free standing patio

Free Standing Patio Cover Kits: Options, Materials, Pros, Cons

If you’re looking at building a standing patio yourself, a free standing patio kit cover is a great way to do it. Nowhere more so than here in Perth or most of WA for that matter.

In this article, we’ll explain what exactly a free standing patio cover kit is, and we’ll also discuss the various materials, designs and other things to consider before starting your build.

What is a free-standing patio cover kit?

Building a patio can be a daunting task. You have to plan and measure everything out, order the right components, cut to size if necessary, and hope it all fits together in the end.

A patio kit is a ready-to-assemble patio containing everything you need to build a patio. For DIY enthusiasts it’s the perfect home renovation project. And freestanding patio kits are available in various materials that can suit most spaces.

There are some really compelling reasons to install a patio cover. But when it comes to building a patio, what are the options available to you? What kind of roof designs and materials are best?

high roof patio

Attached vs freestanding patios

There are broadly two kinds of patios: attached and free standing. Attached means that one or sometimes two sides of the patio run along the walls of the house.

A free-standing patio, on the other hand, is a separate self-supported structure that stands somewhere in your garden. Typically, it is supported by pillars/columns or a combination of walls and support pillars.

Freestanding patios provide greater flexibility as far as location. You can build your freestanding patio as close or far from your house as you like.

Having the patio situated even just a few metres away from the main building can really give the property a more luxurious and grand aesthetic. It provides a nice, inviting, almost isolated space in which to relax under the shade and get away from it all. To find out more on patio sizes, read further here

Location and orientation

One aspect of patio construction you might not have considered is orientation. The direction your patio is facing can have a meaningful effect on the temperature and overall atmosphere of your outdoor living area, blocking more or less sunlight at different times of the day.

Placing your freestanding patio a very short walk away from your main building gives it a sense of changing scene as you transition from house to patio.

That way, the patio can be seen as a slightly more isolated place to be where you are free from any distractions in the home. Aesthetically, it can make your property a great deal more impressive as well.

On the contrary, if you have your patio built closer to the house, then it’s a lot less bother to get there each time.

free standing patio
pyramid patio 2

Open vs. enclosed patio covers

Open patio covers

These create a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor space while still providing a great deal of protection from direct sunlight.

Enclosed patio covers

Feels more like an additional room providing the look of floor-to-ceiling windows without the hefty building costs.

Beam, lattice and solid designs

The design of the roof plays an important role in how cool, dry and well-lit your patio space is.

A beam or lattice design is a more open design, built with cross beams and leaving gaps for the sun to shine through. While this provides a moderate shade from sunlight and heat radiation, the drawback to these designs is that they do not constitute a complete shelter from rainfall.

The benefit of lattice designs is aesthetic appeal and a different manner of natural light diffusion into your outdoor entertaining area.

A solid design, on the other hand, provides complete roof coverage – no gaps. They are ideal for mitigating rainfall, keeping your patio space dry all year round, and better shading it from the sun.

Solid roofs can be built with transparent or opaque materials, which we’ll discuss in the following sections. This way you can still have a good amount of natural light shining into your patio space if that’s what you’re after.

insulated roof

Materials

We have an entire article dedicated to the best patio roof materials, comparing their pros and cons, detailing where each is most appropriate and looking at their ranges of colour options. In the following sections, we’ll give you a more condensed version of that.

Steel

One potential issue with steel constructions of any kind is corrosion. Long term exposure to moisture such as saturated soil or rainfall pooling eventually leads to rusting. There are ways to mitigate this with proper installation methods, so it’s not a deal-breaker, but it is something to be aware of.

Wood

Wood is often favoured for its pleasant and inviting appearance. Choose from strong hardwoods such as oak or softwoods like Douglas fir.

Another option is woven bamboo which conveys a very tropical island-like aesthetic while being highly practical in hot weather conditions.

Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is durable, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to install. It comes as transparent panels that can be integrated into designs that utilise other materials like wood or aluminium for structural support.

Fabric

Often referred to as shade sails, this type of fabric is a highly affordable and an easily installed patio roof material. However, it is not as durable as other materials so it’s not something we recommend if you want your patio cover to stand the test of time.

Vinyl

Vinyl offers a natural look and feel, is relatively inexpensive, low maintenance and weather resistant. Although colours and designs are somewhat more limited, vinyl is a great all-around option.

Clear Perspex

Clear Perspex is a type of UV resistant Plexiglass that can be used for patio roofing. It is transparent, so it’s perfect for protecting against harmful UV rays without too much attenuation of visible light directly from the sun.

Beam and lattice designs are often used to achieve a similar effect, but they are less effective at blocking UV rays and lack the rainfall mitigation of a solid roof.

Glass

An unusual choice, glass is the least attenuating patio roof material (other than no material of course!) which also provides complete shelter from rainfall. Unlike clear Perspex, however, the glass will not be effective in blocking UV radiation from the sun. It will also do very little to keep the patio cool in hot weather.

Roof designs

There are a few different kinds of patio roof designs that vary in shape and overall appearance. In this next section, we’ll discuss the most popular roof designs. Also, check out our article which goes into detail on the best patio roof material.

Flat roof design

While a flat roof patio does have some drainage, it’s not quite as capable as pitched designs.

The major benefit of flat patio roofs is that they’re considerably less expensive and much quicker and easier to install. You could then redirect your budget savings into better materials or additional features.

Skillion roof design

Skillion or “lean-to” roofs are inexpensive and easy to install, protect from all kinds of weather conditions and let in plenty of natural light.

Gable roof design

A gable roof has two sides sloped in opposite directions, giving a kind of triangular shape. They are structurally reliable and extremely good at draining rainfall. They can be built to a wider

Gable roofs can be built to a much wider span than an equivalent flat roof design thanks to the structurally supportive shape.

insulated roof
insulated roof

Insulated vs non-insulated patio roof

Finally, you have the choice of whether to add insulation to your patio roof. We’ve written about patio roof insulation in more detail in the past, but the short version is this …

Insulated patio roofs are solid roofs built with a layer of polystyrene foam, a few centimetres thick, between the roof and ceiling. This provides superior protection from heat radiation, UV rays and even ambient sound! So an insulated patio is an overall quieter, cooler and more relaxed place to be.

They can be built to conceal cabling and gutters and generally have a smoother, more premium appearance.

As you might expect, this kind of construction comes at an extra cost. On top of that, they also take much more work to install.

Should I buy a freestanding patio cover kit?

Whether built adjacent to or separate from your main building, a freestanding patio creates an inviting and relaxing space that is shaded from the sun and sheltered from the rain. Additionally, they allow you to add fun and interesting features and decorations to your outdoor living space.

If you’re considering taking on a patio project yourself, then a custom made patio cover kit is the best way to do it. They take the hassle out of the building and are the perfect project for DIY home renovators.

With many years of experience in designing, supplying and installing patios in Perth and WA, our team of patio experts at Mackson will manufacture custom patio kits, supplying all the materials you need to get the job done.

Get in touch with us today for a quote on your patio project and start your journey to a great patio build today.