14 Inexpensive Ways to Cover Concrete Patio

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When someone first came up with the idea for a patio, it was devised solely for relaxation. You can decorate them and design a comfortable sitting area for you and your friends and family.

Nothing goes too far when it comes to concrete patios because they’re usually in your backyard, not in the front. The only people that will see it are people that you invite to see it, so why not have a little fun?

When you begin to come up with an idea for how your concrete patio will look, functionality is important. There should be an adequate amount of seating, which is all furniture made for outdoor use; a table or some type of surface for food and drinks; easy access to the door that leads inside your house; and most importantly, a cover, to provide shade and privacy.

We’re going to be focusing on how to inexpensively cover a concrete patio.

Inexpensive Ways to Cover Concrete Patio

There are all sorts of routes you can take for covering your patio.

Some people choose to build a luxurious overhead canopy out of wooden slats, while others buy a cheap fabric awning that they can quickly install and forget about before moving on with their day. These two patio cover ideas have a very different look to them, and one might seem more expensive.

A wood cover takes a lot of time, thought, labor, and money. However, retractable fabric covers tend to look cheap and lazy.

There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on supplies and labor workers to construct an elaborate cover for your patio when there are inexpensive options available that look just as unique and high-quality.

So how do you cover a concrete patio without breaking your bank?

Here are 14 ways how…

1. Buy a Shade Sail or Shade Cloth

shade&beyond sun canopy

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A shade cloth is a stretched piece of fabric that hangs above a patio, any type of patio.

A shade sail is the same thing, except shaped like a sail rather than a square. This might sound like the retractable covers you’ve seen, but they are, in fact, completely different.

Since shade cloths are stretched across, they look more sophisticated and design-oriented. You can place them almost anywhere.

All you have to do is create three or four spots to mount the cloth from, depending on the shape of the cloth. You can do this by embedding poles into the ground or by attaching hooks to an already existing cover.

Shade cloths are very inexpensive; they go for $30 to $40 on Amazon and are just as cheap at some hardware stores, like Lowe’s.

2. Wood Frame with Translucent Cover

wooden patio

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Patio covers made entirely of wood and that have wooden slats going all the way across a concrete patio are simply too expensive to make.

They also take loads of time and planning, and possibly some professional help to create properly. That’s why instead you should build just the base frame of your patio cover with wood and then place a polygonal translucent ribbed panel on top for weather protection.

The type of translucent panel we are referring to is sometimes used for constructing greenhouses because of how durable it is. It will also do a great job at insulating the area that covered.

Typically, it is for areas with warm weather, but it works great in all climates.

It’s a quick and easy process. Build wooden (or material of your choosing) vertical supports with wooden planks in between.

Lay a few more across the middle to further support the plastic panel you’ll be putting over the top. Then all you have to do is get some help to push the panel up onto the support beams, attach it, and voila! You’ve successfully covered your patio!

These panels are plastic. Even for large patios, they’re cheap to buy.

Online, many options are under a hundred dollars and work perfectly.

3. Build a Palapa

Build a Palapa

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What is a palapa?

A palapa is a canopy-like structure covered with a roof made of thatch. Thatched roofs are made with dried palm leaves.

You might’ve seen a palapa over a tiki bar before; you just didn’t know the name of it. We bet you really never thought of using it as a way to inexpensively cover your concrete patio.

Thatched roofs do an amazing job at keeping the weather away and creating a whole lot of shade. They are also extremely fascinating to look at.

This could be a good idea if you plan to design your outdoor area with a beach theme. Desert themes could match as well because of the light tan color of the leaves.

Palapas are for warm or hot weather. They can withstand endless heat, but if a blizzard comes through, you’ll most likely have to rebuild the entire thing.

The whole point of building an inexpensive patio cover is to save money, so if you live in a cold climate, consider one of the other two options talked about above in this article rather than building a palapa.

However, if you live in a warm climate and you can build one, you should because it will last a long time and looks much more interesting than most other patio covers.

Inexpensive Ways To Cover A Concrete Patio

4. Pavers


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Interlocking pavers are a flexible and affordable option for revamping a drab concrete patio. They provide infinite design options to turn your outdoor space into a lovely and welcoming area. You can design a look that matches the architectural style of your home using the variety of paver colors, shapes, and textures available.

The simplicity of installation is one of the major advantages of interlocking pavers. You can lay them directly over your concrete patio without requiring intensive preparation or expert installation. With interlocking pavers, you can build a level, uniform surface that resists shifting and cracking and offers better drainage.

5. Outdoor Rugs

Outdoor Rugs
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Adding an outdoor rug is a simple and affordable way to cover a concrete patio. You can find a range of sizes, hues, and patterns to match your decor.

They are typically constructed from strong materials that withstand weather conditions like rain and sun. Your concrete patio can be given a splash of color and texture while also becoming more comfortable to walk on due to outdoor rugs. You can also find rugs that are simple to maintain and clean.

The best materials for outdoor rugs are polyester and polypropylene. These products can last many years and are frequently made from recycled plastics. Natural materials like sisal and jute seem effective options, but they are difficult to clean. They also tend to shed and are not the best choice for moist environments.

Therefore, it is advised to choose outdoor rugs made of durable synthetic materials. They can resist the elements and require little maintenance.

6. Painting Or Stenciling

Painting Or Stenciling
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Color gives a space warmth and liveliness. Hence, using stencils or paint, your concrete patio can be decorated with color and pattern. This option is inexpensive and manageable on your own.

Your concrete patio can be decorated with stencils or paint, both of which are DIY-friendly and inexpensive options. To create geometric or abstract designs, you can use painter’s tape or stencils. Alternatively, you can also freehand paint a monument or landscape. Just make sure to use paint designed specifically for concrete and weather-resistant.

7. Adding Plants

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A concrete patio can be given life and color by adding plants and other greenery. Plants can help to lighten the concrete’s angular shapes and grey color, making the space feel cozier and more natural. In addition, plants can enhance air quality, lessen noise pollution, and draw pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Consider your climate and the sunlight the area receives when selecting plants for your concrete patio. Some plants, like ferns and hostas, prefer a cooler, shadier environment. In contrast, others, like succulents and cacti, thrive in hot, dry conditions.

You can control the soil type and drainage of your plants by adding plants, making it simpler to take care of them. To make it look appealing to the eye, you can choose from various containers, such as pots, planters, and hanging baskets. Using containers in various sizes, shapes, and colors can give your patio a distinctive and cohesive appearance.

8. Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Lighting
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A concrete patio can become more inviting by installing outdoor lighting. With so many lighting options available, picking a design that complements your decor and meets your needs is simple.

You can use string lights to hang them from a pergola or other outdoor structure and cast a cozy glow. There are many different lengths and bulb types available for string lights, including LED and bulbs. While bulbs emit a warm, vintage look, LED bulbs are more energy-efficient and last longer.

Another well-liked type of outdoor lighting is lanterns. These lights can hang from branches or hooks or be set on top of tables. Some lanterns also are battery or solar-powered, which makes them a great option for homeowners who care about the environment. Traditional, contemporary, and rustic are just a few of the styles, shapes, and sizes available for lanterns.

9. DIY Wood Decking

DIY Wood Decking
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A great way to create an elegant and useful outdoor living space is to build a wooden deck over your concrete patio. It is not only a reasonable choice, but it can also raise the value of your house. Your concrete patio can be transformed into a lovely and inviting space that you and your relatives can enjoy for many years with a few basic woodcraft skills and the right materials.

Due to its low maintenance requirements and resistance to rot, insects, and moisture, composite decking is a popular choice. It is also simple to customize your deck to match the design of your house because it is available in a variety of colors and textures.

To create a great wooden deck, you can include railings, stairs, and other accessories. Additionally, you can paint your deck to improve its appearance and protect it from the weather.

10. Gravels

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Crushed stones or gravels laid over a concrete patio can give your outdoor area a natural, rustic look while serving practical purposes. Most home improvement stores have gravel or crushed stone as a cheap alternative that is easily accessible. It is also a low-maintenance choice because it doesn’t need to be watered or mowed.

Gravel can function as drainage assistance and help keep your patio from becoming soggy. This is crucial, especially if your patio doesn’t have the proper slope, as water buildup can harm your patio and create risks like slick surfaces.

You can choose colored gravel to match your decor, or you can choose natural stones like river rocks and crushed granite. Spreading a material layer over your patio and leveling it with rollers or shovels will enable you to install gravel or crushed stone quickly.

11. Reed And Bamboo Fencing

Reed And Bamboo Fencing
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Creating a privacy fence for your concrete patio with bamboo is cost-effective and adaptable. Bamboo or reed fencing can assist with achieving your desired look and feel, whether you want to restrict the view of a busy road or make a warm and inviting outdoor space.

Reed and bamboo fencing have the advantage of being simple to install. Depending on the type of material used for your patio, you can use screws, cable ties, or clamps to secure the fencing to the wall surfaces of your patio. However, it is an excellent choice for house owners who want to spruce up their outdoor area without making any long-term changes.

Bamboo is also a sustainable option as it is the fastest-growing plant. As a result, you can feel really good about the environmental impact of your purchase.

12. Convertible Awning

Convertible Awning
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Your concrete patio can be shaded and made more adaptable with an extendable awning, a flexible and reasonably priced option. A retractable awning enables you to quickly and easily change the amount of shade on your patio, whether you want to take advantage of the sun or strive for some shade.

You can pick an extendable awning that fits the sizes of your patio and matches your decor because they come in various sizes and designs. They are a sensible option for outdoor use because they are frequently made of sturdy materials that can withstand any weather condition.

Awnings that retract are also simple to install and require little maintenance. They can be manually or electrically powered and fastened to the patio walls.

13. Lattice Or Trellis

Lattice Or Trellis
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The best and most affordable way to give your concrete patio privacy and style is with a trellis or lattice. It is a criss cross-patterned metal or wood framework that is ideal for growing climbers or vines. In addition to enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space, it forms a natural wall that can provide shade and privacy.

You can choose a trellis or lattice that matches the aesthetic of your patio because they are available in various designs and sizes. They are typically constructed from sturdy materials, such as metal or wood, to ensure longevity.

14. Artificial Grass

For people looking to protect their concrete patio, artificial grass is a fantastic option. It is a low-maintenance and cost-effective choice that can give your outdoor space a lush and green appearance all year long. The durability and longevity of artificial grass are one of its greatest benefits, making it perfect for outdoor and indoor use.

Artificial grass is a viable option for those looking to reduce the time and money spent on maintenance because it doesn’t need to be watered, cut, or fertilized like natural grass. It will continue to look great for many years because it is also resistant to insects and weather damage.

Build a Concrete Patio Cover That You Love

No matter what type of patio cover you decide to make, you should be comfortable with looking at it every day when you go outside. Don’t feel like you need to settle just because of a shortage of funds.

These 3 patio cover ideas aren’t the only ones out there; do some research and find one that makes you happy in every way. And after it’s completed, if you don’t like it, try to change it or build a different one. Since you saved money, you can afford to redo it!

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