August 2016


alternative patio cover optionsAs we’ve covered in recent posts, having a patio can drastically change your quality of life at your home and even generate more revenue for your place of business. The downfall of having a permanent patio cover is that they are pricey to have installed and can be expensive to repair after it’s been around for a while, so what are your other options? There are plenty of alternatives to having a permanent patio cover fixture, some being much better than others. Here at we wanted to make sure that you know all of your options before investing in something permanent. On the left you’ll see a bamboo style patio cover which is a great alternative to a permanent structure. We won’t go in depth into the bamboo option but this picture was put here to illustrate to you the thousands of options you have when it comes to patio covers.

The first and best alternative in our opinion is to invest in what’s called a “sail away”. A sail away is basically a hammock that is large enough to cover your patio or any other outdoor area that you’re looking to provide shade for. A sail away is very inexpensive (think hammock materials) because the cloth, rope, and hanging fixtures you’ll need can be picked up for very cheap at your local Home Depot. The negatives of having a saild away are if you live in a place that gets bad weather, the wind can knock these things out of place and damage the materials. If you live in an area that gets rain, wind, or snow, we recommend going with a more sturdy and permanent structure. However, if you live in a place like California, a sail away can be a great alternative to having a patio cover installed.

The next best alternative to having a patio cover installed is to get what’s called a “floating screen”. The name says it all with this one as you would have a screen like material installed over your patio which can be held up in numerous ways. The great thing about this option is you have so many different ways to install it that you can pretty much make this alternative work within any budget. Once again the downfalls are the floating screens are rather fragile so if you live in a place with harsh wind conditions you might have to repair your floating screen quite often.

Just like the floating screen and sail away, the “string along” patio cover approach is also a fragile one, but is very price comparative and sometimes even cheaper to the previous alternatives. The string along is basically a curtain that you’re installing over the area you want shaded. You literally tie string from one fixture to another and drape a curtain like material over the string which in turn provides you that shade you’re looking for. Also, much like a curtain, you can install a pulley like system to where the material can either be unfolded or retracted at the simple pull of a string. The theme with ALL of these cheaper methods comes down to durability and being able to handle harsh weather. If you’re old enough to remember what it was like hanging your clothes on a clothes line, you know how much those can be affected by wind.

We know that nothing compares to having a permanent patio structure installed onto your home or place of business. However, we also know that we get readers from all over the country and the world that have different budgets so we wanted to provide some great alternative options to permanent patio cover structures. We hope this has been helpful, if there’s any questions you have to alternative patio covers please contact us here.…


Having a patio cover installed at your place of business can prove to be a good investment. We’ve recently spoken with a restaurant owner that used to have umbrellas cover his outside tables but decided to switch over to a permanent patio cover structure. Prior to having his patio cover installed, he had 20 different umbrellas covering all 20 tables. He went on  to tell us that the umbrellas were a major pain because of all the birds that were doing their business on the umbrellas everyday. Many people would request that the umbrellas were lowered on a beautiful sunny day, so the restaurant staff was having to clean them on the daily and this was costing the business owner money.  Not only is the patio cover requiring less maintenance,it’s also keeping the patio about 5 degrees cooler with all the extra shade which is making a more enjoyable experience for the customers.

Another business owner we recently spoke with owns a bar on the beach. During the summer, this place is jam packed pretty much every day of the week and since it’s a bar, lots of people smoke cigarettes on the patio. Once again, this business owner was using a “tent” like cover over his patio and he recently made the switch to a permanent patio cover made out of aluminum. The owner couldn’t believe the amazing feed back he was getting from his customers. Everyone was saying it felt cooler outside and he was also hearing that it changed the entire ambiance. Overall, people were really digging it. See a trend here? Patio covers are loved by customers at commercial establishments and if you’re using umbrellas and tents to cover your patio it might be time to upgrade to a more permanent structure.

Not a lot of business owners actually own the building they do business in. In fact, about 80% of businesses are renting their commercial space so it might be challenging to convince the owner of the building to build a patio cover. Here’s where we come in with some statistics that you can tell the building owner that just might change his mind. On average, patio covers can add a 10% increase in sales for a business owner. After everything is said and done, the building owner should want his tenants to be successful in their business so they don’t have to take time to find a new tenant. Another benefit to the building owner is that when he sells the building, the value will increase by about 8% on average because of the patio cover. With these 2 statistics alone, it could be enough to convince your landlord to bite the bullet and go ahead and have a patio cover constructed on the building.

We hope these insights help as to how a patio cover could benefit your business. If you own the building, we say go for it. All signs point towards the fact that it would be a good decision and your revenues will increase because of it. If you’re renting, hit up your landlord and drop some knowledge on them. It will be mutually beneficial to everyone involved, we promise! This post has been sponsored by If you’re looking for a patio cover for your home or commercial building, give them a call!…