How to Deal with a West-Facing Patio

July 23, 2021 11:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There’s nothing quite like watching the sunset from your own backyard patio—except for the punishing heat that the sun inflicts. When you have a west-facing patio, the late afternoon and evening sun can raise the outdoor temperature significantly. It’s not particularly comfortable, and it can even heat your home’s interior if you have glass patio doors. Luckily, there are some patio design tips and tricks you can employ to beat the heat.

Throw some shade

The best way to protect your patio from the heat is to create shade. There are many ways you can accomplish this, from planting trees to installing retractable shades. Depending on your budget, some methods are going to be more affordable than others.

One bonus to adding shade on your home’s western side is that you’ll likely save money on your cooling costs in the summer. The less heat that’s able to make its way into your home, the cooler it will stay.

Remember too that if your patio is concrete or asphalt, it will reflect the heat when the sun is shining. Keeping the pavement cool will help keep the ambient temperature down—and the best way to do this is to shade the entire area.

How to create shade

You can use one or more of these ideas to maximize your shaded area:

  • Install a pergola: Pergolas can be built for anywhere from $500 to $5,000, depending on size, type of wood used and whether you choose to do it yourself. If you add hanging plants, curtains or canopies to the top, you can create a lot of shade for less money.
  • Construct an awning or roof: This is one of the most effective ways to shade your patio, but it’s also one of the most expensive. This permanent installation is a great way to add value to your home.
  • Build a fence or wall: If you lack a fence or wall that will block some of the afternoon sunlight, this solution will add privacy as well as shade. However, it’s less likely to block the heat when the sun is directly overhead.
  • Use a canopy: Basic canopies are readily available from home improvement stores, ranging in price from $100 to $500, depending on size. They’re not a permanent solution, but they can provide plenty of shade in a pinch.
  • Add retractable shades: This permanent solution is on the expensive side—you can easily spend thousands of dollars. However, this is a great way to have shade when you want it, while still letting the sunshine in during the cooler months.
  • Plant trees or hang plants: The greenest solution, of course, is to plant shade trees and hang plants. If you have a pergola, hanging plants are a great way to add additional shade. This is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other solutions.

Need help with your patio design? The team at Buhrt Builders Inc. can help you build awnings, roofs, fences, walls and pergolas. Call us today to get started.

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