Few things are as enjoyable as taking advantage of your home’s outdoor space. But, whether you have a patio or a deck, there is one persistent problem: the sun. Without any cover, spending time outdoors can be hindered due to extreme heat and UV rays. Patio umbrellas and awnings are options, but they may not provide adequate cover and are costly, considering they will most likely need to be replaced every few years due to sun and weather damage.
A more permanent and elegant solution to providing cover for your patio is to install a pergola. Pergolas are freestanding latticed structures that are typically constructed of four pillars that support parallel crossbeams or girders, and are often used to control and shepherd vine growth. Not only will the pergola’s beams break up incoming sun, but you can also take advantage of the overhanging trellis to support climbing plants like wisteria and varieties of morning glory to create a lush canopy for added protection and ambiance.
Pergolas offer a practical solution by providing much needed shade. However, they can also serve as the dramatic focal point of your outdoor space. Lacking structure or boundaries, an empty yard can feel isolating and unwelcoming. Adding a pergola will help break up the emptiness of your backyard, and will immediately change the dynamic of the space. The added cover is perfect for outdoor seating and entertaining, and you will naturally gravitate to this new oasis. Suddenly, your yard will have a bold centerpiece to encompass.
When considering a pergola, it is important to remember that they can be constructed from a variety of materials. Traditionally, pergolas are made of dense hardwoods like beech and cedar that can easily support the weight of the crossbeams, as well as the additional weight of any creeping plant that might grow atop the trellis. Cement or stone columns are an alternative to traditional wooden pillars, and offer a sturdier and more permanent foundation for the pergola. For a more rustic look that will conjure images of life on a vineyard in the Italian hillside, try roughly hewn whole timbers. However, that is the traditional image of a pergola. If you have a more modern sensibility, there are pergola designs that incorporate wave structures and irregular angles, and you can construct your pergola out of minimalist aluminum and finish it off with bamboo blinds for added privacy.
Whatever design you choose for your pergola, you can rest assured that it will add critical financial and social value to your home. You’ll have the go-to spot for entertaining friends and family, regardless of the season.