The rundown on home patio covers

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Although my car temperature gauge has been ranging in the 80s and 90s, small signs of fall still abound. I can’t help but notice the leaves changing color and the milder temperatures at night. We have also been welcoming the occasional early-morning rainfall, with peekaboo rainbow views on the morning commute.

After one cool night, I hurried to the store to stock up on some outdoor accessories. While many turn to alfresco entertaining in the summer months, I much prefer taking our dinner parties outdoors when the climate has calmed. Every now and then, the rain pours in, and I am so grateful for our patio cover. What is a patio cover, and why do you need one? How have they changed? I turned to expert Steven LoBue, of Windows Hawaii, for answers to some frequently asked questions.

WHY USE THEM?

“Patio covers are a great addition to anyone’s backyard or patio,” LoBue said. “They give homeowners more flexibility and use of their backyards that otherwise would be less enjoyable because of the hot summer sun or rain.”

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THEM?

Patio covers can stand on their own, or you can use them as an insulated roof system for an enclosed screen or sunroom, according to LoBue. This gives you the freedom to enjoy the open air as much or as little as you want.

HOW HAVE THEY EVOLVED?

Patio covers are not a new innovation, but the newer models come with features the old ones could not provide. Previously, homeowners shied away from patio covers because they often inhibited natural light from entering their home. However, thanks to a new skylight system by 4Seasons, this is no longer the case.

The IllumiView Skylights let sunlight through so you won’t be completely darkening your kitchen, dining or living room,” LoBue said. “It is UV protected, so the light comes through without the heat and energy from the sun. It’s the perfect complement for your new patio cover and only available from 4Seasons and Windows Hawaii.”

Patio covers have also evolved to make things like installing ceiling fans or overhead lights easier. Insulated roof panels contain embedded, internal electrical channels. Other upgrades to newer patio covers include vinyl leaf guards for preventing leaves and debris from clogging gutters, noise absorption materials to minimize loud sounds from rain, and stronger materials to allow you to walk on top of the cover for maintenance or painting, if needed.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.