How to Build a Well-Designed Patio Cover

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How to build a well-designed patio cover
How to build a well-designed patio cover (Image: Photos by GardenGates)

If you have a patio where hot sun can make using the patio uncomfortable, you will want to build a patio cover. There are many ways to create shade over a patio. Here are some ideas you can use to build a patio cover that will both cool your space outdoors and make your landscape look great.

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Wooden or vinyl patio covers Patios can be built with wood or vinyl. Natural wood has a beauty that cannot be replicated, yet vinyl is easy to care for since it needs no painting and will not rot. Designs are usually constructed with basic posts and slatted roofs, but variations can include columns or other ornamental supports and roofs that can be made in different designs, covered with lattice or even enclosed with solid materials like tile, shingles or tin.

A basic patio cover in vinyl.
A basic patio cover in vinyl.

Patio covers can be built with fabric. You can find retractable shade covers that roll back against the house, permanent fabric covers that allow light to filter through, or shade covers made of artistically draped fabrics.

Unusual materials can be used to build a patio cover. Creatively designed patio covers can be constructed of any material you want. Copper pipes, wrought iron, supports of stone, brick or cement are all possible construction materials. Covers can be soft or hard. Styles can be rustic - built with rough-hewn or recycled wood, or tropical - made with bamboo and woven fabrics, or contemporary - constructed with glass, plastic and metal. Make sure whatever style you build blends well with the style of your home and garden. Structural integrity is vital. If you live where strong winds are possible, build with wind resistance in mind.

Tropical looking patio cover for an outdoor room
Tropical looking patio cover for an outdoor room

The way you build your shade cover will depend on the materials you use as well as the form and design. Decide if your shade cover will be attached to the house or free-standing. Once again, sketch out your ideas and how your shade cover will fit into the landscape. Research how the structure is built to make sure it will be safe and sound as well as functional and attractive. And call in help if you want more building or artistic ideas and advice. The designs and ways to build a patio cover are limited only by your imagination!

A sturdy patio cover design
A sturdy patio cover design
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