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Patio Covers, Shade Sails and Awnings Compare Fabric, Metal, Aluminum, Vinyl, or Wood Patio Covers and Enclosed Patio

June 14th 2006

Patio Covers, Shade Sails and Awnings  Compare Fabric, Metal, Aluminum, Vinyl, or Wood Patio Covers and Enclosed Patio

Sunsetter Retractable Awning

Now that the summer is beginning to heat up, homeowners are thinking about providing some shade by installing awnings and patio covers.  There are many types of patio covers and shade structures to choose from.  Decide on the style before you decide whether to do it yourself or have professionals install it?

There are benefits to having professionals install your cover.  First they will get the permits.  Second, they have experience and can get the job done in less than half the time it will take you. Think of all the trips to the hardware store you will be making and the hammer drills and other equipment needed. 


Professional installers also have an understanding of the materials and techniques that work best for your area.  Through years of experience they know what materials to use, where to attach the awnings and the best anchors to use. 

Do you have lots of wind where you live, or are you in an area that gets lots of snow or rain?  If the awning is installed on the windward side of the house it will need to be reinforced. It is no uncommon for high winds to damage patio covers.

So should you choose wood, vinyl or aluminum?  Wood patio covers are susceptible to rotting and termite damage.  This can weaken the structure.  Treated wood is more expensive but can save you a bundle over the long run. Wood is also much heavier than aluminum or vinyl.  Heavy duty metal patio covers are usually much more expensive than wood covers.


Vinyl covers are susceptible to sun damage, but are very lightweight and not prone to termites or other rotting problems.  These covers may not meet building requirements for where you live. Professional contracts can help with determining which type is best for you. 

Aluminum covers are extremely popular and can be durable.  You should look for contractors that use the thicker aluminum.  This will assure that it will withstand high winds.  The wind can come in underneath the cover and push the roof up.  Also, snow can pile on top of the roof and collapse the cover. 

You may want to consider building an extra room or enclosed patio.  These can become stuffy and hot if not ventilated properly. Enclosed patios do cost considerably more than standard patio covers. These can be constructed with wood, vinyl or aluminum. 


Shade Sails have become popular in the past few years.  They can be relatively inexpensive and easier to install. Shade Sails are triangular shaped canvas covers that are fastened at each of the corners.  Some of the newer Sail Shades come in a square shape as well.   

You may want to consider awnings over the windows to keep the sun from heating up the rooms.  They are relatively easy to install and may save you money on electricity during the summer. Some companies offer large awnings that can function as retractable patio covers.  Retracting the cover during the winter can save you money on energy. 

The bottom line is you should keep your options open and compare both materials and styles.  Compare contractors and brands.  It may help to ask your friends and neighbors what they like and dislike about their patio cover before you make your final decision. Always make sure your contractor is licensed and insured. 

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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

Home Improvement

Keywords and Misspellings: sale shades auning pateo shade sales

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