There's nothing better than a comfortable patio, unless you add the perfect roof to top it all off! A roof allows use of the patio when the sun is at the highest part of the sky, and some allow use of the area even when it is raining. Thankfully, finding adesign is much easier now than it was in the recent past. There are now more options available to help you find that perfect roof for your patio. In particular, the introduction of the Internet and home design software has made choosing the correct design easier and more exact.
Some software gives the option of seeing different styles that might go well with your existing patio or that might simply attach to the home itself. There are several steps to follow when trying to make it an easier task to find a design that is perfect for each patio. Here's how.
Match the patio to the style of your home. Start by looking at the home plans or figuring out the year the home was built. This may help determine the style of roof that is appropriate for your home. Your choice in roof design may also be influenced by whether the patio is attached or separate from the home structure.
Check if the home is on a historical register. If the home is older, it could be on a preservation list or a National Historic Register, which may force the homeowner to meet some additional building or zoning requirements. Check this at the federal, state, and city levels. Many times the owner of the home will know this at the time of purchase. If the home was newly purchased or purchased at auction and is undergoing improvements before the sale is completed, it may be necessary to check this prior to making any patio or building improvements. It is essential to stay within these types of guidelines to avoid patio or roof construction problems later.
Use local resources. Look for potential patio and roof styles in the local library and in historic pictures of homes in the area. This will be especially helpful if the design plans must be approved by a local historical board or council, in particular, on a historic home. Historic photos or plans may show patio or roofing styles that cannot be found in newer books nor online.
Check books on patios and patio roofs. Many are available at any building supply store, bookstore or other store that carries Do It Yourself books. Determine if any particular styles really catch your eye. Homeowners or designers may have a particular style in mind, but the desired style may not coordinate with the existing home type and/or age of the home. You may decide to change the original style because of an obvious style clash with the home or with existing structures. For example: A Victorian home, in a much older neighborhood, would most likely not fit together visually with a modern type roof on the patio.
Check websites that offer patio roof pictures. Nothing can beat the opportunity to actually see how different roofs achieve their desired effect. There are even sites that may offer free patio plans, while some will require a payment for the chosen roof plans.
To get started with some basic ideas, consider common and simple patio roof design options such as:
- A Canopy. Canopies made from a durable and often waterproof fabric offer shade when the sun is too strong and roll up when you want more sun to fall onto your patio.
- An Umbrella. This is an inexpensive way to add a quick roof to your patio. Once the umbrella is hoisted up or cranked open over your table, you can leisurely dine outside or get out of the sun when you need to.
- Corrugated metal or plastic roofing. Secures to supporting posts. It allows you to be protected from the elements while listening to the pitter-patter of the rain falling down. In particular, an aluminum roof can be inexpensive and easy to install.
- Glass roof. Enjoy great visibility as you sit on your patio with a glass roof. There are even tinted glass roofs available these days.
- Gazebo/Pergola-style roof. Often seen made of wood with overlapping shingles. May be built with a metal or wrought iron frame. You can trellis fruiting or flowering vines down the sides to add privacy.
- Greenhouse-style roof. Extend your growing season by adding a roof made from glass in the style of a greenhouse. This works especially well if your patio gets a southern exposure.
- Green roof. Gaining in popularity, a green roof is one that has moss or plants growing on it.
Lastly, be sure to obtain all required building permits prior to beginning any construction. In some cities and counties, a permit is required to build a patio, roof, or any other structure. The cost of the permit is usually determined by the local permit office and by the size of the project.
Once the style has been chosen, blueprints should be printed and any required permits must be obtained before roof construction can begin. You're now ready to build! As you can see, there are many issues that may influence the choice of patio or patio roof. Some of these are age of the home, any historic issues, whether the patio is attached or detached, the age of the surrounding homes in the neighborhood, and approval by any local permit office and any neighborhood covenants enforced for the area. By following these steps, the appropriate, desired roof can be chosen easily.