14 Types of Patio Covers You Should Know

Types of Patio Covers
April 15, 2024

If you are someone who spends most of their time in the open air, you probably know the importance of having a cozy and practical patio space. Whether you host a summer barbecue or enjoy a quiet evening under the stars, an elegant patio cover can make all the difference.

Here, we will explore 14 different types of patio covers you should know about. From classic options like pergolas and umbrellas to more modern choices like retractable awnings, we have it all. We discuss a wide range of styles and designs to suit any taste.

Whether you need an upgrade or start from scratch, our expertise in this field has you covered (pun intended). Let's jump in and learn the ideal patio cover for your needs!

14 Different Types Of Patio Covers

Exploring the myriad patio cover types can help create a welcoming ambiance. Whether you lean towards eternal designs or desire something more progressive, we have it listed.

These covers contain the transformative capacity to turn your area into a heavenly refuge, perfect for unwinding and hosting gatherings. Here are some lovely patio covers you may like-

1. Louvered Patio Cover

The first one on our list is the louvered patio cover. These ingenious constructions have classiness and are useful. It has changeable slats that one can tilt to let in sunlight or keep out rainfall. You get a built-in climate-control shade for your patio!

You can upgrade your patio easily and adjust to changing weather and what you like. Commendable options like this one make your patio look modern. It's an impressive way to set up for having friends over or having dinner outside.


  • One of the main perks of louvered patio covers is their versatility. You can alter the slats to suit your preferences.
  • Another benefit is their sturdiness. Made from strong materials like wood or aluminum, louvered patio covers are built to endure the elements.
  • If you want a classy look, here’s another advantage- They can improve the visual appeal of your patio while providing sensible benefits.

2. Pergolas

Pergolas are fancy al fresco layouts you see in Mediterranean movies. Made of durable cedar wood, it can handle bugs and last a long time. Individuals used it for growing vines in tight spaces in the past. Pergolas are permanent fixtures. So, you should ensure you have space and sturdy support. You can buy them in standard sizes or get one custom-made just for you.

Nowadays, you can tweak them for better shade. You can add extra slats on top or get a canopy made of tough outdoor fabric. You can pull it back when you don't need it. Depending on your requirements, you can get a manual or motorized louvered pergola. People often grow flowers or vines over them, making them look pretty.


  • They can give you as much shade as you want. The flexibility of using it makes it worth all the money.
  • You can get them in different materials like fiberglass, stone, plastic, glass, or wood. They are versatile and low maintenance.
  • They are not going anywhere, so it is worth investing in your home's value for the long haul.

To know more, explore our comprehensive guide on the benefits of a pergola.

3. Automatic Patio Shading

No need to fuss over manual covers, automatic patio shading is another convenient option for you. It is a modern solution to keep a stylish and functional space. These shelters are great for drying in the rain or shielding yourself from the wind. And if you crave the sun, they have got you covered- just push a button!

There are lots of different styles and colors to match your patio perfectly. Plus, putting them up is simple, and once you install them, you don't have to do much to keep them in good shape.


  • Automatic patio shading adds modernity to your space. It's practical and looks sleek, thus uplifting the look of your patio area.
  • Enjoy superior comfort because the shade can be kept open or closed. You can effortlessly control the level of shade to suit your needs, all without breaking a sweat.

4. Awning

Awnings have a downward angle, which is one of the primary features. It lets water, mud, and debris slide down smoothly. It can be either retractable or permanent.

It is a solid piece, suitable for gusty winds. Depending on what you want, choose vertical, portable, patio, or free-standing awnings. The awning is a popular choice among people. With versatile fixtures and high adaptability, this is the one you can have in retractable or manual versions.


  • Awnings offer shade from the sun's harsh rays, helping to keep you comfortable while enjoying your space outside.
  • It can reduce temperatures by blocking sunlight- leading to lower energy costs for cooling during hot weather.
  • Awnings create additional usable space outdoors, allowing you to enjoy your patio or deck, effectively extending the living space.

5. Solar Screens

The solar screen is essentially a fabric panel that limits the sunlight from coming inside. You could hang it like curtains. People like this one because it gives excellent shade hanging vertically. Installing these fixtures will decrease your electricity use as they absorb the heat and block the sun.

You could install solar screens in other patio roof types like pergolas or pergola with Retractable awnings, making it highly effective. You may find sun-roll or sentry solar screens.


  • You can use various colors, accessories, and mounting options for the solar screens.
  • The retractable design usually has a remote control for everyone’s convenience.
  • It is eco-friendly and used for properties with pergolas or patio space.

6. Shade Sails

Shade sails are like giant, floating umbrellas for your patio covers. These types of covers for the patio are durable fabric that is taut between anchor points, creating a nice and shaded spot to hang out.

Coming in all sorts of shapes and sizes, you can use these shades as customizable options to fit your patio flawlessly. The shade sail can be a portable one because it usually comes in D-ring attachments.


  • These sails offer outstanding (almost 90% )defense from the sun's harmful UV rays.
  • Unlike solid patio covers, shade sails are affordable, and that’s why single houses have many shade sails.
  • They are adaptable, allowing you to generate distinctive and modish configurations that suit your space and visual choices.

7. Solid Patio Covers

Solid patio covers use materials like aluminum, wood, or vinyl. These covers feature solid roofs that shield you from rain, sun, and snow. It is the safest choice for everyone. You can use amazing patio cover ideas on this one, like accessorizing with plants, soft lights, and contrasting furniture for a beautiful look.

It provides long-term value and peace of mind. It creates a sense of permanency, letting you be carefree and relaxed. They make a sheltered area for relaxing or entertaining, no matter the weather outside.


  • It offers consistent protection from natural elements due to its powerful build. Solid patio covers are solid structures that resist strong winds, heavy rain, and even snowstorms.
  • You get amplified privacy, creating a hush-hush and friendly atmosphere.

Related: Feeling overlooked by your neighbours? No problem! Checkout these stunning patio privacy ideas.

8. Retractable Awnings

An awning is like a roof extension that provides shade. There are two main types: fixed and retractable. Fixed awnings are permanent—once up, they stay up. Retractable awnings, on the other hand, can fold back when you don't need them or when the weather gets rough.

People make these awnings using fabric, which isn't as tough as metal but can still keep you in the shade. Most awnings you see on patios are the retractable kind made of fabric.

They generally come in standard sizes but can still be modified according to individual needs. You can have it in manual or mechanized form.


  • Unlike the others, this one gives you space because it can fold neatly when no one uses it. Therefore, you can have more room for fun things like BBQs or dance parties.
  • You can roll it back to soak up some rays or enjoy a starry night sky whenever you like. It gives you the best of both worlds.
  • It is reasonably priced and easy to install.

9. Gabled Roof

Among the different types of patio roofs, the gable roof is like an A-shaped roof style that is peaked and sloped in the side. It can cover the detached and attached patios flawlessly. Being a practical one, it provides shade distinctively.

You also get a gorgeous-looking patio because of its slight ‘A’ shape appearance. You can have this roof in eclectic earthen colors and sizes to make it your dream patio cover.


  • With their peaky design, they are efficient at ensuring rainwater slides right off, keeping your patio nice and dry.
  • Thanks to that pointy top, gabled roofs are great at keeping things cool. They let in plenty of airflow, so you can relax on your patio without breaking a sweat.
  • Believe it or not, gabled roofs will not break your bank account. They are more affordable than fancier pergolas or gazebos and still bring that chic flair to your property. Plus, they are easy to maintain, so you can spend more time relaxing and less time fixing stuff up.

10. Pavilion Roof

A pavilion is a type of outdoor building, usually made of wood, with a slanted roof. Unlike a pergola, it fully covers the patio area. Pavilions are often big and built on concrete, which takes a lot of effort and time if you are doing it yourself, especially if you want to put shingles on the roof.

Just like gazebos and pergolas, you can make pavilions from metal, wood, or vinyl. The vinyl and metal ones are tougher but have a higher cost.


  • Pavilions offer an open design, providing plenty of room for guests to relax and socialize.
  • These structures endure even in cruel weather situations. They are made with robust materials and result in solid construction.
  • The key benefit of pavilions is their ability to provide complete protection from the weather.

11. Canopy

Let's talk about canopies- they are like the laid-back cousin of patio covers. Canopies are fabric roofs. They are stretched over a frame to grant shelter for the exterior part of your property. You can get them in all shapes and sizes, from petite pop-up tents to large fixed installations.

One can hang the canopy lateral arms above the open or latticed roofs. Depending on the natural elements, canopies come in different fabric materials with tighter or larger apertures. Try overlapping it to give it a changed visual effect.


  • Canopies offer quick and easy relief from the sun's rays, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space without getting scorched.
  • They are generally more budget-friendly than other types of patio covers, making them a cost-effective option for adding shade and shelter to your outdoor space without breaking the bank.
  • Unlike other patio covers, canopies are often lightweight and portable making them perfect for picnics, camping trips, or any outdoor event where you need a little extra shade.

12. Latticed Covers

Latticed covers, a stylish term in architectural design, refer to structures with complex lattice patterns. These covers, often found in gardens, patios, or building facades, serve efficient and visual purposes. The lattice design provides shade and shield beautifully.

Such patio covers provide proprietors with more control over the protection levels needed. One may cover it fully with a canopy made of fabrics like cloth. Modern lattice covers have the possibility of options, meaning, for instance, modifying a certain percentage of sunlight.


  • One significant benefit of latticed covers is their ability to create a play of light and shadow. It enhances the outdoor look.
  • Additionally, they provide solitude without totally obstructing views, making them ideal for creating secluded retreats within open spaces.
  • Latticed covers encourage airflow, ensuring appropriate aeration and relief in covered areas.

13. Gazebos

Gazebos are individual formations with open sides and a roof- frequently found in hexagonal or octagonal shapes. You can also find it in fabric-covered or aluminum/rectangular steel structures. It comes in circular structures and has an old Victorian look.

The metal ones are tough and have various features, making them a desirable option for outdoor entertainment spaces.

For fabric gazebos, you have to take them out when it snows or rains to keep their integrity intact. Consider anchor points for gazebos before hurrying on them.


  • Gazebos are multi-functional spaces perfect for everything from outdoor dining to hosting small gatherings.
  • Their striking layout and sometimes flamboyant details form a focal point in your property, making it more welcoming.
  • You can alter them with screens or curtains for additional protection and privacy.

Further reading: Avoid confusion! Explore the difference between pergola and gazebo.

14. Large Umbrellas

Umbrellas might seem doubtful for many as a patio cover. However, they are not small umbrellas like you imagine. Large umbrellas, or what you may call - free-standing canopies, are something you could try.

You can roll it and store it whenever required. One can use the portable patio cover very easily and anywhere. It will give you protection from the sun for sure. Such covers are common in restaurants, beach cafes, or hilltop resorts with patios. They look stunning.


  • One of the best things about umbrellas is their portability. Need shade over your dining table? Want to move it to cover your lounge chairs? It is easy peasy. They are flexible, and people move it around to suit your needs.
  • Forget about complicated installations. All you need is a sturdy base with an umbrella- you are good.
  • You can find one that complements your patio decor perfectly- from vibrant colors to sleek designs or modern to classic look.

Outdoor Patio Cover Types Based On Materials

There are various types of materials used for patio covers. But it is hard to say which are the best as each has their strengths and weaknesses. Here are the four main types that you should know about-

1. Wooden Patio Covers

The excellent thing about wooden patio covers is that you have got options. There is cedar, redwood, pine – you name it. Each type of wood has its vibe. But here is something- wood needs some TLC. One has to seal it very often to prevent it from rotting and warping, especially if it is exposed to the elements. But if you love the subtle rustic look, opt for wood.

2. Aluminum Patio Covers

Now, aluminum is a different ball game. This material is preferable for patio cover materials - low maintenance and remarkably sturdy. Plus, it weighs like a feather, so do not worry about collapsing. It will withstand turbulent weather scenarios because of its twisty and bending qualities. But here is something- aluminum is a heat conductor. Confused? It translates to this- It can get arduously hot to the touch, especially on those scorching summer days.

3. Acrylic Patio Covers

The main advantage of this one is that it needs low maintenance and is highly durable. Vinyl and acrylic go hand in hand in terms of patio cover material. It can last indefinitely with little visual flaws. The downside? It does not offer a rainbow of colors. It comes chiefly in white. You may need to provide a good power wash once a year to keep it looking new.

4. Fiberglass Patio Covers

Last but not least, there is fiber glass. It's difficult and won't corrode no matter what. One could put it in the middle of a storm, and you would find it unscathed. Additionally, it is a moisture-resistant material. Fibreglass is also strong enough to handle building bigger structures. It might be your best bet if you have a large patio to cover.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Patio Cover

When choosing the perfect one among the varieties of patio covers, there are several imperative factors to mull over. One should wait to decide because it involves a lot of funds, time, and space.

Here are some considerations you should take a look at:

• Budget

When it is about spending loads of money, you cannot make decisions casually. Decide how much you want to spend on a patio cover. Prices can differ widely depending on the size, material, and style. Setting a budget upfront can help narrow down your options and prevent overspending.

• Size and Space

Always take measurements to determine the size before deciding on a cover. You should consider the coverage, seatings, lights, outdoor fixtures, and more. Consult with the expert before going all in with the plan.

• Material

Patio covers come in numerous materials. It includes aluminum, wood, vinyl, and fabric. Each material has its pros and cons. Some may be good in durability or maintenance; others may win in the aesthetics department and function. Opt for a material that balances your home's exterior and suits your private preferences.

• Style and Design

When it comes to patio covers, you want them to look good, right? To do that, you need to understand the different architectural styles. Think about your home and the general look you want to accomplish with your patio cover. You have options ranging from classic pergola shade ideas and conventional awnings to contemporary retractable covers and shade sails. Select one that complements your visual appeal.

• Sturdiness and Maintenance

Patio covers need some care too. Are you willing to maintain the patio cover and keep it in good condition? Some materials, like wood, may need customary staining or sealing to guard against weather damage. Others, like aluminum, are more low-maintenance.

• Weather Resistance

Weather conditions are the most crucial aspect when choosing a cover. Most choose patio covers to stay safe from extreme weather conditions, such as high winds or heavy rain. Your chosen patio cover must be able to endure these elements. Look for covers made from hard-wearing materials and think about extra features like wind-resistant design or built-in drainage systems.

• Installation

Would you want to assemble it yourself or call a professional for help? Experts will indeed charge more; it can affect your budget, so weigh all the options. Some covers, like straightforward awnings or shade sails, may be comparatively easy to fit on your own. But others, like custom-built pergolas or retractable covers, may need specialized fitting.

• Local Regulations

Different areas may have multifarious building codes and homeowners association rules. It is present to certify that your selected patio cover complies with any regulations or restrictions in your area. It can help avoid any issues or delays during the fitting procedure.

The Benefits of a Patio Cover

Now that you know the various patio cover varieties, do you wish to use the dazzling open-air space to the fullest? Maybe you can get some relaxing chairs out there, or it is just a soothing spot where you like to sip your morning coffee.

Well, there are more to the benefits of having a patio cover than just being a relaxation point. Let us break down why having a patio cover is a gift in disguise-

1. Shelter from the Sun

We have already established that it is difficult to have a good time in soaring temperatures. Let alone going out, you always need the air conditioning at home. But what about the patio space? Put a cover and enjoy it. You have your little paradise where you can escape the blistering heat and still enjoy the great outdoors with a patio cover.

2. Rain, Rain, Go Away

Most people do not like getting caught in a rainstorm, particularly when they want to enjoy some time in the open air. But fear not! Depending on the different types of patio roofs, it provides shelter from the rain, so you can stay dry and cozy while you watch the storm roll by. It is similar to having your built-in umbrella for your patio.

3. An Extended Living Space

Wouldn't be nice to have some extra room in your property to relax? A patio is an extension of your property. You can make that extension usable all year round with a patio cover. You have more room to enjoy and get creative with.

4. Protect Your Furniture

Let us face it, furniture for open-air is not economical. You want to keep it looking good for as long as possible. A patio cover helps guard your furnishings from the sun's UV rays. It prevents fading and deterioration. It keeps them dry during unexpected rain showers, so you must not be concerned about bringing them inside.

5. Energy Savings

A patio cover can help hoard some dough on your energy bills. It helps keep your home cooler during the hot summer months. That means no cranking up the AC as much, leading to sweet savings on your monthly utility bill.

6. Boost Your Home's Value

A graceful and well-designed patio cover can amplify your property’s curb appeal and general value. When you think of selling or renting the property, you boost the amount only because of aesthetic patio covers. It is next to giving your home a small renovation that pays off big time. Isn't that a great opportunity?

7. Easy Breezy Maintenance

Unlike some home enhancement projects that require constant upkeep, a patio cover is pretty low maintenance. Give it a quick wash with the hose now and then to keep it looking brand new, and you are good to go. There is no need for the usual painting or staining like with a wooden deck- just sit back, unwind, and enjoy your open-air refuge.

Gain A Stunning Patio Cover From Valley Covers

We have 14 different kind of patio covers for you, their advantages, patio cover Costs and what you should consider before deciding on a cover. It is not a simple decision to select a cover. It needs a lot of contemplation.  

For those wanting a patio cover, look no further than Valley Covers. Our top-notch products are like a breath of fresh air. Our patio covers in Roseville are something to look forward to.

Make your regular patio into a charming area with Valley Covers! Whether you want time alone with a fancy glass roof, louvered patio cover, or the clean look of a Swedish layout, we have got what you need. Our spectacular patio covers let you make a spot in your backyard.



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