Cheap patio cover ideas

Susan Fernandez December 12 2021

What is a patio cover?

Patio covers are structures that are built to provide shade and protection for outdoor patios and seating areas. They can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, fabric, or plastic.

What are the benefits of a patio cover?

There are a number of benefits to having a patio cover. Patio covers can provide shade on hot days, which can help keep you cool. They can also protect your furniture and other belongings from the elements, and they can create a more comfortable seating area by shielding you from the wind. Additionally, patio covers can add an architectural element to your backyard and enhance your outdoor living space.

What should I consider before getting a patio cover?

How much sun does your patio get during the day? This is an important question to ask as it will help you determine what type of patio cover would be best suited for you. If you have a lot of sun then a retractable sail or canopy might be the best option, whereas if you live in a shady area then a pergola with solid walls would be better.

You also need to think about how often you'll use your patio cover – if it's just for the summer then a retractable covering might be your best choice, but if you live in an area that has pretty low rainfall then a permanent pergola would be well worth considering. You should also think about how long it will take to install the patio cover (and any additional steps involved) as many of these ideas are quick and easy to put up.

What are the different types of patio covers?

There are a number of different types of patio covers, including:

  • Awnings: Awnings are made from fabric or metal and are attached to the side of a building or house. They provide shade and protection from the elements and can be opened and closed to allow in light and air.
  • Cabanas: Cabanas are freestanding structures that typically have a roof and walls made from fabric or vinyl. They provide shade and protection from the elements and can be accessed through doors or screened windows.
  • Pergolas: Pergolas are wooden frames with open roofs that can be used to cover patios, decks, or gardens. They provide shade and privacy and can be decorated with vines or other plants to create a natural canopy.
  • Patio roofs: Patio roofs are similar to pergolas, but they have a solid roof instead of an open one. They provide shade and protection from the elements and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or plastic.

What kind of materials can I work with?

A shade sail is made out of strong fabric so it's perfect for outdoor use. Many people choose canvas or PVC because they don't rust, but other options include polyethylene and polyester which are both popular choices for their durable properties. The color options are nearly endless - sailcloth comes in lots of different colors all looking fantastic against decks or houses.

A metal patio roof is a great way to cover a patio and keep the area shaded. There are many different types of metal to choose from, like aluminum, steel, zinc, and copper. If you're looking for a more decorative option, wrought iron is a popular choice that also has great weather-resistant properties.

Wooden patios are beautiful but they do need protection from the elements. A pergola with a slatted roof is perfect for this as it allows rainwater to drain through while still protecting the wood from UV damage and rot. You could also use an awning or cabana to create overhead coverage.

Plastic patio roofs are a great option if you want something that's easy to maintain and doesn't require any painting or staining. They come in a variety of colors and styles and are perfect for creating a covered space that's still open to the elements.

Cheap ideas

Here are 10 cheap patio cover ideas that you can use to quickly and easily cover your patio area.

  1. Large shade cloth draped overhead - This is low cost and easy to put up, but it's only good for the summer months. If you live in a hot climate then this might be just what you need! If not, then try out some of the other ideas below which will keep you shaded all year round:
  2. Rectangular pergola with no sides – The easiest and quickest way to build a pergola is with rectangular wooden posts placed into concrete footings at each post point. Then run support beams across the top of the posts using 90-degree metal brackets at each end of the beam. You can then run a wooden batten across the top of the beams and cover it with a shade cloth to give you your extended area of shade.
  3. The frame around the existing patio – If you have an existing concrete patio, then it's quite straightforward to remove part of this so that you can place posts on either side of where the concrete is. Then brick/block up the gap on both sides where the concrete was removed. You can then use them as posts for extending your patio cover. This is also possible if you only want one post on each side but it will leave half your patio uncovered which might not be what you're looking for!
  4. Horizontal pergola – Here, long wooden beams are attached horizontally between upright poles (cementing them in place if you're outdoors). This is a good way to use reclaimed timber and it gives a really rustic look. You can then drape shade cloth or vines over the top of the pergola to provide shade.
  5. Awning frame – If you have an existing patio roof, such as a porch roof, then you could buy an awning frame and attach this to the wall nearest the patio. This will give you some much-needed shade and will also keep the rain off!
  6. Gazebo – A gazebo is a great way to cover a large area and they come in all shapes and sizes. You can either buy one or build your own (which might be cheaper). Gazebos come with a range of options such as solid walls or removable mesh panels.
  7. Retractable patio cover – If you want to be able to retract your shade sail/canopy then try an electric opener. This is a great way to keep things simple and allow for easy changing of the seasons. These are installed on the roof edge so that there's no digging required and can be automated if needed.
  8. Mini pergola – If you don't have a lot of space, then a mini pergola might be just what you need! They're small enough to go anywhere, yet they still provide some really useful shade from the sun (and rain!). You could also use this for adding climbing plants which will flower in the spring and summer.
  9. Raised patio cover – If you have a sloping backyard, then you might want to add a raised patio instead of trying to add shade sails to your existing area. This allows for easy access from all sides, which is great when entertaining friends and family! It's also possible to add steps up either side which will look really good if done nicely.
  10. Patio cover extensions – You could extend your current shade sails or canopies out further by adding more sail supports and beams across the back of the existing ones. This will give you added shade in just a few minutes!    

What variant is the cheapest one?

The cheapest option is to drape a large shade cloth overhead. This will only work in the summer though, so if you live in a hot climate then it might be perfect for you! Otherwise, some of the other ideas listed here will keep you shaded all year round.

For example, a pergola with no sides or a frame around your existing patio. If you have an existing patio roof, such as a porch roof, then you could also buy an awning frame and attach this to the wall nearest the patio. This will give you some much-needed shade and will also keep the rain off!

If you want to be able to retract your shade sail/canopy then try an electric opener. This is a great way to keep things simple and allow for easy changing of the seasons. These are installed on the roof edge so that there's no digging required and can be automated if needed.

How do I install a patio cover?

The installation process for a patio cover will vary depending on the type of cover you choose. However, most covers will require some basic tools and supplies such as screws, nails, brackets, or bolts. It is important to follow the instructions provided by your patio cover manufacturer for installation.

If you want to add shade and privacy to your yard, then a patio cover is an excellent option. When choosing between different types of covers, take some time to think about what you need from this feature and then choose an option that best suits your needs.

You can find out more information online or by consulting with a landscape professional. This will help ensure that you make the right choices in terms of both functionality and appearance.

What are the costs associated with installing a patio cover?

The cost of installing a patio cover will vary depending on the type of cover you choose, the size of the cover, and the materials used. Awnings tend to be the cheapest option, while patio roofs are typically the most expensive. However, it is important to remember that the costs associated with maintaining a patio cover will also vary depending on the type of cover you choose.

For example, awnings made of the canvas will need to be removed during the winter to prevent them from deteriorating, while other types of canopies designed for year-round use may need less maintenance. You should also consider your budget when coming up with patio cover ideas. For example, if you are on a strict budget you might want to choose an option like bamboo mats or other inexpensive materials that will provide temporary shade.

However, if you have more money available for this project, then you could opt for retractable canopy systems which offer additional shade and convenience without needing too much upkeep.

How do I pick the right type of patio cover?

When it comes to picking the right type of patio cover, many people find themselves overwhelmed by all the different options available. However, by taking a few factors into consideration it is possible to make an informed decision.

For example, you will need to consider the size of your patio, the amount of shade you need, and your budget. Additionally, you will also want to think about the style of your home and garden – for example, if you have a traditional home then a pergola might be the best option, while modern homes could benefit from a more contemporary retractable canopy system.

Conclusion

There are many different patio cover ideas that you can use in order to add shade and privacy. When choosing between these options, it is important to consider your needs and budget before making a purchase. By taking the time to pick the right type of patio cover, you will be able to add more functional living space to your backyard and enjoy it all year round.