4 Things You Must Know Before Buying A Patio Cover

A patio cover can improve your enjoyment of your backyard and the usability of your patio. There are a few things to know when shopping to ensure you choose the best cover for your needs.

1. Purpose

Before anything else, you need to know why you want a patio cover. It could be as simple as protecting a grill or outdoor furniture from the weather, for example. In this case, you need a fixed cover that can withstand the elements, including rain and the weight of snow. If your only goal is shade, then retractable sun shade covers are an option. A waterproof cover is a must if you want to use the cover when it is raining outside, otherwise, moisture could damage the material or cause mold growth.

2. Budget

Once you have a basic idea of the type of patio cover you need, then you need to look at what is available within your budget. In terms of maintenance and longevity, aluminum is a great choice, but it can be costly to use it for everything from the posts to the top. To save money, you can opt for wooden supports and structural components with just an aluminum top. Just be careful when cutting costs on a fixed cover, since it's vital that it is constructed in a manner that doesn't compromise safety.

3. Climate

Climate impacts the cover choice, both in construction and style. In areas with heavy snows or high winds, a fixed cover must be able to hold the weight and withstand the gusts. In wet areas, you need materials that won't mildew or rot. This means treated fabrics if you are looking at retractable covers, or pressure-treated wood and corrosion-proof aluminum for a fixed cover. Any wooden components must also be painted or sealed to ensure rot won't be a problem.

4. Engineering

Engineering issues are primarily a concern on a fixed cover. Larger covers must be equipped with sufficient posts to hold it up, while smaller covers can be attached only to the side of a home with angle supports. If a cover is completely freestanding, there may also be concerns about how deeply the support posts must be installed. Wind straps may also be necessary to keep the cover from blowing off. Your installer can help you navigate the specific engineering needs for your cover. 

Contact a patio cover installer if you need more help when it comes to choosing a cover.