Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the best material to use for your patio cover or shading project? Maybe your curious about the permitting process for the installation of a retractable awning in Reno. Whatever situation, we understand that you have a lot of options when looking to install an exterior or interior shading solution in your home. This can often be confusing, so we've answered some of the most common questions we receive below. If there's anything we missed and you need some help, feel free to call us at 775-830-3106 or fill out the contact form on our website.  

Should I choose aluminum, vinyl, or wood?


Many people have many different preferences on building material. And honestly, there are reasons for choosing each of the listed materials. But when it comes to durability, lack of maintenance, and a great appearance, there is nothing like Aluminum. Our recommendation, and the only material we offer, is Aluminum. The finish is warranted for life and there is never any needed maintenance. Vinyl material is a form of plastic. If you have lived in the Reno / Sparks area for long, you know that plastic dries out and gets brittle over time. Vinyl patio covers are just not a good idea in this area if you want longevity. Wood also dries out and tends to change shape over time. You may love the look of a wood patio cover when you are done building it. But it may not look the same in the years to come. You will also have to stain or paint it every couple of years to try to keep it looking good. You will eventually lose the battle.




What is the difference between a solid and open lattice roof?


A solid roof will provide complete protection from the sun, rain, and snow. An open lattice roof will provide partial protection from the sun in the form of filtered light or partial shade. It does not offer protection from the rain and snow.




Which is better, Duralum or Amerimax?


Duralum and Amerimax are both manufacturers of aluminum patio cover material. Duralum’s product goes by the name “Weatherwood." Weatherwood is roll formed aluminum that has a factory color coating and wood grain embossing. The roll formed pieces come in many different wall thicknesses, shapes, and sizes. Amerimax’s product goes by the name “Alumawood”. The two manufacturers provide a visually equal product. One big difference though is the warranty. Duralum offers a Transferable Lifetime Warranty on their Weatherwood material. This is a great benefit when it comes time to sell your home.




Is a permit required to build a patio cover?


Typically, the answer is yes. The municipality that governs your property (Reno, Sparks, Washoe County) will require a permit before construction begins. Inspections are also required as part of the permit process. Inspectors will check the size & location of the footing holes before concrete is poured. They will also check the attachment to your home to ensure it is done properly. They will then perform a final inspection to ensure the patio cover was built correctly overall. As a homeowner who may not understand the particulars of construction and engineering, your fees to your municipality should be thought of as a very low cost insurance policy. The city or county will make sure that your patio cover is designed and built properly. This is a priceless service that they provide.




How much snow & wind will the patio cover handle?


Most patio covers in the Reno / Sparks area must be designed to withstand 30lbs of snow per square foot and 130mph of wind. Some patio covers must be designed to withstand even higher snow loads. The municipality that governs your property can tell you what the requirements are.




How do I purchase a DIY Kit?


If you want to build your own patio cover, you can purchase all the material from Sierra Shading, LLC at a substantial discount. We can help you design the patio cover, prepare the HOA & permit submittal, order the material, and have it delivered to your home. If you want a DIY kit, we have you covered from beginning to end.