Patio. Wednesday , November 01st , 2017 - 10:07:53 AM
An alternative to a complete awning is a shade sail. Shade sails can be custom made to any size you require, or you can combine a number of smaller ones to cover a larger area (the solution you choose will depend partly on your site, and partly on your budget). Shade sails work by a tension system - the sails, often triangular in shape, are anchored to tension points which may be attached to the walls of the dwelling or to the tops of poles sunk into the ground. They have the advantage of being portable: if you sell your home, you can move the sail to your new home and reinstall it for the price of new tension points.
Vinyl is the ideal choice if you are looking for a maintenance-free material that will not require staining or painting. Vinyl also last longer than wood and is resistant to decay and rot. Choose the UV resistant vinyl that will not discolor or fade after sun exposure if you are going with this option.
Perhaps the concrete is basically sound, but has a few hairline cracks. In that case you can lay porcelain or stone tiles over the top, to give an elegant finish to your patio. It's a good idea to use tiles with a textured finish, to reduce the risk of slipping when the tiles are wet. You can use other materials such as sandstone, limestone, granite or slate, as long as they are properly sealed. If you often have freezing conditions over winter, then ensure the tiles don't absorb high levels of water, or they might crack. Be aware, too, that existing cracks in the concrete may expand and cause the tiles on top to crack as well.
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