Aluminum & Alumawood Patio Covers
The benefits, options & cost of aluminum patio covers
Aluminum patio covers are popular because they require very little maintenance and are easy to install. Unlike wood, aluminum will not rot or become infested with insects. An aluminum patio cover will provide your family a shady place to gather for many years with minimal upkeep.
Aluminum patio covers are available in attached or free-standing models. You can choose from a solid roof or an open lattice design. Additionally, there are a variety of colors available from the manufacturers. There is also an option to upgrade from basic posts to decorative columns. Other aluminum patio cover options include gutters and downspouts as well as recessed lighting.
There are two types of aluminum patio covers. The first is basic aluminum panels, the second is known as Alumawood. Alumawood mimics the look and texture of natural wood. The aluminum beams are embossed with an authentic wood grain texture. You can also get decorative end caps that will make your patio cover appear even more like real wood.
Aluminum takes special tools to work with, so is usually available in pre-manufactured pergola kits. “They typically have a pre-set kit, and then we customize them a little bit,” Ryan Aakre of Signature Landscapes Inc. in Fargo, ND. Depending on the manufacturer, you can order your kit with different columns or angled corners, but Aakre says it’s best to keep requests fairly simple so the design intent isn’t lost over the phone. Baron Biedenweg from Archadeck of Fort Wayne, IN also likes working with aluminum. “It’s got a good paint system designed to withstand the elements,” he says, “and there are more color choices than vinyl.”
Alumawood is aluminum that has graining and variation on the surface. The patterns vary in quality, so some contractors have found sources they like and others say the designs they’ve seen look a little cheap. It’s a good idea to view a sample of alumawood before installing to make sure it works with your aesthetic.
Depending on the size and selected options, an aluminum patio cover kit will cost somewhere between $2,500 and $7,000. These prices do not include installation.
Genevieve Schmidt, contributing writer for Landscaping Network and owner of North Coast Gardening
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