The summer months invite everyone to spend more time outside – the idea of spending hours outside in your yard watching the world go by is a dream for many Calgary residents. There are multiple ways of creating new spaces to enjoy the warmer weather all season long: a house with a patio is nice, but a house with an organized patio filled with patio furniture and a patio cover is even better! A correctly chosen patio cover can add style and sophistication to your outdoor space, providing you with shade and cool in the summer, and protection against the elements in the spring and autumn months. A patio cover is both a way to increase the curb appeal of your property if you’re trying to sell, and a way to encourage you and your family to spend more time out on the patio, making the most of the warm temperatures.
However, building and organizing an outdoor living area is not only time consuming, but it’s also costly if not done right. Choosing the right material for your patio cover will help you maximize the return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. Picking the right priced material also requires some thought about what your patio cover will go through. Not every house has similar outdoor living conditions and structures. Even the outdoor conditions change from place to place as the temperature, humidity, rain, wind, snow and other atmospheric elements affect the furniture and decoration. It is highly important to select the best patio cover material to have long-lasting life and prolonged beauty.
Why Choose Aluminum Patio Covers?
When you are looking at the available options for your outdoor patio cover, you will find wooden patio covers, plank covers, metal patio covers, aluminum patio covers, vinyl and other alloys for the most part. However, not all of them provide an excellent cost-to-design ratio with great durability. Out of all these options, aluminum patio cover kits hold an edge over the other patio cover types for a multitude of reasons. Let’s analyze these factors one by one.
The Cost-to-Quality Ratio – Quality Matters
The cost to quality ratio is an industry measure where you compare the amount of money that you’ll spend on an item (different materials for a patio cover in this example) and compare it to the quality of that item. Think about buying a car. You can buy a second hand piece of junk, but you’ll expect to pay more on repairs than you did on the original car. You can spend hundreds of thousands on a Ferrari, but it will still only get you from A to B. Finding the item that gives you the best quality to meet your budget is finding the sweet spot in the cost to quality ratio.
Back in the world of patio covers, this principle holds the same. A generic metal patio cover is less costly than aluminum but the quality of the metal patio cover is consequently less. You’ll spend time repairing it, and metal patio covers face the danger of rust and sharp open edges. Aluminum patio covers cost less compared to wooden patio covers and alloy patio covers. The quality of the patio cover material and how it performs in extreme outdoor conditions should be taken into consideration as well. In outdoor conditions such as heavy rain, wind, heat and other environmental aspects, a wooden patio cover will lose its texture, strength and shape. Aluminum does not suffer from these downfalls and is, therefore, the best patio cover material.
Design of the Patio Cover – Suit Your Style
In the world of exterior home improvement, the design is important as the decoration and beauty of your patio will be affected by the cover. The different patio cover designs often have varying costs, depending on how complex the design is. The good thing is aluminum material can be modified and welded as required, meaning you can make an aluminum patio cover fit what shape or size you need. With aluminum material, the patio can take any shape at a high bending angle. For wrap around patios, you’ll find that a piecemeal approach will be used with plenty of welding in between. You can specify larger pieces, but this will give your aluminum patio cover a more blocky look, so have your contractor provide designs of what your final product may look like. In either scenario, such modifications are difficult to provide with wooden patio covers.
No Maintenance – Easy to Clean
The best patio covers should not demand high maintenance you want to spend all your time underneath the patio cover, not on a ladder worrying about keeping it safe from the harsh Calgary winters. As aluminum is very light in weight and does not require any protection, it is durable in extreme conditions. Maintenance is near-zero and it is immune from breakage, cracking, rotting and warping. This resistance to the elements and nature means you don’t have to have the deep slopes of other materials to slide the snow off, and while you’ll still need gutters to allow rain and debris to clear out, they tend to be made of lightweight materials like PVC or aluminum, so they will simply blend in with the rest of your patio covers. Finally, unlike other metals, you do not need to laminate or paint the aluminum patio covers, saving you even more money in the long run.
Additional Advantages of Aluminum Patio Covers
Beyond price and aesthetic qualities, choosing aluminum has a few other advantages over other patio cover choices. Additional reasons include:
- Good for the environment – Aluminum patio covers are eco-friendly, and you can build your entire structure without a single piece of plastic involved. If you ever decide to replace or renew your aluminum roof, you can simply call a scrap merchant to come and collect the panels and joints to recycle it, making aluminum patio covers the truly environmentally friendly choice.
- No chemicals – You will not have any problems with a reaction to chemicals and dye that you might have with wooden covers. A growing number of people are developing reactions to chemically treated lumber for outside use, and there’s no telling what your local hardware store has used to treat and cut the wood you would use for your patio cover. A fully aluminum structure means that you avoid any of these allergens and you can keep your surfaces clean easily.
- Low maintenance – while most of the lumber will come pressure or chemically treated to withstand the high heat and brutal winters of Calgary, you would still need to sand and stain wooden beams and posts each year to keep your patio cover safe. There is no such maintenance required when you build a aluminium patio cover, and the lack of annual maintenance through sanding and staining means you won’t be inhaling any nasty chemicals.
- Flexibility – Finally, aluminum materials do not have any hazardous effect on the body after an accidental scratch during the installation process and can be easily fixed with little adjustments.
Considerations When Using Aluminum Patio Covers
As with any construction choice, there are a few considerations that you will need to make when you choose to build an aluminum patio covers:
- Add strength – aluminum is not as strong as it’s vinyl or wooden counterparts (this is in part what makes it a cheaper and more viable patio roofing option). However, this means that for better results in heavy snowfall areas such as Calgary, it is recommended to use metal beams along with aluminum patio cover rooftop for added durability. Make sure that you discuss this with your Desert Sun Patio contractor so that you know have a solid structure ready for the winter months.
- Seal the gaps – most aluminum patio roof covers come in short sections and while you can overlap these pieces, you’re still at risk from the ever present high winds in Calgary which can whip rain and snow in at just about any angle. Just like a vinyl roof, you’ll need to get some serious sealant between the sections to make sure your aluminum roof is completely weather proof.
- Gutters up – finally, while the ability to create a slick sloped roof to avoid snow and leaf debris build up is one of the great reasons to choose an aluminum patio cover, you’ve got to think about where the snow and debris will go once it has slid down your roof. Installing gutters is the logical option, but you’ll need to make sure you pick a lightweight system to avoid overloading the aluminum structure. You should also consider installing gutter guards to stop leaves and other autumn debris from building up and weighing down your aluminum patio cover.
Aluminum is the best patio cover material for four season weather conditions. The cost may be little higher than other materials, but the cost-to-quality and durability ratio is extremely high. Add in factors like it being one of the eco-friendliest patio cover choices out there, and you’ll see that it is the best option for your new patio cover. Instead of spending money on maintenance, paint repair and modification, talk to one of our patio cover specialists about installing one of our aluminum patio covers today!