Climate Controls for the Patio


There are many ways to modify the climate on a patio that receives too much sun or wind. Roofs and trees protect patios from the sun, while fencing or glass control the wind. Before you decide on what structure is right for your situation, consider the design of the patio, the house, and the garden. The weather modifier should be harmonious with the surroundings.

A variety of overheads are available for sun control. They include many styles such as egg-crate, lattice, screen, canvas, fiberglass, plastic, or aluminum. The overhead can be permanent, adjustable, or portable. Some roofs are solid, others transparent. A transparent roof offers protection but lets the light in.

Canvas and Slates Provide Shade

Wind can be handled in two ways-it can either be diverted (turned aside to miss the protected area) or baffled (forced to pass through a screen ). Trees, hedges, and fencing will do both. However, it takes several years for trees and hedges to be effective. Fences provide immediate protection. Glass and clear plastic wind screens work well if you want to block the wind but not the view.

Climate Control Ideas

Egg-crate grids- You can get a small degree of sun conditioning with an egg-crate overhead. It provides slight shade, protection from slanting direct sun rays in morning or late afternoon, and even a little wind deflection. The grids do not interfere with the free flow of air. They do create strong shadow patterns on the patio as the sun moves across the sky.

The trellis or lattice-The trellis can serve as a double purpose to serve as a overhead protection with minimum obstruction from vertical supports. It can also serve as a trellis for plants to grow onto.

Laths-These can filter the sun’r rays, and block the force of the wind. These structures are actually wood strips that are spaced evenly apart and are supported by beams and crosspieces that filter the direct rays of the sun. The degree of the filtration from the sun will depend on how close together the strips are placed. They also break the force of the wind without stopping vertical air circulation. Climbing vines can be trained on lath overheads to increase sun control. The lattice roof can be free standing and not attached directly to the house.

Entry gardens can be shaded by two freestanding latticed overheads which can be supported by steel or aluminum posts. Upper sunshade should be around 12 ft. High at the point of the “V”, and rise up to 15 ft. Over the eave.
Another idea is to shade your garden by double slanting the planes that rise from 10 ft. High and to 14 ft. over the eave. These are just a few things that you can do yourself to help shade your patio.

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