A pergola is one of the most versatile additions you can make to your home. The material, placement, and design can be a one-of-a-kind statement piece. You can add lights, ceiling fans, and adjustable overhead slates, entertainment systems, or even an outdoor kitchen.
A pergola is your space to relax, read, and spend time with your loved ones. It’s great to have for any occasion. Here’s what you need to know about adding a pergola to your yard – including ideas for the design and location, and pro’s and con’s of different materials.
What is a Pergola?
A standard pergola is simple in design. It’s essentially four posts, which support crossbeams or a mix of beams across the top perimeter of the structure. A slatted or lattice roof provides filtered shade.
A pergola can also be covered with plants or vines, similar to an arbor. The difference between the two is size. Pergolas are designed for places of lingering rather than passing through, which means they are much larger than that of a gazebo or pavilion. It can often be perceived as a bit of a hybrid garden structure.
Design Styles and Considerations
Pergolas can be incorporated into almost any landscape and can serve a variety of purposes. You can adapt them to fit into your personal style and preferred materials. However, here are some things to consider when adding a pergola to your yard.
Consider placing a pergola where it best suits your needs. Creating a getaway spot or secondary dining or seating area, overlooking a beautiful view, capturing summer breezes or providing a bit of shade in an otherwise too-hot section of your yard.
Pergolas can also add a sense of enclosure for a hot tub or pool, while still keeping the space open to the landscape. Placing a pergola next to or at the end of a poll can also create a convenient spot for lounging away from the direct sun.
Once you’ve decided how you want to use your pergola, you’ll need to determine how large you want to make it. If you’re planning to use the space for lounging or dining, be sure to allow enough space to make it comfortable for you and guests.
You also want to be sure to match the design style to your home and landscape in order to make it feel like a cohesive concept. If you have a traditional home, wood and a naturalistic garden may compliment your home best. A sleek metal design may fit a contemporary home best. If you really want your pergola to stand out, consider an unexpected design or material.
Consider the purpose of your pergola – if you want it to protect the space underneath it, or simply provide structure for plants or string lights and an open enclosure.
The spacing of overhead slats and how they are set determines the amount of sunlight that reaches the interior of a pergola throughout the day. Movable slats or louvre can be adjusted to adapt to the available sunshine or even completely shut completely if the weather is bad.
Adding lattice screens or partial walls or even a full wall on one side of the pergola can add privacy if needed. While pergolas are traditionally left open, having the option to open or close the enclosure can come in handy. Less permanent privacy options include curtains or shades.
Depending on your needs, you may consider adding amenities such as lights, fans, heaters, or speakers. Other options can be permanent seating, a swing, or gas and electrical lines for a fire pit or spa. Keep in mind that additional features will increase the project’s overall cost and potentially time.
There are many material options when it comes to pergolas – wood, vinyl, fiberglass, metal, and aluminum are all great options. Vinyl and fiberglass are lightweight and long-lasting options. Steel pergolas are heavier but also a good choice to consider depending on your end-goal.
Overall, Pergolas offer an array of possibilities and are completely customizable for your wants and needs. If you want to know more about backyard additions and what we can do for you, contact us today for a free quote.