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21 Ideas for the Perfect Backyard Patio Cover

By: Caroline Warnock |

There are a lot of benefits to designing a great backyard patio cover, and many people choose to create an outdoor covering so they can more comfortably spend time outside. 

If you’re planning a major covered patio project, you might need to consult a professional, but some options are a lot less involved.

Read on for some great ideas to inspire your backyard patio cover project, and find the one that works for your home style, budget, and location.

Keep it Natural with Reed Grass

Keep it Natural with Reed Grass
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This patio roof idea involves a covered curved pathway of reed grass. This creates a relaxed and more natural feel, and the climbing vines on the steel structure add to that overall effect. 

This is a particularly great look if you want a long but thin covered patio along the front of your home. The reed grass covering blocks most of the light while still allowing some natural light to seep through and keep things bright.

Promote a Tuscan Feel with Brick and Wood

Promote a Tuscan Feel with Brick and Wood
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This patio cover design is a lot more involved than others, but the finished result is gorgeous and glamorous. It’s made in the Tuscan style, with dark wooden ceiling beams, arches of stone, and brick flooring. It’s a permanent patio structure great for year-round use.

The space itself is huge, with room for a lounging area, a dining table, and more. The ceiling fans are a clever touch, to keep fresh air circulating through the space. 

Get a Moroccan Style Patio with UV Cover

Get a Moroccan Style Patio with UV Cover
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This Moroccan style covered patio is a perfect escape from the city and offers a comfortable and private outdoor space. The backyard patio is filled with lush plants and bright colors, with a statement area rug, leather poufs, and white furniture.

The patio roof is made of clear Perspex with UV resistance, so even though it lets in a lot of light, homeowners are protected from the UV rays.

Look for a Retractable Patio Cover

Look for a Retractable Patio Cover
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You can have a patio cover design that is versatile by installing a retractable outdoor covering like this one. A cover is installed over a wooden pergola-type structure, so you can enjoy a fully shaded, partially shaded, or exposed porch as you wish.

It’s a great idea for patios like this one, because it’s much easier to install over a smaller surface. All that’s needed is a nice dining room table to enjoy meals outdoors. 

A Palapa Creates a Coastal Vibe

A Palapa Creates a Coastal Vibe
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A palapa is a thatched roof patio structure, and it’s great to create a relaxed and coastal vibe. Here, it covers only the backyard hot tub, but sometimes that’s all you need. The palapa, paired with plentiful plant life and wooden patio design, creates the appeal of a backyard beach grotto.

If you want your thatched roof to protect completely from the elements, you can install it on top of an existing cabana roof structure. 

Install Shade Sails for a More Casual Look

Install Shade Sails for a More Casual Look
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These shade sails look almost industrial along the front of this modern home, but there’s a lot of different options for shade sails. They can be anchored to the side of the house, like in this example, or from standalone posts elsewhere in the yard.

Shade sails also come in tons of different shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can look for the one that suits your home and garden.

Build an Outdoor Grotto with a Pergola and Climbing Vines

Build an Outdoor Grotto with a Pergola and Climbing Vines
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This porch covering idea is almost magical, with its emphasis on plant life, delicate furniture, and whimsical light fixture. The outdoor covering itself is quite simple, and is essentially a basic wooden pergola covered in vines and climbing plants. 

There is enough space between the ceiling beams that flowers can come creeping in to great effect. Be aware that this type of project requires patience because some plants can take a lot of time to grow.

Look for a Sturdy Standalone Patio Structure

Look for a Sturdy Standalone Patio Structure
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Patio roof ideas don’t all need to involve an attached patio—sometimes, the best look for a home can be a standalone patio. In this case, the modern structure involves a mix of materials, with steel and wood combined in smooth lines and angles to create a lovely covered patio.

It goes really well with the open-air first floor of the home, which is completely open to the elements thanks to some retractable windows. 

Create a Slanted Patio Cover

Create a Slanted Patio Cover
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This patio roof idea is quite simple yet beautiful. It’s made of mixed materials and a shiplap roof pattern, and complements the modern appearance of the home. The patio covering is big enough to cover a seating and dining area comfortably.

The slant of the roof is perfect for runoff in case of rain, and creates some lovely angles with the rest of the home.

Keep Some Parts Uncovered for Natural Light

Keep Some Parts Uncovered for Natural Light
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This backyard patio cover is unique and pretty, with the ceiling finished in the same wood planks as the sides of the patio. There is also part of the patio cover that’s open, covered only by glass to allow lots of natural light to stream in.

That means there is the option for shade and for light in the space, giving the area a protected and cozy feeling while still being open to the elements.

Go Modern and Industrial with Steel and Concrete

Go Modern and Industrial with Steel and Concrete
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If your home is modern and you’re looking for a patio cover idea that blends in with that decor style, this is the look for you. The patio itself is made from scored concrete, and the patio cover is made with a steel frame and galvanized steel panels. 

The black of the structure and silvery gray of the roof panels are perfect for the rest of the home’s steel and black appearance. 

Hang a Fabric Cover for an Affordable Option

Hang a Fabric Cover for an Affordable Option
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Not all patio cover designs require a lot of planning and financial investment. Some are a lot simpler yet still pretty and effective, like this fabric cover. A cable is hung over the porch area to hang the fabric through grommets.

The white of the cover is lovely against the colors of the walls and garden. This option, and many other similar DIY options, are outlined in this handy guide to creating your own outdoor covering.

Channel Spanish Influences with an Outdoor Loggia

Channel Spanish Influences with an Outdoor Loggia
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These loggias are great backyard patio covers because they create small areas for different purposes. One loggia is a cover for a seating area, and the other houses a dining table. 

The white columns and red tiled roofs are traditional Spanish style, perfect with the blue mosaic pool and fountain. This particular patio also has the addition of a wooden pergola connecting the two loggias.

Build a Pergola and Keep It Bare

Build a Pergola and Keep It Bare
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Pergolas are often used as structures to grow climbing plants, but they also look great left bare. This example shows that a pergola covered patio still provides a lot of shade and privacy to the yard. 

It’s also great in terms of flexibility for down the road, if you choose to add some climbing plants, a retractable cover, or another patio cover addition. 

Invest in a Full Cabana Patio

Invest in a Full Cabana Patio
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This patio roof idea is actually a full building in itself, a little hillside cabana complete with retractable windows, chimney, and front steps. It’s an option for those with bigger properties who want to have a porch space completely separate from the house for entertaining.

Hang Roll-up Bamboo Porch Shades

Hang Roll-up Bamboo Porch Shades
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A porch cover idea isn’t limited to only the patio cover itself, but can also include cover from the sun along the sides of the porch. In this example, we can see that some roll-up bamboo shades create excellent shade on the porch. 

They’re each adjustable, so you can modify their length depending on where the sun is in the sky. They’re also extremely weatherproof, so they can stay in place rolled-up year-round.

Build an Outdoor Pavilion with a Permanent Roof

Build an Outdoor Pavilion with a Permanent Roof
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In the foreground, this home has the classic bare pergola we’ve seen previously in other backyards. However, in the background there is also a permanent roofed pavilion. The space includes a fireplace and television, so it’s important that the roof protects the patio.

This type of idea is a lot more costly, so it’s key to develop a detailed budget and plans, and consult with a professional to make sure you’re doing it right.

Cover Your Porch with Glass for Warmer Nights

Cover Your Porch with Glass for Warmer Nights
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This porch covering idea consists of just glass in a steel structure. It doesn’t provide much shade, but it’s really good to have if you spend most of your time outdoors in the evenings. The glass roof captures the heat of the daytime sun and makes the space much warmer at night.

It’s a great modern look to go with the home, and goes well with the brick wall visible above the patio cover.

Create a Lovely Lattice Patio Covering

Create a Lovely Lattice Patio Covering
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This backyard patio cover is a similar concept to the pergola, with a wooden four-post frame supporting some wooden beams. The difference is that the whole roof is covered by a lattice pattern for dappled sunlight on the porch.

If you’re looking for a patio roof idea that you can build without breaking the bank, this is the way to go. You can achieve this look yourself on a budget by following this detailed guide by Kenarry.

Hang Stunning and Colorful Overlapping Shade Sails 

Hang Stunning and Colorful Overlapping Shade Sails
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We saw shade sails used in an industrial style previously. Those were tied straight from the house onto some supporting beams. Another option is getting lots of brightly colored shade sails and hanging them so they overlap across an entire garden area. 

This outdoor covering looks really good and makes a statement. The teal shade sails match the flooring and chairs perfectly, and it’s sure to be a unique look.

Invest in a Giant Patio Umbrella

Invest in a Giant Patio Umbrella
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If you’d prefer a less permanent patio cover idea, you can look for a giant patio umbrella like this one. It’s big enough to cover all the seating, or even a dining table. Most large umbrellas are also adjustable for angle or height, making this the perfect idea for those looking for flexibility. 

Conclusion

A patio cover design can be anything from a completely separate cabana building to a simple hanging fabric cover. The options are numerous, and it really comes down to your vision for your backyard design, the weather where you live, and your budget. 

These inspiring ideas will get you started in thinking about your patio cover design and plan out your ideal backyard. What is most important to you for your patio? Are you looking for privacy, a natural plant-covered porch, or a modern and simple structure?

Which of these ideas would you love to get for your backyard patio cover?