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Arbors and Patio Covers – What’s the Difference?

Lori Donoghue


Construction, Patio

March 19, 2018

Arbors and patio covers make great additions to backyards— adding dimension, character, depth, beauty and perhaps most pronounced, shade. In the heat of Texas, we know how valuable shade can be. Although the structures share similar characteristics, there are a few key differences. The purpose of this post is to explain BMR Pool and Patio’s personal definitions and implications of each.


An arbor is a backyard shade shelter with aesthetic appeal. The biggest difference between arbors and patio covers is that arbors are not waterproof. Their lattice roof allows water to make its way through. Arbors are either freestanding or attached to a separate structure, but designed to provide shade over a walkway, patio, seating area, pool, bench, etc. At BMR, we build arbors using Western Red Cedar. The standard price includes staining of the cedar to ensure its protection from Mother Nature. Our team at BMR Pool and Patio can design and build any size, style or shape to fit your wants and needs.

Patio Cover

Unlike arbors, you can stand beneath a patio cover and not get wet. In other words, patio covers are waterproof. They also provide shade. A standard BMR patio cover is built from Standard Yellow Pine framing material, 30-year composition fire retardant shingles that matches the residence existing roof, finished with cedar textured sofit or painted to match the residence. We offer an upgraded finish to Western Red Cedar stained to your preference in color. Almost any size, style or shape can be designed to fit your needs.

Modified Roof Patio Cover

You might not hear the term Modified Roof Patio Cover too often, partially because the term was coined about 15 years ago when owners Rick and Mason had the idea of creating a waterproof arbor. So, you might be wondering, how do we create a waterproof arbor? First, our team builds a typical arbor with Western Red Cedar, but we do not install the shade slats on top that we would with a typical arbor. Instead, we create a Western Red Cedar ceiling, apply a 4×8 OSB roof decking, follow it with 30 lbs of felt paper and a bitumen asphalt roof. Each of these steps ensure a waterproof ceiling. In the old days, we called these structures modified roof arbors, but since the codes have changed and water shed through, we gave them a totally new redesign and name.

Now, You can Discover the BMR Difference

BMR takes pride in ensuring our customers are fully satisfied. For 20 years, we have been building arbors, pergolas and patio covers all around the metroplex. We love that we get to work with homeowners and establish a clear vision and picture of their backyard dream. Although we are the ones building it, YOU help control the look, feel and additional features. Want lighting or a bar? We can do it! What about a fireplace, refrigerator, stone columns or seat wall? No problem, we got you covered! Our goal is to create the backyard oasis that you and your friends and family can create lifelong, lasting memories in.

Now which outdoor living structure grabs your attention the most? Call us today for a free estimate!

Building Pools, Patios AND Personal Relationships

When you choose BMR, you chose a family and real people. We will build you the backyard of your dreams.

Call Us For a Complimentary Consultation 972.221.3959!

What Our Clients Are Saying

Whether it’s a sleek infinity pool with mesmerizing views or a stunning outdoor living oasis featuring cascading waterfalls and intricate landscaping, BMR Pool & Patio promises to deliver exquisite craftsmanship and an unrivaled client experience.

Not sure how I can speak high enough of just how impressed we were with BMR with our Pool and Gable. From start to finish it was just an awesome experience. The level of communication and follow up was outstanding. Ky was the best to work with and the entire BMR team was amazing.

John Bagnell

Google Review

BMR is amazing. Professional, polite, timely, excellent work, fair price and they leave the workspace clean at the end of each day. Deliver what they promise without high pressure sales tactics. They stay engaged with the homeowner to ensure everything is done to specifications even if the homeowner requests changes. The before and after photos speak for themselves.

Gary Linder

Google Review

I highly recommend BMR! I just finished my fourth project with them over the last 20 years and 3 houses. This was a pool and patio extension which turned out beautifully. They are great at keeping you informed of every step in the process and moving things along quickly. Every person was easy to work with. Great team!

Cindy Matthews

Google Review

Fantastic experience with BMR. From design to finished pool, they were a solid company that stands by their word. We had a great project manager (Justin) and a highly engaged team to include personal involvement from company owners. And, they finished on time for our summer pool season.

Paul Fitzgerald

Google Review

My pool was finally finished last week. It seemed like a long time of construction and mud, but in this time of shortages and delivery issues, BMR did get it completed. Everyone at BMR beginning with Ryland, Heather, and Mike, and the ownership were considerate and efficient. They did exactly what they promised; they delivered a beautiful pool! I am extremely happy with my second BMR pool.

Shirley A

Google Review

My wife and I were extremely impressed with the level of service provided by BMR from the initial meeting with their sales department to the construction phase all the way through punch out the experience has been top notch. I cannot say enough good things about working with BMR and would use them again!

Rafael Chac

Google Review

BMR just completed our second pool with them and it turned out beautiful again. Tyler M nailed our design request with a modern spin on a lagoon pool and Mason Thane was great to work with throughout the project as the project manager. I was most impressed with the quality and detail of the stone masons (Jose) on my retaining wall , grotto and outdoor kitchen. Very good experience and high quality result!

Matt S.

Google Review

Just finished our pool and outdoor living with BMR. We couldn’t be more thrilled! It is challenging times right now to build a pool and Mason was great at communicating and keeping the project moving. Given Mason’s experience he offered great suggestions to make our pool design the best. Thank you BMR and Mason!!

Elizabeth Hamel

Google Review

We choose BMR Pool and Patio to design and build this pool and outdoor living area 4 years ago. If you are going to invest in a project of this type, go with one of the best in the area. From the time we walked in to discuss design, right on through project completion BMR was top shelf.

Yancy Stermer

Google Review

Years of Experience

Google Reviews

Pools Completed