Have you got yourself some new outdoor furniture, maybe for the pool side or for the upper deck or even for the patio in general? Well, then you must be considering what to do in order to maintain your patio furniture in pristine condition. This is where a patio umbrellas comes in. They work by providing shade to the furniture and also shielding them away from direct exposure to external weather conditions such as snow, rain etc. In this respect, understanding that just about any type of patio umbrella shall do the job of safeguarding your furniture perfectly.What exactly is a patio umbrella? In layman’s terms it is a larger version of an umbrella that is used to shade more than just one person. These umbrellas are quite commonly seen in beach side and pool side bars or settings.Now that you are about to get a new patio umbrella, it is time to understand the different types and what is best for your requirements. Although in the market, you shall find many different types of patio umbrellas, most can be easily classified into four basic types based on their structure and support namely, Regular, Cantilever, Thatched and Skyline patio umbrellas.Regular UmbrellasRegular patio umbrellas are simple, that may or may not come with a retractable roof. These circular or oval in shape umbrellas are made to fit in the center of patio tables that have a hole through which the pole of the umbrella slides into. In case, your table lacks such a hole to accommodate the beam, it would be wise to choose some other kind of umbrella structure. In regular umbrellas, one can also find other kinds of shapes such as square as well.Cantilever UmbrellasCantilever umbrellas are perfect for tables that have no accommodation for the support beam. These patio umbrellas come separate from the support beam and hence allow you to change the umbrella without removing the support structure, which is a cantilever system. Hence, it will be a perfect choice for anyone with more furniture to shade.Thatched UmbrellasThatched umbrellas are a permanent structure that are rooted to the ground and cannot be removed even if the patio tables and chairs are moved. Hence, when going for these types of patio umbrellas, be careful of thinking the design of the area out well in advance. Aesthetically, such umbrellas naturally bring in an atmosphere of Hawaii.Skyline UmbrellasFinally, the skyline umbrellas are useful when your furniture is placed to a corner with a railing. By using these umbrellas, you can save on space since there is no supporting structure that is stuck to the ground, all the support comes from the railing that the umbrella support beam is attached to. However, such types of umbrellas can only shade a compact area at best.Now with the basic idea about the various types of patio umbrellas, you can make a buy based on your requirements. Two things to keep in mind when purchasing an umbrella such as this are to check the fabric or the make of the umbrella and its cost.