Choosing the Right Pergola

A pergola in your home can be a good area for you to relax and extend the living space outdoors. Also known as an arbor or an exterior structure, it is generally built to protect a terrace from rain or excessive sun. A pergola can be bought as a self-supporting piece that can be installed easily; a wall-mounted piece attached to the house or building; or a hanging type.

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  • How to choose between the three types of installations for a pergola?

    There are three types of installations for pergolas which include self-supporting, wall-mounted and hanging; you can search on the ArchiExpo website by clicking on the “Installation” tab to view a list of products.

    A self-supporting pergola is ideal to be placed in your garden or beside the pool if you have one. It can be an independent unit from your home that can either be large or small, depending on the size of the space that you want your self-supporting pergola to occupy.

    The wall-mounted installation is when the pergola is connected to the walls of your home or another structure within the premises of your home. This type of installation has columns or posts that support it. It is a great extension of your home, adding to your living space by extending it outdoors.

    The hanging installation is when the pergola is attached to the wall in the same manner as a wall-mounted installation but with no supporting pillars connected to the ground.

    self-supporting pergola by Unopiù

    Self-supporting pergola by Unopiù

    wall-mounted pergola by Corradi

    Wall-mounted pergola by Corradi

    hanging pergola by MORE SPACE

    Hanging pergola by MORE SPACE


  • What material options do I have for a pergola?

    Depending on the style of your home, whether it is modern, classic or traditional, the materials that you choose for your pergola should complement the style and the materials that you have used in the exterior structure of your home.
    Materials that can be found on both the home and commercial market for pergolas include metal, wood, plastic, stone, composite and glass.

  • What should I know about metal pergolas?

    If you want a pergola that is strong and can withstand extreme weather conditions, metal is a recommended material to use.
    This material is robust, can last for a long time and is recommended for large pergolas. A disadvantage with pergolas made with metal is that they can rust, thus requiring a lot of maintenance and proper care by galvanizing or painting it and using suitable sealers that can prevent rust from appearing.

  • What should I know about wood pergolas?

    Wood is a material that is commonly used to build pergolas and the types of wood used for outdoor units include mahogany, cedar, redwood, oak and teak. These types of wood have natural oils which makes them very resistant to pests and warping due to extreme weather conditions.
    The natural look of wood provides character, warmth and a rustic touch to a space and it can be painted easily as well. A disadvantage is its price as the above-mentioned types of wood can be expensive.

  • What should I know about plastic pergolas?

    Plastic is a common material for pergolas that are located near a water feature like a pool or fountain. The thick type of plastic is very resistant and can save you problems that metal and wood pergolas have when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Pergolas made in plastic are easy to maintain and clean; they are relatively cheap and can be found easily on both the home and commercial market. Ecologically, they are not the best to use, but if you opt for recycled plastic as a material for your pergola, you can save on costs and at the same time, aid the environment by using a recycled material that can last a long time.

  • What should I know about stone pergolas?

    If your home is built with stone, it can be ideal to have a pergola made with stone to complement the existing façade.
    This type of material provides a lot of resistance and is very durable with little need for maintenance.

  • What should I know about composite pergolas?

    This type of material consists of a combination of wood and plastic; is highly resistant to atmospheric agents and is virtually maintenance free.
    It is also considered an eco-material and is 100% recyclable.

  • What should I know about glass pergolas?

    Usually found in modern and contemporary homes, glass is a sleek and stylish material that is usually used as the overhead roof of the pergola and as walls, installed with a sliding function or as a permanent unit.
    Usually glass is used for pergolas that are wall-mounted or attached to the home and for self-standing pergolas that are independent from the main house.
    A disadvantage of this material is that it can be expensive, and regular cleaning is required. Installing it can also take a lot of time and effort.

  • What are the aspects to consider when choosing a pergola?

    Other aspects to consider for your pergola include whether or not you should have a canopy as an overhead roof and if you want a fabric, glass, wooden or polycarbonate canopy that can slide with mobile slats and/or sun shade louvers. Pergolas without a canopy often have hanging plants and function as an additional decorative structure.
    There are other aspects to consider, though, like whether or not you’d like your pergola to meet the ecological standards of our time; some pergolas are now made from recyclable materials that are durable and FSC-certified. Choose from among a variety of specifications which include bioclimatic, modular, retractable, motorized and with or without solar protection.

  • How to choose the size of your pergola?

    When determining the size of your pergola, you should look at the size of your home and other structures in the area. A large pergola that is wall-mounted to a small house can put the scale out of proportion for example.

    The space that your pergola will occupy can be as wide as you like if you choose the proper sturdy materials that will make up the pillars and beams to support the overhead roof. Many designers and manufacturers recommend the minimum height of a pergola as no lower than 7’6” in order to have ample headroom.

  • New trends

    Pergolas made with glass and composite materials are trending on the market at present, mostly seen in modern homes that favor a sleek and minimalist style. It has become popular in contemporary homes to hang curtains on the rails and beams of the pergola as well as plants and vines to create an earthy look.
    Recently, “smart pergolas” have been introduced on the home market with built-in sensors and equipped with movable louvers operated by a smartphone app or remote control.

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