The Cost of a Patio Cover

Who doesn't love sitting under a patio cover? Whether it's the Blazing sun, on a cool night or while entertaining guests. Patio covers make a wonderful addition to any back or front yard. It's the Patio covers cost, however, which can make this a reality or remain on the wish list for most of us. There are many reasons for constructing a patio cover.
  • A need for shade
  • An area for entertaining
  • Increased property value
  • Improve the properties overall appearance
These are all good reasons, however, as builders of patio covers we will generally hear some of the same reasons more often than others. The two reasons we hear most often are
  1. Our client needs more shade or protection agains the elements.
  2. The client wishes to add an architectural element that improves a properties appearance or building’s look.

In either case, the thing to remember is that patio covers costs are for the most part, all-over-the-map. Why is this? Well to begin with, material costs are vastly different from Aluminum to wood to Vinyl. As a matter of fact. Each individual material comes with a variety of installation methods some are easy and some difficult. And then there are the hard costs of the different materials. Buyers of patio covers should understand that material prices fluctuate. Take wood for example. Wood prices fluctuate by the week whereas Aluminum will fluctuate by the month. 

What does this mean to you? It means that if you get an estimate for a wooden patio cover, the estimate price may have increased within a week. This is why if you look at the bottom of your estimate it may possess an expiration date.

“To get basic Patio Cover pricing you really need to be comparing apples to apples“PATIOCOVERED.COM
To get basic patio cover pricing you really need to be comparing apples to apples. So for example, you cannot effectively compare an Alumawood carport style patio cover to a wood, tiled solid roofed patio cover. The patio covers price per square foot difference would otherwise be significant in this example.

The Basics

Take a basic 10-foot x 10-foot lattice patio cover for example. In most materials you can find this cover starting for as little as $1000 installed.  For the most part, you should expect to see a huge swing in costs differences in the different patio covers. The differences boil down to a few essential things. These are the differences which ultimately dictate patio cover costs for al materials collectively.

  1. First is your overall finished size (dimensions) and location (finished slab... on dirt...on hillside etc...) of the finished product which dictates your pricing direction.
  2. Secondly, is the covers style. Is it open, lattice covered, solid covered?
  3. Once your material and direction of style is chosen comes materials. Most all patio covers can be constructed in one of the "big three" materials such as vinyl, aluminum and wood. By and large, these materials will have a the largest impact on the price and total labor including installation. 

Keep in mind that the more difficult the installation is, the more costly your cover will end up being. A rectangle is easier to install than is an "L" shaped patio cover.  Likewise, the more add-ons you choose such as lighting, footings or custom paint will again directly affect the finished cost of a patio cover.

If you’re the DIY type, you can go for the ready-made kit. These kits will generally save you some money, but come at the cost of your time. You may also lose any warranties on the product if the product is not installed correctly.  Depending on your location, local regulations such as fire zones, may prohibit you from installing certain patio covers. In addition, should permits be necessary and depending on the materials you choose, there may be limitations on your part, if drawings, engineering and such are required. Unless of course you are an engineer or architect.

So How Much Do Patio Covers Cost?

For the purpose of this article, understand that the price we’re referring to is the “average” price you’d expect to pay a contractor. Keep in mind that all contractors are different when it comes to pricing their products. Our goal here is to give you some sense of the cost ranges for different materials, as well as some of the installation challenges that account for differences in total patio cover cost.

You have some options regarding the material used to build your patio cover. The most common picks here in Southern California are aluminum, vinyl and wood. Materials choice makes up a big piece of your patio cover cost, with dimensions and labor dictating the final price cost. So what do Patio covers cost? Here we go…

Vinyl Patio Covers Cost

vinyl patio covers cost santa claritaVinyl patio covers exist somewhere between aluminum and wood. The vinyl itself is made from PVC, which has a wide range of applications. Here are a few unless facts the chew on… PVC is probably most famous for being used in plumbing and makes up 75% of all plumbing pipes worldwide. You also find it in electrical piping, flooring, and even clothing. It turns up all over the place in healthcare, such as surgical gloves and oxygen masks. 

Vinyl patio covers are resistant to common problems faced by wood, such as rot, warping and insect infestation. They also don’t rust, fade or crack. However, some vinyl has been known to turn a yellowish color. Nevertheless, vinyl does seem to share many of the same characteristics as aluminum.

So why is vinyl in between wood and aluminum? The price point is more than that of aluminum while at the same time reaching into wood price territory. It’s basically the worst of all worlds when surrounded by wood or aluminum. 

cost of a patio coverSo what makes vinyl patio covers more than aluminum? Well, to start with there’s more of it, which is to say there is more product. While aluminum is a stand alone product much like wood, vinyl requires additional steel members to be inserted within each structural piece for stability. It’s these added pieces which contribute to more…, more labor and more materials.  Aluminum requires no additional pieces for structural stability nor does wood.


  • Doesn’t rot or deteriorate
  • Doesn’t require paint
  • Lights and ceiling fan compatible
  • (Moderately) easily damaged
  • Great for resale


  • Tends to yellow
  • Smooth finish, no wood-like texture
  • Expensive
  • Some contractors use untreated wood as a filler
  • Requires inserts for stability
  • Be careful when cutting this material. One wrong cut and you need a new piece.
  • Engineering or drawings may be necessary under specific conditions
  • Some HOAs will not allow Vinyl to be installed

Prices stretch from $3,825 to $6,275 to get a basic, fully-covered 10 x 10 vinyl patio cover installed. 

DIY Solid roofed patio cover kits range from $1800 to $4300.

A vinyl lattice patio cover goes for the slightly more reasonable price range of $2200 to $4350 installed

DIY lattice patio cover kits range from $989 on the low end to $3200 for a custom cut cover.

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