Vinyl vs. Aluminum

Over the years, many of our customers have asked us about the differences between vinyl and aluminum patio covers. Here are some key facts regarding both.

First of all, it is important to know that Vinyl Concepts patio covers do NOT chalk out, fade out, crack and become excessively brittle in the sunlight like some vinyl products do. We use the highest quality UV stabilized products made in the USA that are designed to last for many, many years and carry a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty.

Both vinyl and aluminum patio covers are a much better alternative to wood when it comes to weathering, stability, termites and rot. The lumber available today deteriorates much quicker than lumber from years past. Why lumber is not as good as it used to be. Having purchased, sold and installed lumber for outdoor use for nearly 30 years, I have first-hand experience and have seen extensive examples in fencing, patio covers and siding.

Vinyl patio covers are available with dozens of different styles, designs and options including picket, lattice, louver, solid, shade, watertight, and much more. You have at least twenty different profile sizes to choose from, and a wide variety of construction styles, including stacked, flush, sandwiched or routed (mortise and tenon style) so you can really choose a look that fits your property and that set you apart from others. Aluminum patio covers have a few basic designs including spaced picket style allowing some light and some shade, and a solid waterproof type. The ends of the crimped aluminum profiles have a couple of caps styles to choose from. There are only a few profile sizes to choose from.

The extruded vinyl profiles in vinyl patio covers (vinyl lumber if you will) are thick and strong and do not dent or crumple upon impact by lawnmowers, childrens toys, bats, barbecues, etc. Vinyl patio covers are not painted, and do not have a surface coating that can scratch or chip or peel.

Vinyl patio covers are quiet in the rain and are not hot to the touch on scorching hot days. Aluminum can hold a lot of heat and burn you when touched. Vinyl patio covers look like smooth sanded painted wood. Aluminum patio covers have an artificial wood grain similar to an older mobile home or travel trailer.

Some of the brand names of aluminum patio covers include Alumawood®, Durawood®, and Elitewood®.

Why lumber is not as good as it used to be.
The fact is we have very little access to true “old growth” lumber any more. Old growth forests are densely populated, which means the trees have less access to sunlight, air and water, and thus grow much more slowly. The resulting lumber has higher density because it has much tighter growth rings (fewer per inch) and is more resistant to weathering and insects and rot. I also suspect the resin and natural oils are more prevalent in old growth lumber and that today’s processing and kiln drying further affect the long term stability of today’s lumber.

Patio Covers

 (877) 52 - VINYL

(877) 528 - 4695

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