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25 DIY Patio Cover Ideas, 2024 (Easiest Options Online!)

diy aluminum patio cover pergola

Find the Best DIY Free-Standing Patio Cover for Your Home and Budget

Not only are these inexpensive DIY patio covers customizable, but they are easy to install, low-cost, and add so much value to your home!

Want to add an outdoor living area to your home without a big expense? You have come to the right place.

A new patio cover not only makes your outdoor living space so much more comfortable, but it significantly increases your home’s value. 

Most contractors will cost you an arm and a leg to build and install a porch cover but there are several inexpensive DIY patio cover kits partially done for you. 

diy aluminum patio cover that looks like wood

In this post, we will find your greatest needs for a patio cover and find the best option for your style and budget so you can have the best outdoor living experience.

There are so many types of covers including wood pergolas, aluminum DIY patio cover kits, sun sails, and also some unconventional options you may have never considered.


  • How many cost-effective options are available that are not completely “DIY”
  • The customizable color and style options of your DIY patio cover kit
  • Why aluminum patio covers are worry-free as they don’t rot or have to be painted
  • Encouraging words on how God really sees you

What Are The Benefits of A DIY PATIO COVER?

A patio cover not only makes your backyard much more comfortable, but it delineates that space insuring your patio is a comfortable second living area instead of an assortment of patio furniture that is exposed to the elements.

A patio cover also gives your patio space multiple functions not only as an outdoor dining and living space but as a play area for kids, an outdoor kitchen, or even a workspace.

Covers for patios give you the ultimate protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun without the hassle of applying sunblock or getting overheated while you cook dinner on the grill.

A DIY patio cover gives you all the benefits without the extra cost of hiring a landscape architect or contractor. Many of these simple patio covers don’t require a building permit.

Does a Covered Patio Increase the Value Of Your Home?

Not only do aluminum-covered patios add massive curb appeal to your outdoor area, but adding a patio will raise your property value by 12.5 percent! 

This is a great addition for any cost-conscious homeowner who wants to make DIY updates with a high ROI for when it’s time to sell. An inexpensive DIY patio cover allows you to increase the value because it is seen as an extension of your home.

Shade sails, and adjustable gazebos with retractable awnings are great if you need a cheap patio cover idea, but only a permanent structure will give you a huge return on your investment.

What is the Best Material for a Patio Cover?

While there are so many ways to cover a large patio on a budget, it’s so important to find the best material for your needs. Here are important considerations:

  1. Sunlight – Do you want full protection from direct sunlight or do you want to allow a little natural light in on sunny days?
  2. Inclement Weather and Heat – Do you want protection from rain and is your area susceptible to strong winds? Aluminum frames might need extra bracing to a wooden deck since they aren’t as heavy-duty. But they are a safer option than wood if you add a fire pit or pizza oven to your sitting area.
  3. Permanency – Do you want something temporary like a fabric patio cover that you can take down for cooler months and reinstall at a later date?
  4. Budget – How much are you wanting to spend? For example, aluminum covers make a case for price while wooden patio covers will be more expensive.
  5. Building Codes – What are your local building codes and will your project require a building permit?
  6. Your Base – What is the foundation of your seating area and will it support a lot of weight? For example, a simple structure with a metal roof will be better for an old wooden deck than a heavier wood cover with wooden beams and asphalt shingles. If you aren’t building a patio cover on existing concrete or a deck, will you need a post-hole digger for wooden posts of larger structures?
  7. Attached or DIY Free Standing Patio Cover – Do you want to attach it to your existing roof structure or do you want a free standing covered patio?

The Benefits of a DIY Freestanding Patio Cover

A freestanding covered patio is a great option if you have expansive clay soil because you don’t have to worry about the new structure moving in relation to your home. Also, I like the look of a DIY free standing patio cover because it delineates the area giving a whole new outdoor living space instead of just an area attached to your home.

Once you know which of the various options is the best fit for you, you can look more closely at which material is the perfect choice.


Get your FREE checklist of the top no-demo projects to add serious character to your home. Whether you are selling your home or want to add character to a builder-grade home, this list will save you tons of time and money: FREE CHECKLIST OF THE TOP DIY PROJECTS TO INCREASE YOUR ROI

Cheap Patio Cover Ideas

What Is the Best Material For Patio Covers?

Remember that when replacing an existing patio structure, you don’t have to use the same material you had before.  The standard industry materials for patio covers are real wood, vinyl, or aluminum. Here are the pros and cons of each:

DIY Wooden Patio Cover

Wood patio covers are often more attractive and open you up to lots of design options and stain colors.  Unlike standard aluminum, which can dent easily, wood is much more durable and less likely to dent.

Beautiful pergola made of solid wood

Wood patio covers are low maintenance in the first few years. But because wood is an organic material, you will have more regular maintenance since wood is subject to deterioration from the sun, water, and pests.  Also, there are always natural imperfections in the wood that a stain may actually accentuate. 

In addition, wood patio covers are a lot heavier which limits you as wood decks can only handle so much weight. Wood also needs a couple of coats of paint or stain every few years to provide a protective finish against the elements. You can always just touch up the wooden posts with stain since they are the most visible.

Pergola with a Clear Roof

I love this option because it has the benefits of a standard pergola but it gives you full protection from the rain. Also, the translucent fiberglass lets light shine through unlike a solid roof patio cover.

You can see how to build your own, check out the entire process and free plans at House of Handmade here: DIY Rain Cover For a Patio

wHAT IS THE chEAPEST wAY TO cOVER A pATIO? Fabric Patio Covers

Fabric sun shades are another great option because they are the perfect way to provide shade for budget-conscious home owners.

Sun sail shades consist of outdoor fabric and just use string to hold the sail in place. This is a good idea if you want a temporary option that you only bring out at certain seasons.


The above sun shade makes for great protection from the harsh sun while still embracing the cottage feel of this lovely yard by Dabblinganddecorating.com

Renovated Faith: What’s in a Name?

So many of my DIY projects remind me of God’s capacity to transform our brokenness and renew our hearts.  If you are a work-in-progress, just like I am, check out the Renovate Your Faith Devotional at the bottom of each DIY and home décor post.   Click here to get a weekly reminder of new posts by adding your email address.

Vinyl Patio Cover Kits

Vinyl patio cover systems require little maintenance as they will not rot or peel.  Vinyl is sturdier than wood but not as strong as aluminum.  The big downside to covering a patio in vinyl is that it doesn’t have the most attractive look.  Vinyl usually can’t be painted, which is a huge downside as its subject to fading and discoloration because of UV rays of direct sunlight.

DIY Free-Standing Patio Cover Kits (Low-Cost OPtions!) – WHAT I DECIDED ON!

These aluminum patios are lightweight, rot-resistant and they are so easy to install.  Gone are the days of those tacky corrugated metal panels as there are so many attractive and durable designs now when it comes to aluminum patio covers: Purple Leaf DIY Pergolas on Amazon

Not only do they have low-maintenance requirements but they also come pre-painted with special enamel finishes that adhere well and hold up to the elements. 

These aluminum patio covers are incredibly cheap and give you so much value for your dollar. You can choose from various sizes and upgrade the features depending on what is most important to you. See all the options and current prices here: Purple Leaf DIY Aluminum Pergolas

Alumawood DIY Patio Cover Kits

If you want something more substantial and customized to your exact patio size, go with an Alumawood Patio Cover.

What is Alumawood?

Alumawood kits combine all the attractiveness of wood but they wear like aluminum.  This allows you to have the same beauty of stained or painted wood along with the durability and lack of maintenance of aluminum. 

Why Alumawood Patio Covers are the Best

Alumawood covers are unique because the aluminum material is actually embossed to have the same grain pattern as wood. Also, the aluminum construction is 30% thicker than traditional covers.  With Alumawood, you have several color options to choose from and can even customize the look to your specific design specifications.  The color and design options not only mean that your DIY aluminum patio cover will look amazing but you also don’t have the chore of painting or staining as you would with DIY pergolas.

The lifespan of Alumawood far exceeds wood products so they offer years of worry-free use. This will save you time, money, and energy as you have a patio cover that you can focus on enjoying instead of maintaining.

Is Alumawood Cheaper Than Wood?

The price of Alumawood varies depending on your retailer but it will be roughly the same price as wood and even less as the price of pressure-treated boards has gone up in 2021.  Also, is a product that you don’t have to paint and will last decades longer than wood so be sure to keep the long-term cost in mind.

The Durability of DIY Alumawood Patio Covers

Alumawood is an extremely versatile and sturdy material that will stand the test of time, even in harsh weather conditions. These covers are great in wetter climates where wood rot would normally be an issue. They are also a great solution in dryer regions where high winds cause erosive damage to awnings over time. You can also even customize your DIY aluminum patio cover to provide extra protection. 

How Much Weight Can An Aluminum Patio Cover Hold?

Alumawood DIY patio covers have a 10 lb live load for snow and a 110-mile wind load.  However, for the harshest weather conditions, their engineering covers up to a 50 lb snow load and winds of 130 mph.  T customize your patio cover to handle even higher loads, see the details on live load ratings and the best designs for certain snow load requirements below.

How Long Do Aluminum Patio Covers Last?

A pressure-treated solid wood patio cover will last 10-20 years until you need to do major repairs or replace it.  However, Alumawood’s high-quality aluminum will last up to 50 years with minimal maintenance, which is just a matter of keeping it clean and watching for storm damage.

Benefits of DIY Aluminum Patio Cover Kits

One of the major benefits of Alumawood is that their products come in DIY aluminum patio cover kits shipped to you so you can assemble your cover on-site.  Don’t be intimidated by the DIY aspect because “DIY” doesn’t mean you are doing it all alone. 

The covers are not only easy to assemble but Alumawood provides detailed instructions and helpful customer service. With the Alumawood DIY kits, you save a ton of money on the cost of labor but also get a gorgeous aluminum patio cover perfectly customized to your patio cover size, design details, and exact specifications. 

By going with the kits you build yourself, you get high-end curb appeal on a really low budget.  Their patio space coverings come in standard sizes but they also offer an unlimited size range for your own custom design. 

I also love that these covers are light enough to be used as deck coverings. The instructions are easy and detailed so the average DIY homeowner can put them together quickly.

Different Types of Aluminum Patio Covers

There are different options of aluminum patio covers to fit your needs, budget, and design preferences. All of the below options for DIY aluminum patio cover kits can be customized, and shipped to you for assembly. 

All of the listings include various sample covers and add-ons like rain gutters, ceiling fans, and lighting.  Each of these sellers provides extensive customer service and support to help you as you assemble your DIY aluminum patio cover kit.

Aluminum Insulated Patio Covers

This solid patio cover not only provides total protection from the sun but is also very durable against the harshest weather conditions like high winds, rain, and snow.  The solid insulated EPS core also prevents any heat transfer underneath the aluminum patio awning so it’s comfortable even during hot summers.

The insulated roof’s core provides extra durability which can take on most wind and snow loads.  Also, the snap-lock panels on these aluminum and polycarbonate patio covers can be walked on and they can even be screened in later on!

Here are the best options for various thicknesses of Polystyrene Core Insulated Roof Panels:  Screenhouse.com  Alumashade.com  Homeporchandpatiokits.com

Solid Aluminum Patio Covers

If you like the look of solid aluminum covers but are in a climate where you don’t need the insulated core, you can save money by going with a standard solid aluminum patio cover. 

These roof panels have the same design and customization option but without the polystyrene core as with the flat roof cover systems.    You can find solid covers without insulation here:  Screenhouse.com  Alumashade.com  Homeporchandpatiokits.com

Aluminum Lattice Patio Cover Kits That Look Like Wood

If it’s partial shade you’re looking for, be sure to check out the aluminum patio cover pergolas that look identical to wood.  As with the solid covers, these will last decades longer than the more traditional wood versions. 

Again, you can pick your own color options and customize your DIY pergola kit to your home.  Here are my favorite supplies of Alumawood Lattice patio kits:   Patio Kits Direct  Alumashade

DIY Free Standing Patio Covers

If you’re looking at DIY free standing covers, they also come in affordable DIY kits.  Not only are they maintenance free but they provide years of worry-free use. 

The aluminum carports can come in W-pan or flat-pan patio cover systems.  This is a great way to get the exact carport you want while staying on budget by avoiding contractor costs.  My favorite supplier of DIY free-standing patio cover plans is: screen-house.com

diy aluminum patio cover pergola

DIY Aluminum Patio Covers in Standard Sizes to Save You More Money

Many big-box and home improvement stores have patio cover kits as well.  While they don’t come in customized options, there are still a variety of standard sizes that will still save you money.  Here are a few low-cost options:

Aluminum Patio Cover, Lowes

AluminumPatio Covers, Home Depot

Patio Cover Kits, Amazon

Non-Aluminum Patio Cover Kits (Do It Yourself)

If you decide against aluminum, there are other options for patio covers including fabric and glass.  A great option if you want to choose between shade and full sun is a retractable patio awning:

Fabric Patio Covers and Sail Shades

Patio Covers, Retractable Patio Roof Kit

Glass Patio Covers

Screen Wall Kits

Fabric Gazebos

How Much Does An Aluminum Patio Cover Cost?

Once you have honed in on the type of patio cover you want, you can look at the links above to get an idea of how much it will cost you per square foot.  The average price range of aluminum patio covers are:

Insulated Patio Patio Cover Kit – $14 per square foot

Solid Non-Insulated Patio Cover Kit – $11 per square foot

Lattice Wood Patio Cover Kit – $11 per square foot

You can also check out this resource to make sure you are getting a patio cover at a fair price: Aluminum Patio Cost Estimator

How Much Are Aluminum Patio Covers with Add-Ons?

Keep in mind that the website pricing is usually a baseline and there are several options you can add on like lighting, ceiling fans, door awnings, and decorative aluminum awnings.   

Where To Buy Aluminum Patio Covers (Do It Yourself Kits)

Here are my favorite retailers of DIY aluminum patio covers.  Be sure to check out these options to make sure you find the right cover for you and your budget while finding a supplier that ships to your area.  All of the sites below will provide you with a custom quote, a freight rate, and warranty coverage.





Steps To Buying Aluminum Patio Covers (Do It Yourself)

Here’s the step-by-step process to pick your aluminum patio cover parts including the awnings, posts, beams and rafters.

  1.  After you select the best cover type that’s best for you, go to any of the websites above and select your cover.  Some websites will also ask you for your location in the US at this point in the process.
  2. The first step of the project is to take accurate measurements and double-check them to avoid any information discrepancy. If the site asks you for the projection measurement, that’s the distance that the patio cover will be projected from your house or wall.  Most patio covers measure 9 feet in height.
  3. The next step is to pick the type of attachment whether you are attaching the patio cover to the roof, fascia or if your own patio cover is just free-standing. 
  4. Now is the fun part where you can pick the overall design from different styles.  Pick either the beveled, mitered, corbel, or scallop header end caps for the end of the beams or rafters.  Also, pick out your aluminum patio cover posts and rafter styles.
  5. Finally, you can select the colors of your aluminum patio cover panels, beams, lattice shade bars and rafters.  Don’t be afraid to use two different colors.  I especially like the combination of a dark stained roof with white beams and rafters.
  6. Last, you can add any accessories like bay lights or a ceiling fan to match your personal patio style and specific needs!
diy aluminum patio cover

How To Build a Patio Cover (Step By Step)

Most of the DIY aluminum patio kits will come with an installation video that includes detailed instructions on the building process for aluminum frames and how to attach the aluminum patio cover to your house.  They even include tips on how to install an aluminum patio cover with footings.  Only basic tools are required. 

If you have questions, feel free to contact the customer service department’s phone support if you need help assembling your patio cover materials. They can also help you if you are wondering how to update an existing patio area. If you decide you don’t want to install it yourself, they provide an installation service. 

How to Install A DIY Aluminum Patio Cover, YouTube Video

How to Clean An Aluminum Patio Cover

The only maintenance required for aluminum covers is cleaning.   When painting the exterior trim on my house, I found an amazing product for cleaning your home’s exterior and it works great on aluminum.  You simply spray it on and leave it and any mold and mildew simply disappear.  You can find it on Amazon here: Wet ‘N Forget Exterior Cleaner

How To Find DIY Patio Cover Kits Near Me

It is a great idea to check for distributors close to you to reduce shipping costs. While the suppliers above will ship nation-wide, you can get your patio cover sooner for checking into suppliers with distribution centers nearby:

Aluminum Patio Covers (Do It Yourself) Near Me

RENOVATE YOUR FAITH: How God Really Sees You

When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a CEO of a large company.  I always had this vision of seeing the backs of my high heels walking down a long meeting room with table and then taking my seat at the head. 

Today I am the CEO of a one-woman blog and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  But at times, I picture myself having a level of success that I have yet to achieve.

The voice in the back of my head says things like…

“When I have my social media plan figured out, then I’ll really be a serious blogger.”

“When I lose a few pounds, then I’ll finally be happy with my appearance.”

“Once I can write posts as fast as she can, then I will be ‘doing it right.’”

All of these statements assume that what I’m doing now doesn’t count…that I’m not really living life until I “have it all together”.

But can I let you in on a little secret?

“Having it together”  doesn’t really exist.  Perfection is a mirage that keeps disappearing into the distance every time you take a new step toward it.

In reality, no one really has it all together.  We are all struggling in some way or another (whether we realize it or not) and no one has it all figured out. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I’m learning that perfection doesn’t exist apart from Christ.  And “living up to my fullest potential” doesn’t exist apart from surrendering our lives to Him.  We don’t have to be perfect because He already is.

I too often forget that God is less concerned about me “having it all together”.  Instead, he’s more concerned about our relationship as He wants me to rely on Him.  He wants me to give Him my burdens – each and everyone, no matter how small.

He wants me to live a life where I trust Him with the outcomes even if the journey is a little messy. 

Our role is to abide in Christ so He can live through us.  Only through relying on his strength and power, can we “have it together.”

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  – Galatians 2:20

Because of Christ bearing the ultimate burden on the cross – we have the freedom to cast all our burdens on Him.  As a Christian, you are not designed to “have it all together”.  But you are designed to rely on the only one who does.

Each of us is growing.  All of us are in process as we are being transformed to be more and more like Him. 

Today you have a choice. You can either strive to be the perfect version of yourself (which doesn’t really exist) or you can lean hard into your Creator, relying on Him to live His life through you.

No one has it all together.

Stop waiting until you become that perfect version of yourself to really live life.  Instead, enjoy the abundant life God longs to help you experience in Him.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b

For more spiritual encouragement, click here for the rest of my project posts that also include Renovate Your Faith devotionals.

How Can I Turn My Backyard Into An Oasis?

Once you have your beautiful DIY patio completed, you will want to add lots of curb with a stunning landscape design.  But you don’t have to hire a professional and pay thousands of dollars.  Here is a step-by-step guide on how to implement your own landscape design on a budget:  Easy Beginner Landscape Design on a Budget

FAQ’s: DIY Aluminum Patio Covers

What is the cheapest material For patio covers?

The cheapest material for patio covers is vinyl.  But although they are cheap, it’s just a matter of time before they fade and crack leaving you with a leaking patio cover that looks horrible.  Alumawood is such a great option because it will last forever and look the same for decades with minimal maintenance.

Can You Walk on Aluminum Patio Covers?

The insulated patio covers with the polystyrene core are durable enough to walk on.  Some others are also durable enough but it depends on the load rating of that particular aluminum. 

Who Sells Aluminum Patio Covers That Are Not DIY kits?

All of the companies mentioned above have installers that can come out and install your porch cover or Elitewood is another great option.

Are Aluminum Patio Covers Hot? Are Aluminum Patio Covers Loud in the Rain?

Not only do aluminum patio covers get hot but they can sometimes be loud.  That is why the insulated option is great because it reduces heat and also muffles the sound of rain.

Are Aluminum Patio Covers Good for Cold Weather?

If your biggest concern with aluminum patio covers (do it yourself kits) in cold weather is whether they can handle the weight of snow, all the suppliers above have options to increase the snow load for the particular cover you pick out.

Can a Patio Be The Same Level as a House?

Your patio cover can be the same level as the house and if you have trouble transitioning from your house’s fascia to the patio cover, Alumawood offers some great solutions for the end of rafters.

Why would an Alumawood patio Cover be leaking where it meets the house when it rains?

With variable weather conditions, sometimes a small gap will form between the aluminum brackets and fasteners.  To solve this problem, add gutters to the house’s fascia boards above the patio cover.

Do Aluminum Patio Covers Need Footings?

Footings are only required when you don’t have a concrete slab or if you have a freestanding carport that is not attached to the house. 


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Final Thoughts on DIY Aluminum Patio Covers That Look Like Wood

After reading this post and doing a little bit of research, finding the right DIY patio cover will be an easy decision. With so many great products in several different price ranges to choose from, you can make your new outdoor living area the perfect place to relax and unwind.  The DIY patio cover kits are a great help as they give you a little help on what would normally big a huge DIY project. Whether you choose a DIY free-standing patio cover or attach one to an existing structure, there are several great patio cover ideas to choose from whether you want a modern look or lean to more traditional styles.

All of the suppliers listed above are a one-stop-shop for your patio needs and they will help you every step of the way.  The outdoor patio cover structures listed in this post not only ensure ease of installation but also feature timeless designs that will upgrade the look of any outdoor space.

I love to hear your thoughts and questions!  Scroll down to leave a comment and I WILL reply! ❤️







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DIY Aluminum Patio Covers On A Budget

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  1. gazebo dallas says:

    Thanks for this great blog. Keep up the excellent work.