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Designing the Perfect Patio Cover

Different Types of Awnings Along with How and Where to Build Them

© 2013 by Stan; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A patio awning and patio furniture; photo courtesy Lilsarahp

If you are in need of rain protection or shade in your backyard, you might consider building a patio cover. It offers shade and protection from the elements by shielding your patio area.

It is connected to the home and held up by two columns on the open end. Depending on the level of protection needed, the roof of your cover can be either open or solid.

Here are some things you should consider when building one for your home.

Where to Build a Patio Cover

Patio covers are built to cover and protect a section of the backyard. Most people build theirs directly out the backdoor. They then use the covered areas to entertain guests. They usually protect outdoor living areas, grilling spaces, or play areas for kids. They even shade existing concrete patios.

If you are thinking about building a cover that does not attach to your house, you should talk to an architect or patio cover installer about your options for constructing a pergola.

Level of Protection

The type of roof that you build for your yours cover depends on the level of protection that you need. A latticed roof offers some shade while still allowing light to filter through. It will keep your area bright and airy.

However, a latticed roof will not protect you from rain, hail or snow. If you live in an area with lots of precipitation, you should probably consider a full roof.

A solid roof will block out all of the sun’s rays and offer protection from rain, hail and snow. Most solid roofs of patio covers are constructed of aluminum. Sometimes, homeowners choose to use shingling to match the look of their homes.


The size of your cover depends on the area you wish to protect. Many people choose to cover existing patio areas.

If you are installing a cover to shade or protect an outdoor living space, make sure it is large enough to cover your dining and sitting area, while still allowing enough room to spread out.

It is usually no taller than 12 feet. The roof should be taller than the door leading outside, but not taller than your home. The taller the cover, the less protection you will receive.

Eight feet is usually the minimum height; you will feel cramped if it is any lower.

If you are considering a patio cover for your home, talk to a professional patio cover installer. Consider the items above and discuss them with your consultant.

About the Author:

Stan has been building patio covers for nearly a decade. He often writes articles on where to purchase patio covers in Houston.

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