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
- Building 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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Embrace an Open-Air Rooftop
An open-air rooftop patio in Hong Kong designed by Alexandra Lauren features plenty of texture and vibrant colors. The Horchow rug with a geometric pattern provides a statement piece that many outdoor areas often miss. The roof is made of clear Perspex, a type of plexiglass with UV resistance—so there's no shortage of light but it's still safer than sitting in direct sunlight. With a few bright pops of color, the space nearly feels summer getaway-inspired.Continue to 2 of 50 below.
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Construct a Modern Overhang
This outdoor area with a ceiling feels cozy yet still enveloped in the great outdoors. Designed by South African firm LevEco Architects, the composite polystyrene made IsoPine material 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. Thanks to the roof, time spent outside doesn't need to be cut short by the rain or less than ideal weather.Continue to 3 of 50 below.
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Opt for Shade Cloth Patio Covers
The husband-and-wife design team known as 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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Turn the Space Into a Plant Oasis
Plants always add to the charm of a space, especially when they become the main focus. This 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.Continue to 5 of 50 below.
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Go for Modern-Meets-Rustic
For a look that straddles the line between rustic and modern, take a note out of Gast Architects' book. This shade idea was created for a scored-concrete patio in Arroyo Grande, California. Courtesy of a custom-made steel frame, this outdoor area is sleek but still has that slight farmhouse touch due to the corrugated galvanized steel.Continue to 6 of 50 below.
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Blend Natural Materials
Natural materials are a smart design decision when working on an outdoor space. They blend in beautifully with their surroundings and have a stunning overall effect when two or three are mixed together, such as this brick, stone, and wood combination. Designed by Eklektic Interiors of Houston, 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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Try a Cedar Pergola
New York City-based Resolution: 4 Architecture constructed a stained-cedar pergola over a bluestone-paver patio for a home and pool house project. It's another prime example of just how lovely natural materials look while protecting a portion of an outdoor space. That matching wooden chairs are just the icing on the cake.Continue to 8 of 50 below.
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Infuse Mediterranean Style
Mediterranean flair is written all over this outdoor area designed by Benedict August. The slate tile is set in a diamond pattern and is used for the exposed patio, while the pergola-covered dining space features a poured-concrete surface. The neutral colors and stone texture all add to the villa-like atmosphere.Continue to 9 of 50 below.
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Design a Modern Industrial Courtyard
This particular entry courtyard was made for a home-based work/art studio designed by Homes by Monticello. Featuring cedar decking, slat walls, and a protective plastic roof, it's a great area for spending time outside in rain or shine. The home is built around a grain silo, giving it a "modern industrial" sensibility.Continue to 10 of 50 below.
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Take Mid-Century Modern Ranch Style Outdoors
Mid-century modern has made its everlasting mark indoors, but it can work outside, too. Raising the roofline and adding clerestory windows to this mid-century ranch 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 style is further elevated thanks to the chic Texas limestone columns and cozy fire pit.Continue to 11 of 50 below.
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Add Unique Touches
The modern Rising Glen house in the Hollywood Hills by Tocha Project features a custom-designed deck. The patio cover's levelers (shades or blinds) are motorized and operated by elevator buttons located in the home's bar area. Unique features, such as this, make for a protected outdoor area that's unlike any other.Continue to 12 of 50 below.
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Bring in Loggias
Places with fantastic weather should take advantage of it through outdoor spaces, which is exactly what Strening Architects did when transforming this 25-acre property in Calistoga. The firm built a spectacular showcase by creating two distinct loggias on the front and back of the house to fully embrace 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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Keep Original Features
There's something so special about retaining certain original features of a home. This 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. 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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Blend Glass and Timber
Designed by Michael Abraham Architecture of Clarendon Hills, this custom-built farmhouse-modern estate makes the best of indoor and outdoor worlds. 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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Make the Most of an Awning
This 1950s-inspired Australian beach home by Sanctum Design features a German Markilux motorized canopy/glass awning. Its another great example of how mechanized features can really add to a home's outdoor area. The bright off-white palette also makes the whole space feel open and airy, despite being covered.Continue to 16 of 50 below.
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Add a Dash of Vibrancy
A Mexican-inspired patio for a home in Metairie, Louisiana, was designed by Mullin Landscape Associates. There is a blend of fantastic colors happening in this space. Hanging from the painted wood-frame shade structure is a gold and white pendant light that adds a playful touch of metallic. But the most powerful splash of color comes from the neon green and aqua blue chairs and pillows.Continue to 17 of 50 below.
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Warm Up a Contemporary Space
The interior and exterior of this contemporary coastal home were instantly warmed up through a remodel. Design firm Mr. Mitchell used reclaimed Australian hardwoods, natural stone, and textural fabrics to take this gray, modernized space and make it feel homier indoors and out.Continue to 18 of 50 below.
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Go Big with a Pergola
Texas Custom Patios built a pergola off the side and front of an existing covered area and added an outdoor kitchen to maximize outside living space. Though pergolas are often seen in smaller areas, extra-large models are ideal for providing ample shade without fully covering a patio with a roof.Continue to 19 of 50 below.
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Go for Full Shade
In hot locations, sometimes fully blocking the sun is essential. This custom classic home designed by PHX Architecture is situated in Arizona, therefore a covered area was a must. The interior and exterior offer relief from the desert heat with several covered areas that extend from the main structure. It doesn't hurt that the space is impeccably styled, too.Continue to 20 of 50 below.
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Design an Outdoor Living Room
Dena Brody Interiors transformed this outdoor space into a true living room complete with Gloster patio furniture, ceiling fans, and a custom kitchen. One portion of the space is fully covered while the other gets more light due to some thoughtfully-built beams. An area like this gives you every reason to spend more time outdoors when the weather is nice (or not so nice thanks to the roof).Continue to 22 of 50 below.
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Get Creative with Transparent Roofing
A high, transparent patio cover designed by in3interieur allows unobstructed sunlight into the house and also keeps the patio area warm on summer evenings. Because of the see-through nature of the material, residents still get a great view of the sky and surroundings but get more protection from sun and rain.Continue to 23 of 50 below.
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Go for a Thatched Shade
Higgins Architects opted for this unique shade structure with a metal framework and a thatch-style roof instead of a more classic option. It feels ultra fitting for an outdoor space—especially for people looking to make their exteriors feel more natural. The addition of plants, stonework, and tile adds to that aesthetic.Continue to 24 of 50 below.
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Cover a Space with a Solar Fabric Shade
An exterior-grade open-weave solar fabric shade helps block the rays of the sun, as this Austin patio designed by Paula Ables Interiors shows. The fabric is attached to a track along both sides and is moved via a detachable rod. It gives a little fluidity to an otherwise modern space, too.Continue to 25 of 50 below.
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Aim for an Unobstructed View Through Wood Slats
Architect Robert A. McGraw designed a simple wood-slat shade structure that doesn't compete with or obstruct views of the Pacific. It's a natural overall look that provides a little coverage that doesn't block out nature entirely.Continue to 26 of 50 below.
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Extend Indoor Space Outwards
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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Combine Fabric and Steel
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. It's exactly the type of coverage you'd want while spending a little time dining outside or visiting with friends.Continue to 28 of 50 below.
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Create Coverage Through Plants
This beautiful outdoor area of a vacation home shows that human-made materials aren't the only options worth considering. Walnut Hill Landscape Co. used wisteria and Lady Banks roses to blanket the space with a little more shade. The company also evoked Tuscan charm in this space through the columns and tiling.Continue to 29 of 50 below.
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Dream Up a 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 and the blend of wood and natural materials makes this outdoor area feel like a tropical getaway every day of the week.Continue to 30 of 50 below.
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Build a Screened-In Porch
JCR Design Group created a new look for a home with the addition of a three-season screened-in porch, along with a new and enlarged patio and hot tub. Screens are ideal for keeping pests and grime from fully infiltrating your outdoor spaces and ruining any al fresco dining experience.Continue to 31 of 50 below.
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Consider Reed Grass for Coverage
Architect Mark Buchanan of Newmann Lewis Buchanan Architects designed a simple shade structure at this farm using a metal arching framework to support a reed-grass cover. As mentioned previously, natural materials make a great choice for fully embracing nature in an outdoor space.Continue to 32 of 50 below.
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Try a Flat Roof Overhead
A modern hardwood flat-roof overhead was built by Rick Ryniak Architects to allow the homeowners to relax and enjoy the surrounding view. When you add in a full covering like this, there's more of a chance to play with the type of furniture and accents used outside because there's less exposure to damage-causing elements.Continue to 33 of 50 below.
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Build Out a Narrow Covered Patio Path
Birdseye Design created a rustic and elegant path of pavers that also serves as a narrow patio for this home. It's ideal for staying out of the sun while still enjoying the warmth of summer. Lining a space like this with different seating options is the best way to take advantage of the shape, as seen here.Continue to 34 of 50 below.
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Analyze Materials Based on the Climate
Several years after the installation of this corrugated cold-rolled steel roof, 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. Though style is important for creating an outdoor space you love, it's equally as vital to consider what the weather and climate are like, too.Continue to 35 of 50 below.
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Opt for an A-Frame Patio Roof
A wood frame supports an A-frame overhead that serves as a complete outdoor living space with stone fireplace, TV, outdoor kitchen, and seating. The project was designed by Texas Custom Patios and feels wonderfully cozy not just because of the fire, but courtesy of the cushioned seating options and hot tub, too.Continue to 36 of 50 below.
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Fuel Beach Vibes with an Open-Roof
Emeritus Development designed a coastal-style residence with a wood pergola that features a flat open roof and custom-built brick fireplace for stylish outdoor living. The space is optimal for letting in sunshine and a cool breeze. The blue touches make it all the more beach-inspired.Continue to 38 of 50 below.
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Combine Wood and Concrete
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 that creates more open space to catch some rays in the courtyard. The addition of the outdoor throw pillows makes it all the more inviting.Continue to 39 of 50 below.
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Pick Out a 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. On top of this, interior elements like accent rugs and multiple seating areas make it feel even more elevated.Continue to 40 of 50 below.
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Decide on a Solid Roof
This Seattle house was extended outside by American Louvered Roofs. Wood columns and decking support a solid roof that provides shelter from sun in the summer, but also rain—a hallmark of the Pacific Northwest. It still allows residents to enjoy the great outdoors for several seasons, but more comfortably so.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. This is thanks to the large openings surrounding the space.Continue to 43 of 50 below.
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Draft Up a Poolside Retreat
LiquidScapes designed a poolside gazebo that features a modified gabled-style roof for architectural interest and to provide shade, of course. Spaces with full cover like this help extend the amount of time that can be spent outside—ideal for summer especially.Continue to 45 of 50 below.
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Design an Elaborate Gazebo
Done by John Montgomery Landscape Architects, this pitched wood roof is supported by impressive stone columns. It's the perfect option for covering important outdoor room features, like a fireplace and kitchen prep area. Rain or shine, the roof makes it usable in most seasons.Continue to 46 of 50 below.
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Create Privacy With a Pergola
Starting with a pretty clean slate, Paradise Restored created a wood pergola that extends from the house and shades the outdoor kitchen, dining table, and provides privacy for the hot tub. It's a nice way of blocking out a little sun (and neighbors' prying eyes) without fully covering up the whole space.Continue to 47 of 50 below.
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Shade a 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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Opt for a 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 don't 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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Try a Half-and-Half Covering
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, fabric will be your best quick and inexpensive 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.