Solid Patio Covers
A solid patio is an extension of your roofline over your outdoor living area, designed to complement the architecture of your dwelling and give it a natural look. Because a contractor can use a variety of materials – such as asphalt, wood shingles or polycarbonate covers – the cover blends seamlessly with the look of your home.
Pros: The materials used for solid patio covers are aesthetically pleasing, durable and offer protection from precipitation and UV rays, so you can enjoy your yard all day and during any time of the year. The roofing materials also conform to complex roof shapes, offering you more versatility in design.
Cons: Depending on the materials used, solid patio covers can be more expensive than other types of covers and may take longer to build.
A pergola is a structure made of vertical posts that support crossbeams. The top of a pergola is open, but the beams help offset the harsh glare of direct sunlight. The structure on its own adds a dramatic look to an outdoor living space, but you can extra dimension by training climbing vines to grow up the posts and over the crossbeams. Popular vines for pergolas include grapes (for a Sonoma feel at home), Japanese wisteria, ivy, black-eyed Susan, morning glory and sweet pea vines, which look like miniature orchids.
Pros: Depending on the material used, pergolas can be more affordable than solid patio covers. This
type of cover allows you to enjoy the warmth and light of the sun but still remain partially shaded. Over time, if you decide you want more shelter, it’s simple to add a polycarbonate panel system to the top of a pergola.
Cons: Pergolas don’t offer as much protection from the elements (like the hot sun or occasional rain)
as solid patio covers. They also may not offer the overhead privacy you seek, especially if they’re not covered with vines.
Aluminum Patio Covers
Using polycarbonate panel systems with aluminum framing, aluminum patio covers are an affordable way to cover your outdoor living space. The glazes used on these covers block up to 98 percent of UV rays, but you can also choose panels that offer 50 or 75 percent shade.
Pros: In addition to being strong, aluminum patio covers are durable, block the rain, are virtually
shatterproof and can withstand strong winds. The panels also allow you to enjoy the sunlight during the day (similar to a skylight) and the stars at night.
Cons: Aluminum patio covers don’t give an outdoor living space the same natural feel you’ll find with a solid patio cover or pergola. If you choose a panel system that only partially blocks the sun, you’ll need to use sunscreen to protect against UV rays. Also, since the panels are semi-transparent, they may not offer the overhead privacy you seek.
This guest post is contributed by www.RicksFencing.com, which provides design, service and installation of solid patio covers, cedar decks & fences in the Pacific North West.
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