Hinkle Outdoor Living

Should I DIY or Hire a Pro to Install My Patio Covers?

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Figuring out whether to tackle a do-it-yourself (DIY) project or hire a professional can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to significant home improvement projects like patio covers. You may find yourself wondering: “Should I DIY or hire a pro to install my patio covers?” It’s a valid question, and one that deserves careful consideration. In this blog post, we’ll explore the complexities of both options, the processes involved, and how to ultimately make the right choice for your home.

Understanding the DIY Route

Embarking on a DIY patio cover installation? Here’s a detailed look at the process, challenges, and potential rewards you can expect from taking this hands-on route.

Preliminary Planning and Engineering Process

If you decide to take the DIY route for installing your patio covers, prepare yourself for a series of steps often referred to as “engineering”. First, you’ll need to draw a preliminary plan. This can be done using a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) system. Once your plan is sketched, it must be sent over to an architect who makes adjustments and ensures the design suits your overall vision.

After the architectural design is finalized, it’s time for the engineering phase. This stage often involves solving complex issues like how the patio cover will tie into the house or roof. It’s also during this phase where you may encounter the need for different lumber sizes, fasteners, pier sizes, and more, all of which can add up in terms of time and cost.

Permitting Process and Inspections

Once the engineering is completed, you’ll need to secure a permit from the city. This involves submitting your engineered plans for approval. However, the paperwork doesn’t end there.

Throughout the build process, various inspections will need to be conducted. These may include inspections on piering, roof tie-in, framing, and any electrical or plumbing work if included in your project. It’s a meticulous process, much like building a house.

Opting to Hire a Pro

Considering a professional touch for your patio cover installation? Let’s explore the benefits, process, and peace of mind that comes with hiring an expert contractor.

Cost and Quality Considerations

Hiring a pro for your patio cover installation may seem like a more expensive option, but is it? As they say, everything costs the same in the end. If you attempt a DIY project and it goes wrong, you’ll need to hire a pro to correct it, often resulting in the same expenditure as if you’d hired the pro initially.

Licensing, Insurance, and Warranties

Professional companies, like Hinkle Outdoor Living, are licensed Class C general contractors. This means they are qualified to build a house if necessary, and their license covers all structure-related work including deck and pool installations. They are licensed in many cities, and in those where they aren’t, they go through the process of obtaining a permit for your project.

When you hire a pro, not only do you benefit from their expertise and proficiency, but you also have the peace of mind of a warranty. If something goes wrong after the project’s completion, such as a leak during the first rain, a professional will be there to fix it. This alleviates the stress and uncertainty that can accompany DIY projects.

Making the Choice: DIY or Hire a Pro to Install My Patio Covers?

Whether you should DIY or hire a pro to install your patio covers is a decision that boils down to a number of factors, including your skill level, the complexity of the project, the time you can commit, and your budget.

DIY projects can be satisfying and rewarding, but they require significant front-end work and meticulous attention to detail throughout the process. On the other hand, hiring a pro offers the advantages of expertise, licensure, insurance, and warranty protections.


In the end, it’s about making the choice that best suits your needs, resources, and personal comfort level. And if you find yourself leaning towards hiring a pro, don’t hesitate to contact us at Hinkle Outdoor Living. Our team of licensed professionals is ready to turn your patio dreams into a reality.

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