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What Is a Pergola?

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Are you looking to increase your usable outdoor space? If so, a pergola may be the perfect option for you! A pergola will not only provide shade and shelter from the elements but adds value to your home. If you have been pondering the question “What is a pergola?”, after hearing about them, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at what exactly a pergola is and the many reasons you may want one. 

Some who visit our website are looking for an answer to the question “What is a pergola?” Although pergolas are popular in backyards and gardens, some people are unclear what exactly they are.

A pergola is an outdoor structure that provides shade and protection from the weather. Most pergolas, however, still allow plenty of sunlight to come through. This is possible because of its design, featuring columns that support a roofing grid of beams and rafters. A pergola can be freestanding or attached to a building.

Is a Pergola the Same As an Arbor or Gazebo?

Due to their similar designs, pergolas are often confused with arbors and gazebos. Pergolas, however, are actually quite different from these two outdoor structures. Arbors, unlike pergolas, are meant to be walked through as part of a garden entrance. They are usually smaller than pergolas and are rarely attached to buildings.

Gazebos can sometimes be larger than pergolas and are always designed with a round shape. So rather than having four posts like a pergola has, gazebos are designed with eight pillars to form an octagon. Because gazebos have enclosed roofs, they provide more shelter than pergolas.

Why Do I Need a Pergola?

Now that we’ve answered the question “What is a pergola?”, you may be wondering why you would need a pergola in your yard. Let’s take a look at some fantastic reasons why a pergola may be a great addition to your yard.

A Pergola Provides Shade for Your Home

With a pergola in place at your home, imagine the joy you and your family and friends will feel in having relief from the direct sunlight during the scorching summer months. Although pergolas do not completely block the sun, they provide plenty of shade as well as protection from any harsh weather. In addition, pergolas allow air to circulate freely, thanks to their open design.

Pergolas Add Value to Your Home

Not only can a pergola be an enjoyable place to be but add value to your home. Pergolas increase the amount of living space your home has and therefore boosts your home’s value. In addition to being useful, pergolas are also beautiful structures that make your home look more appealing.

A Pergola Increases Your Living Space

A pergola also increases your home’s living space. Whether you attach a pergola to your house or build it farther out in your yard, a pergola creates a relaxing atmosphere for you and your guests.

A Pergola Can Be a Wonderful Addition to Your Garden

Many people choose to build their pergolas in their gardens. Not only does a pergola make your garden more appealing but is a great place for plants to grow in. Make sure you choose a pergola that has an open-top roof design so that your plants receive plenty of sunlight, rain and air circulation.

Pergolas Can Provide Privacy

Although pergolas are an open structure, they can still provide privacy from close neighbors and streets. If you’d like to have more privacy, it is optional to add curtains, screens or latticework to one side of your pergola. Growing vines on one side of the pergola can also provide a fair amount of privacy as well as make your pergola more attractive.

A Pergola Is a Great Place for Parties and Gatherings

If you like hosting outdoor parties and gatherings, a pergola is a great option for you. There are so many creative ways to decorate your pergola for parties such as hanging string lights, planting a flower garden or attaching curtains. As for seating, opt for comfortable lounge chairs, rustic wooden benches or even an outdoor swing.

Types of Pergolas

Although we’ve answered the question “What is a pergola?” and explored the benefits of pergolas, we still haven’t delved into the many types of pergolas available. Below, we’ve put together a quick guide on the different types of pergolas to help you decide which would work best for you.

Open-Top Pergola

The most common type of pergola is an open-top design. Open-top designs allow adequate sunlight and air circulation to enter the pergola. If you plan on using your pergola for gardening, this is the ideal design option.

Vinyl Pergola

Due to their affordability, universal design and durability, vinyl pergolas are a common choice for back yards. Vinyl pergolas require little maintenance and last longer than wood pergolas.

Steel Pergola

If you live in an area that is frequently affected by harsh weather conditions, a steel pergola may be the right choice for you. Steel frames are not only more durable and can withstand extreme weather but will last the longest.

Sail Pergola

Unlike the previous pergola designs, the sail pergola uses a stretched fabric rather than a traditional lattice roof. Because it is not an open roof design, sail pergolas provide more shade and shelter than other pergola designs.

Gable Pergola or Pitch Pergola

Do you want your pergola to offer more protection from the sun, rain and harsh weather? A gable pergola, or pitch pergola, may be exactly what you’re looking for. Unlike an open-roof design, gable pergolas feature a roof. They are somewhat similar to sail pergolas except that their roofs are more durable and built to withstand harsh weather. These pergolas are a great choice for decks and porches.

Final Thoughts on Pergolas

Well, there you have it! We hope our guide has revealed to you the many benefits of owning a pergola as well as insight on the many different types of pergolas.

As you can see, there are plenty of pergola options available. Whichever design you choose to use for your pergola, you are certain to fall in love with your pergola’s rustic beauty, incredible charm and extended living space with heightened functionality.

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