A low-cost way to create an aluminum cover for a patio is by comparing prices for labor and materials and installing the patio rather than paying for a contractor. There are many options for materials that can be purchased individually, as a kit or as a pre-assembled patio structure available at home improvement stores, such as The Home Depot. Depending on the patio's size and desired function, a pre-assembled aluminum patio may be a cheaper option to purchasing and assembling raw materials, since they generally include everything needed, are weather-treated, require no paint or stain and a warranty may be included.
In order to create an affordable patio, start with a design that fits the patio and space. Patio designs can be found online from websites, such as Better Homes and Gardens. Once a basic plan is in place, use the plan and measurements to determine the amount of materials needed and determine whether a prefabricated structure, an aluminum patio kit or individual materials are to be used. HomeDepot.com offers aluminum patios ready to install in different finishes and sizes. The patios include hardware and posts that can be cut, if necessary.
An aluminum patio includes eave hangers, flashing, aluminum walls, fascia and gutters with parts and poles. On average, a patio cover costs between $10 to $50 per square foot, as of 2015.