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Types of Shade Structures

indexPergolas are a freestanding structure usually placed within the landscape. They can cover a pathway and define the walking space, or can cover a patio or entertaining space outdoors. A pergola usually has open sides, and either a slatted or solid roof.

Patio covers are similar to pergolas, except they are attached to the house. This can be an advantage, because the patio cover can use the home for support and thus may cost less to build than a freestanding structure.

Gazebos are an eight-sided structure with a solid roof, most commonly used in traditional garden styles like English or French. Gazebos have gotten a bad name since so many of them have been built from cheap kits and placed poorly within the landscape, yet they can be an attractive addition if the style of the surrounding landscape works with the structure.

Screened porches are built directly onto your house, usually off the back door for easy access. Instead of glass windows, they have large screens that protect from insects. Screened porches are great for dining, since you get the experience of being outdoors without having yellow jackets landing on your burger.

Sunrooms are also built directly onto the home. Because a sunroom can be fully-insulated and built with dual-pane windows, it’s a four-season structure that acts as an addition to your home. They’re fully weatherproof, so you can watch birds and wildlife in comfort, even in winter. A sunroom is really only different from the rest of your house in that it has so many windows to enhance your experience of the outdoors.

Patio Cover Care | Outdoor Living Space Cleaning | S&S Construction

thPower-Washing Your Patio – Do’s and Don’ts

With the change in seasons, specifically Winter into Spring, we naturally begin to think about our outdoor living space. Wow, what a mess its been left from the Winter rains and storms!  A quick way to spruce up the space is by pressure washing/power washing the patio surface.  However,  in order to do it successfully, requires some skill and knowledge. Following is a list of do’s and don’ts that will help you.


  • Practice using the pressure washer
  • Test the pressure washer  on a small, inconspicuous space of your deck’s surface
  • Use a wide angle tip (25-40 degrees), which creates a wider spray and will help protect the surface from damage
  • Begin your pressure washing several feet away, moving closer in as you go
  • Wear rubber, non-slip boots
  • Be mindful of what’s on the other side (especially if you’re power-washing a wooden fence)
  • Safety First!


  • Don’t use hot water, cold is sufficient
  • Keep the nozzle 1-2 feet from the object you’re cleaning
  • Use a pressure of 2,000-3,000 psi for your deck and 500-800 psi for a wooden fence
  • Don’t pressure wash in tight quarters as you might damage your surface
  • Never spray directly at another person, animal, window, brick, stucco or masonry
  • Safety First!