Considering Your Options When Buying an FSOLS Patio Cover

Making a major purchase like a patio cover means you need to consider several facts about the product and how it will serve your needs.

  1. Size Matters. Basic information like the covered area width and depth, as well as the height at which the patio will hang on the house wall, are all measurements that need careful thought before ordering. The depth is the projection from the home while the width is the dimension running parallel to the home. Obstacles such as windows, gutters, sliding doors, and chimneys have to be considered when determining the height of the awning at the house side. The clearance needed to fasten the "header" material of our patio covers is either 3 inches for the Contempra and 5 inches for all others, such as the Optima and TWV Series.
  2. Snow Load. Once you know the size to order, find out your area's required snow load. You can ask the local building department, look it up yourself online or call our 800 number to find out. Snow load refers to the amount of weight the patio cover roof can hold per square foot. We have 10 lbs. for all of you lucky sun worshipers, all the way up to 50lbs. for those living in winter wonderlands, but not all of our awning sizes come in all snow loads. For example, our 14 ft. deep patio covers only come in 10 lbs. snow loads. And, only the insulated roof patio cover Contempra goes up to 50lbs. Snow load is a big determining factor in the model and size patio cover to order from FSOLS.
  3. Wind Rating. For most areas of the U.S., 115 mph wind rating is plenty. For those living in a hurricane zone such as Florida, that's not enough. Our TWV Series and Optima are wind rated at 115 mph. However, for those areas in a hurricane zone, the Contempra in a 40 lbs. snow load will raise the wind rating to 120 mph or higher and is the best option we offer for this environment, especially if you require a permit.
  4. Color. Deciding on the color is pretty easy. Go with a color we offer that matches the trim on the home--most folks go with white--or a color that compliments the overall home's color. Dark Bronze seems to compliment warm tones, while white will go with almost anything. Ivory, same situation, however, we only offer ivory on our TWV Series patio covers.
  5. Accessories. Now the fun part! Adding lighting and fans are an option after purchase on the Optima and TWV Series. Our Utility Beams retrofit easily if you wait to purchase one. On the other hand, the Contempra Utility Beams are only sold as part of the patio cover kit. Word to the wise: read the descriptions carefully prior to purchase. Downspout kits can be easily added after purchase as well, but here again, we have two models: one that fits the Optima and Contempra, and one that fits the TWV Series.

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