Many of us have a patio at our place, but unfortunately cannot enjoy sitting on it when the sun glare and heat is too harsh, or if it is raining. The best way to enjoy the patio even in such weather is to cover it. Patio covers are basically simple structures which can be erected even with the simplest possible tools and materials.
The arbor is the most commonly used patio cover, which is simply a framework or a structure that also acts as a support or structure for the growth of creepers and plants like orchids, that need support while growing. The arbor is usually made up of wood or metal. The structure is supported by vertically erected columns that are made of the same material. The top part is a grid or a matrix of lightweight beams. Once the arbor has been installed and the roof erected, you can plant or hang creepers and orchids on the structure. This helps in making the patio cooler. The only drawback of the arbor is that it does not protect the patio from the rain. Hence, one cannot use the patio while it is raining.
A very nice idea is to use a less heavy and compatible roof to prevent the rain from failing on the patio. The roof tiles can also be mounted or attached on the arbor itself. However, if you are planning to do so, then you need sturdy material, like metal or wood, for the arbor.
Among the unconventional ideas is the 'sail away' method. The sail is actually a piece of canvas that is sometimes also hundred percent waterproof, and can be attached to supporting poles, or can be tied down to the top of the arbor. Using a sail can be very convenient, as the sail can be easily tied to the arbor, and can also be removed as and when needed.
Another idea is to use different patio umbrellas. Like the sail, umbrellas can also be very convenient, as they can be easily put up for use and can also be removed very quickly. These umbrellas are also available in varied fashions, colors, and sizes. Manufacturers are coming up with some highly innovative ideas, like hanging umbrellas, ones shaped like canopies, or the simple ones that can be placed on a single stand. The only drawback is that these umbrellas cannot cover the whole patio.
A very weird idea would be where the whole patio is covered to resemble a different room. The sides of the patio have huge French doors, and it has a totally covered up roof. The advantage of such an enclosure is that one can use the patio in any kind of weather. However, the disadvantage of this kind of construction is that the patio effectively becomes a room with French doors, and all the features of an open patio cannot be enjoyed.