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Unlike the aluminum patio cover designs of the past, modern day versions of the aluminum patio cover have an aesthetically pleasing look to them that can stand up to the elements for a virtually maintenance-free period of years. They are less expensive than wood patio covers, and they can match the aesthetic of the house from which they will be built; they can also be built to look like wood. To choose the best aluminum patio cover, start by deciding how big of a cover you will need, what you want the aluminum patio cover to look like, and what purposes you will be using your patio for.
An aluminum patio cover, like all other patio covers, can offer shade and comfort to guests sitting beneath it on the patio area. While all patio covers can accomplish this, the aluminum patio cover generally costs less than other options and can look just as good. Choose a patio cover that is aesthetically pleasing and fits with the color scheme of your house, if possible. Decide, too, if you want your aluminum cover to be a permanent structure or a temporary one; a permanent structure means less maintenance, while a portable structure means you can uncover the patio when necessary.
The design of your aluminum cover will also be an important consideration, as some aluminum covers are open-air covers designed to provide shade only. Closed covers can protect from the elements, such as rain or snow, but the aluminum is not quite as strong as a wood patio cover. If providing shade is your goal, choose an open air patio cover, as this will decrease the cost of construction while still providing the benefits of the cover. If you plan on protecting guests from the elements, consider a closed roof, even though these tend to be more expensive and more difficult to construct.
If you are after an eco-friendly patio cover, an aluminum patio cover is the way to go. Be sure to research different brands, however, as not all aluminum covers are equally eco-friendly. Choose a cover that does not use non-renewable materials or toxic chemicals. Most aluminum covers are more eco-friendly by default because they do not require the use of harmful chemical sprays to maintain the look and waterproof quality of the patio cover, like most wood patio covers do. Some aluminum covers are made from recycled materials, which also promotes an eco-friendly design.