The major drawback to a full shade or solid patio cover is the loss of light coming through the doors and windows covered. Maybe that is why lattice is our most popular style. But there are some possible solutions. Polycarbonate….If it is good enough for the windshield of an aircraft it will work on a patio cover roof. stronger than glass, polycarbonate is our most popular material to meet this challenge.
Skyvue Patio Covers (www.aluminumrailing.com) offer a very well built patio cover. The frame is powder coated extruded aluminum and is available in eight colors. The polycarbonate comes tinted with 50% or 75% shading. It will filter 98% of the harmful UV rays. This patio cover will provide the most protection while allowing the most light than any other patio cover on the market.
Metals USA offers the Illumaview Natural Light System as an option to their Elitewood Insulated patio cover. The insulated patio cover is 3″ thick, walkable and comes with their exclusive Kynar finish. The Illumaview system consists of polycarbonate panels 16″ wide that run the length of the patio cover. They can be placed every 4′ or according to the width of your patio cover. This system is perfect when you need maximum protection but want to allow some light over doors or windows.
Another option is to build a lattice patio cover and install polycarbonate panels either over the entire cover or just areas where you want some protection. The polycarbonate comes in 4′ wide sheets in either clear or bronze tint. They are connected at the seams to prevent leaking. This system is the least expensive and is very flexible. You can protect a small area such as a doorway or window or a large area such as your outdoor furniture. This type of installation has the benefit of being very flexible and allows you to create and design your project as you like it.