A new patio cover is going to cost thousands of dollars. It will add value to your home and provide years of service. Therefore, you want to be sure you plan the project carefully. Here are some suggestions we have learned from years of working with hundreds of homeowners.
There are no standard sizes. You should buy the largest cover your area and budget will allow. The area you cover will be the area you use. Next time you attend an outdoor function notice where everybody gathers. Usually they will find some type of shade or protection from the sun.
Where the light?
Lattice or shade bar is our most popular style. Usually because it provides 60-70% shade but still allows light to come through. Full shade or solid patio covers will protect your doors, windows and furnishings from the weather and direct sun. However, they will reduce light from coming in your home. You will need to take this into consideration when deciding on what style to choose. If your covered area faces the West or South then solid may be best. Either way you will save money on your home cooling energy bills.
You can choose from wood, vinyl, aluminum or polycarbonate. My earlier blogs can help you understand the features and benefits of each except for wood. I cannot imagine why anyone would choose wood when they are so many quality alternatives. Wood will give you years of expensive maintenance until it is eaten by termites or rots from the elements.
Yes, your local city will require a permit even if you are replacing an old patio cover. Your contractor will take care of the plans and applications and pull it for you. The cost can vary dramatically from city to city. You can call the Department of Building and Safety in your city and ask for an estimate of the permit fees. A dirty little secret is that many cities are raising their permit fees as a silent method of extracting money from their citizens.
Many things effect the cost such as demo of old cover, footings (if required), permits, style, size, etc. You can call a contractor and discuss budgets and it is always good to get multiple bids.
If you are planning a backyard remodeling project, be sure to include your patio cover in the overall plans. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is to call us in when the landscaping is completed. You can usually save money by bringing your landscape contractor and patio cover contractor together before work begins.