Patio covers are important to protect your patio from the elements and animals, namely rain, snow, sun and bird droppings. However, patio covers can be very expensive to build on top of the cost it took to build the patio in the first place. Sometimes homemade, do-it-yourself patio covers are the best way to go, depending on your time and budget and what skills you have at rigging a cover for the patio.
Bed Sheets, Canvas or Rain Tarp
A cover of a patio can be simply that: something to cover a patio. On the incredibly cheap and low-end of patio coverings, you can use a large bedsheet suspended between the edge of the house and poles tied to the edge of the patio with rope. This may be a bit tacky and might not hold up well to the elements. A canvas or cloth covering is a more durable option; it will hold up better because it is a heavier material. A rain tarp that can be bought at a hardware store is another easy-to-install option that will withstand almost every element effectively, though it may look tacky.
Patio Cover Kit
Patio cover kits have become popular as they are professional materials for covering a patio, but they require some do-it-yourself know-how. The kits come in three types: aluminum, insulated aluminum and steel. Steel is the best and most expensive, though it can hold incredibly heavy objects such as ceiling fans and light fixtures once it is properly installed. Insulated aluminum patio covers have a layer of foam between the aluminum pieces that helps the aluminum keep shape in extreme weather and helps keeps heat off those sitting on the patio. Aluminum covers are the cheapest and easiest to install.
Homemade Wooden Cover
With a bit of hard work and construction skills, you can build a wooden cover over a patio. Holes should first be dug for four support beans that will be evenly spaced apart around the patio. Support beams that will rise to the height of your patio cover should be secured in the holes with cement. Once the support beams are secure and the cement has dried, crossbeams should be attached from one support beam to the other. Slats or boards should be run across the top of the supports, depending on what kind of wooden cover you want. All the wood should also be well-treated before being joined.