Patio roofs are a stylish and reliable feature for protecting your outdoor entertaining area from the elements all year round. They provide shade from the sun on those baking hot summer days, and shelter from the rain.
But what’s the difference between insulated and non-insulated patio covers? That’s what we’re answering today. Here’s the quick summary answer.
Compared to uninsulated roofs, insulated patio roofs provide superior protection from heat and UV radiation as well as rainfall. They also have a smoother, premium appearance, concealing cabling for lights and fans. However, insulated roofing can be more costly and take longer to install.
As always, there is more to it than that. But before going into a more detailed comparison between insulated and uninsulated patio roofs, let’s take a brief look at what exactly a patio consists of, and why you might want one built for your home or business.
What is a patio and what is it for?
Where we are in Perth and the surrounding areas, we’re lucky to have so much beautiful sunshiny weather but sometimes you want a place to stay cool and comfortable outside. An outdoor patio area is a perfect solution for that.
While designs and materials vary, the basic idea of a patio is that it has a roof providing shade from the sun to keep temperatures and UV levels down underneath, as well as shelter from the rain when it’s needed.
The pillars and roofing can be made from wood, concrete, or steel. They are commonly paved with concrete or stone slabs, or sometimes aluminium, acrylic or glass flooring.
Smaller patios can accommodate a small dining area or simply serve as a spacious porch, while larger patios can turn into an outdoor kitchen or bar with seating and sometimes even other features such as a fire pit or water feature.
Sometimes patios are built as separate structures detached from your house, but the most popular designs are attached to the building at one or two sides and connected by a doorway. This way when it’s raining you can walk outside in your slippers without getting wet!
Patios are closely related to carports, which also bring a number of benefits. Patio covers are similar to garages in that they provide storage space for your car, but they more closely resemble patios in the sense that they are roofed structures usually attached to the side of a house and with at least one side open to the outdoors.
So let’s look more closely at an insulated vs non-insulated patio cover.
Insulated patio cover
Insulated patio roofs are built with a layer of polystyrene foam between the roof and ceiling. This layer is a few centimetres thick and provides the greatest level of protection against heat and UV radiation as well as ambient sound.
Compared to an equivalent uninsulated roof, an insulated patio will be even cooler on those scorching hot days, creating a much more comfortable outdoor living space.
As well as being super durable and highly effective, insulated roofs have a more premium and homely look and feel, with smooth ceilings, subtle side panels and clean lines to finish.
The panels also have conduit recesses in the framework where unsightly cabling for lights and fans can be neatly and safely tucked away.
Adding an insulated patio roof to your building will seriously upgrade the value of the property and give it that high-end feeling.
An insulated patio area provides the best protection from the elements and will mean you can spend more time outside even in adverse weather conditions.
Insulated roofing panels are designed to lock together flush and sealed to prevent rainwater leakage. Guttering can be subtly concealed in high quality insulated patio roofs so as not to disturb the aesthetic, while remaining fully effective.
While there is a lot to like about insulated patio roofing, they are not without their drawbacks…
Insulated patio cover considerations
For one thing, colour choices are more limited. For steel roofing, you’ll typically see white, grey and beige tones. On the other hand, you could go for a wooden construction but that carries with it a higher cost and durability will suffer too.
Furthermore, these kinds of roofs are more rigid in their shape and format, especially compared to simple flat roof designs.
Insulated roofs can cost considerably more than non-insulated roofs due to the additional materials and building costs involved.
Finally, insulated roof patios take more time and work to put together and install. So that may be something to keep in mind when choosing a patio design as well.
So although insulated roofs are certainly the more expensive and time-consuming solution, for many homeowners it’s well worth the cost and the time when they get to see the comfort and attractiveness created for their outdoor space.
Regulations for insulated vs non-insulated patio cover
There are a few legal considerations to be made when building a patio so it would be wise to get some professional advice before launching into your build. And it’s always best to contact your local planner at your local council for up-to-date building regulations.
Regulations for insulated vs non-insulated patio roofs do not differ. Regulations are concerned mainly with the size and placement of your patio roof. Standard materials used will always fall within standard building requirements and requirements when undertaking a patio roof project.
As a general rule of thumb, unless unusual materials are being used then any building requirements are fairly standard. But we will be able to advise if there are any additional rules to follow.
Now that we know the difference between insulated and non-insulated patio covers, let’s take a look at the different designs that are available and their pros and cons.
Flat roof patios
Also called skillion roofs or lean-to roofs, these are a practical and aesthetically pleasing roof design suitable for backyards and carports. Flat roof patios are low maintenance and cost-effective and their visual appeal can dramatically improve your home’s look and feel.
Thanks to their minimal construction and frugal use of materials, installation is a much simpler process for flat roof patios than for gable roofs, which we’ll discuss next.
As well as being modular and varied in their form and appearance, flat roofs are available in a range of materials including Colorbond steel, polycarbonate, and fully insulated roofing.
Gable roof patios
Gable roofs are an excellent choice for creating a well shaded outdoor space.
Having a strong structural shape, a gable roof can be built to a much wider span than its flat roof counterpart which would could require supporting legs in the inner roofing area.
Both gable and flat roof designs enable rainwater drainage from the rooftop surface.
All our Perth patios at Mackson come with gutters and downpipes and are fully compliant with engineering certifications. We also employ a special kissing gutter design so that our gable patios have a separate gutter system from the house. This is much better than the traditional box gutter system that requires cutting into the existing house gutter and risks causing damage and leaks.
More patio roof help
Your next step is to talk to a professional about creating a patio space at your home or business.
Based in Perth, we at Mackson specialise in fencing, gates, automatic motors, patios, carports and security doors. We aim for high standards, friendly service and quality products.
With a Mackson custom built patio, you can make the most of your outdoor entertaining area. We create a seamless transition from the inside to the outside, with a functional space that adds value to your home and provides all-year-round protection from the elements.
Take a look at our gallery which features some of the recent patio projects we’ve completed around Perth and surrounding suburbs to get ideas for your patio or carport design.
Almost all patio constructions in Western Australia require council approval and we are happy to provide this service along with our patio packages.
Council regulations can be a trial to deal with so we take the hassle away by handling all the paperwork, patio design drafts, engineering certifications and building permits.
Occasionally a patio proposal will require development/planning approval from the council, which can be a lot of work for property owners to handle by themselves. Mackson will also help to guide you through these types of applications.
Start your journey to a great patio build today by contacting us for a quote.