You know you want a patio cover, but you’re not sure if you should build from patio cover kits you’ve heard about, or hire someone to build a patio enclosure, or if aluminum patio covers are better than wood covers or if you should go with what your neighbors used – alumawood or some other acrylic wood imitation.
Patio Cover Design
Decide what the patio will be used for once it’s covered. This will determine what materials will be best.
Will your patio be used for barbeques and large gatherings for family or friends or will it be just a cozy space for you and your partner to drink coffee in the morning and catch some sun in the afternoon? Is your patio to be a children’s play area?
Will your deck need to be enclosed to keep insects out? Will you use it also during the cooler winter months? Is it enough to have some shade and light rain protection for your patio or do you need something that will withstand frequent rain, hail, snowstorms or strong gusts of wind?
Wood Patio Covers
There is no question that wood is the best to look at, especially if you have a wood house or a deck with wood flooring. If it is to be a patio enclosure and your house is already a classic wood design, you will want to carry that theme through to your patio, especially if it is to be part of the house entryway, front or back.
Some of the worst patio covers are those that stick out, as if the owner had an afterthought and added a deck and later a cover. Even if that’s how it occurred, it’s best to make the cover blend with the house style as if it had been part of the architect’s plan right from the beginning.
Patio cover designs are no less important than the house plans, in fact more so, because often the patio is the first part of the house that’s visible from the road or street, the first area of your house that welcomes people and the space where you spend a vast amount of your time when at home on weekends and holidays.
Your patio or enclosure should not look like a chaotic afterthought.
So you decide to have a carpenter make wood patio covers. Will it be closed or a lattice frame? Are you sure you will get the best treated wood that’s possible so your cover lasts? Are you prepared to do some maintenance every year or two? Is your region prone to termites? If so, how are your patio beams being treated? What about weather resistance?
Patio Covers from Aluminum/Acrylic Wood
If you are not a handy person or do not have the desire to pay for upkeep on a wood patio cover, you need to consider aluminum or imitation wood. There are several synthetic wood options that have the appearance of wood while being wholly manmade form acrylic or aluminum. The prices start at $1,500 for small patio cover kits and go up, up, up to thousands for custom built patio designs.
Aluminum or the new alumawood patio covers are especially great but really expensive. In some cases you can’t tell the aluminum beams are not wood, and the strength of these patios covers is incredible, able to withstand 110 mph winds, but you pay for that, naturally.