The Art Of Buying A Custom Patio Cover

Construction & Contractors Blog

Installing a patio cover can add a great deal of utility and comfort to an outdoor living space. You should, however, know some of the common issues that come with buying custom patio covers. Here are 6 things you'll want to learn about before you make a choice.

Materials

Aluminum, wood, and vinyl are the most commonly used materials for custom patio covers. Many folks prefer aluminum because it is fairly durable, but it can be noisy. Wood is less popular because of warping issues, especially in humid and wet regions, though it does look great and produce less sound during rainstorms. Vinyl represents something of a compromise material, but it can degrade when it is constantly exposed to UV rays from the sun.

Some composite products are also used. Generally, these employ mixtures of vinyl and wood. They also can be engineered to provide a wood grain appearance.

Attachment Points

Many people choose to attach covers to the outsides of the houses. It's wise to look closely at how sturdy the exterior is, though. For example, you don't want to drill and screw into loose siding, potentially creating a new project in the process.

Likewise, the patio cover will take a beating on windy days. If you're not sure the wall where the cover is going in at will be solid enough, you may want to consider sinking posts for support.

Style

There's nothing wrong with just putting a cover over a bare patio. An alternative approach, though, is to have a pergola put in. When the cover is moved, this will provide both shade and visual interest.

Coverage

It's probably best to have a cover than shades the entire patio. Depending on how light comes into the area, this may require an extra bit of lip to get the needed coverage. Most folks aren't going to be happy with less than a one-for-one match with the area of the patio.

Aesthetics

How the patio cover will integrate with the house aesthetically is just as important. Custom patio covers should be relatively easy to match with the color of the house. Many families elect to have the cover match the roof, and then the support posts or the pergola may be colored to match the house's trim.

Costs

A cover that attaches to the house should cost between $1,400 and $1,900. The cost will go up if the cover needs to be fully self-supporting, and materials costs and size can also drive the price up.

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