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Guide To Pergolas

A Guide To Pergolas: Types, Uses, And Costs

The types of pergola based on style include ‒ freestanding pergola, attached pergola, arched pergola, louvered pergola, and awning pergola. On the other hand, types of pergola based on material include ‒ wood pergola, vinyl pergola, aluminum pergola, and steel pergola, among others. Cost of building a pergola can range from $3,000 to $12,000 depending on the size and material used

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!

Most people probably don’t have a clear picture of what a pergola exactly is and often mislabel it as a gazebo. Eden is here to clear up all your confusion and tell you everything you need to know about the pergola. Pergolas come in various shapes and sizes and installing them in your landscape has numerous benefits. They can boost your landscape, improve your home’s value, and provide you a place to enjoy and relax your outdoors.

A pergola is an outdoor structure consisting of posts or columns supporting an open roof of rafters and beams.  

Let’s see how you can meet your personal landscaping goals with a pergola.

Types of Pergola  

Pergolas from most manufacturers are greatly customizable, so your shape and size options are limitless. Below are some basic styles:

1. Freestanding Pergola

Freestanding Pergola

A freestanding pergola is exactly what it suggests: a pergola that stands alone as a landscape element detached from your home. You can use this type of pergola beside the pool, in your garden, or to design an outdoor living space at a distance from your house.

2. Attached Pergola

In this type, one side of the pergola is attached directly to your home’s wall. You can use this style if you want to cover a space connected to your house, like a deck or patio. An attached pergola can give an outdoor living space the feel of an extension of an indoor room instead of a distinct feature.

3. Arched pergola

Attached Pergola

Most pergolas consist of a flat roof, but you can find numerous designs with arched tops. An arched pergola appears more romantic than a flat one and gives your space a more unique and elegant look. 

4. Louvered pergola

In place of standard slats, a louvered pergola has movable louvers as rafters. You can open and close the louvers to allow more or less sunlight as required. There are manual and automatic models of louvered pergolas. 

5. Awning pergola

Small, awning style pergolas stand right onto the wall and don’t require columns or posts for support. You can install an awning pergola over a window, door, or garage for aesthetics and shade. You can also add flowering climbing vines or another type of cover for more shade.

Types of Pergola Based On Materials

Pergolas don’t only differ in appearance, they are also built of different materials. What material your pergola is made of has an influence on how long it’s probably to last, how much maintenance it will require over the years, and how much it will cost.  

1. Wood pergola

Wood is likely the most common (and cheapest) material for pergolas. If you build one from raw materials, you will most probably use wood. Cedar pergolas are most popular because they provide the most out of your investment, while redwood is a more superior option. 

Though wood is cheaper at this time, remember that you’ll require to restain or repaint it every few years to prevent rot or pests. Maintenance costs can add up over many years.

2. Vinyl pergola

Vinyl pergolas are very low-maintenance as compared to wood. They last for several years with just periodic power-washing. Vinyl might be easy to maintain and, but the disadvantage is high-quality vinyl can get considerably expensive.

3. Aluminum pergola

Louvered pergola

Aluminum is an amazing choice if you want a more modern pergola. Mostly, aluminum pergolas have elegant shapes and clean lines that combine well with contemporary landscaping and architecture. Like vinyl, aluminum doesn’t need much maintenance since it isn’t vulnerable to rust.

4. Steel pergola

Steel is another material that can provide your pergola a modern look, though steel likely has more of an heavy-duty, industrial look than aluminum. That might be because steel actually is quite heavier than aluminum, making it more durable and sturdy. 

However, steel can rust when it’s frequently  exposed to humidity and rain, so you will have to take rust protection precautions.

5. Fiberglass pergola 

Fiberglass is low-maintenance, weather-resistant, and long-lasting. You can also paint it any color to complement your landscape as it holds paint well. Because it won’t rust or corrode, you won’t have to worry about cleaning or treating your pergola frequently.

Fiberglass might be the most convenient choice for your pergola, but remember that it is also probably the most expensive.

6. Concrete pergola

Custom poured or precast concrete pillars can provide your pergola a classic appearance reminiscent of Ancient Rome or Greece. Otherwise, you can design a concrete pergola with clean, geometric lines for a more stylish look.

Concrete pergola

Concrete will basically last forever, and the only maintenance it will need is periodic cleaning and repairing of chips and cracks.

Uses for a Pergola 

Now you will have a good idea of the types of pergola and the different options you have when building one. But you might still be thinking how you can really use a pergola in your landscaping.

Below are five basic pergola ideas to help you get started and create a design that stands out.

1. Create an outdoor room

By adding a pergola, you can upgrade your typical seating area, barbecue space, or an outdoor kitchen, into a full-fledged outdoor room. A pergola can bring structure to your outdoor living area without blocking out sunlight and breeze.

This way, you can combine the advantages of relaxing outdoors with the convenience of being indoors.

Remember, unless you add some kind of shade canopy, a pergola doesn’t offer much protection from the elements. Therefore, select outdoor furniture that can tolerate rain, wind, and sun exposure.

2. Cover a patio

An attached pergola can make your patio feel similar to a new room addition rather than just a distinct outdoor space. Add complementary patio furniture to create a space for chatting, eating, or anything else you like to do with friends and family. If you add a cover, a pergola can also provide shade to your patio and shield it from rain. 

3. Enhance a hot tub area or swimming pool 

Landscaping around a hot tub area or pool can be complicated. You might want to make your pool look more fascinating, or you might want privacy. A pergola can be the low-maintenance option for you either way.

Add a pergola cover and privacy screens to keep spying eyes out of your pool area and leaves and other debris out of your filters.

4. Upgrade your garden design

A pergola can add an attractive architectural aspect to a plain garden without blocking the rainwater and sunlight plants require to sustain.

You can indeed upgrade your garden by adding climbing vines and hanging plants to your pergola. For ambitious gardeners, vertical gardening solutions like these are ideal with limited backyard space. 

Good climbers to integrate with your garden pergola include wisteria, trumpet honeysuckle, and climbing roses.

5. Frame a walkway

If your garden or front yard already has a meandering walkway, why not turn it into an eccentric experience by adding a pergola?

Arched pergola

As pergolas come in all sizes and shapes, you could even build one to beautify up a path through a small side yard.

Let climbing vines cover the roof and sides of your pathway pergola to create a fun botanical tunnel for guests to wander through. 

Pergola Costs 

The most essential factor in selecting your pergola, of course, is your budget. Similar to any other landscaping project, pergolas differ highly in price depending on size and the material you select.

National average price of a pergola by size:

  • 10 feet x 10 feet: $3,000 – $6,000
  • 11 feet x 11 feet: $3,630 – $7,260
  • 12 feet x 12 feet: $4,320-$8,640
  • 10 feet x 14 feet: $4,200-$8,400
  • 12 feet x 18 feet: $6,480-$12,960
  • 10 feet x 20 feet: $6,000 – $12,000

If you are planning to hire a professional landscaper, add $20 – $60 per hour in labor costs to your final cost estimate. 

You can purchase directly from the manufacturer or buy ready made pergolas on Amazon for more customization choices.

To know about the cost of building a gazebo, read the article ‒ What is the cost of building a gazebo?

In conclusion, different styles of pergola you can choose to build include ‒ freestanding pergola, attached pergola, arched pergola, louvered pergola, and awning pergola. On the other hand, pergola materials include ‒ wood pergola, vinyl pergola, aluminum pergola, and steel pergola, among others. Cost of building a pergola can range from $3,000 to $12,000 depending on the size and material used

Contact the professional Eden today to suggest the best style and material for building a pergola to enhance your landscape.

From selecting the right seasonal plants to installing an outdoor kitchen, our landscaping services can do it all for you. Contact us today for a stunning landscape!

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