Patio covers have many benefits – extra living space, aesthetics and even energy savings. But what about the choice of materials? The following infographic from Ricks Custom Fencing and Decking looks at choosing the right patio cover. We of course favor aluminum patio covers but check out the features and benefits of each for yourself.

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Choosing The Right Patio Cover

Patio Coverings: Choosing the Right One

Advantages of Having a Patio Cover

Patio covers can increase your home’s value. They can reduce heat that enters your home by 50%-75%.

  • Adds beauty to your home
  • Increases functionality of your backyard
  • Adds a sense of privacy
  • Provides protection from rain and snow
  • Can make your home appear larger and extend your living space

Benefits of Aluminum

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust making 7.5%.

Aluminum is a perfect material for construction. Its light weight means that the load on the bearing structure is less, and its strengths make it suitable for a variety of solutions. Its resistance to corrosion gives it special advantages. Aluminum is perfect for regions with severe weather conditions.

Aluminum Timeline

5000 BC: Archaeologists have discovered fragments of a vessel in Asia that was made from a compound of clay and aluminum.

1825: Aluminum metal is isolated by Danish chemist Hans Christian Orsted.

1927: The Aluminair Building was constructed in 10 days. It was made entirely of aluminum, proving another use for aluminum: construction.

1939: WW2 brought along the creation of the world’s largest aluminum plant in order to meet the growing needs of the war and the building of fighter planes.

1961: First aluminum easy open end (ring pull) beverage can produced.

2014: 20% of all the aluminum output is used in construction.

Global production of aluminum has risen from 31.9 million tons in 2005 to around 48 million in 2012.

Benefits of Wood

According to the Wood Handbook, there are more than 100 wood species available for commercial use in the United States and another 30 types are continually imported.

Strength to weigh, timber is an ideal structural material.

Wood has been used as a building material for thousands of years in its natural state.

Wood Comparisons

Compressive Strength measured in PSI (pounds per square inch)

Imported Hardwood:

  • Bubinga = 10,500 PSI
  • Purpleheart – 10,320 PSI

American Hardwood:

  • Hickory – 9,210 PSI
  • Yellow Birch – 8,170 PSI

American Softwood:

  • Yellow Pine – 8,470 PSI
  • Douglas Fir – 7,230 PSI

Bending Strength measured in PSI (pounds per square inch)

Imported Hardwood:

  • Bubinga = 22,600 PSI
  • Purpleheart – 19,200 PSI

American Hardwood:

  • Hickory – 20,200 PSI
  • Yellow Birch – 16,600 PSI

American Softwood:

  • Yellow Pine – 14,500 PSI
  • Douglas Fir – 12,400 PSI

Choosing The Right Patio Cover: Material Comparison


  • Aluminum patio covers require very little maintenance and are very easy to take care of.
  • Aluminum is not susceptible to the environment. It can handle lots of sun and rain.
  • Aluminum will not rot or rust.


  • Wood gives your patio a more natural feel
  • Wood is easy to adjust the size and style to fit your needs.
  • Wood is strong and will allow you to hang potted plants, fans, lighting, and other medium-weight items.