A pergola can be a great choice for any outdoor space, as it can anchor a seating area while providing shade and protection from wind and rain. Pergolas can also fill in an empty space in your yard, ensuring that the area doesn't look overly large and a bit boring. When you're ready to shop for a pergola, note a few things to keep in mind so you're sure to choose the best one for your needs and tastes.
If you want a pergola for a seating area, or prefer a very unobstructed view to the garden and landscaping, opt for something very tall; the taller the pergola, the more view you'll have of your surroundings. However, note that a very large pergola can also seem a bit impersonal and may overwhelm a smaller yard. If you want to create a more cosy and intimate spot outside, such as for reading or enjoying coffee rather than entertaining friends and family, opt for something much shorter and smaller.
The ends of the roof beams of a wood pergola, called purlins, are often shaped in a curved design. This style can be a good choice if you prefer something very traditional, but it's not your only choice. If you prefer something more updated, a pergola made of square steel or aluminium beams might be an option.
If you want something rustic, opt for rounded wood studs that you leave exposed, or square studs that match a wood fence or deck of the home. You can also have the pergola painted any colour that fits your style; black is good for modern homes, white is good for a cottage look and red is more traditional.
The more closely spaced the purlins of the pergola roof, the more shade you'll get underneath. If you're not sure how much space you should choose for your pergola design, or know that you'll want both shade and sunshine when enjoying your pergola, opt for a retractable roof. This is a type of cloth installed underneath the roof that you can slide back and forth, to keep it opened or closed, just like an overhead curtain. A pergola can also be built with tilting purlins that you can twist open and close, just like blinds. These give you maximum flexibility when it comes to the amount of sunlight and shade you'll get when under the pergola.