Types of Patio Cover

Exploring your options and looking at different designs should be your priority when you want to make the most out of your outdoor living space. If you are looking for a less intrusive architectural way to have shade in your backyard, you must get familiar with the types of patio covers.

As your trusted manufacturer of patio covers, we are here to reveal the three main categorizations of patio covers and explain the differences between them. At the end, you will get expert tips on how to choose the most suitable patio cover type for your backyard.

Types of Patio Covers

Patio covers have evolved throughout the years thanks to new building techniques, creative designs, and advanced materials. Today, you have different types of patio covers to choose from, making it easy for you to pick the perfect one.

Generally, patio covers can be divided into three categories, with the main factors being:

  • Construction type,
  • Design, and
  • Materials used.
Types of Patio Covers

Source: royalcovers.com

Patio roof construction types

There are two patio roof construction types: freestanding and attached. The freestanding patio covers are independent and self-supported structures. They are also known as detached patio covers.

They can be built anywhere you want in your backyard. The best freestanding alumawood patio covers require minimal maintenance, are highly durable, and can be customized according to your preferences and the overall look of your outdoor space.

On the other hand, the attached patio covers are connected to your house or other structure. We can use different methods for attaching the patio cover, such as:

  • Using bolts directly on the exterior wall
  • Using a ledge board to attach the patio roof to the wall
  • Installing a house fascia or eaves
  • Using roof attachment
  • With riser brackets

Some of the reasons why our clients prefer attached patio covers are the possibility of lowering energy consumption, providing shade to the house itself, protecting your house from the elements, and improving aesthetics.

Patio roof construction types

Source: royalcovers.com

Patio cover designs

Depending on the patio design, we distinguish four types of covers: awnings, pergolas, solar screens, and canopies. They generally differ according to the style of the cover.

The awnings are one of the cheapest options for covering your patio. They can be either installed as permanent fixtures or retractable. Awnings can be made from different materials, but the most common ones are acrylic and polyester canvas. Compared to other patio covers, they don’t have walls.

Another type of patio cover is the pergola. But are there different styles of patio covers to choose from?

The pergolas can be divided into two styles: one has a roof made from equally spaced rafters, and the other type of pergola has solid roofs. Currently, the most popular material for pergolas is alumawood, which is known for its durability, non-combustible nature, and resistance to cracks and rotting.

Solar screens are a unique type of patio cover. They hang vertically on a construction, providing excellent shade and temperature regulation. Because of their design, solar screens are typically retractable.

Canopies are also referred to as shade snails. They are pieces of fabric attached to your home or other building structure. Canopies can also be anchored to the ground or on beams. Many choose them because of their affordability and portability.

Patio cover according to the materials used

Another categorization is done considering the patio materials. Generally, patio covers can be made from wood, aluminum, vinyl, fabrics, steel, and alumawood.

All types of patio covers materials we’ve outlined here have their pros and cons. But, the one that stands out from the rest is the alumawood. It offers the best of both worlds– the durability of aluminum and the timeless beauty of wood.

What Is the Best Type of Patio Cover For You?

Choosing between the different types of patio covers is not an easy feat. Luckily, our experts from Royal Covers can make your decision easier. To pick the best from the endless exterior ideas, you should consider several factors.


The materials your patio cover will be made of are of significant importance. The materials themselves will determine the durability, robustness, and overall look of the patio cover.

If you want to enjoy your patio cover for years to come, you should choose high-quality materials. Go with options that are resistant to fading, corrosion, rust, and other wear and tear.

Maintenance requirements

Each type of patio cover has different maintenance requirements. If you are living a busy life, it might be best to invest in a patio cover that doesn’t require regular maintenance.

For instance, if you pick a wooden patio cover, you will have to re-stain and re-paint it once a year. On the other hand, vinyl, alumawood, and aluminum patio covers require low maintenance.


The type of climate you live in should be one of the crucial factors you must consider when choosing from the different types of patio covers. If you live in a windy area, you will probably need a sturdy construction, like a pergola. Furthermore, high-humidity areas are typically not suitable for wooden or metal patio covers. For sunny and hot climates, you should look for a patio cover that offers ample shade and UV protection.

Area you want to cover

The square footage of the outdoor living area you are planning on covering can also help you pick the right patio cover. For smaller areas, retractable options for shade, such as awnings and solar screens, might be perfect. But if you want to cover a larger area, going with a pergola might be the best choice.

Area you want to cover

Source: royalcovers.com


Every patio cover type has a different price tag. Some are on the more expensive side because the materials cost more, and they require more manual labor and time to install. So, if you want us to build you a patio cover, you can provide us with an initial budget, and we can propose the best solution.

Style and preferences

Last but not least, you should take into consideration your style and preferences. Some patio covers look modern and sophisticated, while others give a traditional touch to your home. You should go with a design that will complement your house and backyard while it blends with your personal style and taste.


Patio covers are the best investment if you want to improve your outdoor living space. By knowing the differences between the types of patio covers, you are now ready to make the right decision. Give your trust to experienced patio cover builders and hire our best Royal Cover team. Contact us, and we will help you every step of the way, from design to realization. If you already have something in mind, you can request a free local quote.

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