When you think about awnings and canopies, pergolas or patio umbrellas, you are thinking about different types of patio covers. Anything overhead protection that keeps you safe from the elements when you are relaxing outside your home can be considered a patio cover. Typically they are attached to the home but they can be their own safeguard from the weather. When you break them down in this kind of classification they will either be portable or permanent. An awning is an example of a portable patio cover as it can be rolled up into itself and left to hang at the side of the house. While a pergola or a gazebo is an example of a permanent cover.
You can not only gain a great place for some shade but you will be kept safe from undesirable weather and harmful UV rays. You will also gain some market value for your home by installing a patio cover. When you install any type of cover like this it becomes an addition to your home. This will add to the market value. Of course the higher quality the material used in an outdoor patio cover, the more long term value your home will have. Quality includes materials like metal or aluminum. There are canvas covers but these are more for patio umbrellas than patio covers. However there are some awnings that are made from highly durable canvas material.
Vinyl patio covers are fairly popular. They can endure some extreme weather and last a long time. It is also inexpensive. Sometimes you can get a patio cover kit and do the work yourself. Maintenance on a vinyl cover is minimal and requires only a blast of the hose. Sometimes you may have to use some soapy water for tough stains like bird droppings but generally a hose can get the job done. Aluminum is a light weight material which is also inexpensive but it can take much heavier burdens in inclement weather, so it tends to be more durable than vinyl. Regardless of the material you choose, you know you are adding value if you properly maintain your patio covers.