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Buyer’s Guide to Patio Coverings

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There are endless options to create the patio of your dreams. You can choose from wood, aluminum, steel, metal, wrought iron, and vinyl patio covers in many styles. One of the first things to determine is how much maintenance you want to do on your patio covering. For example, metal options are more durable than wood but aren’t always easy on the eyes, while wood requires maintenance but is generally more attractive. Vinyl patio covers can be found in a variety of stylish colors and shapes, and they’re practically maintenance-free. Finally, synthetic wood looks natural and doesn’t need to be treated.

Latticed Patio Covers

Latticed patio covers like pergolas are made more for decoration and providing partial coverage from the sun rather than completely covering a patio from end to end. These are a great choice for areas where a little amount of rain falls. Plants can be hung from the higher pillars, while climbing vines can wind up the arbor and potted plants can be placed around the patio space. For an idea of cost, a pergola with metal roof by Outdoor Great runs about $665, while a wooden 16×12-foot handcrafted two-posted pergola is around $4,000.

Solid Patio Covers

Awnings are an example of solid patio covers, which provide full protection from the sun and precipitation. This is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to use their outdoor patio space to entertain friends and family on a frequent basis, as it’s basically providing an extra living space being completely covered. In many styles, electricity can be wired so you can add overhead lights and ceiling fans.

You can order a high-scale 10×14-foot clear-roof awning for around $1,700 online through, while a rustic wood tiki shack make in Mexico from Tiki Shack Importer runs around $2,400 plus installation and shipping fees. A 12-foot motorized awning from SunSetter Awnings in a mocha color costs around $1,700 and is also made in a manually operated model that moves with a hand crank. For an inexpensive patio covering, Walmart sells an 8×5-foot Double Roof Grill Shelter Gazebo for $149.

Dual Patio Covers

Dual patio covers offer the best of both worlds for homeowners. A retractable awning lets in the sun and opens up the patio to the sky when the cover is back, and provides a roof for an outdoor living space when it’s in place. Retractable patio covers are controlled both manually and electronically, depending on the amount of money you want to spend on the patio covering. It is even possible to have a half-covered and half-latticed patio covering. You can customize your patio cover in any way you want with the right designer and builder, ensuring the patio covering is right for your needs.

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