Patio Canopies: Protecting Your Patio From the Elements…


Photo Credit: By Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash. CC0 License

Most working individuals with families target a home as their primary investment. Since the home is generally considered symbolic of one’s social status, many exert much effort to make their homes a beautiful and comfortable one without sacrificing functionality and the budget. This attitude also helps boost the property’s value and makes the dwelling a personal statement of the homeowner.

This motivation drives a multi-billion dollar market for home refurbishments, fixtures and related maintenance and services. One particular segment that thrives on home building and renovation is the market for patio canopies, covers and accessories.

The exposure that patios have to rain, snow, sun and the elements has made canopy manufacturers come up with varying models made of different materials to address this concern. For added comfort, canopy makers typically offer waterproof systems with roof tensioning and related support to prevent water accumulation. Made-to-order patio canopies can take 3-4 weeks before delivery.

One solution to protect patios from nature is the use of aluminum patio cover kits and retractable awnings. Such outdoor patio covers are generally for long-term use, maintenance-free and comply with standard municipal load ratings and provisions of the International Building Code. The retractable quality allows one to adjust awnings depending on the weather condition. Aluminum canopies also come in do-it-yourself models that can be used to augment a current deck, as carports or, for wealthier homeowners living near the water who have boats – protection for their vessels. Extended patio canopies allow homeowners practically continuous appreciation of the outdoors.

Patio canopies also have use for residences with a swimming pool, the backyard deck or other large and exposed areas. These flexible and pre-engineered structures can be attached to an existing home, over the target area to be covered or set up as a stand-alone unit. Canopies can also be made of steel while maintaining their retractability and flexibility. For added comfort, privacy or security, some manufacturers even offer screen attachments to close off a desired area. For wide-open patios, canopies effectively make them an extension of the house or a new room – giving the homeowner wider space and more comfort.

Homeowners have a wide range of options to better protect their patios and homes in general, ensuring also that visiting family and friends can be entertained outside regardless of weather conditions. Canopies also allow the owner to read a book, have tea or simply relax outside on the patio without any worry. Some canopy makers offers terms for individuals seeking a custom-made look with wind-release protection, awning flexibility and other desired features.

The US Census Bureau has noted that backyard patios have become an increasing fixture of new single-family homes: 45% of such dwellings have them, rising from 37% in 1992. This increase has fuelled a related jump in outdoor furniture sales: Figures from the American Home Furnishings Alliance reported a 129% increase in purchases of canopies, tables and other outdoor items from $1bn more than 10 years ago to $2.3bn in 2003.

That surge in demand has made retailers increase their focus on outdoor collections, with Hold Everything and West Elm launching their initial outdoor line in 2005. Separately, Restoration Hardware covered outdoor entertaining on 52 pages of its summer catalog, more than double the 25 pages it devoted to the category in 2004.

Some canopy covers are made from heavy-duty vinyl and are available in various sizes, allowing for easy maintenance and storage. Several makers offer vinyl patio units with limited 15-year warranties. As an alternative, companies also offer lattice patio cover kits created primarily for garden settings.

The market already offers patio canopies made from Alumawood, or aluminum material that feels and looks like wood. The product does not pose any of the problems identified with wood, including peeling, warping, repainting and termite attacks.

Patio canopies also extend beyond the residential market. Eide Industries, Inc. offers both permanent and temporary or portable models, with frames made from aluminum tubing or galvanized steel and fabric covers made from an extensive line of canvas products, for businesses and other non-residential users.

These exterior and interior products appeal to restaurants, resorts, hotels, retail shops, convention centers, theme parks, and exhibits and trade shows. For businesses fronted by a sidewalk, setting up a canopy along the path would help shade passers-by and also possibly draw potential customers to the shop. Combined with appropriate lighting at night, patio canopies add to the overall look of a business even during off-hours.

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