You can make your outdoor patio feel more like home by covering it with a roof. Without an over-the-top budget, you may not be able to make a structure you'd want to live in, but you can certainly create a fun nook for a beautiful day outside. Some materials you might consider using are lattice, aluminium sheeting, thick waterproof fabric or mesh.
If you're working with a small patio--less than 5 feet by 5 feet--your lattice roof project can probably be done without a contractor. For larger jobs, consult with a company to be sure that your roof is structured properly. For a small patio roof, purchase a piece of lattice in the desired size and attach to any existing basework. If there is no base to which to attach your roof, you will need to build one out of sturdy material, preferably metal, as it will support a great deal of weight. Before you secure your lattice, you might consider adorning it with foliage or flowers to keep any excess sun out of the area.
If you need inexpensive shelter from rain or other natural elements, consider an aluminium awning. Aluminium is relatively inexpensive and easy to install on your own. You can purchase a do-it-yourself kit that will come directly to your door to create a no-frills aluminium roof that will keep out the sun and the rain.
Pop-up Tent Canopy
If you can't be bothered with construction or live in a rental where you are not permitted to make structural changes, you might choose a freestanding canopy unit. Tent canopies come in various sizes and shapes. Typically the outside is made of plastic, mesh and nylon and keeps out rain and blocks a great deal of the sun. Some models even come with mesh walls to keep bugs out of your outside room.
If you want all of the perks of a roof without the permanence or structural changes, try a retractable awning. You can purchase an awning that is manual or electronic and choose when to have your patio covered. This can make your roof last a long time, as keeping your awning rolled up during seasons when you're not outside will keep it from wear and tear. Awnings are durable and weatherproof, and they are available in many sizes to suit just about any medium to large patio.