Article written by Larry Abbott published in the Houston Chronicle on December 18, 2016
In the heat of Houston summer, you may still want to enjoy time outdoors. The shade of a covered outdoor living space is one of the best ways to stay cool in summer. There are several ways to create shade with a deck or patio, creating a cool space to entertain outside year round.
A patio cover is one way to beat the heat and stay dry. Patio covers are either attached to an existing structure or freestanding. If you are planning to build a freestanding patio with cover, remember to situate it where the shade will fall during times you plan to be outside. A patio cover that is attached to your home extends your living space and will help cool your homes exterior surfaces. When planning an attached patio cover, it is essential that the design blends seamlessly with the style of your home.
You have several material options when building your patio cover including wood, vinyl, and stone. There are additional features to think about such as lighting and air circulation. Adding ceiling fans is an excellent way to avoid hot stale air. Recessed lighting can be added so the space can be used day and night.
Another option for shade in your yard is a pergola or arbor. They can provide shade and add visual interest but may not protect from rain. A polycarbonate roof can be added to your pergola to keep the rain out, protect you and your furniture from harmful UV rays, and cool the area.
There are many types and styles of patio covers and pergolas that can be custom built to meet your needs. You may choose to shade the entire side of your home or just a portion of your yard.
Whether you use your outdoor living space to host backyard barbecues, throw pool parties or relax with a good book, a patio or pergola can contribute to the comfort and character of your home. A well-built cover over your patio not only gives you additional shaded space but also adds value to your home.