Patio Covers Styles You Many Not Have Heard Of

Five Unique Styles

While there are a variety of options when it comes to patio shades and coverings, many of us may need a bit of assistance when it comes to differentiating the offerings available. Yes, there are quick fixes and space savers, but if you’re interested in something a bit more solid, there are many things to keep in mind.

First, what are your needs when it comes to a shelter—precipitation and wind or simply to keep the sun from ruling the back yard?

Second, what are the dimensions and conditions of the space you’d like to shelter—large or small, are there places to anchor cover support posts, and what’s the shape of your space?

Third, what sort of design will harmonize with the exterior fabric of your house, the existing roofline, and other elements of the space you wish to shelter? Below, we’ll examine five variations on the patio shelter that will feed your creative imagination and help you select the patio shelter that’s right for you.


The Louvered Look

Pergola structures are fabulous, but they often provide limited shelter from precipitation or harsh sunlight. If you want the beauty and hardiness of such a backyard mainstay but also need a shelter that shades and protects, a louvered patio shade may be ideal for you. These patio covers are generally made of highly durable aluminum and other sturdy materials that can withstand both high winds and heavy rain, while also standing up to solar damage and the passage of time.

They then incorporate the same concept as plantation shutters, but on a horizontal plane. Slats open and close to accommodate a need for sunlight or a desire for shelter. Louvered shades are ideal for use in back yards as well as balcony patios, to provide protection for the elements without sacrificing the benefits of sunlight.

These innovative patio covers come in a wide a wide array of colors and finishes that will help the shade harmonize with the rest of your home, making them one of the best options for a semi-permanent shade structure.

Caution: louvered models can be noisy in the rain. If you are watching TV under you patio cover, this can present a problem (you wont hear the TV). Louvered models also can be pricey, but not as much as you think when you consider their lifetime value.

Gable Roof Patio Covers

This style is far more architecturally involved in most cases. Generally speaking, it’s a built structure that ties into the existing exterior fabric of your home and may be shingled or surfaced with panels of a weather-resistant material.

The name comes from the shallow peak of the roof that is the main focal point of this addition to the home. Depending on what is most workable for your home’s architectural design, you can select either a lean-to style, which does not tie into any exterior fabric or continue any featured rooflines.

However, it is common when using this particular style to blend it harmoniously with the rest of the home. Customers may elect to create a hip-style patio, in which a right angle is created by the new structure’s relation to the home, or build out, and continue an existing roofline’s flow. Overall, this is a charming addition to many architectural styles—from Craftsman or clapboard, ranch to neo-Georgian.


Solar Patio Covers

A great many people are interested in making use of the sun’s natural energy, and with providing shelter to an outdoor area. With a solar paneled patio cover, both goals are satisfied. The concept is far from complex, and is relatively simple to both install and maintain. A solar patio cover generally consists of a built structure with a flat or shed roof that have solar panels mounted to the flat surfaces. Many options for eco friendly solar patio covers exist, and are usually highly cost-effective.


Natural Light Patio Covers

If you want a sheltered area over your patio but have been dissuaded simply because you don’t wish to lose the light, there’s good news. The option to construct your patio cover, porch, or sunroom with translucent ceiling panels allows you to retain all the benefits of natural light, while enjoying the continued use of the outdoor space in nearly every type of weather.

In addition, these sturdy panels are often coated with UV protective substances, which not only extends their lifespan, but filters the light and reduces passive solar heating, keeping you comfortable year round.


Insulated Patio Covers

Insulated patio covers provide the typical shelter associated with the built structures, but also reduce the ambient noise of precipitation and the passive transfer of solar heat by convection.

This type of patio shade is ideal for regions that receive heavy seasonal rains or are subject to intense, prolonged periods of unbroken fair weather and heat, such as the American Southwest. If you are interested in creating a year-round sun room or open air porch, this is an ideal solution to any noise considerations or intense climate conditions.


While there are many varieties of patio cover—ranging from the extremely temporary to the permanent—knowing the details of your options can save both time and money. These  varieties of patio covers are not available at Lowe's, Home Depot, or Costco. But they are available elsewhere, and the beauty of patio covers is that they allow you to enjoy all your space to its fullest potential.

While uncovered patios are less expensive to construct in new homes, the residents who come to occupy those dwellings often find that a stable roof both prolongs and expands the range of pastimes to be had on their property.

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