Having a patio or deck makes your backyard more enjoyable but hot sunny days or rainy afternoons limit the amount of time you can actually use them. Adding a backyard shade structure provides protection from harsh UV rays, allowing you to spend more time outdoors relaxing, dining, or entertaining friends and family.
Patio covers and awnings are two popular choices for homeowners who want to spend more time enjoying their backyards. Both awnings and patio covers provide shade and rain protection for decks, patios, and porches. As with most choices, there are pros and cons for each and it’s important to consider a number of factors before deciding which is best for your home and lifestyle.
Comparing Patio Covers and Awnings
Awnings are covers that are attached to a home and protect a deck or patio from sun and rain. Most awnings are made of a combination of heavy fabric, aluminum, fiberglass, wood, or other materials. Retractable and fixed models are both widely available. Retractable awnings are more expensive than their fixed counterparts.
Patio covers are permanent structures usually made of vinyl, wood, or aluminum. They are usually attached to the side of a home and have support beams and gutters at each corner. They can be built on existing decks or patios. They can also be built as a free-standing structure in a backyard.
There are pros and cons to both but patio covers are superior to awnings in several important ways:
A permanent patio cover is designed to withstand sun, rain, wind, and snowfall. A patio cover significantly lowers the temperature on a deck or patio on hot sunny days, making it safer and more comfortable. Awnings provide protection from sunshine and light rainfall but can’t match the protection a permanent patio cover provides.
Fabric awnings are vulnerable to mold and mildew, stains, and tears. Awnings are not designed to handle high winds and must be retracted or removed when extreme weather conditions occur. Patio covers are durable and can withstand years of harsh sun, wind, rain, hail, and snowfall.
Both retractable and fixed awnings need regular maintenance. Regular cleanings are recommended and that involves scrubbing down the fabric to remove buildup and checking for tears, fraying, and other damage. An aluminum patio cover rarely needs more than a quick rinse with a garden hose to remove dust and pollen.
The size of your existing deck or patio is an important factor to consider. Retractable awnings are usually limited in size and provide less coverage than a permanent patio cover. Patio covers built by RainTight of the Carolinas are customized to fit your space perfectly. If your deck is larger than 20 feet wide and you want full coverage, a permanent patio cover is likely your best option.
5. Creature Comforts
Homeowners want more out of their outdoor spaces than ever before. A permanent patio cover can be insulated and wired to allow for electricity. These features allow homeowners to add ceiling fans, lighting, and entertainment systems. A waterproof patio cover makes dining, entertaining, or relaxing outdoors more comfortable year-round.
While the cost of adding an awning to your home will be lower than adding a permanent patio cover, even the best awnings need to be replaced every five to ten years, so it’s important to factor replacement costs into your decision. If you want a long-lasting shade structure, a patio cover will last for many years and require little to no maintenance.
7. Home Value
The right patio cover can add both style and value to your home when it comes time to sell. Homebuyers want usable outdoor space and they are often willing to pay more to get it. With a patio cover, you’ll be able to add more functional square footage to your home without the cost of a traditional home addition.
Ready for a Low Maintenance Patio Cover?
Determining whether to invest in a patio cover or an awning depends on your lifestyle, climate, and the amount of time you want to spend outdoors. For people who live in particularly warm or wet climates, nothing beats the convenience and protection of a permanent patio cover.
RainTight of the Carolinas makes all of our systems from high-quality aluminum which is durable, easy to clean, and requires virtually no maintenance. We offer both insulated and non-insulated patio covers designed to suit your budget.
Our patio covers come in a variety of colors, styles, and designs to complement your home’s architecture. No matter which option you choose, you’ll get an attractive shade structure that will last for decades.
RainTight of the Carolinas serves customers in a roughly 200-mile radius from Charlotte, North Carolina. Call us at (704) 322-3055 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to working with you.