Guide To Patio Cover Options

Shade and protection from the elements is an important aspect when it comes to enjoying your patio. If you are shopping for a patio cover at a place like Aluminum  Builders Home Center, there are many options available. Choosing the right one depends upon several factors, including your design preference as well as your specific needs in a cover. The following guide can help you choose the perfect option.

Solid covers

A solid cover is a permanent part of construction, so it will always be erected over the patio. These are often constructed as an extension of the roof on attached patios. There are also metal covers available, that can be attached to the roof or used as a freestanding cover over a detached patio. They are the best choice if you need consistent protection from sun or rain. Solid covers are also a good choice for two story homes, since you can place a deck on top of the solid cover if it is constructed soundly.

Retractable covers

Most retractable covers are made of special outdoor canvas that is treated to be both waterproof and UV-resistant. Retractable covers are only suitable for attached patios, since they will need to be attached to the wall of the house. There are automatic varieties that retract or roll up with the push of a button, as well as manual types that you have to crank out yourself. These covers are an excellent option if you sometimes prefer an open patio and at other times need the benefit of shade or rain protection. Retractable covers to require some maintenance, including regular cleaning, to ensure that they don't develop mildew.


A pergola is the best of both solid and retractable covers. They are especially well suited as a freestanding cover over a detached patio, although they can also look attractive next to the home. These covers have solid upright posts that support an open grid of timbers overhead. This allows dappled sunlight to shine down. If rain isn't a concern, you can grow plants up and over the top of the pergola so that you have a living shade structure. Another option is to install a removable shade cloth over the pergola. These canvas cloths provide additional shade while also providing protection from light rain. Much like retractable covers, there are both automatic and manual versions of the shade cloth.

For more help, contact a patio cover contractor in your area.