A patio is a great addition to your home, and with a patio cover, you can extend it into a living space that adds value and usability to your home. The cover allows you to get more use from the patio during adverse weather conditions that would normally keep you inside. 

Plus, the cover helps to protect patio furniture or other accessories. You can add to your patio space when you have cover, too, such as installing electricity or hanging a swing. 

A patio cover is an investment, especially if you go for quality, as it's well worth it. The cover will pay off big in the overall value it adds to your patio and outdoor space. 

However, before you buy any old cover, you need to take some time to consider the design you need. You want to keep in mind some things as you shop to ensure you buy the cover that works for your needs and provides you the usability you desire. 

Match to the space.

One of the first things you should do is ensure that any cover you choose matches your home and space. It may look odd to do a modern patio cover design for a traditionally styled home. It can help to look over some various styles available. Check out sites, such as, to get a better idea of the available designs for patio covers.

You want to consider every aspect of the design, including the shape and size. Think about any specific features you'd like, too, such as a ceiling fan or lighting. All of these details will impact the overall look.

Being careful with your material choices can also help ensure a good match. Each material has its own general style or look, according to UrDesign Magazine. Wood can be pricey, but it comes in many finishes and colors. It has a classic look to it.

Aluminum is a long-lasting and durable option. It's almost completely maintenance-free. However, it's an expensive option and can have a very harsh, utilitarian look to it. Alumawood is an aluminum product with a wood look. It gives you the softness of wood that's a classic look with the durability and maintenance-free upkeep of aluminum. 

A popular option is vinyl. It's highly affordable and almost maintenance-free. It also has a modern look that matches well with various looks. 

Keep in mind as you consider the material that you want to match it to the finishes in your home. This creates a cohesive look and helps the patio to blend into the rest of your home. 

Consider coverage.

When working on the overall design or blueprint for your patio coverage, you want to think about the amount of coverage you'll need. This may depend largely on the climate in which you live, but also think about how you want to use your patio. 

You'll want to think about things such as whether you need protection from the sun or wind or if you want rain protection. Different styles work best for various situations, so keep this in mind. 

A pergola is an open design without a solid roof. It works nicely in a climate where it doesn't rain a lot or if you don't mind not being able to use your patio in rainy weather. You can use it to grow vine plants that can cover the rafters and columns to create a very earthy look. It also provides nice shade, while allowing complete wind movement throughout the patio area. 

A lattice style is very similar to a pergola. The difference is in the layout of the roofing. A pergola is very linear in style, while the lattice design has many intersections of the pieces. It's a more contemporary style. 

A solid roof provides you with full protection from the elements. It also provides some protection for the side of your home and makes your patio more like a three-season room. Of course, it also reduces sun exposure, which could make the patio rather dark. 

Set a budget.

It's very easy to overspend when it comes to a patio cover if you're not careful. It helps to set your budget upfront and stick to it. Know what you can spend and consider where you want to spend your money. For example, if your concerns are more about durability than style, you may want to spend the bulk of your budget on a durable material rather than on the design aspects. 

Don't forget that costs will include material and labor. You'll have to give yourself enough money to get a good overall value, while not discounting either materials or labor too much that it will compromise quality. 

It will also help if you define what a good value means to you. Do you want something that will last for many years with little maintenance, or you want to focus more on the overall style and how it will look? Consider if you want this project to add to the value of your home. If so, do some research to determine what it should be like to add enough to your home value to make it a worthwhile project. 

Make sure that whatever budget you set, it allows you to meet your overall goals. You need to be realistic about it. You may run into a situation where you need to wait one more year to save back enough funds to make it work the way you want. That's fine. It's far better to wait and buy what you want, rather than settle for what you can afford. 

The Bottom Line

After making all the considerations, you should be able to choose your patio cover fairly easily. The best thing is that by taking time to think about your purchase and plan out your needs, you'll ensure you're happy with the final product and will get many years of use from it.