Patio covers can range from a small patio umbrella to a permanent wooden lattice or installed awning. Not only do they provide protection from the elements, but they also can increase the value of your home by adding extra living space to your house. If you are thinking about designing an outdoor living area, consider how to protect your investment. Cover your patio before you purchase that expensive patio dining set or barbecue.
Cover your patio with a removable cover. Generally easy and inexpensive, these can be set up at the start of the summer and taken down before the harsh winter snows arrive. Portable covers range from elaborate and beautifully designed gazebos that can cost several hundred dollars, to a tarp and metal pole set that can cost a fraction of that. Small patios or balconies can be covered with a simple patio umbrella. Most home improvement centres sell all three of these options, and if you buy them at the end of the summer, you may get an end-of-season discount.
Add value to your home by constructing a permanent patio cover. A wooden lattice can not only be beautiful, but it will provide shade during those hot summer months. Plant a fast-growing, flowering vine such as jasmine or wisteria near the lattice for both shade and fragrance. Note that some designs of lattices do not have closed roofs, which means the patio will not be protected from rain. It is possible to purchase lattice covers, however. If you want a solid, weatherproof covering, build a patio roof. A solid roof will allow you to install wiring for an outdoor patio ceiling fan or lighting, and may protect your patio from hot and cold weather. Before you build, check the building codes in your area.
Attach an awning to your home if you would like a patio covering that can be retracted on days you want to enjoy the sunshine. Awnings come in a wide variety of colours, sizes and designs. Many are even made to withstand winter weather, while others are almost sheer, allowing sunlight to reach plants without scorching them. Costs depend on the type you choose, whether they are small, simple, manually retracted awnings or larger, remote-controlled awnings.