If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor living space, installing a pergola can be an excellent choice. Pergolas provide a variety of benefits that can add appeal to your home and create a more comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience. Here are some of the main advantages of adding a pergola to your yard:
Create a Comfortable Outdoor Living Space
Provide Shade from the Sun
One of the most significant benefits of a pergola is that it can provide shade from the sun, which is especially important in areas with intense sunlight or hot and steamy summers, where spending time outdoors can become uncomfortable.
With a pergola, you can create a shaded area that allows you to use your outdoor space without worrying about harmful UV rays or the risk of overheating. Modern pergolas can be used as a refuge-from-the-sun in several ways, most of which involve plants or fabric shades. Climbing vines, although not winter-hardy except in far southern USDA plant hardiness zones,can be visually engaging on a pergola.
Wisteria offers spring-into-summer flowering vines and clematis, which comes in many colors, and is a favorite climber among gardens as it is a fast and easy grower. It’s also lightweight and provides beautiful showers of color from spring into early summer. If clematis is a favorite of yours, consider staggering varieties of clematis that bloom at different times, which will extend the visual pop on your pergola.
Passionflower is another climber with beautiful purple and white flowers that grow quickly and cover garden structures, such as pergolas. Passionflower can also endure in USDA Zones farther north, so don’t rule it out if you live in northern climates.
Other pergola shade-producing plants are climbing roses, Bougainvillea, Bower Vine, Chocolate Vine, Morning Glory, Trumpet Vines, Black-Eyed Susan Vine, and Cape or Giant Burmese Honeysuckle. You can even be adventurous and train grape vines to your pergola. The canopy cover isn’t as remarkable, but the fruit is its own reward.
Lattice panels or reeds can be woven into a pergola and fixed fabric and sunshades are also options. Often, just a pergola’s cross beams provide plenty of shade.
The Architecture Lab offers more suggestions for how to increase pergola shade.
Enjoy the Outdoors in Any Weather
A pergola also allows you to enjoy your outdoor space in any weather. By adding a retractable canopy or drapes, you can protect yourself from rain or wind while still being outside. This makes a pergola a season-extending option for those who want to spend more time outdoors, no matter the weather.
Retractable canopies are useful in elongating the timeframe for outdoor enjoyment of a pergola, according to Architecture Lab. They’re easy to unfurl for protection from rain and easy to fold back when the sun is out.
Extend Your Living Space
A pergola is considered a hardscape, which provides a structure that can also extend your living space. By creating an outdoor room with a pergola, you can enjoy a cozy and comfortable space to relax, entertain or enjoy a family grill-out night.
“Pergolas create a defined space that you can decorate for outdoor dining and entertaining as if it were an indoor room,” according to The Family Handyman. “With glowing lights, comfy couches and armchairs, soft outdoor rugs, hanging flowerpots and other personalized accessories, you can create the inviting feel of an open-air living room.”
What furniture and accessories will you use to make your pergola feel like an extension of your indoor living space? See Bob Vila’s thoughts on pergola use.
Increase Property Value
Attract Potential Buyers
A pergola can increase the value of your home and attract potential buyers. A well-designed and functional pergola adds curb appeal and makes your home stand out from the crowd.
“Creating a backyard covered patio or seating area with a pergola or an extended roof can boost resale, but it’s not as popular as it once was,” according to ExtraSpace. “Estimates put the ROI of adding a pergola to a patio or extended roof around 50%—and that can change drastically depending on where you live. While the addition of a backyard pergola or extended roof seems worthwhile, sometimes the high price just doesn’t sit well. Fortunately, you can find great-looking prefabricated pergolas that are less expensive but that can still boost home value.”
Reminder: Don’t install without adhering to building codes, especially if you’re extending your roof.
Adding a pergola can boost your home’s curb appeal, too. A pergola can add dimension and visual interest to the outside of your home, which can make your space more attractive from the street. A pergola can also be designed to match the style of your home, creating a cohesive, classic and polished look. Before you install a pergola, make sure it’s what you want and/or need.
Make Your Home Stand Out
A pergola can make your home stand out in a competitive real estate market. By adding a distinctive and eye-catching feature to your home, you can make your home more memorable to potential buyers.
A pergola can also be a selling point for those who want to enjoy the outdoors and entertain guests. A pergola can make a pool pop, make evening and nighttime lights more magical, and the privacy of a pergola appeals to the readers who’ll curl up on a summer evening and read. All these details can make your home more memorable in a future homeowner’s mind.
Add Aesthetic Appeal
Enhance the Look of Your Home
A pergola can enhance the look of your home by adding architectural interest and visual appeal. By choosing the right materials, design, and accessories, you can create a pergola that complements your home’s style and adds charm and character to your outdoor space. Use a pergola to connect spaces that would otherwise seem disconnected or use a pergola as a classic decorative element on your house’s structure.
Create a Focal Point
A pergola can also create a focal point in your outdoor space. By adding a pergola to your yard, you can draw attention to a particular area, such as a garden, pool, or seating area. A pergola can also create a cozy and intimate space for relaxing or entertaining.
“Use a standalone pergola to be the support of a patio swing,” according to Forbes Home.
The right pergola won’t take up much space, but in that smaller footprint it can create a relaxing nook in your yard to rest and enjoy a beautiful afternoon. Hanging plants, wind chimes and fairy sparkling lights add to the function and comfort of such a nook.
Customize to Your Style
A pergola can be customized to match your style and preferences. Whether you prefer a modern, traditional, or rustic look, you can choose the materials, colors, and accessories that best suit your style. This makes a pergola a versatile and customizable option for enhancing your outdoor space.
Flexible and Versatile Design
Choose Your Material
A pergola can be built with a variety of materials, including wood, metal and vinyl. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs, budget, and style. Wood is a popular choice for its natural beauty, while metal and vinyl are more durable and require less maintenance.
“Fiberglass is generally the most expensive option, but fiberglass pergolas offer significant perks,” according to The Family Handyman. “Light and strong, fiberglass pergolas are ideal for adding to an existing deck or patio because they require fewer columns and shallow footings. If you opt for fiberglass, you’ll need to go with a kit or order a custom pergola with pre-cut and formed parts because this material isn’t available for DIY projects.”
Upgraded Home advocates for going all-in on fiberglass.
“Fiberglass also has unparalleled strength due to pultrusion, a process where extreme heat pulls together fiber and resins. This strength and its relative lightweight make fiberglass an ideal material for pergolas.”
Choose Your Size and Style
A pergola can be designed in various sizes and styles to fit your outdoor space and preferences. Square pergolas and rectangle pergolas are excellent for defining space. Rectangular pergolas are ideal for enclosing either an outdoor lounging set or a dining room table with chairs. Larger rectangular pergolas are perfect for encompassing an outdoor grill. Attached pergolas are a smart choice for extending the line and space of your home. Remember, before you make any hard decisions about your pergola style and size, consider your desired pergola post size, pergola rafter size and your pergola’s ceiling height. If you need help with dimensions, ArborsDirect can help.
You can also choose a style that complements your home’s architecture and enhances its overall look. Consider some of the pergola ideas from The Spruce.
A pergola can be customized with accessories to enhance its functionality and style. You can add lighting, fans, heaters, and speakers to create a comfortable and inviting space. You can also add curtains and vines to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere.
Low Maintenance and Cost-Effective
Minimal Maintenance Required
A pergola is a low maintenance option for enhancing your outdoor space. Unlike other outdoor structures, such as a gazebo or pavilion, a pergola does not have a roof, which means less maintenance and fewer repairs. You only need to maintain the structure and clean it periodically to keep it looking its best. For details on your fiberglass pergola’s care, go here.
A pergola can be a cost-effective investment that can enhance your home’s value and appeal without breaking the bank. A pergola is generally less expensive than other outdoor structures, such as a deck or patio, and requires less maintenance and upkeep. This makes it an affordable option for enhancing your outdoor living space.
To calculate the initial cost of a pergola, consider these Forbes Home suggestions.
Provides Share and Reduces Energy Use
A pergola is an environmentally friendly option for enhancing your outdoor space. By providing shade, a pergola can reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home, which can lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. A pergola can also be designed with solar panels to generate electricity and further reduce your energy use.
DIY or Professional Installation
A pergola can be installed as a DIY project, provided you have the necessary tools, skills, and knowledge. DIY installation can save you money and give you the satisfaction of completing a project on your own. However, DIY installation can be time-consuming and may require additional help.
When you’re considering whether or not to install your own pergola, you might want to run through what you might need and determine if it’s in your DIY wheelhouse.
Professional installation is another option for adding a pergola to your yard. Hiring a professional can ensure that your pergola is built correctly and safely. If you’re limited on time, a professional can save some of that for you.
The best reason to hire a pro? Professionals have experience installing pergolas, as they do it frequently. They’ve been through extensive training on the specifics of pergola installation and professionals can anticipate issues and problems before they arise.
Adding a pergola to your yard can provide numerous benefits. It can create a comfortable outdoor living space, increase property value, add aesthetic appeal, and offer a flexible and versatile design. Pergolas can be a low maintenance and cost-effective option. With the ability to choose between DIY or professional installation, adding a pergola to your yard can be a smart way to improve your home and enhance your life outdoors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, one of the significant benefits of a pergola is that it can provide shade from the sun. You can use climbing vines, fabric shades, lattice panels, reeds, or fixed fabric and sunshades to create a shaded area under the pergola. Additionally, the cross beams of a pergola can often provide enough shade on their own.
Yes, a pergola allows you to enjoy your outdoor space in any weather. By adding a retractable canopy or drapes, you can protect yourself from rain or wind while still being outside. Retractable canopies are easy to unfurl for rain protection and can be folded back when the sun is out.
Yes, a well-designed and functional pergola can increase the value of your home and attract potential buyers. A pergola adds curb appeal and makes your home stand out from others. However, the return on investment (ROI) of adding a pergola can vary depending on your location and the preferences of potential buyers.
Absolutely! A pergola can be customized to match your style and preferences. You can choose from various materials, such as wood, metal, or vinyl, and select the colors, design, and accessories that best suit your style.
Yes, a pergola is generally a cost-effective option for enhancing your outdoor space. It is typically less expensive than other outdoor structures like decks or patios. Moreover, it requires minimal maintenance and upkeep, making it an affordable long-term investment.
Yes, you can install a pergola as a DIY project if you have the necessary tools, skills, and knowledge. However, keep in mind that DIY installation can be time-consuming and may require additional help. If you prefer professional installation, hiring an experienced pergola installer can ensure a safe and correct build.
A pergola provides shade, which can reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home. This, in turn, lowers your energy bills by reducing the need for air conditioning. Additionally, a pergola can be designed with solar panels to generate electricity, further reducing your energy use.
A pergola can be customized with various accessories, such as lighting, fans, heaters, speakers, curtains, and vines. These accessories enhance the functionality and style of the pergola, creating a comfortable and inviting outdoor space.
Hiring a professional for pergola installation offers several advantages. Professionals have experience and training in installing pergolas, allowing for a correct and safe build. They can anticipate and address potential issues, saving you time and ensuring a high-quality installation.