Pergola designs have both a decorative and practical function. They are a point of interest in the architecture of gardens for a long time. In antiquity, Romans called those covered arches “pergulas“. They preferred to walk for hours under their cool shade. This is because pergolas feature shady areas that kept them away from direct sunlight while enjoying time outdoors. In terms of construction, however, pergolas have different shapes and are made of many types of materials. That’s why you need to keep a few things in mind before deciding on certain pergola designs.
Do you need anything new to improve your outdoor experiences? Did you want to make a change and bring extra elegance to your garden or terrace lately? Do you need a place for your flower pots? If your answers are affirmative, then read further! You will find out everything there is to know about pergolas and identify the one that suits your needs!
What is a Pergola?
A pergola is a specific construction primarily of the garden. It designates an artificially shaded passage or rest zone. Moreover, it is characterized by a square or rectangular wooden or metal construction, uncovered and without walls. It’s use is applicable in the garden to protect an alley from the sun. In addition, it may restrict a certain space, or simply support creepers.
Basically, there is a top and a bottom frame secured with lightweight construction materials that plants can climb on. Instead of the roof there are transverse beams, which the plants can cling to. Thus, shading and sheltering the place or alley in question. When the plants are still small, they do not provide enough shade. So, the beams can be covered with strips of fabric.
In general, pergolas are as open and as airy as possible, thus allowing the sun to penetrate the construction itself. Practically, this is a small shelter created in the garden. A shelter that doesn’t take the pleasure of staying in nature away from you. On the contrary, it enhances your experience.
Some people prefer to cover their pergolas with poly-carbonate materials, bituminous shingles, wood or other materials. A more protected construction is achieved in that way, but clinging plants no longer grow to naturally cover the construction. The air travels harder and sometimes the space can become suffocating, especially under a large roof.
A Short History of the Pergola
The word “pergola”entered the English vocabulary in 1675. It is a word borrowed from Latin – pergulus, which means eyelid or eye protection. Originally intended to protect areas that were too sunny, a pergola may be an extension of the house. Or, it can be adapted according to any garden style.
The pergola has encountered interesting architectural contexts. The most spectacular is characteristic of the period between the late Middle Ages and the beginnings of the Renaissance. The gardens built at that time were shaded on both sides. Or, they were crossed by true green tunnels with thick shadows. The latter were built from pillars and beams wrapped in green or red ivy.
During the same period of time, the pergola was associated with the Gardens of Heaven. It was even associated with the place where Adam yielded to the original sin. However, moving on to more serious things, you should know about Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. They are two great garden designers who built the first pergolas on pillars of stone or brick. This constructive system allowed a wider passage and the installation of stronger, more resistant beams.
Types of Materials Used for Pergola Designs
In terms of polishing, the pergola can be approached with the following three options:
- horizontal wooden sleepers arranged in such a way as to shade throughout the day;
- hanging plants that cover the skeletal construction;
- synthetic material coating. The modern industry has created lightweight material with specific qualities in terms of stopping ultraviolet rays without obstructing the penetration of light. This type of cover is recommended especially in areas that need protection from rain as well. Also, the artificially-coated pergola has become a more and more used solution for protecting playgrounds or areas dedicated exclusively for rest.
The Wooden Pergola
Wood is undoubtedly the favorite material when it comes to building pergolas. This is not only because of the ease with which the work can be done. It is also because of the aesthetic effect of the material. Wood makes pergolas versatile and easy to be integrated into any landscape style.
However, it is not mandatory for the whole structure to be made of wood. For example, you can only make the roof from wood. As for the pillars, they can be built in the style of columns. Even so, remember that wood is a natural material and has a low resistance to weathering. Therefore, it is recommended to apply a layer of special wood varnish. Thus, the wood is protected as lasts more in time.
Pergola Designs Made of Wrought Iron
Because of the material it is made of, the wrought iron pergola is not as versatile as the wooden one. But you can use it if you want to give your garden a stylish and romantic air. You will, however, have to make an effort to find furniture that suits the relaxation area under this pergola type.
Wrought iron has the advantage of being weather-resistant and time-resistant. So, the pergola made from this material will need less maintenance than wood. Also, the pillars made of iron will support more weight. Such as that of a roof made of glass and metal.
The Pergola With Adjustable Cover
Aesthetically speaking, an adjustable cover is not as impressive as wood or wrought iron. However, it can be infinitely more useful if you want a shady and cool space. This cover type is made of a hard aluminum frame and a waterproof fabric, so you will not have to worry about the rain. Moreover, you have multiple options when it comes to covers; You can opt for a cover that is operated manually or one with an electric switch. In this case, you can even get a remote control to stay comfortable.
What Pergola Designs Advantage You?
Novo or Radian Pergola
These types of pergolas are characterized by straight or curved side profiles, which have to be secured on an existing wall. They can not stand independently, so their structure must be mounted on an already existing structure. If your patio is the extension of an interior space, these pergola styles will fit perfectly. The same goes if your patio is connected to a wall, in between two or three walls.
Novo or Radian pergolas can be used anytime, as they will protect your patio in adverse weather conditions. So, don’t hesitate to choose these models to increase your comfort on the terrace and keep yourself away from sun, rain and even snow!
Independent Pergola Designs
These types of pergolas can be placed anywhere, as they do not need to be attached to an existing building. The structure allows them to be mounted as stand alone constructions. Independent pergolas can cover any surface. And, when multiple modules accumulate between them, there are no limits! Some of these can be closed with glass or various shading systems.
All independent models provide a 100% waterproof and fireproof membrane that protects you from UV radiation and does not create greenhouse effect. Of course, the whole retractable system will be controlled with a pergola remote!
Bio-Climatic Pergolas Styles
Bio-climatic pergolas are the most modern terraces covering systems. They no longer have the traditional membrane, but offer a retractable roof of aluminum slides that retract or rotate to allow air to circulate. In addition, they offer a special lighting system that covers more ambient colors.
These pergolas are 100% waterproof, protect from the sun and support a thick layer of snow. You can create a dense shadow and you can stop a spring rain in just a few seconds from the remote control button!
Reasons to Choose Bio-Climatic Pergola Designs
- The self-supporting pergola, which does not require any support, can be mounted in the garden;
- There is the possibility of mounting it without poles, on the facade of the building, to cover the terrace;
- Features a folding roof made of aluminum slides;
- The rotation of the blades is driven by electric motors;
- The aluminum structure allows drainage of rainwater through the pillars without visible boreholes;
- You can close the sliding glass side walls or transparent foil systems for your patios and you will be able to use the space until late autumn;
- You can use the space covered with the aluminum pergola and closed sideways all winter with the help of a terrace heater;
- Built-in LED lighting system that adjusts in intensity and color from the remote control;
- You can integrate an audio system into the aluminum slides;
Why Choose Adaptable Pergola Designs?
Do you like to spend your time in the privacy of your own patio? Are you thinking of something more than a set of sun-blinds to protect you from the sun? Well, it’s time to consider a retractable pergola that allows you to maximize relaxation on your patio. Here’s how.
Whether it is open or closed, placed in the extension of the house or independent of it, the retractable pergola can be equipped with a motor system. As with the canopy, it can be easily operated from a switch or remote control to open or adjust to control the shade and sunlight.
Retractable pergolas can be of three types:
- Provided with adjustable tab: these allow the adjustment of brightness;
- Based on folded cloth: they protect against sun and rain, being dressed in PVC;
- With tensed cloth: is the most aesthetic solution with sun protection;
Regardless of what type of retractable pergola you own, it can be controlled with an engine and allows you to have accessories for the pergola. Thus, you enjoy all the advantages of such a pergola and transform every moment spent on your terrace into an unforgettable moment.
Reasons to Choose Retractable Pergola Designs
Used predominantly for shading terraces, pergolas are adaptable to any size. Thus, a retractable pergola can even cover large areas at the touch of a button. Whether it is necessary to cover the space of a small terrace, the terrace of a restaurant or club from the sun, the pergola roof is solid enough to do so.
Your guests will be pleasantly impressed once you invite them to the terrace. The climax will come when you will use your retractable pergola, adjusting it to keep things shady. Of course, you’ll be doing all these by using a remote control.
Besides its flexibility, the retractable pergola is an aesthetic and modern solution for any terrace. With its look, it seduces anyone and offers a luxurious appearance to every terrace where it is located.
Typically, the canvas of a retractable pergola is made of a high-tech textile material that provides a dense shade and protection against UV radiation and rain. The cloth is durable and the smooth closing of the system increases its life span. In addition, the wind sensor can act to protect the blade if it detects the presence of a burst that may endanger it. Moreover, automation settings are maintained over time, and the fabric is always stretched completely to help eliminate water in the event of rain.
The system of a pergola can be delivered with or without supporting legs, depending on the preferences of the beneficiaries. It can be secured on a wall or already existing structure. When delivered with legs, it can be individually mounted to create a gazebo or a self-standing roof for an area independent of the building.
Pergolas are reliable and can be used in both residential and commercial environments, providing maximum protection and comfort.
If you’re ready for an intimate night-time atmosphere, you can equip your pergola with a light receiver to control the light in the pergola or garden.
The retractable pergola can be the key to your comfort on the terrace, regardless of weather, if it’s day or night if you want to sit under the open sky or under a roof.
For even more comfort, you can use a retractable pergola with sliding glass walls to maintain a stable and pleasant interior temperature.
One of the most important functions of a pergola is protection against the sun, UV radiation and rain.
If you opt for a dense cloth pergola from two overlapping materials, it will not only create an air cushion that helps with superior thermal insulation, but it will also filter the UV rays of the sun.
In this way, the greenhouse effect is diminished, and the terrace can provide the desired comfort.
In case of rain, hail or snow, the 100% waterproof material of the cloth resists and sustains protection, and water is directed to the ground.
You have more room for plants and other stuff. Either choose some flowing flower pots, depending on the pergola pattern, or plant a few climbing plant species, such as vines, ivy or honeysuckle. They will create a superb ceiling once grown, being both perfect for shading and to protect you from the weather.
Increase House Value
Numerous studies have shown that a house with a well maintained garden can sell up to 20% more than the original value. In this case, a garden or terrace with pergolas is ideal to beautify the landscape.
Pro Tip: Pergola Designs vs. Wood Types
As with fences, pergolas and pebbles must be made of durable wood. What does a durable wood mean? A wood type that resists the outside conditions without rotting, being destroyed by insects or by the weather, and on which UV radiation doesn’t have a devastating effect.
The most durable essences are the tanned. That is why exotic woods are used extensively for exterior construction. In this regard, Teck is an example. The latter is a wood type that resists very well on the outside even when it is not protected by paints or oils.
An indigenous essence that is very strong on the outside is the acacia wood. This is why it is also used for resistance structures. Even if it appears to have rotted or molded, it is only on the surface.
The Douglas is quite resistant as well, but it is not a wood that is found everywhere. The most used wood type is spruce, which is easy to find and is cheaper. But it is less resistant, so it must be protected if we want the pergola to last for at least a few years.
Draw a Line and Take Conclusions
Just by taking a look at all these pergola designs you might feel overwhelmed. However, think about the fact that you can enjoy your terrace several seasons each year with the proper pergola. Whether you choose to have breakfast in the morning on the terrace, whether you want to read at night on the terrace or have a good time with family and friends, you need a good pergola. So, we’ll leave you with even more pergola designs to look at!