Patio Covers – Which
type to install Fabric, Metal, Vinyl, or Wood Patio Covers?
May 6th, 2006
As the sun starts to heat up for the summer months you may have thought
about installing a shade structure on your home. There are many
different types of patio covers and sun structures that can offer you
outdoor shade in the hot summer months. Depending on the location of
your home, you may have certain building requirements that will help in
making your decision.
You can have the patio structure installed by a professional or a small
contractor that is willing to build a cover. The benefits to having the
professionals handle the work, is that they will have to get the permits
to build the structure and may also have knowledge about adequate
reinforcement for withstanding weather and wind. One downfall of having
a professional install a patio cover is it can be expensive.
Depending on where you live, you may be faced with strong winds that
need extra reinforcements so that the patio cover will not blow away
when gusty winds happen. This may be an extra expense in the
construction of the patio cover. You also may benefit from a wood
structure that might withstand more wind. Metal patio covers can
sometime be very thin metal on the lower price range and may not be
rated for heavy winds.
The downfall to a wood patio cover is that is more susceptible to
rotting and termite damage, which can weaken the structure over time.
That is a downfall to wood. There are heavy duty metal patio covers
available that are usually much more expensive than building a wood
Plastic or vinyl patio covers will only last so long as well. They also
need to be rated for the weather conditions where you live. The vinyl
patio covers may not meet building requirements where you live.
An enclosed patio can be a wonderful extra room outdoors, however you
could find without proper air circulation the area will be hot and
stuffy. It may even cause condensation inside the room. You should
have ventilation to allow for air to come in the hot summer months.
Enclosed patios cost considerably more that a regular patio cover.
Awnings are a unique approach to shade and could be one of the easiest
to install. You would likely want the retractable awning that will
allow you to protect the awning for storm damage, winter storage, and
also limit the amount of sun damage to the fabric. Because it is
retractable, in the winter months when you want the sun to shine into
your house to warm it up, you will be able to keep the house sunny and
bright. Often the patio cover can cause the house to be blocked of any
sun from coming into the house. Having no sun coming through the
windows in the summer is great, but in the winter it is not so great.
Make sure to call your local building authorities to see what the
requirements are for building a patio cover. Ask the professional patio
builders what they would recommend and the reasons why they like the
particular manufacturer. You will likely spend more for a patio cover
if you live were the weather and winds are strong.
You could build your own patio cover out of wood, but you still are
required to get building permit and following local building codes.
There are many do-it-yourself books that show how to build a patio cover
step by step. There is work involved, but you can save thousands of
dollars if you do the work yourself.
Patio Books at Amazon
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