A patio canopy is a covering which is designed to extend over a patio, providing shade in a hot climate, or protection from rain and the elements. There are a number of different styles of patio canopy which can go with an assortment of decorating styles. Home supply stores and hardware stores are a good resource for patio canopies, and it is also possible to order customized versions from companies which specialize in patio furnishing and accessories.
The simplest form of a patio canopy is simply a shade umbrella which can be mounted on a table or in a stand to offer some shade and protection from the elements. Shade umbrellas can also be closed up and removed, which can be very convenient in an environment where people might want a mixture of shelter and full exposure. Canvas is a classic material for a patio umbrella, and it may be weather treated so that it can endure rainy weather.
It is also possible to find roll-out shades which attach to a structure and clip into a pole. These shades can be pulled out when a patio canopy is desired, and retracted when one is not. Retractable shades come in a range of shapes and sizes, from thin slices which offer a wedge of shade, to canopies which can cover an entire patio. In winter weather, the shade can be tightly bundled away in a protective housing so that it will not be damaged.
Movable patio canopies mounted on poles are also available. These are useful for patios and terraces which are not directly adjacent to a house, and they can also be moved to provide shade on a patch of the lawn or in another area. Classically, the poles are mounted on sturdy bases, although they can also be sunk into the ground for a more permanent installation, with the canopy being removable so that it can be stored during storms and winter weather.
Fixed patio canopies which attach to frameworks which extend over a patio are yet another incarnation of the patio canopy. These are common at restaurants and cafes which offer outdoor seating, as movable or retractable canopies are at risk of being damaged or stolen, although they can also be installed in a home. This type of canopy provides shelter year round while allowing breezes to flow beneath it, and it may extend only partway over the patio so that people can sit in full exposure when they want to.