Patio Ideas That Can Change Your Back Yard

Patios are as much a part of living today as porches were before the advent of modern architecture. The word patio is Spanish and it literally means back garden or backyard. A patio is an open air space usually behind a house or, if the house is particularly large, between one part of the house and another part such as an indoor courtyard open to the sky. Patios are as diverse as the millions of patio ideas people can come up with. Patios are great for entertaining guests and company. They are also good for family get-togethers, especially in the summer in the northern hemisphere. Just think about it: a delicious meal served outdoors under the stars, lit by a fire pit and candles.

Patio furniture, of course, is necessary because you need something to sit on. To protect the furniture from the elements, you need patio covers. What type of furniture you have influences the type of patio cover you need. Local weather also plays a role in determining what covers are best for your furniture. Most often a patio cover is a simple one-piece covering made of vinyl or polyester that is placed over the furniture to keep it from getting wet.

Know some patio ideas from the experts.

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Here’s the confusing thing: the term ‘patio cover’ refers to two different things. A patio cover in the sense used above means a covering or coverings for the furniture on the patio. In the word’s second sense, a patio cover is a covering for the entire patio to protect it from the elements. Obviously, a patio cover in this sense supersedes the need for individual patio covers for the furniture on a patio. To make matters worse, there is also the term ‘awning’ used in the same sense as the second usage of patio cover. It is important to clarify which of the terms you are using in conversation to make sure others do not get confused.

A patio cover (in the second sense) is usually made of metal, plastic or wood. A wooden patio cover needs to be sealed on the top to prevent the wood from rotting. A plastic patio cover consists of a plastic sheet placed over the patio as a sort of mini-roof supported by metal struts. A metal patio cover is the most difficult, since the metal can rust if it is not treated properly. Plus a metal cover also makes it more vulnerable to lightning strikes if you live near an area that has lots of thunderstorms.

Keep your terms straight and investigate all patio covers, whether for furniture or for the full patio. Sometimes it isn’t feasible to erect a cover for the whole patio, in which case patio covers for the furniture are necessary. Take the particular needs of your patio into consideration before you make any decision.