A well-designed patio cover can enhance your outdoor living experience and increase the amount of time you spend outside. For any major outdoor structure, you'll want to work with a professional, like an architect or landscape architect, to make sure your building complies with city codes and is engineered correctly. Other considerations before planning, designing, and building a patio cover include:
- Architectural style of your house
- Materials you desire and what is available in your region
- Size and scale of patio and overhead
- Orientation of the patio to the sun, like a hot west-oriented or cold northern location.
Take a look at 50 very different patio cover ideas that will certainly spark some ideas for your own project.
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Modern Overhang in South Africa
The South African firm LevEco Architects designed an overhead with a ceiling made from IsoPine, which is a composite polystyrene material that functions well outside, provided it doesn't get direct rain. The timber roof rafters are pocketed into the brickwork of the house, so you don't see any connections. The roof sheeting is attached with flashing and waterproofing.Continue to 2 of 50 below.
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An open-air rooftop patio in Hong Kong was designed by Alexandra Lauren featuring a Horchow rug with a geometric pattern. The roof is made of clear Perspex, a type of plexiglass with UV resistance. Lauren has studios in Tennessee, Hong Kong, Arizona, and Montana.Continue to 3 of 50 below.
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Shade Cloth Patio Covers
The husband-and-wife design team known as Phoenix's The Ranch Mine covered a house in corrugated steel and treated the concrete flooring with Cohills Enviro Stain. Shade-sail anchors were tied into the roof trusses under the eaves to support the shade sails. Shade sails are often a less expensive option than brick, mortar, and other built-ins, reducing the need for an architect and construction crew.Continue to 4 of 50 below.
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Rustic Vines in Santa Ynez
A beautiful and eclectic eco-conscious outdoor space was created by Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture (CDLA) for a Santa Ynez, California, ranch. Many features are custom-designed, like the redwood pergola, which supports healthy, lush vines, the redwood vegetable boxes, cold-season A-frames, and metal-frame fire pit, infilled with stone to resemble a gabion. The hanging light fixture is also a CDLA creation and is available on the firm's website.Continue to 5 of 50 below.
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Modern Steel-frame Roof Panels
Gast Architects of San Francisco created shade for a scored-concrete patio in Arroyo Grande, California by constructing a custom-made steel frame that supports corrugated galvanized-steel Sinewave roof panels.Continue to 6 of 50 below.
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Tuscan Farmhouse in Houston
Designed by Eklektic Interiors of Houston, this home was built by the homeowners, who are in the construction business. The patio floor is made of reclaimed Old Chicago brick, while the facade and arches are made of Texas limestone.Continue to 7 of 50 below.
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Modern Industrial Entry Courtyard
An entry courtyard for a home-based work/art studio designed by Homes by Monticello in Missouri features cedar decking and slat walls. A corrugated plastic roof adds rain protection and allows natural sunlight to filter through. The home is built around a grain silo, giving it a "modern industrial" sensibility.Continue to 10 of 50 below.
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Mid-century Modern Ranch Style
Raising the roofline and adding clerestory windows to this midcentury ranch house in Aspen, Colorado, flooded the living spaces with natural light. Rowland and Broughton added a rooftop patio to the single-story home, along with a patio off the back of the house with white polished concrete flooring. The patio cover features tongue-and-groove stained fir blind-nailed to the ceiling and Texas limestone columns and a fire pit.Continue to 11 of 50 below.
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Motorized in Rising Glen
The modern Rising Glen house in the Hollywood Hills by Tocha Project features a custom-designed deck. The patio cover's levelers (shades/blinds) are motorized and operated by elevator buttons located in the home's bar area. Like many components of Rising Glen, the patio levelers were customized by Janna Levenstein/Tocha Project.Continue to 12 of 50 below.
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Strening Architects of Santa Rosa, California, transformed a 25-acre property in Calistoga into a spectacular showcase by creating two distinct loggias on the front and back of the house to take advantage of wine country indoor/outdoor living. Strening used a simple palette of stone, stucco, wood, and steel to bring refined elegance to the property. The patio cover is a combination of painted structural steel and Alaskan yellow cedar.Continue to 13 of 50 below.
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Seattle Paneled Patio
A 1950s Seattle home, remodeled by Lane Williams Architects, features two 16-foot-wide Fleetwood pocketing aluminum and sliding glass doors that open the den and dining rooms to the terrace. The patio covered in steel and wood is made of Polygal translucent ribbed panels. LWA saved the original 1960-built outdoor brick fireplace, which was incorporated into the new patio design.Continue to 14 of 50 below.
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Glass and Timber in Basswood
Designed by Michael Abraham Architecture of Clarendon Hills, Illinois, Basswood is a custom-built farmhouse-modern estate at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The patio flooring is made of natural bluestone, while a sun-drenched outdoor room features large spans of glass with contemporary lines that frame views of the lake. Hand-hewn beams, exposed timbers, and indigenous stones were used in building this outdoor escape.Continue to 15 of 50 below.
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Vibrant New Orleans Structure
A Mexican-inspired patio for a home in Metairie, Louisiana, was designed by Mullin Landscape Associates. Hanging from the painted wood-frame shade structure is a gold and white Ella Home pendant light. The homeowner bought the colorful pillows on Etsy, while the green rattan chairs are by Kenian.Continue to 17 of 50 below.
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Desert Cool in Scottsdale
A custom classic home designed by PHX Architecture is in the Silverleaf Parks area of Scottsdale, Arizona. The home offers relief from the desert heat inside and out with several covered areas that extend from the main structure. The homes offer beautiful views of Phoenix.Continue to 20 of 50 below.
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Transparent in Amstersdam
A high, transparent patio cover designed by in3interieur allows unobstructed sunlight into the house and also keeps the patio area warm on summer evenings.Continue to 23 of 50 below.
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Solar Fabric Shade in Austin
An exterior-grade open-weave solar fabric shade helps block the rays of this Austin patio designed by Paula Ables Interiors. The fabric is attached to a track along both sides and is moved via a detachable rod.Continue to 25 of 50 below.
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Wood-Slatted Unobstructed View
Laguna Beach architect Robert A. McGraw designed a simple wood-slat shade structure that doesn't compete or obstruct views of the Pacific.Continue to 26 of 50 below.
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Colorado Local Wood Construction
A young family's passion for the Colorado lifestyle is reflected in the outdoor space created by Mitchell Wall Architecture and Design. Built from local woods, the covered room attaches to the home and flows from the living room and kitchen to the yard and swimming and spa areas.Continue to 27 of 50 below.
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Palo Alto Fabric and Steel Pergola
Custom designed and installed by Jenna Bayer Garden Design, this Palo Alto patio cover is made from a steel-engineered structure and a shade fabric with 70 percent filtration.Continue to 28 of 50 below.
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Bali-inspired Patio Design
It looks like Bali and is called Bali House, but this home with elaborate architectural and decorative details created by Indonesian craftspeople is actually in Kihei, Maui. The home was designed by Rick Ryniak Architects.Continue to 30 of 50 below.
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Flat Roof Overhead in Maui
A modern hardwood flat-roof overhead was built by Rick Ryniak Architects to allow the homeowners to relax and enjoy the surrounding view.Continue to 32 of 50 below.
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Reed Grass Arch at D.C. Farm
Architect Mark Buchanan of Newmann Lewis Buchanan Architects designed a simple shade structure at this Washington D.C. area farm using metal arching framework supporting a reed-grass cover.Continue to 33 of 50 below.
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Corrugated Steel Roof in Aspen Creek
Several years after the installation of this corrugated cold-rolled steel roof at a Utah home, there are no signs of major corrosion. According to the designers, Carney Logan Burke Architects, plain, cold-rolled mild steel doesn't corrode significantly, even after 50 years.Continue to 35 of 50 below.
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Wood and Concrete in Perth
Concrete blocks create a decorative wall feature for this courtyard in Perth, Australia, designed by Dale Alcock Homes. Wood beams attach to eaves and another shade structure, making the courtyard a more open space to catch some rays.Continue to 39 of 50 below.
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Polished Wood Focal Point
Many good patio cover ideas blend together interior and exterior components. An intricately detailed, polished wood ceiling is the focal point of this outdoor structure designed by Texas Custom Patios.Continue to 40 of 50 below.
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Seattle Solid Roof
Living space for this Seattle house was extended outside by American Louvered Roofs of Western Washington. Wood columns and decking support a solid roof that provides shelter from sun and rain.Continue to 42 of 50 below.
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Almost Indoors in Canada
Even when it's raining or snowing, the Canadian homeowners of this solid-wood covered room designed by Cedar Springs Landscape Group can feel like they're still outside.Continue to 43 of 50 below.
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LiquidScapes of Pittstown, New Jersey, designed a poolside gazebo that features a modified gabled-style roof for architectural interest and to provide shade, of course.Continue to 45 of 50 below.
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Shaded Mini Pool
Provide a small slice of refreshing shade by draping fabric across a section of an outdoor area, as this cozy corner exemplifies. The tiny pool and ample seating is a perfect place to escape the warm sun for a little bit without covering the entirety of the patio.Continue to 48 of 50 below.
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Partial Shade Pergola
Covered areas can also create "rooms" in an outdoor space and can separate out dedicated areas for relaxing, eating, or playing games. When considering patio cover ideas, a pergola may come to mind as a great way to do this. These outdoor structures also provide an opportunity for climbing plants to explore and create even more shade, making the whole space feel more biophilic.Continue to 49 of 50 below.
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Test Out Temporary Covers
Patio coverings, by no means, have to be permanent. For temporary coverage that can be moved around with ease, a chic weather-resistant umbrella is perfect. It blocks out any unwanted sun or drizzle, but can just as easily be brought down or rearranged for soaking up a few rays or getting a view of the night sky.Continue to 50 of 50 below.
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Providing multiple coverage options will appeal to multiple comfort levels when it comes to spending time outside. The swinging seats in this outdoor area get more exposure to the great outdoors, whereas a fully covered roof protects the couch and anyone sitting there who may prefer more shade or respite from the elements.
How do I cover my patio on a budget?
When thinking shade—quickly and inexpensively—fabric will be your best option. Solar fabrics can resist and repel the sun, and setup can be speedy with an umbrella, sun sail, or a portable fabric canopy.
How easy is it to attach a roof cover to a patio?
Attaching a patio roof is not easy, but it is doable by a do-it-yourselfer with the right tools, knowledge of basic structural engineering, and a solid plan. The construction approach will depend on your house and where you intend to join the patio roof (through masonry, at eaves, or joists). Essential things to think about: roof load, slope, rafters, footings, supports, ledger board, flashing, and roof covering (shingles, planks, etc.).
Are acrylic patio covers good?
Acrylic roof systems and patio covers block harmful UV rays and let in 90% of the sunlight. Most are guaranteed for up to 10 to 30 years. They also have a "heatstop" option, which traps the heat from reaching those under the cover. They are built to withstand heat, sunlight, hail, wind, and snowstorms. Acrylic is a viable alternative to fiberglass or polycarbonate, which both turn yellow over time. It's also less expensive than glass. The only downside is it looks a little cheaper than other coverings, but it does its job well.