In these cash-crunched and economically-challenging times, an increasing number of Americans are spending their leisure time at home. Whether it is a candlelight dinner with their significant other, a weekend barbecue with friends, a game of water polo with their kids, or simply a moment of peace and quiet in their lush outdoor oasis, homeowners are capitalizing on this private retreat known as the patio. With the advent of patio covers, backyards and landscapes have been transformed into scenic extensions of residences and charming or even luxurious entertainment areas. Patio designs have made possible the creation of outdoor kitchens, shady playgrounds, spas, arts studios, reading havens, and living rooms.
Not only have patio covers enhanced Americans' quality of life and enlarged their living space, they have also enabled them to enjoy their deck or patio in both picture-perfect climactic conditions and inclement weather. Professionally-installed patio covers provide shade and resist snow, rain and moisture, hail, heat, and heavy wind gusts. They offer homeowners both the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and the convenience and protection of being indoors. Generally, patio cover home improvement installations are completed within one to two days.
Forms and Uses of Patio Covers
Patio umbrellas and other types of patio covers ensure maximum ventilation and shelter residents, guests, and cars from the heat, the rain as well as stormy conditions. Typically, patio covers are utilized to create a carport or shade a spa, hot tub, garden, patio, and children's sandbox. They may take the form of enclosures, awnings, overhangs, gazebos, patio umbrellas, or pergolas. Homeowners should select patio covers on the basis of the type of activities being contemplated for the area.
To protect their guests from the sun and intemperate weather and preserve the stone or wood of their patios, homeowners can install patio awnings. These are attached to the residence or another structure on one or more sides. Pergolas are stylish and eye-catching structures that provide residents and their guests with shaded comfort. They also serve as a prop for plants and play a significant role in attractive garden design. Pergolas are usually constructed out of cedar because of its longevity and resistance to wear and tear.
Characteristics of Patio Covers
While some patio covers are made out of wood, others are fabricated from metal, steel, iron, or vinyl and offer the appearance and feel of real wood. Aluminum is an environmentally-friendly choice and, like vinyl, is not susceptible to corrosion, rot, cracking, burning, peeling or insect/termite infestation. Furthermore, vinyl and aluminum patio covers do not need to be painted and require minimum maintenance (i.e. soap and water). Patio roof designs range from simple to intricate and include such styles as 1) stand-alone, 2) retractable, 3) solid and 4) lattice. Homeowners desiring extra shade with partial solar penetration through the louvers should opt for the lattice style.
Consumers will find a wide assortment of colors including wood-like shades that blend with the colors and theme of their home and/or garden. For roof louvers, homeowners should opt for tones that are bright and neutral such as off-white. The poles of the patio covers should preferably match the home's external walls. The finish applied on patio covers usually avoids staining, abrasion, peeling, as well as fading and retains gloss.
Special Features of Patio Covers
Residents can, manually or by way of a remote control, regulate the amount of sunlight that enters the patio. Adjustable patio covers provide the added convenience of closing the louvers when it rains and opening them when direct sunlight is desired. Visors allow homeowners to obtain added protection from UV rays and shade the east and west sides of their residence. Some patio covers feature an electric motor which enables the user via a remote control to change the angle of the louvers' opening.
Patio covers may also be fitted with rain sensors which close the louvers when rain is detected. The sensors make it possible for homeowners to keep their patio furniture moisture-free even when they are not home. To divert rain, patio covers may be equipped with rain gutters and downspouts. Thermal insulation, which provides a noise barrier and insulates against high and low temperatures, may also be included in many patio covers. Finally, homeowners may install lighting and ceiling fans on their patio covers.
Customized Patio Covers and DYI of patio covers
Consumers may order a custom-designed patio cover that conforms to their personal preferences and home's architectural style. Additionally, some homeowners decide to build their own patio cover; assembly usually takes one to two days. The tools required for creating and installing a patio cover are as follows:
- nuts and bolts
- carpenter's square
- crescent wrench
- metal snips
- measuring tape
- caulking gun
- drill bit
Benefits of Patio Covers
Homeowners can expect to reap a host of benefits from installing a patio cover, including the following:
- Enhancement of their home's exterior
- Added functionality and value to their residence
- Preservation of their outdoor furniture and deck
- Filtering of UV rays
- Weather-proofnessLifetime warranty (offered by most manufacturers and suppliers)
Cost and Price Quotes
Homeowners may obtain a free in-house consultation at no obligation which will assist them in determining the appropriate design for their home. The price of patio covers is usually based on the quantity of square footage. Many patio design contractors offer numerous financing programs for prospective customers.