Pros and Cons of Various Patio Covers

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Adding a cover to your outdoor patio can make the space more comfortable, and create an attractive area that blends well with your home's exterior. Since there are many different types of patio covers and structures from which to choose, note some pros and cons of each of these, and this will help you to create a welcoming outdoor oasis that you'll enjoy for many years to come.


A pergola may have an Asian look to it, as the ends of the roof beams of a pergola usually curve in a style that is popular in Asian architecture. However, these structures can be made with any type of wood and in any type of style, so you can opt for something very modern or with less of an Asian flair, if you prefer. A simple pergola may have fixed roof beams that let light through those slats, whereas some structures might have roof slats on hinges that you can twist open closed, according to your comfort levels.

The downside of pergolas is that they tend to stand out from the home's exterior and may look a bit out of place. A pergola may also seem somewhat small and insignificant outside a larger home with long exterior walls.

Shade sails

Shade sails offer some flexibility in the shade they provide, as you can typically pull the cords to which they're affixed and adjust the angle of the canvas, just as you do with boat sails. However, these sails may look a bit rustic, and may even be too colourful for some people's tastes. Depending on the material chosen, shade sails may also not be completely watertight, so they allow rainwater to come through. In turn, anything stored under the sails may not be protected from water damage, and you may not be able to enjoy your patio during a rainstorm or other such inclement weather.

Gable patio cover

A custom gable patio cover is like an extension of your home, similar to a carport but not quite as small, and built with materials meant to coordinate with the home's exterior. This makes a gable patio cover very attractive, rather than looking like an afterthought or quick and cheap add-on. 

A gable patio cover will typically have a very tall ceiling so that it won't trap heat, something to consider if you tend to barbecue or cook on your patio. The solid roof of a gable patio cover also provides maximum protection from hot summer sun, rain, and other such inclement weather.