Making the decision to install a patio cover this year will be one of the best home improvement projects you’ll undertake. A patio cover is a permanent structure that provides a roof over your patio, giving you much needed shelter from the sun, wind and rain, meaning that you can use your patio all summer long. They can be free standing, looking more like a covered pergola, or attached to your home, making your patio feel like a luxurious extension of your house. However, it can be hard to work out whether to choose a custom patio cover or a store bought patio cover.
Store bought patio covers
An off the shelf patio cover is one that you buy at one of the big box stores. It comes as a kit that you would need to install yourself (or pay a professional to put together for you). Some of the benefits of store bought patio covers:
- Lower price – an off the shelf patio cover will be considerably cheaper than a custom built option. This is in part because of the lower costs associated with bulk orders, and in part because the box stores can sell them for cheaper as they are all standard sizes.
- Quicker project time – given that most store bought patio covers are sold as kits with a set of instructions, you can go from dreaming of a patio cover to having your new outside space in under a week.
- Good for standard sized areas – if your patio is a regular sized square or rectangle, you’re in luck with the store bought patio covers. You won’t have to do any trimming or extending, and the project should go up fairly quickly.
Custom patio covers
Your other option for patio covers to have one custom made for your space. Given that you’ll have hired a contractor to map out and design the work, it’s also likely that they’ll do the install for you. Some of the benefits of buying custom patio covers include:
- Adapts to your needs – there are very few patios that are truly “standard”, so by choosing a custom patio cover, you’ll get a design that meets the needs of your patio, home and garden to create a seamless transition from one to the other.
- Better quality materials – the low cost of the store bought patio covers comes from using cheaper materials, which can degrade over time. Custom patio covers allow you to pick and choose which materials you want to use, and it is highly in the interest of the company you hired to do a good job that lasts for a long time so you’ll recommend them to your friends.
- Professional finish – a downside of off the shelf patio covers is that the mass produced materials can end up looking cheap and raw, and often require a lot of work to look luxurious. A professional doing your patio cover work will make sure the final product meets and exceeds your expectations.