The advice offered within the title of this post applies to a lot of areas in our life, from sunscreen to insurance. We would suggest that it applies to your backyard as well! For most of us, unless you have some sort of patio cover on your patio or deck, you’ll bake like last night’s meatloaf!

Americans typically spend about $2 billion a year, and growing, on awnings.[1]  The word “awning” can mean different things. It can refer to a pergola or lattice which can be made of redwood, cedar, synthetic wood, vinyl or aluminum. It can refer to a solid roof extending away from the house made of wood, glass or aluminum. It can refer to a retractable fabric deck or window awning. No matter what kind of cover your are looking for Home Porch & Patio Kits can likely help with the project!

To many, wood is supreme, at least aesthetically. Redwood is often in ready supply, is largely preferred over cedar and is more convenient than synthetic wood. However none beat aluminum from a maintenance perspective! If you choose to go the route of wood, a preservative should be applied to redwood or cedar the first two years and then about every three years after that. However, preservatives might need to be applied more often to surfaces that face south and west. Wood always maintains a level of moisture that is looking to escape. If you paint your wood patio cover, be sure to properly prepare your surfaces, otherwise you will be dealing with peeling paint within a couple of years.

Synthetic or composite wood is also maintenance free, but it does have a major drawback — it can’t be used as structural or support material! That means you must wrap conventional lumber with synthetic, a process that can be costly.

A solid roof over a patio or deck is a good choice when you want to be protected from sun and rain or have outdoor items that you don’t want exposed to the elements. You can opt to cover only part of the deck or patio, leaving the other area to be enjoyed in good weather. In the DIY world, you can expect to pay about $10 per square foot for Pan style roofing systems, $15 per square foot for Insulated Panel roofing systems and $15 per square foot for Retractable Deck Awnings. Of course the retractable awnings come in both manual and motorized operations!

The world of patio covers is massive. As a buyer you need to be on your toes. Value isn’t always determined by lowest price. Make sure you are getting answers to your questions and that the supplier offers more information about the product than what you are asking for. Be informed!

Although there are many choices for materials and designs, when it comes to a patio cover, we would suggest not having one, is not an option. Make sure you are covered!