The warmer months are fast approaching, so now's an excellent time to focus your attention on your outdoor living space. One thing that can be a true godsend in the middle of summer is to have covered area outside that provides inviting shade and protection from the sun's rays.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a covered section of your patio, deck or porch? Well, the advantages are many; first of all any additions that offer a choice in your home will add to the value of your property. In this case, one choice is that you can sit outdoors and enjoy the sunshine either in the full sun or under a protective cover.
Certainly you will still have that 'outdoor' feeling if you only have a roof supported by columns, with no walls. Another advantage is that if it rains you do not have to rush indoors. If it is really humid, you may wish to just sit outside in the dry and watch the rain fall.
If you have potted plants on your patio, it is easy to slide them under the shade if they are wilting in the heat. Your new rattan furnishings will not get wet or suffer from sun-fading if you keep them under the covered part of your deck. Finally, you can always (with care) barbecue under the roofed part and stay dry.
The biggest disadvantage can probably be avoided once you have awareness of it. This is the fact that covering an area (or adding a roof) usually takes the light away from any affected window, so the placement of the covered area is important.
If you have a deck that faces south and it has sun shining on it all day, you can choose where you would like to have your shade. When choosing, ensure that you are not blocking the sunlight from shining into a window - unless you want to.
Roofing can be a temporary thing like canvas stretched four-ways from pole to pole, or it can be purpose-built roofing or an awning that pulls out from the wall. Many people also use grape vine for roofing. It is usually fully grown by July each year—just in time to offer shelter in the hottest months.
Grape vine will let rain through once it gets heavy, although it is effective for protection from a shower. If you wish create a natural look with the vine and still have protection for your rattan furniture etc, it is possible to grow a grapevine that is lower than an awning. This way when it rains, you just roll out the awning to protect your furnishings.
If you want to have year-round cover, you should be aware that once the fall arrives, the leaves drop, the grapes are harvested, and the vine no longer offers shelter. However, it could be argued that it still supports you in other ways - grape vine is the only patio covering that you can turn into winter wine!
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