Q: What is the best pergola / patio cover for me?

A: This sounds like an easy question to answer, but it actually is not. With the many choices offered by today’s manufacturers, the honest answer is “It depends upon your needs”.

You first have to answer a few simple questions to get make it easier to compare the different styles available. What am I protecting myself from with the cover? Is it sun? Rain? Wind? Both? Or am I just trying to create a friendly outdoor space?

There are basically two types of patio covers. Ones that are fixed (can’t move) and the ones that are movable or adjustable. Both can provide protection from the weather. The big advantage of an adjustable cover is that you can actually control the weather by allowing or blocking the rain and the sun’s rays. For a more detailed explanation, please visit our PATIO COVERS & PERGOLAS page.

Q: What is the difference between a pergola and a patio cover?

A: The honest answer is, “These days, not much!”

If we were splitting hairs, a pergola would be considered a stand-alone structure with an open roof supported by posts or columns. A pergola could be used to cover any walk or pathway or simply to provide filtered shade for an outdoor living space. Pergolas have a rich history dating from the gardens of 17th-century Italy. They evolved from connected wooden vines used as walkways or tunnels. Although pergolas fell out of design favor in the 18th and 19th centuries, they made a huge comeback as current homeowners now seek outdoor options with personality and design flair.

Pergolas create and define outdoor areas and provide a spot to enjoy the environment. They are often designed to frame and define a special view or to soften the transition between outdoor and indoor spaces. The word pergola is now commonly used interchangeably with the term patio covers.

A patio cover is most often attached to a structure and provides shade, sun protection and/or rain protection for a deck, patio or outside area. A patio cover may have a solid or an open roof which could be fixed or adjustable. The term patio cover is used interchangeably with pergola. Either way, we speak your language.

Q: How does an adjustable patio cover control the weather?

A: Adjustable patio covers control the weather with louvers. Louvers are a horizontal slat that is angled to keep in or let out light, air, rain and wind. Because they rotate, they allow you to choose to let in more or less light and air to suit the weather. They fully close to keep out 100% of the rain. Louvers adjust a full 180 degrees. They can be opened and closed either manually or through motorized operators.

Louvers provide excellent ventilation and rain protection for your outdoor space. When the louvers come together in the closed position, they become rain channels. These channels move the rain away from the house and patio. A quality louver should be extruded, thick gauge aluminum that stands up to bad weather and stays rust-free for a lifetime.

A well designed louver system improves your outdoor living rooms by giving you control of the temperature and lighting. The adjustable louver system limits uncomfortable brightness and redirects sunlight regardless of the season. In certain positions, angle of the louvers vents the air can naturally cool your porch or patio. This is one way you can take advantage of every season by extending your leisure time in the outdoors.

Q: What type of materials can they be made out of?

A: In the San Francisco Bay area, pergolas and patio covers are typically made of wood, metal, vinyl and a clear, protective, space-age polymer. Each has its own design advantages. Depending upon the architectural style of your home or building plan, these materials can complement or update any existing style and make your property look amazing.

Q: Can the adjustable patio covers combine with fixed covers in the design?

A: The design possibilities are endless. Combining louvered, lattice, see-through, insulated and aluminum pergola patio covers gives you greater control of the functionality of your newly added outdoor space. Take a look at our PATIO COVER & PERGOLA slide show. There are many examples of every style to choose from. Tame the weather in style.

Q: Can we build a pergola over and existing deck?

A: Yes! Once the deck is inspected properly for safety, let the design fun begin. Many decks are baked by harsh sunlight and heat. Creating shelter from the elements, while beautifying your outdoors, is an excellent way of truly enjoying your outdoor space.

Q: Can outdoor kitchens and entertainment spaces fit in the design?

A: While planning your outdoor area, you should always have a written wish list. This makes it easier for you and the designers to get the very most out of your space. Printing pictures and ideas makes it more fun and exciting to dream big and assure you get exactly what you want.

Q: Who will help me with my design?

A: Come visit our showroom where we display the many design options available today. See a working demonstration of how adjustable covers allow you to control sunlight, wind and rain. Our talented staff has years of successful design experience which will make it easy to determine which type of system will meet your personal and design needs.

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