If you are looking to enjoy your backyard but also escape from the brilliant sun, you may be looking for a pergola. Pergolas are outdoor structures that add protective functionality but also a level of class to a property. They may also serve as a space to hang greenery or for it to grow naturally along the sides.
What Is a Pergola?
A pergola is an outdoor structure with parallel columns supporting a roof-like grid of beams and cross rafters. It may be attached to a house or deck or even stand on its own, and it provides a break from the direct sunlight, especially in the warmer months when enjoying the outdoor air is most appealing.
Often confused with arbors, gazebos, or carports, there are subtle differences. Unlike arbors, pergolas are not typically curved at the top. If they are covered, the top is usually flat, and they are generally much larger than arbors. Gazebos are always rounded and covered, which can’t be said strictly for pergolas, and the term “carport” speaks to functionality. If a pergola is on the back deck with no access to the road or to the driveway, the terms cannot be interchangeable, but an elaborately designed carport may be called a pergola.
Other structures that may be confused with a pergola are trellises, lattices, and covered patios. The first two refer to structures that incorporate climbing plants. Trellises usually cover walkways instead of gathering spaces, and lattice work consists of a crisscrossing wood design element that is incorporated into any of these above-mentioned structures. If the roof over a patio is completely solid instead of lattice work, it is considered a covered patio instead of a pergola.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Pergola?
In addition to being a beautiful inclusion on a property, pergolas offer many other benefits. They are relatively non-intrusive, and they improve the conditions of living in a number of ways.
Time spent in your yard, no matter the occasion, is a time that is personal to you and your family. Whether you are gathered around a barbeque or having an evening of drinks, a pergola protects from curious eyes. It can also further improve your privacy when within your home if the structure blocks back windows.
Protects from the Sun
Spending time outside has a charm all its own, but finding the right blend between open air and protection from the sun is the best of both worlds. Because pergolas have a latticed roof, they provide shade from direct sunlight without the stuffiness that a solid roof brings. In case of inclement weather, the market is full of pergola covers to fit your liking.
Extends the Living Space
Adding a pergola is a cost-effective way to increase the gathering space available on your property. It is certainly far less expensive than knocking out walls and building on. Add a table and chairs underneath, and a second sitting room is opened up.
Adds Value to the Home
The added beauty and comfort a pergola provides improves the value of a home. Pergolas, even without characteristic vine or ivy growth, lend a charm that cannot be matched. Their practicality not only improves the comfort of current residents, but promises the same for future buyers, making them a tempting element in any home going on the market.
Is It Cheaper to Build or Buy a Pergola?
It is possible to build a pergola yourself—there are a plethora of kits available—and opting for the DIY route is likely to be cheaper because you don’t pay for labor, in money at least. Doing the work on your own may save you dollars but not time. Depending on the design, it may take hours to build your pergola.
If you prioritize durability and quality, it is best to contract out the work to a professional team. Especially if you live in an area of strong weather—winds, rain, hail—the best course to take is to hire a construction company to build your pergola. Especially with freestanding structures, the weather can wreak havoc on your pergola. A professional build will take definitive steps against weather damage.
Installing the Right Pergola for You
At All Over Fence, we know that adding a fence is not the only way to improve a home. Consider a pergola if you love spending time outside while still enjoying the comfort of shade. To have your choice of pergolas right for your property, give us a call today.