are the most robust patio covers and have lots of significant advantages. For example, alumawood pergola phoenix has some great options to use for inspiration.

Benefits of Solid Patio Covers

Sun control

Patio covers are designed to provide shade from the harsh sunlight, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without the uncomfortable heat. Because your patio furniture isn’t regularly exposed to the sun, there’s less potential for fading and damage, allowing you to keep outdoor items intact for longer.

Protection from water damage

Solid patio covers also provide shelter during times of rainfall, which can be very useful if you live somewhere that has a wet climate, as well as hot months. When rain falls on your patio, it encourages mold to grow and can also damage your patio furniture, rusting metal, and breaking down other materials.

Extending your house

While not the same as building a conservatory or an orangery, a solid patio is essentially an extension to your house. Because the roof is solid, you can walk outside and still be under the same cover as if you were still indoors. This creates more overall space, which is ideal if you’re hosting a party or have a large family, giving more areas for people to mingle.

A better outdoor experience

If you’re someone that loves being outside, then a patio cover can make this experience even more enjoyable, as you can spend longer in the garden and create a full living space under the cover of your cover. You don’t need to move furniture into storage every day after you go back indoors, and you’re better able to go out as you please.

A more pleasing-looking yard

Because patio covers come in so many different shapes, sizes, and materials, you can build one that suits the aesthetic of the rest of the house, or even improve on it. If you pick traditional wood, for example, you can build an impressive patio cover that takes on the look of an old cottage. Take the time to browse for patio cover inspiration. To get you started, this list shows some wonderful examples of how a patio cover can make a beautiful space.

Increasing the value of your home

Again, like getting an extension built onto your house, a solid patio cover can increase the value of your home. For all the reasons above, a well-designed patio cover and garden may be the selling point if you decide to move on.

What material should you choose?

The material you choose will go a long way to determine the characteristics and look of your patio cover. The most cost-effective is a vinyl cover, which is perfect if you’re on a tight budget. Vinyl is also great for having minimal maintenance, so you won’t need to spend hours treating it each year. Wood is a very popular choice and a step up from vinyl. A patio cover made from a beautiful wood can create a unique space where you’ll want to spend all summer. There are also lots of choices when it comes to color and finishes. Aluminum is the best choice if you want a cover that’s durable and will survive the elements. There’s no worry of rotting or cracking if you don’t treat it like you could face with a wooden cover. Each material is useful in its own way, so take some time to see which is the best option for you and your needs and budget.