When it comes to outdoor shading solutions, there are a number of choices to from. There are pergolas, patio covers and awnings to mention but a few. However, it is easy to get confused if you do not understand just what functions these different products serve. Choosing between the options can be quite a tricky affair but when you know just what the different covers do, then you will be in a better position to understand.


So, how do you understand the distinction?


A patio cover is more or less an extension of your home and most of them come in easy-to-assemble kits that can be attached to the wall of a house. Unfortunately, the kits are usually a little difficult to integrate with your general look of the house which means that it will often look like an afterthought. Patio covers are often made of PVC or aluminium and fibreglass.


A pergola on the other hand is a structure which is made to refine outdoor space using rafters or joists. Pergolas are not usually roofed but recent times have seen people using materials that would give a roof while still allowing maximum light to the patio. Some people choose to go the whole nine yards and install a retractable pergola which ensures that you only get the aesthetically pleasing patio when you choose to. A retractable pergola serves the same purpose as an electric awning and this being said, if you are just looking for a small patio cover, you can choose between the two.


When it comes to a bigger space, such as an indoor pool or maybe even a back yard tennis court, pergolas and awnings will not do. What you really need in this case is a retractable roof system which will be able to cover the entire area but also give you the option to retract the roof on a nice day when you want to embrace the outdoors a bit more.


The best thing about retractable pergolas, roofs and awnings is that they are not limited to the size of the homes. For example a standard house in Sydney which may offer a lot of square footage can benefit from retractable roofing as would a tiny home. Matter of fact, tiny houses and functional sustainable homes boast more pergolas and retractable roofs than most homes in the suburbs or towns. This is because sustainable homes are built to utilise every last square foot because they are made with functionality in mind.


So, when you are out shopping for patio shade, be sure to consider all your options carefully. Ask yourself if you are looking to do more than just simply extend your living space or have something that is going to blend in with your general design and colour scheme. If you are looking to do both, then having a retractable roof or pergola is your best option.


Patio covers, pergolas, retractable roofs and electric awnings all offer a range of practical answers that cannot only add quality to your way of life but also add value to your home as well. They can be add-on features or free-standing structures that supplement your home but whatever you choose, the various shade solutions give you feasible and attractive way to improve your outdoor space.