3 Different Types of Patio Covers: Which Is Best?

By Published On: February 13, 20235.4 min read
Types of Patio Covers
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Are you considering adding a patio cover to your outdoor living area? You may be surprised to discover many different types of patio covers. The type of cover you choose for your home is essential; ideally, you will want to select a style that best serves its intended purpose.

Definition and Types of Patio Covers

A patio cover is a structure constructed to protect and cover a patio or outdoor living space. Patio covers can be freestanding or attached, providing an abundance of practical and aesthetic benefits to a home. Installing a patio cover can offer you shade on a hot summer day, so with a well-constructed cover, you can enjoy the outdoors without having to tolerate the hot sun.

Patio covers can keep your outdoor furniture and decorations dry during the rainy seasons, but only if you choose a closed cover. Covers can add value and visual appeal to your home, and often they are used to tie together the entire aesthetic of a backyard area.

If you live in a warm environment, you may also receive a smaller energy bill once you install a patio cover. This is primarily because a patio cover can prevent the sun’s rays from entering and heating up the back or side of your home. With less heat entering your home, you won’t have to run the air conditioning as much.

Lattice Shade Covers

Lattice shade covers are covers composed of a crisscrossing framework of metal or wooden beams. This structural style creates a lattice-like pattern that allows some sunlight to enter. Lattice shade covers provide some protection from the elements and sun but not complete coverage. They work well in climates with very little rain, sleet, or snow.

Consider installing a lattice shade cover to add style to your backyard. Doing so will allow you to enjoy the sun’s rays without exposure to 100% direct sunlight. Lattice covers also allow you to hang plants that need sunlight and rain to develop properly.

Solid Shade Patio Covers

Much like lattice shade covers, solid shade covers serve to reduce the amount of sunlight and precipitation from interacting with your patio. Unlike lattice covers, they provide significantly more coverage because they are solid. Solid shade covers are ideal for anyone who wants complete protection from the sun. Since these covers completely block out the sun, you can enjoy your patio regardless of weather conditions.

Solid patio covers can be advantageous if you enjoy preparing meals outside, hosting parties, or simply relaxing in the shade. During the summer months, you will avoid sunburn, and during the rainy months, you will have a dry outdoor area to use for any purpose. In short, if you spend considerable time outside, you may want to choose a solid shade cover for your patio.


Pergolas are open-air structures engineered of vertical posts or pillars that support a lattice of cross-beams or horizontal beams. Although they aren’t quite the same as patio covers, they do provide many of the same functions. Unlike the majority of patio covers, pergolas can be freestanding. They can add aesthetic value and serve as a focal point for your outdoor living space or garden.

You can add climbing plants to pergolas, such as ivy, which can offer additional shade from the sun, and their design provides partial sunlight coverage. If you prefer a freestanding patio cover that offers some sunlight coverage, a pergola may be what you need.

Common Materials for Pergolas and Patio Shade Covers

The material you use to construct your patio shade or pergola can make a significant difference for many reasons.


Wood is a great material for many projects, but most types do not hold up well to the weather. You don’t want to construct a shade or pergola that needs to be varnished, sanded, or repainted every few years. You also don’t want one that needs to be specially treated to keep away insects or mildew. Wood is also more expensive in the long run when you factor in need to reapply sealants and re-stain.


Vinyl is another popular material for patio covers, but you can’t fully customize it to your liking. It is available in multiple colors but can’t be painted in a custom shade to match your home’s exterior. In other words, your color options are minimal with vinyl, and constant exposure to the sun can cause your vinyl structure to fade over time.


Fabric or canvas can be an economical choice for a shade covering. Unfortunately, fabric covers do not fare well in harsh, windy, or extreme weather and won’t provide full protection from the rain. Wet fabric is also prone to developing occasional leaks, mold, and mildew, and even thick fabric cannot block the sun’s skin-damaging UV rays.


Extruded aluminum is arguably the gold standard for patio covers and pergolas. It is durable, weatherproof, and affordable. Aluminum patio covers are an excellent choice for homeowners who want year-round protection from the elements. They are also resistant to rust and capable of withstanding years of UV exposure. In Florida’s heat and humidity, wood and vinyl structures do not last, so aluminum is the best choice.

Homeowners who construct patio covers from aluminum will also enjoy the material’s longevity. This metal is significantly less prone to wear and tear, warping, and cracking. It is lightweight and practically maintenance-free.

Upgrading Your Outdoor Living Space

Are you prepared to upgrade your outdoor space with a brand-new patio cover? Take a look at our impressive selection of patio cover options to find the right fit for your home. From lattice shade covers to pergolas and solid shade patio covers, Lifestyle Remodeling has you covered.

Lifestyle Remodeling also offers operable motorized pergolas that close on top and open to control the shade and allow you to maximize your usable space. This is a great option for the Florida climate because you can open and close the pergola with a remote control at your convenience.

Choosing the Right Patio Cover

If you are unsure about selecting the right patio cover for your home or types of patio covers, you can reach out to us at (813) 708-8983 for expert advice and personalized recommendations. Begin enjoying your outdoor living area to the fullest with a functional and stylish patio cover today!

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