5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Patio Cover

by Jenny Banks

If you are in the market for a new patio cover, there are a few things to consider. The following will help you choose a patio cover.

1. Sun Control

For many, sun control is the main reason they want a patio cover. A solid cover provides complete shade, while fabric covers block most sunlight but still allow in some diffused light through the fabric. Retractable fabric covers can be brought in if you sometimes want shade or full light exposure. If you prefer only partial shade, pergola covers provide dappled shade as some sunlight still comes through the lattice on top.  

2. Moisture Protection

When it comes to an all-season patio that can be used rain or shine, solid covers are the best option. The shingled or metal roof won't suffer damage from rain and it will keep you completely dry. Fabric covers can block light rain, but they can't be used if there is any wind. Further, retractable fabric covers have to be dried completely before you roll them up so that they don't get moldy.

3. Permanence

If you want a permanent cover, then solid covers or pergolas styles make an excellent option. If you only want a cover sometimes, perhaps in certain types of weather or at particular times of day, then a retractable fabric patio cover makes the most sense. You can also get fabric covers for pergolas, which can be removed manually or placed on a motorized track that allows you to retract them.

4. Support Style

How will you be supporting your patio cover? Solid covers can be supported in a variety of ways. They can be attached to the home on one side with support posts on the other, or you can have a completely freestanding cover on four posts. The same is true for pergola-style patio covers. Fabric covers must be attached to the home along one side. They also may have dual support arms that attach at an angle from the unattached side of the cover to the home.

5. Living Options

A patio cover doesn't just have to be wood, fabric, and metal. Solid and pergola style covers provide the opportunity to add a living component. Solid covers can have lattice walls attached or you can use trellis-style supports that allow climbing plants, like roses or ivy, to snake their way up. Pergolas are made for plant support, as the plants climb the legs and dangles through the lattice-style roof.

Contact a patio cover dealer to find the perfect option for your home.