Providing an element of shade without shielding you from the warm sunlight and the pleasant breeze, pergolas are just what you need to define a separate space in your garden where you and your guests can enjoy the brightest afternoons. And why not use them as a climbing structure for your flowers and plants, too?
Since this is a sizable investment (in… well, both senses), we certainly don't want you to be stuck with a huge pergola that makes your garden look smaller or one that you have to replace after a couple of years.
Here are our expert tips to choose a pergola that lasts, complements your garden beautifully, and immediately wows your guests.
4. What Features Should I Look for When Choosing a Pergola?
Once you've identified the right size, material and installation type for your future pergola, you can start thinking about features that would make your life easier:
While some materials are better than others at withstanding adverse weather conditions, their efficacy can also depend on how they were treated: if you live in a rainy area, it'd be wise to look for weather-resistant pergolas;
Some pergolas come with a retractable fabric canopy, which is particularly handy in warm climates to enjoy the brightest days without having to deal with direct sunlight;
however, you'll need to be prepared for a higher level of maintenance, as the fabric will form pockets that can easily collect water, debris and dirt, often resulting in mildew;
they aren't a practical choice in very windy or snowy climates;
A stylish alternative to canopies, pergolas with louvers can offer you more flexibility: whether they must be moved manually or with a handy remote, they can usually be tilted at different angles to enjoy more or less shade and protect you from the rain;
they're a popular choice for wall-mounted pergolas in particular, adding to the covered patio-feel but leaving more room for sunlight;
louvered pergolas are, however, more expensive and their mechanism can result in breakages and more maintenance over the years.