20 Creative Patio Cover Ideas for Any Budget

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Regardless of the climate you live in, there are many reasons, ranging from style to function, for investing in a covered patio. These days, patio covers go by many names — pergola, trellis, canopy — and they all qualify as stylish options that will provide a bit of relief from the sun's harsh rays. Regardless of your #patiogoals, there are plenty of ways for you to be imaginative. Whether you're looking for complete shade coverage, full sun exposure, or something in between, get ready to be inspired by these 20 creative design ideas.

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1. Closed Roof With Exposed Beams Patio Cover

Basically, a living room with the exterior walls knocked out, this covered patio by David Michael Miller is the perfect spot for lounging by the fireside. The exposed-beam design creates a 'built-in' look that integrates seamlessly with the rest of the house.

2. Narrow-Slat Pergola Patio Cover With Wraparound Screen

Well, it won't protect you from rain, sleet, or snow, but yes, this narrow-slat pergola belonging to Pencil Shavings Studio counts as a covered patio. Perfect for the homeowner that enjoys basking in the sun's rays, the uncovered-covered patio option will provide a little bit of shade while still allowing you to soak up lots of vitamin D. We particularly like the semi-private cabana effect that results from the addition of a wraparound screen. And if you're ever in the mood for an ambitious DIY project, framing a patio roof may not be as hard as you think.

3. Modern Metal Canopy Patio Cover

This metal canopy spotted on Welke is reminiscent of a midcentury carport and makes a beautiful modern patio cover. The simple architectural framing provides a perfect complement to this modern outdoor veranda's minimalist color scheme.

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4. Wood Slat Patio Cover

This wood slat patio cover by Robert Elliott Homes instantly creates a warm and rustic vibe. The light-colored wood finish and white brick outdoor fireplace are the ideal pair for super hot climates, but that's not to say they can't work beautifully in cold ones as well. Just imagine curling up in front of that fireplace with some cozy blankets and a hot cup of cocoa as the temperatures get a little cooler.

5. Laser Cut Metal Screen Patio Cover

Chances are this isn't your grandma's patio cover (but if it is, you've got one awesome grandma). Laser-cut metal screens are one of the most creative, not to mention visually interesting, ways you can cover your patio. Not only are the screens themselves beautiful, but they also cast incredible shadows with the changing sunlight. Due to the craftsmanship involved, it's not surprising that this particular option by Sanctum Screens is available at a higher price point than the average patio roof.

6. Wisteria-Covered Trellis Patio Cover

Take your patio to a whole new level by loading a trellis up with your favorite blooms or greenery until you've got a living canopy. This lush, floral-covered trellis spotlighted on Young House Love is pure magic! Complete the look with a few simple pieces of furniture to balance out the wild verdure, and some outdoor string lights for a little added ambiance.

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7. Sail Shade Fabric Patio Cover

Sail shades are an especially creative way to cover your patio because they provide endless possibilities. Depending on how you install them, you can reposition the sail shades at any time. You can even experiment with multiple fabrics, colors, and configurations to ensure you have the most original and unique patio cover on the block. Can you believe that Dana and Steve from House Tweaking actually DIYed this backyard setup?

8. Bamboo Reed Patio Cover

Already have a pergola, just need a patio cover? Take a page out of Sophie Carpenter's clever design handbook and use bamboo reed garden fencing. Not only is it budget-friendly (around $25 at The Home Depot), but it's also a fast and easy way to give your backyard a boho-chic makeover. Plus, this is a project you can absolutely tackle yourself.

9. Roman Sail Shade Patio Cover

Warning: Covering your patio with Roman sail (or wave) shades like this inspired oasis by Breeze Giannasio might tempt you to recline and indulge in a glass, or two, of wine. They can be retractable so that you can control the amount of sunlight you wish to enjoy, or they can be fixed. Roman sail shades work best in areas that aren't excessively windy. No one wants to see a strong gust of wind fly by with your perfectly styled patio cover.

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10. Open Roof With Exposed Beam Patio Cover

The open design of this patio by Sabugosa Architecture is the definition of bringing the outdoors in. By simply opening or closing the large sliding glass doors, this space is instantly transformed from indoor to outdoor. A portion of the ceiling features a skylight divided by exposed beams, allowing natural light to pour in from above.

11. Wide-Slat Pergola Patio Cover

In case there's any lingering confusion on the difference between a covered patio and a pergola, this is a textbook example of the latter. A wide-slat pergola is the best way to go whenever there's a bit of distance between the patio area and your house. We love the way Brookes + Hill Custom Builders incorporated beautiful pendant lighting into this design, sure to create a bewitching ambiance perfect for those summer soirees.

12. Deck Style Semi-Enclosed Patio Cover

We simply love the Miami Beach vibes of this swanky scene showcased on Lily in Wonderland. Reminiscent of an exclusive poolside cabana, this wood slat enclosure provides shade and adds an element of privacy to your patio. Pair the warm wood finish with some modern outdoor furniture, and your backyard will be the coastal retreat everyone flocks to.

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13. Corrugated Aluminum Patio Cover

When it came to his patio remodel, Dabito of the blog Old Brand New, went the cost-effective DIY route, using a corrugated aluminum cover. To dress up the metal roofing, he painted the surrounding structure in a chic matte black and brought it all together with a vibrant rug and boho flair. Now the outdoor living space is ready for lounging.

14. Awning Patio Cover

One of the most popular (and arguably most charming) patio covers is the awning that extends from the exterior of your home. Reminiscent of quaint sidewalk cafes, this option offers homeowners the opportunity to add a dash of color, pattern, or both depending on what material you chose. We love the black and white stripe that Breeze Giannasio chose for this al fresco dining situation.

15. Plastic Patio Cover

In lieu of an expensive glass patio cover, opt for plastic or one made from polycarbonate sheets. It'll still allow you to have a semi-opaque finish without breaking the bank. Follow the lead of this rustic outdoor scene. And if you want to up the cozy factor and add some additional flair hang some string lights.

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16. Vinyl Patio Cover

Vinyl can be a relatively cost-effective alternative to traditional outdoor materials. If you're looking to achieve the look and feel of a minimalist patio cover — this dreamy spot from Chango and Co. hits all the right notes — then a weather-resistant vinyl structure is the way to go. Bonus points for the fact that it's easy to maintain and will never rust.

17. Geometric Patio Cover

The custom-built pergola outside this L.A. home is equal parts inspired and stunning. Its geometric design offers a refreshing take on the concept, proving that form and function can coexist. To take things a step further, note how the creatives behind the project went for a cohesive finish with matching outdoor furniture.

18. Reclaimed Wood Patio Cover

Reclaimed wood can add a warm burst of character to just about any spot and when it comes to an outdoor space, it's the perfect ode to nature. This California-cool setup spotted on Lulu and Georgia showcases the effortless feel of the material, via the patio cover, and its ability to organically fit in with a wooded surrounding.

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19. Glass Patio Cover

If your patio doesn't receive direct sunlight but you still wish to have some protection from the elements, consider a glass patio cover à la this tropical escape by architect Aamer Taher. There are a variety of glass options to choose from — offering different levels of opaqueness and UV protection — so you can create the outdoor paradise of your dreams in your own backyard.

20. Umbrella Patio Cover

Don't want, need, have room for, or can afford an actual structure to shade your patio? No worries. Follow the lead of this poolside refuge by Brooke Wagner and opt for an oversize umbrella instead. Cost-effective and stylish — that's what we call a win-win!

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Anna is a New York-based writer and editor with a penchant for travel, design, and interiors.