Many people have a misconception about patio covers. They think of it as mere big umbrellas that will provide them shade when they want to. The truth is that there are also covers that can easily be built into the patio. This built in patio covers make them permanent for longer protection against the harsh elements like rain, snow and intense heat.
You also have a choice of using a stand alone and attached covers. For those who want covers to appear as part of their home then you can use an attached patio. Otherwise, a stand alone cover for patio would be great.
There are actually so many options for you to choose from. You can make use of canopies as well as retractable awnings if you only want temporary shade. These are removable covers that can be uninstalled whenever you want them out of your sight. However, if you are planning to have a permanent fixture patio cover then make use of gazebos.