Frequently Asked Questions
Differences between Elitewood, Alumawood, and Duralum that Homeowners Should Know
This is the most commonly asked question from homeowners and it’s often misunderstood.
It is very important to understand that there are 2 brands of Elitewood aluminum patio covers. There is Elitewood Ultra and Elitewood Classic, both manufactured by Four Seasons Building Products in Buena Park, CA. Elitewood Ultra is the superior patio cover product on the market. It features the most beautiful and realistic deep driftwood texture, 25% thicker gauge aluminum beams, and an impenetrable Kynar 500 paint coating. Elitewood Ultra is the only patio cover product that has a non-staining coating system. Lattice patio covers are often susceptible to “black streaking” on the rafter beams due to rain or morning dew washing the sitting dust down the vertical sides of the beams; however, a simple hose will easily wash those black streaks away with NO staining!
This can not be said for all the other patio covers products which can stain if not properly maintained.
Elitewood Ultra also comes with a 30-year materials warranty & 10-year labor warranty. This warranty also covers fading & chalking, which no other patio cover product covers. Keep in mind, Elitewood Ultra will have a higher price point then Elitewood Classic, Alumawood or Weatherwood.
Elitewood Classic looks the same as Alumawood & Weatherwood, just made by different manufacturers. Elitewood Classic is manufactured by Four Seasons Building Products. Alumawood is manufactured by Amerimax. Weatherwood is manufactured by Duralum.
Elitewood Classic, Alumawood & Weatherwood, when held side by side, look the exact same; however, Elitewood Classic has 25% thicker gauge aluminum beams and has a primer coat of paint. So, don’t be fooled!
All 3 aluminum patio cover products feature a light cedar wood texture & Teflon paint coating. Although the Teflon coating does provide added shininess to the finish, it isn’t comparable to the Kynar 500 paint finish on the Elitewood Ultra. This is clearly demonstrated thru the warranty which covers 15 years on material & 3 years on the labor for the Elitewood Classic. Alumawood & Weatherwood only cover 1 year on labor. So, if you’re trying to decide between Elitewood Classic vs. Alumawood or Weatherwood, go with the Elitewood Classic. It has a better warranty and is installed by more qualified contractors. Keep in mind neither warranty covers fading or chalking, so if you’re thinking about installing a color besides white then consider upgrading to Elitewood Ultra.
Weatherwood virtually has the same warranty as Alumawood but does not cover unpermitted structures.
Another assurance that can put homeowners at ease, is that Elitewood Ultra & Elitewood Classic can only be purchased by licensed & insured contractors with long standing reputable businesses. Start up companies, and the guy next door, typically use Alumawood or Weatherwood since a contractors license or insurance aren’t necessary to purchase from those manufacturing companies.
View our product comparison below to better understand the features and benefits.
Vinyl patio cover material is in high demand in OC due to its popularity and design, but many homeowners are unaware that the sunlight exposure causes the material to become weak and crack over time. If I were to compare the vinyl patio cover and aluminum patio cover over the long run, durability is the distinguishing factor. The solution for a vinyl patio cover is to entirely replace it with a new vinyl patio cover.
This page is intended to give you a clear idea of what you should expect when spending on a vinyl patio cover, either through a patio cover contractor or do-it-yourself (DYI) kit.
Alumawood is another highly demanded and well-known product on the market. The Alumawood patio cover material is made of aluminum and wood particles, which is slightly superior to vinyl.
On the other hand, you have aluminum patio cover, which is amongst the most popular materials in the United States. Unlike alumawood and vinyl, aluminum is made entirely of metal; the only minor issue is discoloration when exposed to the sun, but a coating solution is provided.
Due to their superior cost effectiveness, aluminum and vinyl are among the top materials for home renovation projects. While we could build our patio covers and sunrooms with many materials, Patio Warehouse uses aluminum products for their combination of durability, efficiency, and cost savings.
In Orange County, California, the constant sunshine creates a friendly climate, but it’s not as kind to vinyl. Over time, vinyl can fade, warp, and crack. Aluminum withstands the elements, providing long-lasting strength and style.
While both aluminum and vinyl are easy to maintain, Patio Warehouse chooses aluminum for our Elitewood patio cover and Sunroom projects because of its ability to provide a lightweight frame that can be embossed with attractive woodgrain patterns and coated with protective enamel and custom paint colors.
Aluminum stands as one of the most affordable building materials. While vinyl is also included in the cost-effective category, aluminum can be easily enhanced with additions like baked enamel coatings, which provide energy saving protection against the harshest elements.
Different design options for Vinyl Patio Covers in Orange County
One of the good things of a vinyl patio cover is the options it offers when it comes to the design. Depending on the manufacturer, vinyl patio covers are available in a variety of styles and customization options such as color, size, and trim.
In Orange County, vinyl patio contractors currently offer the following designs:
- Adjustable top
- Louvered Top
- Comfort Shade
- Mixed and Custom
3 Reasons Why You Should Buy Vinyl Patio Cover?
If your mind is set to spend on a vinyl patio cover, here’s three reasons who you should.
- Low maintenance
- Cost effective
- Plenty design options
Why Should You NOT Purchase a Vinyl Patio Cover?
On the other hand, if you are still unsure about whether to invest in a vinyl patio cover, consider the following:
- Short lifespan: If you decide to invest in a vinyl patio cover, you will be required to spend money more than once over a 30-year period. A vinyl patio cover will last between 10 and 15 years, meanwhile an aluminum patio cover lasts between 20 and 30 years.
- Durability: Vinyl patio cover is known to be durable. However, exposure to sunlight can cause it to deteriorate and eventually crack.
- Appearance: Due to the limited color and options, vinyl patio covers can give the perception of being low quality.
Frequently asked questions:
What is the best material for a patio cover?
- Aluminum is currently the best material on the market due to its modern and aesthetic appearance. Of course, it all depends on your preferences and your investment budget. Other alternatives may be alumawood, wood, or vinyl.
Which is better: aluminum or vinyl patio?
- Although both patio cover materials are popular, aluminum patio covers have superior durability, maintenance, and aesthetics.
How much does it cost to put in an aluminum patio cover?
- Depending on the Aluminum material (Classic or Elitewood), type of finish, color and design, the price of an aluminum patio cover ranges between $3,999 to $39,999. Fill out the contact form to receive a free estimate.
From high-end patio enclosures to louvered patio covers, aluminum construction offers upscale dependability at sensible prices.
How to Choose a Sunroom Installer
When you are considering adding a sunroom or a patio enclosure to your house, you only want the very best. Choosing the right sunroom contractor can mean the difference between a worry-free, easy process that results in a family gathering spot you enjoy for years to come—and a stressful situation that ends up feeling like a waste of time and money.
If you are thinking about hiring a sunroom installer in the near future, here are five things to consider:
While it may seem like a better idea to go with a larger, franchised company with offices all over the country, we highly recommend choosing a smaller, locally-owned company. Sunroom contractors who have lived and worked in Orange County, CA for their entire professional lives are not only more invested in their community, they are also better-versed in the building codes, the local permitting process, and inspection procedures in your area. Choosing a non-local company can result in expensive fines and delays and make your entire experience less enjoyable.
Look at Past Projects
A good contractor should not only be willing, but also happy and proud, to show you examples of past work. When you look at a sunroom installer’s past projects, make note of quality, consistency—and also variety and versatility. You want a contractor who can make your sunroom addition look and feel like part of your original construction, not one who takes a quick, cookie-cutter approach. If you find a sunroom contractor who you like, but you notice that every project looks the same, keep searching. Nothing is worse than a sunroom that looks like it was tacked on as an afterthought. At Patio Warehouse, we pride ourselves on our design-build skills. We’d love to you to browse our sunroom galleries and our other past projects.
Look at the Reviews
What former customers think about their sunroom contractor’s work really says a lot. Fortunately, we live in the age of Facebook and Yelp, so you can do your research before hiring a sunroom installer. When you check a contractor’s reviews, look for things like reliable customer service, professionalism, and the ability to deliver on time and on budget. Many of our former customers consider us the best sunroom contractors in Orange County, CA. We gladly invite you to check our references!
Online pictures can show you a lot about the quality and consistency of a sunroom contractor’s work, but visiting a showroom can give you an even better sense of the materials the contractor uses. At Patio Warehouse, we use the highest-grade, deeply embossed aluminum products that give your new sunroom addition the look and feel of real wood. We also use the best, most energy-efficient glass in the industry—glazed, tempered, insulated, and able to filter out up to 99% of harmful UV rays. Schedule an appointment to see our showroom yourself!
Check Professional Affiliations
This should go without saying, but you should always make sure to choose a sunroom contractor who is licensed and insured. There’s a lot that can go wrong on a construction site, so you want to choose a contractor who puts safety and professional reputation first.
Ready to get started?
If you live in the Orange County area and you are ready to start sunroom construction, we would love to have the opportunity to submit a quote. It doesn’t cost a thing to get started, so contact us for your free, in-home estimate today.
We evaluate the state of your lattice patio cover to see if the existing structural members, like the posts, header beam, and concrete footings can facilitate the engineering requirements to a solid cover. If it’s possible, we take off the lattice top and replace it with a solid top.
If the existing structural members don’t facilitate the engineering approval, we need to tear down the lattice patio cover and follow the engineering requirements for a solid patio cover. This is recommended due to the lattice patio cover not being engineered for wind uploads, which requires larger concrete footings and stronger structural steel posts.
What’s the process to a regular patio cover process?
Patio Warehouse uses a six-step method to complete any patio cover projects.
- Design site check: One of our team members visits your residency to get measurements.
- Drafting: We provide you with a professional draft of your custom patio cover to visualize the prototype.
- HOA approval: HOA approval takes 2-6 months, so completing it is a significant milestone.
- Engineering & City permits: Our team completes the blueprints to successfully obtain the required city permits.
- Material site check & manufacturing: Our team ensures that all materials are available to provide you with an estimated time to begin the installation process.
- Installation: The installation process takes between 2-4 days to complete!
If you want to build your new year-round sanctuary please fill out this form.
Process to build a patio cover on an existing concrete?
Even if you have an existing concrete on which to build your patio cover, you are still required to obtain the HOA and city permits.
There are two paths to getting a city permit depending on the design.
The first path is simple and usually faster if the lattice patio cover is designed within the standard ICC engineering plans. We highlight the engineering plans and draft a plot plan of the lot. The process can take up to 1-2 weeks to get a city permit.
For the second path if the patio cover is designed outside the standard engineering plans. When this is the case, we must get site-specific engineering plans from an engineer with a wet stamp. A few examples are to use custom base plates in lieu of concrete footings, attaching a header beam to a house wall, custom angles, A-frame roofs, etc. This process will take up to 1 month to complete.
We will also need to submit the plans for reviewal by the city which can take up to 1-2 months.
The single rafter beams are 24” apart and the double rafter beams are 48” apart. The lattice tubes are typically 2″–3” apart but can be customized depending on how much shading you want.