Pergolas are backyard embellishments that elevate the look and the ambiance of your outdoor living space. They are highly aesthetic, and some would argue that they are a luxury which begs the question: what is the purpose of a pergola? It can be anything you want it to be: for cover against the elements, as a decorative touch to a garden, to create an outdoor extension for your living space – whatever idea comes to mind.
What Is A Pergola?
A pergola is an open, outdoor structure with four beams holding up a flat ceiling, which can be a lattice or beams. It doesn’t have walls, but it can have embellishments like curtains and vine trellises for a more defined structure.
Pergolas are often confused for gazebos and arbors. The difference between them and gazebos is the roof. The criss-cross or slatted roof of the pergolas allows sunlight to penetrate, while gazebos and pavilions have solid roofs that provide complete coverage from the sun. Gazebos also often have built-in seating, while pergolas have more diverse uses. In contrast, arbors are mainly used to mark entrances and exits and accentuate paved or concrete garden pathways. As such, they are usually much smaller than pergolas and gazebos.
Pergolas can be made of wood, aluminum, or vinyl. They are often built over a paved or stamped-concrete patio attached to a house but can also be a standalone structure in the middle of a backyard.
So what is the purpose of a pergola?
Here are some examples of its different uses:
To extend your living space outdoors.
A pergola over a bare patio opens many possibilities for an outdoor living space. It can be an extension of the living room or an outdoor dining area. It can also be a dedicated space for hobbies and activities like painting and woodworking.
Outdoor living spaces are so attractive because they offer a break from the banality of the indoors. Instead of staring at your white walls or wallpaper, you can enjoy bird-watching and people-watching. And for people who find comfort in just being outside where there’s fresh air and lots of trees, installing a pergola is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to enjoy outdoor living.
2. To have shade in your backyard.
Pergolas offer relief against the harsh sunlight. And although it only provides partial coverage from the sun, its shade gives enough respite when you’re outdoors during the day. However, it is possible to have complete protection from the sun and rain: you can install light roofing materials like marine tarps and canopies. Retractable, automatic canopies would also be a fantastic alternative because you can open them up when it’s not too sunny and in the evenings when the stars are shining brightly.
3. To have privacy.
Pergolas may not have walls, but there are many ways to embellish them so you can have more privacy. Opaque curtains are a favorite because they’re not as see-through as sheer curtains, giving you more privacy without entirely obstructing the surrounding view. Of course, you can also switch to heavy curtains if you prefer complete privacy.
Vine trellises are also an excellent alternative to curtains. They are a natural, aesthetic touch that won’t look too out of place in a backyard or garden. Outdoor blinds are another practical alternative. The advantage of pergolas is that their structure is simple, so it’s easy to add embellishments for privacy.
4. For extra protection against the elements.
When you have the roof and privacy features in place, your pergola can provide cover from the rain, wind, dust, falling twigs and debris, etc. It may not be as robust as a room with four walls and a roof, but it’s not as restrictive. After all, it would defeat the purpose of a pergola if you feel like you’re indoors when using it.
5. For entertaining guests.
Pergolas are highly beneficial for homeowners who like to have guests or hold parties. They provide a welcoming outdoor space for entertaining, whether a formal, al-fresco dinner or a spontaneous swimming or backyard barbecue party with your closest neighbors and friends. And if you installed a retractable roof and curtains, you can keep the party outdoors even if it rains or when the weather is hot.
6. To raise your property’s market appeal.
A custom-built pergola that perfectly complements a house’s architecture and outdoor aesthetics can increase the property’s value and appeal. It makes an outdoor space tasteful, and its possibilities leave a strong impression on buyers. Anyone who has already owned one knows how enjoyable it can be to relax in an outdoor lounger under its shade, and those who haven’t lived in a house with a pergola can imagine themselves using it.
Elevate Your Outdoor Space With Custom Pergolas
A pergola will be a good investment if you value your outdoor living space and want to make it as comfortable as possible.
Custom-designed and crafted pergolas are a specialty of Nortex Fence & Patio. Our master craftsman works with locally-sourced workers to build a structurally sound pergola that adds style and increases your home’s market appeal. Take a look at some of our previous projects, then contact us for a consultation and free estimate.