Louvered Patio Cover Options: Roll Formed vs Extruded Aluminum Explained

Imagine enjoying your patio, rain or shine, with the option to control the amount of sun or shade at your whim. That’s the beauty of a louvered patio cover. This innovation has been a game changer in outdoor living, giving users the luxury of an adjustable “pergola that opens and closes.” With their rising appeal, it’s important to recognize the backbone of these structures: the materials used.

Aluminum, in particular, stands tall as one of the most sought-after materials for such patio covers. It offers durability, flexibility, and a modern appeal. But did you know that not all aluminum products are made the same way? The terms “extruded aluminum” and “roll-formed aluminum” may not ring a bell unless you’re well-acquainted with the industry. These are two principal fabrication processes that give aluminum products their distinct characteristics and applications.

  • Extruded Aluminum: A method where heated aluminum is pushed through molds.

  • Roll Formed Aluminum: A technique where aluminum is shaped by feeding it through a series of rollers.

As we delve deeper, you’ll find that choosing between these two types for your louvered patio cover isn’t just about aesthetics, but also about longevity, maintenance, and ensuring value for your investment.

Child using a playdough press to create shapes, illustrating the concept of extrusion.

What is Extruded Aluminum?

As a child did you ever use a playdough press? When you push playdough through the different shaped slots of the press, you get various shapes like stars, circles, or squares. This process is similar to the extrusion process of aluminum.  Aluminum is heated and pushed through a mold, producing distinct aluminum extrusion profiles. These can be formed into a variety of extruded aluminum shapes, tailored for specific applications.

  • Strength and Durability: Extruded aluminum is known for its resilience, offering long-lasting stability.

  • Versatility in Design: Much like choosing different nozzles for varied icing designs, extruded aluminum offers flexibility in design based on the die used.

  • Resistance to Elements: Its corrosion and weather-resistant nature makes it perfect for outdoor use.

What is Roll Formed Aluminum?

If you’ve ever used a pasta maker, you can appreciate it’s magic. By feeding dough into the machine and turning its handle, the dough is gradually flattened into uniform thin sheets. This consistency and transformation is achieved by rolling the dough multiple times. The roll forming process for aluminum works in much of the same way. This process involves feeding a long metal strip through consecutive sets of rollers. Each set shapes and bends the aluminum a little more until the final cross-sectional profile is perfectly achieved.

  • Cost-Effective Production: Typically more affordable than the extrusion process.

  • Lightweight Nature: Though it maintains a thin profile, it’s structurally sound, easy to handle, and simple to install.

Hand-operated pasta maker rolling out thin dough, symbolizing the roll forming process of aluminum.

Key Differences Between Extruded and Roll Formed Aluminum for Louvered Patio Covers

When investing in a louvered patio cover, understanding the nuances between the two primary aluminum types is paramount. While both offer unique advantages, discerning the distinctions can guide you to a choice that best suits your needs.

  • Strength and Durability: Extruded aluminum, with its thick profiles, generally offers superior strength compared to roll formed.

  • Cost: Roll formed aluminum often comes at a lower production cost.

  • Design Versatility: Extruded aluminum wins in flexibility of design, perfect for a custom aluminum pergola.

  • Maintenance and Longevity: Both types are durable, but the intrinsic strength of extruded aluminum may offer longer-lasting results with less maintenance.

Comparative graphic detailing the differences between extruded and roll formed aluminum, presented by Apollo.

*Click to enlarge image

Making the Right Choice for Your Patio

The best material for your louvered patio cover boils down to your specific needs. Assess your space, budget, and the look you’re going for. While extruded aluminum offers robustness and customizability, roll formed aluminum could be a more budget-friendly option. Always consider reaching out to professionals or manufacturers like Apollo for expert advice.

White louvered roof integrated into a steel structure overlooking the ocean in a hospitality setting.


Whether you opt for roll formed or extruded aluminum, understanding their differences and strengths will ensure your louvered patio cover stands the test of time. As you contemplate your options, remember that the right material can make all the difference in aesthetics, functionality, and longevity.

Close-up of Apollo aluminum pergola with partially open v-groove louvers.

Extruded Aluminum Louvered Patio Covers by Apollo Opening Roof

As a leading manufacturer in the realm of louvered patio covers, we at Apollo specialize in crafting custom aluminum pergolas tailored to your requirements and desires. Our commitment to quality is unwavering.

We use architectural grade extruded aluminum – 6063-T6 Aluminum for our louvers and tracks. Plus, with a finish of AAMA 2604 electrostatically applied polymer baked enamel, our pergolas promise excellent resistance against stains, scratches, dirt, and the harsh UV rays.

Contact Us

Start your pergola project today and unlock the potential of your outdoor space. With your personal touch and our expertise, your backyard will become a captivating retreat you’ll adore and relish for years to come.

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Let’s Begin Your Pergola Journey

Are you ready to embark on your journey to transform your outdoor space? Our team at Apollo Opening Roof is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to start designing your dream backyard pergola.

Visit our Gallery and explore our extensive range of louvered patio covers, each one a testament to craftsmanship, innovation, and elegance. Your backyard paradise awaits – let’s make it a reality together.

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