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What Is A Pergola?

With their simple and timeless design, pergolas have long been popular features of Australian homes and gardens. Despite their widespread use however, many people are still unclear about what exactly a pergola is, and what makes these installations different from other outdoor structures.

Read on to find out the benefits of pergolas and why they can make an ideal addition to your outdoor space.

Features of pergolas

Pergolas come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles to suit different properties, tastes and budgets, but they all have key features in common. Pergolas are always:

  • permanent structures
  • sheltered by a fixed roof
  • supported by columns

These structures may be freestanding in gardens or attached to the home. Their sides are usually left open, but may be covered by removable shadecloth or PVC to offer protection from the weather.

Since ancient times, pergolas have been used to grow climbing plants and vines, but today they are just as often used as spaces for entertaining or relaxing in the fresh air.

Pergola or patio?

If you're debating whether to add a pergola, patio or other outdoor structure to your home, pergolas do offer certain advantages. While patios can be permanent or temporary extensions to a home, pergolas are always built to last – as long as you choose quality materials – and are much easier to maintain over the years.

Pergolas are also available in a wider variety of colours and styles, which can be tailored to perfectly match your home and add to its sale value. If you use your pergola to grow plants, well-established vines and flowering plants can make a striking impact.

Some differences are more a matter of aesthetics and psychology, with pergolas 'feeling' more like part of the garden whereas patios are commonly viewed as extensions of the living space. This distinction may be a small detail, but it can make all the difference when you feel like escaping to nature for a while.

Choosing your pergola

When deciding what type of pergola will be the best fit for your home and garden, you should always consider what you plan to use it for, the style of your home and, of course, your available budget.

In terms of materials, treated timber is the most affordable option, as well as having a classic, rustic look ideal for country homes. However, timber also requires more maintenance than metal options such as steel and aluminium, which can be more economical in the long term. You will also need to consider the roofing material, which needs to be resilient enough to handle your local climate and weather.

The ideal shape for your pergola will depend on its function and location. Simple rectangular designs are the practical option for structures attached to houses, but if you're building a freestanding pergola out in the garden, you'll have greater freedom to explore hexagonal, octagonal and circular designs.

Install a pergola today

Call our design and installation specialists on 1800 000 504 to find out more about pergolas and arrange your free consultation and quote.

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