Patio Covers: Types, Uses, Benefits

RP panel patio covers

Patio covers are a relatively cheap and less architecturally intrusive way to get more out of your outdoor living space. The essence of a patio cover is to put a roof, shade or awning over your head to keep off either the heat and the sun’s rays or rain and snow, depending on the season. However, how you go about covering your patio area, the style and materials you use and how much of a job it’s going to be can vary hugely depending on your own personal preference and existing patio design.

Here we’ll look at all the most common patio covers to find the best one for what you’re looking for, as well as their benefits and how much installing a patio cover is likely to set you back.

Types of Patio Covers

Patio covers are discerned by the roof style and material and the type of construction supporting it. The most popular types of patio covers are:


The pergola is a classic as patio covers go and not only makes your patio more livable in different weather conditions but is also a striking architectural feature in its own right. A pergola is built as a self-standing structure, though it can also abut to the existing house walls. Its roof will be supported by posts, with beams holding the roof panels in the most common construction forms. However, pergolas allow for a wide variation in how they are set up. The posts and beams can be from different types of wood or metals, while the roof itself can be in any style or using whichever patio cover materials are most in line with the look you’re trying to achieve.


Another of the most popular type of patio covers, awnings consist of a sheet (or several) of material that is pulled out over the outside space you want to cover. The awning can be held in place either by posts as a fixed frame or with lateral arms coming out from the house, and you will also get to choose to install a fixed, all-weather awning or a retractable one that can be rolled back into a casing when not needed. One of the great benefits of awnings is that you can use pretty much any material to make it, meaning you can have cloth, aluminum slats, acrylic or even vinyl patio covers.

Solid Roof: 

The benefits of having solid roofs as patio covers include the fact that they are very resistant to wear and tear and so don’t need much maintenance work, as well as creating a more permanent sense of comfort for the covered outside area, meaning it can store items such as furniture or barbecues without being fully exposed to the elements. Common roof panel arrangements include choosing from a flat plan or a W plan, with the flat panels creating a slick flat roof and the w plan having a wavy, corrugated look.

Patio Covers and Pergolas


Latticed roofs as patio covers give the homeowner greater control over how much protection they need. The latticed roof can be fully covered with a canopy made from cloth or any other fabric. In contrast, modern latticed roofs have adjustable settings meaning you could, for example, allow a range of 10% sunlight to 90% sunlight, depending on your preference and the heat at the time.


Easy to install and probably the cheapest option out of all patio covers, canopies still offer great variety to the homeowner, allowing them to find a match for their personal style. Canopies can be hung from lateral arms, over latticed or open roofs or simply from hooks bolted to strong anchors. The canopy can come in any kind of fabric material, with larger or tighter apertures depending on the amount of sunlight you want to come through or even overlapping to create different visual effects.

Portable Patio Covers: 

There are a number of options you can use if you want to cover specific parts of your outside space but not necessarily all of it. Large umbrellas or free-standing canopies can be rolled out of storage when the weather requires and put in place to cover your table for an outdoor meal or give the barbecue boss some protection from the sun’s rays.

The Benefits of a Patio Cover

  • Protection from Weather

The primary purpose of patio covers is to make sure you don’t get too much of whatever weather is being thrown at you, whether that be sun, rain or even snow. You want your outside space to be usable even when there are extremes that wouldn’t allow you to sit out and enjoy the space otherwise. Most people also invest quite a bit in terms of outside furnishings and decorations for their patio, so patio covers give you a way to protect them from the weather too.

  • Year-Round Use

It’s a shame if you can only sit out for a coffee or entertain guests at very specific times of the year or day. Patio covers expand the horizons of when you can use such a great space, meaning you get much more out of it and don’t have to constantly be checking the forecast to see if your plans are going to have to be taken inside or called off altogether.

  • Adding Architectural Style

The right patio cover not only makes your outside space more livable but it can also add something beautiful to your home too. With the wide range of styles and materials that can be used for posts, beams, roofs and canopies, you will definitely be able to find patio covers that suit your exact style and create a beautiful space for you to relax in.


Patio covers give great utility to your outside spaces, extending the times and months when you can use them as well as protecting patio furniture and other decorations from the worst of the elements. Choosing the best type of patio cover for you will depend on what you need it for and your own style preferences. However, pricing the installation of patio covers can also be difficult because there is so much variation in style and materials. Prices could run from $100 for a simple canopy hanging from wall bolts or an umbrella to $20,000 for a large, hardwood, solid roof pergola.

As with most things, if you’re looking at patio covers and wondering what will suit your needs best, it’s always good to chat with the experts. At Screenmobile, we’re always happy to help and can give you guidance and a free quotation on your patio cover options. You can go here to find your nearest Screenmobile operator.

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