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Planning a Shade Structure
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 location or cold-northern
Take a look at 50 very different patio covers, certain to spark some ideas for your own project.Continue to 2 of 51 below.
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Modern 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 3 of 51 below.
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Shade Cloth Patio CoversContinue to 5 of 51 below.
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Santa Ynez Rustic
A beautiful and eclectic eco-conscious outdoor space was created by Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture 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 6 of 51 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 8 of 51 below.
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New York City-based Resolution: 4 Architecture constructed a stained-cedar pergola over a bluestone-paver patio for a home and pool house project in South Hampton, New York.Continue to 9 of 51 below.
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Orange County Mediterranean
A small house in Orange County, California received a makeover by Benedict August. Slate tile set in a diamond pattern is used for the exposed patio, while the covered dining space features a poured-concrete surface. The lights are older Z Gallerie chandeliers.Continue to 10 of 51 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 11 of 51 below.
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Aspen Ranch House
Raising the roofline and adding clerestory windows to this mid-century 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 12 of 51 below.
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Rising Glen LA
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 13 of 51 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 outdoor 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 14 of 51 below.
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MCM Seattle Patio
A 1950s Seattle home, remodeled by Lane Williams Architects, features two 16-foot-wide Fleetwood pocketing aluminum and glass sliding doors that open the den and dining rooms to the terrace. The steel and wood-frame covered patio is made of Polygal translucent ribbed panels. LWA was about to save the original 1960-built outdoor brick fireplace, which was incorporated into the new patio design.Continue to 15 of 51 below.
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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 16 of 51 below.
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Vibrant New Orleans
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 pendant lamp from Ella Home. The homeowner bought the colorful pillows on Etsy, while the green rattan chairs are by Kenian.Continue to 18 of 51 below.
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The design firm Mr. Mitchell warmed up the interior and exterior of a contemporary coastal home in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Included in the remodel were recycled Australian hardwoods, natural stone, and textural fabrics.Continue to 19 of 51 below.
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Pergola and Patio
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.Continue to 20 of 51 below.
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Cooling off 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 21 of 51 below.
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Yes, That's a Palapa
An outdoor spa gets a tropical overhead with a hardwood frame that supports a palapa (thatched roof), designed by Utopia Landscape Design of Brisbane, Australia.Continue to 22 of 51 below.
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Respite From the Texas HeatContinue to 23 of 51 below.
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Houston Outdoor Living
Dena Brody Interiors transformed this outdoor space into a true living room complete with Gloster patio furniture, ceiling fans, and a custom kitchen. The closed and open-beam wood overhead is supported by metal posts.Continue to 24 of 51 below.
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Light 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 25 of 51 below.
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Shade for Casa Arcadia
Higgins Architects of Scottsdale, Arizona designed a Camelback area home that includes several outdoor areas, including this shade structure with metal framework and a thatch-style roof.Continue to 26 of 51 below.
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Shady 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 27 of 51 below.
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All About the 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 28 of 51 below.
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Colorado Outdoor Living
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 29 of 51 below.
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Palo Alto 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 30 of 51 below.
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Villa Dei Fiori
Walnut Hill Landscape Co. in Baltimore designed a vacation home in Annapolis, Maryland that evokes Tuscan charm and offers breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay. Wisteria and Lady Banks roses are planted at every column for mass coverage.Continue to 31 of 51 below.
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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 32 of 51 below.
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JCR Design Group of St. Louis, Missouri created a new look for a Ladue home with the addition of a three-season screened-in porch, along with a new and enlarged patio and hot tub.Continue to 33 of 51 below.
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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 34 of 51 below.
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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 35 of 51 below.
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Birdseye Design created a rustic and elegant paved path that also serves as a narrow patio for this house in Jericho, Vermont.Continue to 36 of 51 below.
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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 37 of 51 below.
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Slate Patio Overhead
A slate patio is shielded from the sun by a wood overhead structure that extends from the home's roofline for a natural transition from indoors to out. The project was designed by John Montgomery Landscape Architects.Continue to 38 of 51 below.
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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.Continue to 39 of 51 below.
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Carolina in Cinncinati
The Carolina by Designs on Madison is a complete home project that includes an outdoor wood pergola allowing filtered light and just enough shade for dining comfortably.Continue to 40 of 51 below.
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Boston Beach Vibes
Emeritus Development in Massachusetts designed a beach-style residence with a wood pergola that features a flat, open roof and custom-built brick fireplace for stylish outdoor living.Continue to 41 of 51 below.
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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 42 of 51 below.
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Rich Wood Ceiling
A wood pavilion designed by Cedar Springs Landscape Group of Ontario, Canada provides protection from sun and snow.Continue to 43 of 51 below.
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An intricately detailed, polished wood ceiling is the focal point of this outdoor structure designed by Texas Custom Patios.Continue to 44 of 51 below.
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John Montgomery Landscape Architects designed a dining gazebo that was built to take advantage of the gorgeous Central California view.Continue to 45 of 51 below.
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Living space for this Seattle house was extended outside by American Louvered Roofs of Western Washington. Wood columns and decking support a sold roof that provides shelter from sun and rain.Continue to 46 of 51 below.
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Covered 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 47 of 51 below.
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A 16- by 20-foot pavilion designed by C.E. Pontz Sons of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, features a faux slate roof. The TV was hung from the pergola with a wall-mount.Continue to 48 of 51 below.
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House Without Walls
A pitched or hipped wood roof of a gazebo is supported by stone columns. The design is by John Montgomery Landscape Architects of Alamo, California.Continue to 49 of 51 below.
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Starting with pretty much a new, clean slate, Paradise Restored of Portland, Oregon created a wood pergola that extends from the house and shades the outdoor kitchen, dining table, and provides privacy for the hot tub.Continue to 50 of 51 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 51 of 51 below.
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The simplest way to add shade to a patio or any outdoor space is by opening an umbrella. Just make sure it is sturdy and anchored by a weighted holder or it will be gone with the next big wind!