Adding a Patio Shade Structure to Your Landscape – Ideas & Costs  

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    Spending time outside during Kansas City summers is ideal. It’s even better when you can spend more time in nature, without rain or darkness stopping you.

    Enter patio shade structures. There are so many options to enhance your outdoor living time.

    These are creative architectural elements that can add height, aesthetics, and a unique functionality to your home landscape. Relaxing under them, playing games with friends, enjoying shade, dining with family – it’s all possible under these structures.

    Backyard patio shade ideas can be endless. Let’s look at the multiple options available for these spaces, their differences and unique attributes, and how they can enhance your patio.

    Why Add a Patio Shade Structure?   

    You invest quite a bit in your backyard patio, and you don’t want to miss a minute enjoying it.

    Patio shade structures, such as pergolas or screened rooms, give you a comfortable environment to enjoy a multitude of seasons and weather patterns, all while still getting the fresh air you crave. They make your outdoor square footage more usable, and are much easier to add than building another room onto your home.

    People add them for many reasons. First, they want to increase the time they can comfortably spend outside with their family. Second, they want to increase their usable space where they can be protected from the elements. And, third, they don’t want Mother Nature’s mood swings in Kansas City to stop them from enjoying their patio in various weather extremes. Whether it’s very hot, very cold, very wet, or very dry, a patio shade structure can make being outdoors more comfortable and cozy.

    Patio Shade Structure Locations  

    To determine the best location for your patio shade structure, landscape designers use two tactics: keeping it close to home or creating a destination to discover.

    With a design that keeps your patio structure close to your home, you have the luxury of stepping right out of your back door and onto your outdoor living space – no matter what the weather conditions. It could be raining and you can still enjoy your outside oasis.

    The only challenge would be that your design might be limited by your existing architecture. This means it might require structural work to ensure it attaches to your home properly.

    For a landscape that adds a patio shade structure as a destination, you can achieve your goal of a comfortable space in a new area of your yard that may have been unusable in the past. This allows you to have the feeling of a getaway in your own backyard. Your landscape designer can create the pergola or structure as a key focal point to improve your vista or even screen unsightly views from your backyard.

    The con here is that the area is located further from your home, so transporting food and drinks can be less convenient than having it attached or nearer to your home.

    Different Types Of Patio Shade Structures   

    Patio shade structures come in more shapes and sizes than you can imagine.

    Not sure which landscape structure is best for you? Let’s review their main attributes and differences so you can get a feeling for what might suit your landscape and lifestyle best.


    A pergola typically has an open roof with layered beams overhead. This roofing grid of beams and rafters is supported by columns.

    Pergolas can be freestanding or attached to your home, depending on the location of your patio. They can match almost any garde design since they can be made from wood, aluminum, or PVC. However, wood and aluminum are more long-lasting and able to withstand Kansas City’s freeze-and-thaw environment.

    Pergolas can be designed to offer varying levels of shade. They can be left open, include more beams, or the open roof area can be covered to more completely shelter those beneath it from the weather. Landscape designers can even install climbing plants for a classic look and natural shade or embrace a more modern look by keeping the structure clean.

    Screened Rooms  

    Screened rooms are another patio shade option. Your landscape designer can create them with wood, stone, aluminum, or even a combination of materials.

    Your designer can match them to any architectural style, giving you insect-free relaxation outdoors. This means no mosquitoes!

    Like pergolas, screened rooms can also be freestanding or attached to your home. What’s more is the screens can be permanent or retractable.



    Hybrid Patio Shade Structures  

    Can’t decide between a pergola or a screened room? Why not mix the best of both worlds? You can combine the comforting features of a bug-free, water-tight screened room with the ability to let sunlight and air in with a hybrid patio shade structure tailored specifically to your home and patio.

    A hybrid patio shade structure is an automated louvered pergola that opens and closes with the push of a button. The outdoor water-tight pergola comes from Renson, and High Prairie’s landscape designers and installers specialize in adding them to Kansas City properties.


    These features can include some optional custom additions, such as:

    • Glass walls
    • Sliding panels
    • Automated retractable screens
    • Integrated lighting
    • Heating
    • Sound
    • Fans


    Another perk of a hybrid pergola is that it can match any garden style since it can be made with wood or aluminum and include laser-cut design elements, glass, or privacy panels

    Hybrid pergolas do require access to electricity and often require an electrician for installation. The expert you hire to install this feature should be able to manage obtaining the electrician and permitting required for the job.  

    What Do Patio Shade Structures Cost?  

    There is quite a wide range of investment levels when it comes to pergolas, screened rooms, and hybrid shade structures.  

    Your total cost can be impacted by the size of your structure, the material it’s made of, the design and features involved, any necessary foundations or footings necessary, and permit requirements.

    Pergolas, which rarely require permits, can range from $18,000  to $45,000-plus for custom structures.

    The investment for a screened room depends on the foundation needed. These types of structures usually need additional supports and require permits. Your investment can be between $45,000 and $200,000.

    Hybrid pergolas are very customizable, so the price range is wide: between $25,000 to $120,000-plus. Permit requirements will vary by city.

    To maximize your budget, make sure you work with a designer who understands your outdoor living needs. Thai is because your patio shade structure should and will be part of a larger design that must be properly integrated into the space. Since there are so many ways to achieve a comfortable outdoor space, make sure to think long-term, inquiring about maintenance expectations and patio shade structure longevity.

    Remember to budget for permits and foundations when you’re thinking about setting aside dollars for your structure.

    Ready to Add Some Shade to Your Landscape?

    Whether you’re looking for a pergola to sit under and enjoy the scent of spring flowers or a screened porch to relax in while watching the kids splash in the pool, or a hybrid mix of the two of them to get the best of both worlds, a patio shade structure can change your backyard experience forever.

    Since these design ideas are endless, you might read through these trends and still wonder which one would best fit your lifestyle, space, and budget.

    Let High Prairie Outdoors help. We have a lot of experience installing these structures in many different Kansas City custom landscapes and can review your priorities and present you with an array of ideas that can bring your vision to life.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with a patio shade structure? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a design that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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