When you choose to get a patio cover, one of the first things you need to decide on is what material to use. Patio covers are typically made from wood, vinyl, and aluminum, and all three have their benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you decide which option works best for your needs.
How Much Do You Care About Design?
Patio covers can be made to look attractive in any material, but some materials look much better than others. Wood, in particular, can produce some outstanding effects that will dazzle visitors and people who may purchase your home in the future. Thus, if you're looking for something with a timeless and enduring beauty, then a wood cover may be the best option.
However, wood can be expensive in terms of material cost and upkeep. A less expensive option to go with might be aluminum, which comes in a large variety of colors and can be made to imitate the look of wood at a lower cost (both in money and time). However, while metal is malleable, there's only so much you can do with it. So there's a chance you may not be able to exactly duplicate the wood design you want, though you may get something close.
How Hot Does It Get in Your Area?
Another thing you want to consider is what the heat is like in your area. You're purchasing a patio to help minimize the impact of the weather on your enjoyment of your outdoor space, but some materials can make things worse.
For example, aluminum can conduct heat. This may not be a big deal in areas with mild summers. If you live in the south or southwest where the sun can be brutal, however, you may want to opt for vinyl or wood that does a better job of managing heat. You can still get an aluminum patio cover, but you may be restricted to getting one in a light color, since white and pale colors reflect light, which can reduce the amount of heat the material absorbs.
What's Your Schedule Like?
A third thing to consider is how much maintenance the material will require. As noted previously, wood is very beautiful and durable, but it requires the most maintenance of all three materials. If you don't want to do it yourself, you'll need to hire a professional to maintain the roof so that it lasts as long as possible.
Aluminum and vinyl require the least amount of maintenance but still require some upkeep to continue looking good.
For help in picking out the right material for your patio cover, or to schedule an installation, speak with contractors like Rollins Construction.