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A patio cover stands as a testament to outdoor comfort, offering a sanctuary of shade and protection against the whims of the weather, be it the relentless sun, unexpected rain, or the occasional snowfall. 

This architectural marvel not only elevates the usability of outdoor spaces but also infuses them with an air of comfort and elegance. With a plethora of designs, materials, and styles at one’s disposal, the quest for the perfect patio cover becomes a journey of personal taste, functional needs, and budget considerations.

If you’re ready to start with an expert patio cover company, please reach out today!

What is a Patio Cover?

A patio cover is an outdoor structure designed to provide shade and protection from the elements, such as sun, rain, and sometimes snow, over a patio or deck area. There are many patio cover benefits, as they enhance the usability and comfort of outdoor spaces, allowing people to enjoy these spaces more frequently and comfortably. 

Types of Patio Covers

Here are the primary types of patio covers, each offering unique benefits and aesthetic appeal:

  • Pergolas: A pergola is an open structure usually made of wood or metal, featuring a grid or lattice of beams across the top. It provides partial shade, allowing some sunlight through while also supporting climbing plants for a natural, garden-like atmosphere. Pergolas are versatile and can be freestanding or attached to a house.
  • Gazebos: Gazebos are freestanding, octagonal, or round structures with a solid roof, providing full shade and shelter from the rain. They often feature open sides or screens and are popular as decorative garden features, offering a sheltered space for relaxation and entertainment.
  • Awnings: Awnings are retractable or fixed coverings attached to the exterior wall of a house, made from fabric, metal, or other materials. They provide shade and protection directly over windows, doors, or patios. Retractable awnings offer the flexibility to enjoy sun or shade as desired.
  • Canopies: Similar to awnings, canopies are freestanding structures with fabric covers that provide flexible shade options for patios, decks, and garden areas. They can be temporary or permanent installations and are often used for outdoor events and gatherings.
  • Solid Roof Covers: These are permanent structures with a solid roof made of materials like metal, wood, vinyl, or polycarbonate. They provide complete protection from sun and rain, making the patio usable in various weather conditions. Solid roof covers can be designed to match the home’s architecture for a seamless look.
  • Umbrellas: Large, freestanding or table-mounted umbrellas provide portable and adjustable shade options. They are ideal for flexible shade over dining areas, lounge spaces, or pool decks.

Each type of patio cover has its own set of advantages, from aesthetic appeal to functionality and protection level. The choice of a patio cover depends on the specific requirements of the space, such as the size of the area to be covered, the desired level of protection, the climate, and personal style preferences.

Types of Patio Roofing Materials

After you’ve decided on the type of patio cover you want for your outside space, you need to think about what will be over your head. Choosing the best patio cover material depends on various factors including durability, maintenance, parts, aesthetics, cost, and your local climate. Here are some popular options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:


Offers a natural and traditional look with customizable design options. It’s great for adding warmth and character to your outdoor space. However, wood requires regular maintenance such as staining or painting to prevent rot, warping, and insect damage.


Lightweight, durable, and virtually maintenance-free. Aluminum covers can mimic the look of wood but without the upkeep. They’re resistant to rust and rot, making them a good choice for humid or coastal areas. However, they can be more expensive than wood and may not offer the same warm aesthetic.


Known for its durability and low maintenance, vinyl doesn’t need painting, won’t rot, and is resistant to pests. It comes in various colors and styles but may not have the same natural look and feel as wood. In extreme temperatures, vinyl can become brittle.

Polycarbonate or Plastic

These materials are used for translucent or transparent patio covers. They allow natural light through while providing protection from UV rays and rain. They’re lightweight, durable, and require minimal maintenance. However, they may not offer the same level of insulation as other materials and can be prone to scratching.


Offers exceptional durability and strength, making it ideal for areas with heavy snow or high winds. Steel patio covers can be designed to look aesthetically pleasing but require a protective coating to prevent rust. They are generally more expensive and heavier, requiring a solid foundation and support.


For a more temporary or flexible cover, fabric awnings or sail shades can provide protection from the sun and light rain. They offer a wide range of colors and designs. Fabric covers can be retractable, allowing you to control the amount of shade. However, they may need to be replaced more frequently than more durable materials due to wear from the elements.

6 Considerations: What is the Best Patio Cover Material for you?

Choosing the best patio cover material involves weighing several considerations beyond just personal preference. These considerations can impact the longevity, functionality, aesthetics, and overall satisfaction with the patio cover. Here are additional factors to keep in mind when selecting the best material for your patio cover:

  1. Weather and Climate
  2. Maintenance
  3. Aesthetic Design
  4. Installation and Structure
  5. Cost and Budget
  6. Permitting and Regulations

Custom Pergola

Personalizing Your Patio Cover

Embarking on the quest for the perfect patio cover material is a deeply personal adventure, one that requires a delicate balance between dream and reality, desire and practicality. As you ponder over materials, may your choice reflect not just the beauty of your outdoor space, but also the spirit of your home, ensuring that your patio becomes a true extension of your backyard oasis.

In the end, the ideal patio cover material is not just about shielding you from the elements; it’s about crafting memories under a canopy of comfort. Please take a look at our patio cover ideas for more. 

Why Choose SHS Pros?

As experts in exterior renovations, the SHS Pros team is committed to making your outdoor updates as stress-free as possible. We offer patio cover ideas to help you envision the transformation of your yard. Our goal is to provide exceptional customer service and superior craftsmanship, ensuring that your family enjoys the outdoor space for years to come. Don’t forget to check out our special offers to take advantage of great savings while planning your project.

Schedule Your Patio Cover Installation

If you are ready to get started on your patio cover installation project, please reach out by calling 704-610-1942 or filling out a contact form today!