The pergola may be the unsung hero of outdoor design. For homeowners who want to extend the use of their outdoor living space for entertaining, relaxing, and simply enjoying the outdoors, a pergola can add visual appeal while working with the sun’s natural patterns to diffuse light. And since they can be constructed with a variety of materials, there’s probably a pergola design that works for almost anyone’s budget.
A Pergola’s Design Versatility
Pergolas can be simple and minimalistic, or elaborately ornate and everything in between. But one thing all pergolas typically have in common is their basic design. Pergolas are outdoor structures that are usually constructed of four vertical posts and multiple beams and rafters running horizontally across the top. Their main purpose is to provide a semi-shaded sitting area or passageway. A pergola’s beams can provide support for a variety of decorative features, from outdoor chandeliers to ceiling fans to outdoor speakers, to retractable shades and more.
Asheville Pergola’s Offer You Both Form and Function
Pergolas aren’t just pretty to look at. When placed strategically and installed properly, a pergola can also break up the sun’s harsh rays at the height of a summer afternoon. Having a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors without intense direct sunlight can help you get the most enjoyment from your outdoor living space, especially if you have an outdoor pool, kitchen, or any recreational area where you plan to entertain.
Common Pergola Materials
Pergolas can be constructed with a variety of materials. The most popular choices are pressure-treated wood, cedar wood, vinyl, fiberglass and sturdy aluminum.
Pressure-treated wood is a popular choice because it’s less expensive than say, Cedar. And of course, with treated lumber we can do a little more customization if needed and stain it one of a hundred colors. Cedar is a great alternative to pressure-treated wood, as it naturally repels insects and it looks beautiful, without the need of painting or staining. Cedar is more expensive than pressure-treated wood; however, it will provide a longer lifespan for your pergola structure.
Vinyl pergolas require very little maintenance and can last a very long time, almost forever. An occasional pressure washing may be all you really need to keep your vinyl pergola looking great. The downside to vinyl is there are limited choices when it comes to colors, and painting vinyl isn’t recommended.
Fiberglass is very strong, so if you choose to build a pergola out of fiberglass materials, you can rest assured it will stand the test of time. You can also increase the space between posts when using fiberglass, since it’s strong enough to support more weight over a greater distance. You can paint fiberglass, and the paint usually stays looking great on fiberglass longer than it would on wood. Last but not least, fiberglass pergolas are lightweight and don’t usually require deep footers. This makes them ideal for adding to an existing deck or patio structure.
Fairly new to the scene and gaining popularity is Aluminum…lightweight yet very strong and durable. And the aluminum pergolas come in a variety of colors including metallic and mineral inspired tones via a powder coat finish.
And with all pergolas, the main reason for the structure other than aesthetics is for shade from the sun. This can be done with the parallel or upper cross beams, and we are now seeing more and more shades in various styles, fabrics and can be operated either manually or electric motors. These shades offer not only more complete shade but can help keep you dry during summer showers.
Is all this talk of pergolas making you eager to enhance your outdoor space? Call or email us anytime and let’s talk share some thoughts and ideas…M