Deciding to install a patio cover will automatically take your outdoor living experience to the next level. Not only will it provide protection from the sun and rain, but you’ll also create the feeling of an extra room in your home. You’ll be surprised at how the presence of a patio cover encourages people to see the patio as a hangout space instead of somewhere just reserved for parties and formal eating.
However, as soon as you start researching your patio cover, you’ll find a dazzling array of options to choose from. Each one has specific benefits and costs that you’ll need to take into account before you embark on your patio cover project. Here are some of the most common patio covers:
- Wooden lattice – this is by far and away the most common type of patio cover as it gives you so much flexibility. Large beams are overlaid between the sections of your patio, and you can leave as much space in between as you like. A smaller lattice gives you greater cover, while a larger lattice keeps your patio big and spacious. You can then grow plants to cover the lattice, leave it open to the elements or cover it with removable material. The main downside is that the wood needs to be treated for it to last, and it’s the heaviest option, meaning you’ll need bigger and stronger posts.
- Vinyl – if you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful patio cover, then vinyl is for you. It can be molded in what shape you need and because it’s a plastic based material, it’s automatically waterproof and rustproof. Vinyl patio covers are often sold in sets, so you can add additional guttering as well as connecting it your existing roof drainage system. The main downside of vinyl is that it’s weak, meaning it’s more susceptible to heavy Calgary snowfall and any debris in a storm. Many people think it looks ugly too, so you’ll have to work hard to get the right look.
- Cloth – cloth patio covers are great if you want a look that is completely adaptable, changeable with different seasons or events, and provide an additional layer of decoration to your outdoor patio. Depending on the design of your patio cover structure, you can make it so that the cloth cover retracts and covers to meet your needs. The main downside of cloth is that it isn’t strong at all and is exceptionally prone to water damage. You’ll need to make sure you have a good drainage system in place, and a gentle slope for water run-off, to make a cloth patio cover successful.
The main factors when you’re choosing between these different types of patio cover is the level of protection you need, how exposed your patio is to the elements and your budget. A high level of protection will take you down the lattice route, a sheltered patio will look best with a cloth cover and those looking to save money should aim for a vinyl patio cover.