Let's pretend you worked hard to make your patio a beautiful place to relax. It cost you a lot of money, too, because you wanted everything to be perfect. After all, it's too nice to have to stay indoors in beautiful weather, and you look forward to entertaining friends in the lovely and comfortable environment. Naturally, you're extremely disappointed when you invite friends over for a barbecue on Friday evening only to have the weather rain your party out. You start wondering what good a space is that can not be used when you want to use it. Instead of feeling depressed over the situation, you need to become proactive. Adding patio covers to these spaces can have a positive impact on the times you can use them.
Patio covers do not have to be unsightly. I can remember those old plastic ones that ended up fading and sagging, and they really were ugly. The covers of today have been designed to enhance your property while giving you the protection you need. Some of them are ever retractable so that you can open them when it's raining or the sun's too hot and close them back up to soak up a few rays.
There are many great looking styles of stationary canopies and pergolas for your patio, too. You can choose from models with lattice tops or solid ones, and the they can either be open to the sky or have panels of acrylic that allow the light to shine through while still keeping the rain out. Many of the covers you'll find are made of aluminum, but there are others built of wood or PVC. PVC patio covers are built over a steel frame giving them the combined durability of the steel with the maintenance free qualities of the PVC.
For more formal covered patios, you might want to consider a pergola or a gazebo. A pergola offers a criss-crossed ceiling that you can leave plain or encourage vines to grow on for more protection. A gazebo is actually a small outdoor space in itself with walls, floors, and a roof. A gazebo gives you a nice, intimate way to spend time outside in the fresh air while keeping both the bugs and rain off of you.