When a simple patio with a table, chairs and a market umbrella just won't do, a basic patio cover may be in order. A patio cover provides shade, offers shelter from the rain and brings relief from the midday sun. It also makes a patio feel more like an outdoor room.
One of the most basic patio covers is a simple awning. Made of canvas or aluminium, awnings are usually affixed to the home on one side and mounted on posts on the other. An awning provides overhead cover for outdoor entertaining and relaxation. Retractable awnings are a more costly option, but they can be rolled back whenever they are not needed.
Tented gazebos work as temporary options for patio covers. They are usually made of canvas or other outdoor fabric mounted on poles, much like a tent with open sides. Most tented gazebos have decorative drapes hanging from each corner to conceal the posts. Some have mosquito netting.This option is ideal for an outdoor party or reception as it easily can be removed after the event and stored away.
A pergola provides overhead shade without the benefit of a full roof. A open-framed roof, made of crossbeams supported by posts or columns, is often covered by climbing plants or vines. The foliage provides additional shade and charm. Pergolas are more elaborate forms of arbors, which typically are used as a covered entrance to a garden.