4 Types of Patio Covers — Which is Right for You?

Large cedar pergola

We love the outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest. Whether rain or snow, you’ll find us biking, hiking, kayaking, and more! However, the outdoor spaces of one’s own home often get overlooked as a place to enjoy year-round. No matter the season or the weather, you should feel comfortable in your yard, and the best way to do so is to upgrade your deck or patio with a cover!

Read on to learn the benefits of installing a patio cover, and get the details on four popular styles: wood-framed, aluminum, acrylic, and pergola.

Benefits of Installing a Patio Cover

If you want to get more use out of your outdoor space, patio covers are the perfect solution. And it’ll help your yard, deck, or patio feel more like an extension of the inside of your home. Plus, a patio cover will:

  • Shield outdoor furniture from the elements: Protect your patio furniture from sun damage and snowstorms to preserve its appearance and functionality.
  • Enhance your home’s appearance: A well-designed patio cover will improve the aesthetic of your house and outdoor space.
  • Be easy to maintain: Many patio covers are easy to maintain and can protect things that are less convenient to clean.
  • Increase your home’s value: Building a patio cover can improve your home’s resale value.
  • Provide sweet entertainment space: Patio covers are ideal for hosting gatherings such as barbeques.

Does your patio cover need a permit? Find out!

Consider the beauty and customizable options of wood-framed patio covers

Wood-framed patio covers work exceptionally well with the craftsman-style homes that are popular in the Pacific Northwest. Created in opposition to the trendy Victorian style of the early 20th century, craftsman architecture values natural materials and forms, which is why these homes meld so beautifully with wood covers.

Wood is always a popular choice since it’s affordable and can be customized in many ways. It also adds a timeless style to outdoor spaces. Plus, the solid ceiling allows for cool breezes while shielding people, pets, and furniture from the rain, sun, and wind.

Wood-framed patio covers may include features like exposed beams, wood soffits, and powder-coated brackets that can complement or even match the look of your home.

Flat Wood Frame Cover in Portland, OR

Rick’s Custom Fencing can make your cover look like an original part of your home by tying it into the wall line or custom finishing the cover directly into an existing roof. Effective wood-framed covers will not only extend your living space to the outdoors but will also increase the value of your home.

Learn more and check out our wood-framed patio cover gallery!

Aluminum patio covers offer convenience and durability

Aluminum patio covers by Duralum are a high-quality, durable option. Duralum’s Weatherwood covers boast the appearance of wood with the strength of aluminum. With four unique design cuts and nine colors to choose from, you can have a natural wood look without the worry of rotting and deterioration. Built to withstand wind, heavy loads, and earthquakes, Duralum covers last for years.

Thanks to a protective Dupont Teflon coating, hassle-free maintenance makes Duralum popular among homeowners. You only need to lightly scrub Duralum with soap and water to restore it to its original look. Plus, the material isn’t susceptible to pest infestations and won’t rust, crack, or peel, even in extreme weather.

A Duralum patio cover in a back yard

At Rick’s, we think ranch-style homes work exceptionally well with Duralum Weatherwood. These covers can be installed on a roof over the wall line with relative ease, keeping the whole patio dry and protected. Thanks to our use of the Sky-Lift Bracket System, your patio cover will be securely attached to your home to withstand strong winds.

Weatherwood products adhere to the same strict standards – from design to quality control to engineering specifications – and all meet or exceed national building codes. Duralum products also have a transferable lifetime full warranty and a twenty-year limited warranty. Get the natural look of a solid wood structure with aluminum’s durability and maintenance-free performance! and a twenty-year limited warranty. Get the natural look of a solid wood structure with the durability and maintenance-free performance of aluminum!

Learn more and view our Duralum patio cover gallery!

Acrylic patio covers are great for enjoying the sun

For modern-style homes with bold colors and defined lines, consider an Acrilyte patio cover. Available in four different finishes, Acrilyte covers feature powder-coated aluminum frames and acrylic panels that block UV rays while providing plenty of light. Even on overcast days, you’ll love how the Acrilyte patio cover beautifully diffuses the light. They’re shatter-resistant and not affected by hot, cold, or wet weather so they won’t peel or rust.

Built in the Pacific Northwest, Acrilyte was designed to last for years while withstanding the weather the region is known for. Acrilyte patio covers are low maintenance, requiring little more than a scrub with soap and water to look like new. Pick from various solar tints and heat stop options for extra protection and added longevity.

Acrylite Cover in Salem, OR

Learn more and check out our Acrilyte patio cover gallery!

Pergolas are both versatile and stylish

Pergolas offer many benefits, making them a popular and versatile addition to outdoor spaces. They provide an elegant aesthetic to decks, patios, gardens, and more, but perhaps their best feature is how customizable they can be. During the warmer months, pergolas allow for natural light while providing enough shade to keep cool. You can also add a cover to the top to keep you dry during the rainy months.

Available in a wide array of materials, we have found that Rick’s customers in the Tri-Cities love our vinyl and easy-to-maintain Duralam options, both of which are available in several colors. Meanwhile, our Portland customers can enjoy the pergola benefits while adding acrylic panels to provide further protection from the elements.

White Vinyl Pergola

Learn more and check out our pergola patio cover gallery!

Does my patio cover need a permit?

At Rick’s, we often get questions about permits. While the exact information depends on your municipality, we always advocate for being cautious to avoid an issue in the future!

Although it may vary by municipality, most areas adhere to the rule that you need a permit if your cover is over 200 sq. feet. Many people think a permit isn’t required if it’s not attached to the house. However, that’s a common misconception. Even a free-standing structure built on your property needs a permit if it’s more than 200 sq. feet. Many covers over a specific size will also require engineering to ensure the cover will be built solid enough to withstand things like potential snow load and wind gusts.

What happens if I don't get a permit?

Deciding not to get a permit when one is required can be a very costly mistake for a few reasons. Imagine these scenarios:

  1. A neighbor calls in a complaint about your cover to the city, resulting in a search for an on-file permit. When none is found, you will be forced to take out the cover or get a permit afterward. If your cover was not built to code, this could mean costly structural changes or a total rebuild.
  2. You list your home for sale, and during the inspection, the prospective buyers search for a permit on file. Without this permit, they can either require you to get one after the fact (which can be very costly or mean a total rebuild, as we mentioned), or they use it to negotiate your home sale price.
  3. Your cover falls, causing injury to someone or damage to your home. Homeowner’s insurance will not cover liability or damages if the cover was built without a permit, putting the cost of repairs squarely on you.

Enjoy your patio all year long

Are you interested in a patio cover? Contact Rick’s Fencing and Decking to schedule your free estimate and design consultation. We’ll work with you to find the best possible solution for your needs! Learn why we’ve been trusted throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 40 years.


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