Your patio should be the signature piece of your entire backyard. Not only does it provide outdoor entertaining space, but it also provides a fascinating contrast to your lawn and gardens, and provides a subtle transition from the inside world to the outside. However, as every Calgary resident knows, the summer months can be brutal; day after day of high temperatures and strong sunshine can make it hard to truly make full use of your patio. At this point, you need to be considering some sort of covering for your patio, but it can be hard to know what route to take.
The first option you have is to buy a patio umbrella. This is a simple standalone piece of patio furniture that looks like a regular umbrella just on a massive scale. There are plenty of pros for getting a patio umbrella:
- They are retractable – not every summer is scorching hot, and having the ability to pick and choose if you want shade that day is a reason why many people choose patio umbrellas. Many designs also allow you to rotate and twist the shade so that you have a great amount of flexibility over the sun protection.
- They are cheap – most patio umbrellas fit into the lower end of any home improvement project’s budget. As with any type of patio furniture, you can spend any amount of money that you want, and the usual rule of getting what you pay for holds. You need to be careful not to go too cheap, however, as you’ll find the quality of the material loses its protective qualities.
- They are portable – finally, patio umbrellas can be moved wherever you like. Even if you have to fill base bags full of sand to weigh them down, you can always reposition the umbrella or even take it out into the garden for special events.
The other option for sun protection is to buy a patio cover. A patio cover is a permanent structure that sits over your entire patio and has a solid roof. They can either be free standing or attach to the external wall of your house. Some of the benefits of a patio cover include:
- Total protection – unlike patio umbrellas, a patio cover gives you full coverage from sun, wind and rain all season long. They’ll also help keep the snow off your patio during winter.
- Longer lasting – you can expect the roof on a patio cover to last for many years as it will be made from plastic, vinyl or metal, as opposed to the fabric of a patio umbrella.
- They add value – installing a patio cover effectively turns your patio into another room in your house, which will instantly add value if you ever try to sell up. By paying attention to the materials used for the posts and beams, you can transform the outside area of your house to give it a truly luxurious feel.