If your fun-in-the sun spot is too hot to handle, adding a patio cover can create the shade you need. Available in a wide variety of styles, patio covers are constructed from a number of different materials. Each one has different advantages, from keeping water out to letting in a cool breeze. When choosing a patio cover, be sure to take both your needs and the climate in which you live into consideration.
If you need a simple patio cover to protect you from the elements, you can create a patio cover using pressure-treated lumber and plywood for the roof. If you want a more stylish wood design, make a pergola or arbor over your patio and plant vines to create shade. Although a pergola won't protect you from the rain, once vines and plants are full grown, a pergola or arbor will create a shady spot to sit.
Fabric patio covers are available in a variety of styles and formats, including retractable awnings, umbrellas and outdoor tents. Fabric patio covers are typically constructed from vinyl, canvas or sail cloth. If an awning or tent isn't your style, buy a section of sail cloth and cover your pergola to keep out the rain and give you some shade while providing plants with a little sunshine.
If your patio space serves double duty as a carport or other area, you may want to try a metal patio covering. Available in aluminum and steel, among others, metal patio coverings are usually available in sheets or in prefabricated kits as carports or awnings. You can purchase a metal patio cover to attach to your home or one which will remain separate. Available in a range of colors, white is one of the most common options for metal patio covers because of its reflective properties.
Translucent plastic panels, made from polycarbonate, can protect you from wind, rain and ultraviolet rays while letting in sunshine. Available in sheets, polycarbonate patio roofing material is often used on greenhouses or patio areas with an abundance of plants, since the plastic lets filtered light through, instead of providing full shade like some other options.
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