Many people have some kind of cover over their patio to protect it from elements of nature. Some patio covers just protect from sun, while others protect from sun and rain. These covers are quite simple to construct and can be done in one day with a few supplies and basic tools. Here are some ideas for patio covers that are easy to implement.
Using canvas or vinyl is an extremely simple way to protect your deck or patio. The upside is it is super simple to construct. The downside is that it is not as durable as wood or metal and you would be best served to remove it and store it indoors during the winter months. This gives you some ongoing work with this kind of cover. Depending on the size of your deck, you might only need four poles and something in the middle to keep it from sagging and gathering moisture. Basically, this is just making a giant umbrella. You can use various umbrellas, of course. Use your design skills and incorporate standing and hanging umbrellas and wow the neighborhood.
An arbor is a framework around a deck that can have a solid roof or a sun screen. By just putting a board every few inches, you can block direct sunlight while still allowing a view of the sky. This prevents it from feeling closed in which can defeat the purpose of being outside, altogether. A solid roof will protect from sun and rain but blocks the view of the sky. The choice between the two will be up to your personal preferences and your climate. The vertical supports are usually composed of wood but you can be as creative as you want to be. One added bonus of a quality arbor is that you can hang potted plants around and allow vines to grow up the sides if you wish. This can really give you a feeling of a connection to nature no matter where you live.
A third cover for a patio is a retractable awning. These connect to the side of your house or a couple vertical supports on one side of the deck. It extends when you want to be covered and retracts when you don’t want to be. The advantage of these is that you can have full sun or full coverage whenever you choose so. The take a little effort to set up and tear down and that’s the make downfall.