Whatever the architectural style of your home, a wood patio cover can add aesthetic appeal while shielding your patio against the elements, the sun’s harmful rays, or even neighbors’ prying eyes. Because wood patios are not terribly expensive, they raise the value of your home without hurting your wallet too much and can even help you save money by shading the covered side of your home from the sun’s blaring heat. A well-covered patio can lower your utility bills by blocking direct rays and lowering the temperature of that area by as much as twenty degrees. Such covering also can add real beauty and expand enjoyment of your home, depending upon what style you choose to construct.
A great advantage of wood covered patios is that the homeowner can often design and install the wood covering without requiring outside consultation. Of course, the first time builder will want to follow some written guidance, at least. Home improvement centers carry a wide variety of wood patio cover design books and the staff of such retail outlets offer a great deal of expertise, and often classes to help aspiring builders learn the basics.
Whether using a contractor or doing the wood patio cover building yourself, the first logical step is to determine what style and size of covering you would like to build. Architects can be used for patio covers or you can research the styles and find one that suits your taste and the home’s architecture. Budget and time are two factors to consider, here.
Below are some questions to ask yourself, in order to aid in determining which features your wood patio cover should possess:
- Do you want to fully block the sun and elements from the patio surface, or would you like only partial coverage?
- Are there particular sides which need full coverage due to weather or sunlight glare, prying neighbors, or unattractive views?
- Is your patio used for entertaining and heavily used for relaxation?
- Do you dine and play on the patio or use it for other outdoor pursuits?
- Do you use a barbecue grill or furnishings on your patio?
- Is there a need for heightened protection from insects or weather issues such as wind, rain, or heat?
- Will pets be using the wood covered patio, or do you need to contain children to keep them safe when outdoors?
- Are there geographical elements such as views to maintain?
Once you explore the answers to those questions, you will be able to start forming a wood patio cover shape in your mind. To those initial images, add design elements such as the roof of the patio covering. Do you want a flat roof or one with architectural elements or angled appeal? Would you rather have a somewhat open design such as an arbor where you can grow clinging and climbing vines, plants, and flowers to naturally shield and shade?
If your house is a distinctive architectural design, such as one from the Craftsman style, you will likely want to remain true to that and maintain some consistency and authenticity in the design of your wood patio cover. Doing so will be important in maintaining the appearance and value of your home investment. Below are some points to consider for a house of specific design:
- Spanish, Mission, or Southwestern – Use large posts and beams which signify durability and strength. Cut the beams at an angle or decoratively to remain consistent with the home’s architecture – much like the beams in a Spanish Galleon.
- Craftsman or Greene & Greene – Use wood tones and types that match those used within the home and on its exterior. This is important as one of the main facets of Craftsman and Greene & Greene style is that of being in harmony with nature and blending with the home’s surroundings. A confusing look with too many wood grains, stains, or styles will disrupt the home’s harmony. Also use rounded edges and subtle tributes to the accents of the home’s exterior.
- Asian, Zen, or Modern – The objective when building a wood patio cover to suit this style is to keep the lines clean, lean, and sleek, with elegant simplicity. Accent the wood tones through use of stains which bring out the wood’s natural hues and create a contrast against surrounding foliage.
- Tudor or Medieval – Using heavy beams and posts, employ period style joinery with carved accents and dark stains to remain consistent with your home.
Before launching into a full construction process for your wood covered patio – or putting the contractor to work – don’t forget to consider maintenance factors. For example, if your region experiences heavy snows each winter, the roof of your design will likely need to be sloped or allow for easy removal of the heavy snow accumulation. Regardless of where you live and your architectural style, a contractor or other building expert can help determine the best means of constructing a durable, beautiful, and pleasurable wood patio covers which will last for years.
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