It’s the eternal struggle – the choice between a nice cedar arbor or a more functional and long-lasting structure. When first built, arbors like the ones pictured below are beautiful. The problem is that they instantly go into a state of decay because of the way they are built and the exposure the wood has to the elements. If vines or other vegetation are allowed to grow on an arbor, it decays even faster. The numerous joints on horizontal surfaces of the arbor will hold water, which will soak into the wood regardless of how well it is stained or painted. Within a few years all the little rotten spots will get out of hand and the structure will have to be taken down.
A solid cover provides you and the structure more protection from the rain and sun. The solid ceiling helps with area heat retention when it is chilly and a place for a fan to work safely to cool you during warmer days. This allows you to use the new space more often—and much longer—than an open arbor. The bottom line is that while a solid cover will cost more than an arbor, it is a much better value and more useful than an arbor.
Posted with permission from Mike Medford. Originally published at http://askmikeabouthomeremodeling.com/2013/04/03/dont-waste-your-money-on-an-arbor-go-with-a-solid-patio-cover/. See more of Mike’s blogs at http://www.mikemedford.com/.