What Is The Point Of A Pergola? 3 Key Reasons
Should we put in a pergola? Should we have the existing pergola removed? You may be asking yourself one of these questions if you’ve recently purchased a new property, or you’re looking to remodel an existing landscape design.
If you are considering removing an existing pergola, you should know that they’re popularity has seen a big surge over the last 15+ years. Most likely due to the increased demand for outdoor living spaces, since much of our time is now spent behind a desk or indoors.
Don’t just take our word for it. The chart below shows the annual growth in online searches for “pergola” since 2004.
What does Pergola mean?
The word “pergola” was adopted by English speakers from the Italians, but the word’s true origin is Late Latin referring to a “projecting eave”.
As a type of gazebo, pergolas may also serve as protection for an open terrace or a link between pavilions. But, it is important to know that pergolas are often confused with arbors, which is a wooden bench seat with a roof.
The difference is, a pergola is much larger and typically does not have integrated seating.
So, even while pergolas are seeing an increase in demand for the last 15 years, they’ve actually been around for centuries.
Recovered artwork such as the one below suggested that pergolas have been in use since Ancient Egypt!
What is the point of having a pergola?
Originally, they were used more for walkways and garden-types of uses, like growing grapes and vines like in the oil painting below, circa 1851-1852 from Barcelona, Spain.
But today, pergolas serve a range of different purposes and can be found in a variety of places.
Here are 3 main reasons why people install pergolas in their 21st century homes.
Pergolas Add Shade To An Area
Some of our clients don’t spend time outside because the sun is just too intense in the summer for them to enjoy their outdoor living space.
Pergolas provide shady spaces to create a place to relax when flowers and other vines cover the roof.
Many pergolas have an optional canopy to cover the top as well.
Pergolas Compliment Architectural Framing
Pergolas can be built with a variety of different materials, fitting into the look and design of almost any style of home.
The most conventional and common building material for a pergola is pressure treated wood. Hardwoods such as Red Cedar or Redwood, although more costly, are more durable than standard lumber and naturally protected from the elements of the outdoors. Tropical hardwood is also sought after for its beauty and resilience, but can be difficult to source FSC certified wood.
Other materials include steel and aluminum, which have their own pros and cons. Chemically treated steel, for example, does not decay. It also requires less support due to its lower volume. Aluminum pergolas are most common in homes near the sea since the humidity and salty air can wreak havoc on other types of pergolas.
Since the range of building materials for pergolas is fairly broad, they can compliment or even contribute to the existing architectural framing of your home!
Pergolas Add Design Flair
A well designed pergola can serve as a much needed design makeover for any deck or backyard patio. The choice is yours, whether you want to keep it modern with painted steel, aluminum, or even stained hardwood. Or, you can create your own backyard vineyard, similar to the ancient Egyptians.
The flexibility and easy customization of designing the right pergola for your home is what makes them unique and fun. With the right design choices for your home, you could enjoy entertaining guests in your own dream patio, or create that “wow” factor that sets your home apart from others on the housing market if you’re looking to sell.
However, if you’re not confident designing your own pergola, or unsure about whether or not your home requires a permit before completing your new pergola build, we recommend contacting an expert.
With decades of landscape construction experience under our belts, our experts can quickly guide you on the best choices and approach for your pergola project. Contact us today and get the conversation started!