Continuing our series of posts about outdoor living spaces, we’re bringing you patio cover ideas that will help you enjoy your outdoor living space even in the heat of the sun or on a rainy day. A ton of options exist these days, from traditional to modern and everything in between, so read on to find the perfect combination for your remodel.

1. Build a one-of-a-kind pergola

These are typically freestanding structures, traditionally with open sides and either a slatted or solid roof. If slatted, climbing plants can help create more shade, privacy, and charm as they grow. Some newer designs include a translucent rooftop that allows sunlight through while protecting from the sun and rain. Pergolas can take many shapes and styles, thus fitting your home and outdoor living space perfectly.

2. Hang a custom awning

These can take many shapes and could be both attached to the house or the top of a pergola or gazebo. Working with a custom awning company, or a custom sail maker, would allow you to make the perfect covering for your space. Variations on an awning design include an arched shape or using strips of fabric instead of one solid piece, letting light and air flow in between.

3. Design a custom gazebo

This is another freestanding patio cover, with an octagonal shape and a solid roof. You might have written off gazebos because of the relatively common, small, and cheaply-made versions. But a custom-made gazebo that fits the scale and style of your outdoor living space can make a real statement, particularly in a space with a more traditional, classic feel, where a gazebo would feel right at home.

4. Consider a gabled patio cover

Here is an alternative to a flat pergola or awning cover—a gabled rooftop, allowing for easy rain runoff and providing additional architectural interest to a patio area.

5. Explore the great variety of patio cover materials

A great variety of materials exist these days for patio covers. An obvious one, with clear staying power, is a traditional roofing material such as shingles or cedar shakes. But a cover could also be made of an outdoor fabric, such as those from an awning or custom sail making company. You might also consider using a translucent, acrylic material to let more light in — these can come coated in a sunscreen layer, reflecting heat and UV rays.

6. Accessorize your patio cover

Consider including a ceiling fan, water mister, or outdoor heater to your patio cover to make your patio and outdoor living space more comfortable in a variety of weather conditions. You might also consider adding solar panels to your patio cover to help make your home more energy efficient. Or, some designers are adding green rooftops with various plantings to patio covers, which can increase the sense of being immersed in your garden.

Sources and Further Reading

“Pergola and Patio Cover Ideas,” The Landscaping Network
“Patio Cover Design Ideas,” Houzz
“16 Great Patio Ideas,” Better Homes and Gardens

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