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How Does A Pergola Work

What Is A Pergola And What Is It Used For

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The purpose of this article is to define what a pergola is, what it is used for, and to distinguish it from some of its architectural garden-dwelling cohorts, including arbors and gazebos.

To kick things off, here is a picture of a pergola just to provide a visual reference.

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So, the above example is what you might call a typical pergola. Why? Because it has four sturdy beams holding up the structure itself, including crossbeams with a stylish lattice across the top.

This pergola isnt enclosed, and, as it has a more minimal structure, it almost seems to have an unfinished look, depending on how you look at it.


The size of your ordinary garden-variety pergola is fairly large, spacious both vertically and horizontally, and rectangular. The space underneath, defined by the pergola, opens up many possibilities.

The lattice at the top, where the cross beams intersect, is not strictly necessary. It can simply have cross beams going one way without the lattice, with some sort of covering, like this:

As you can see from the example above, pergolas can be elevated off the ground, so long as they have a surface to sit on.

Visually, pergolas are usually large enough to be striking when people see them, drawing their attention visually, and, aesthetically, they can come in many different designs and colours.

Not Everyone Sees The Appeal

While most everyone sees the benefits of a deck or an awning, pergolas dont seem to share that appeal. While you may envision a beautiful shaded area in your yard, your partner or spouse may see a waste of time and money. For some people, the cons simply outweigh the pros when it comes to pergolas.


What If I Want To Build A Pergola Myself Where Can I Get Plans

Building a pergola is not an easy task. However, if you have woodworking skills, the necessary tools and the determination you may be able to tackle this project. Make sure you have a well thought out plan before beginning construction. Pergola plans can be purchased online through GardenStructure.com.

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Pergolas : Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Pergola

The pergola has seen a big surge in popularity the past few years as outdoor living continues to be a huge trend in home improvement. Of course, the pergola has been around for a LONG time , but its also one thats most often confused with other, similar structures.

People often mix up pergolas with arbors, trellises, and pavilions and arent always sure just what a pergola is for, or what it even looks like.

Well, first off, a pergola is a very popular outdoor structure that can be a perfect complement to finish off your outdoor living space. It creates a focal point for your backyard and becomes the hub around which you center your outdoor entertaining. It can also act as a transitional space, adding shade and privacy while maintaining a sense of openness and view of the sky.


So, what does a pergola look like? Its this thing right here!

Types Of Pergola Designs

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While there are several different types of pergola designs, each one adheres to a primary form and function that separate the pergola from an arbor, a gazebo, and other backyard structures.

One of the most common mix-ups in backyard architecture is the pergola vs. arbor. A pergola is designed to serve a wide range of different purposes, whereas an arbor is primarily used to accentuate an entrance or pathway, and is quite small in comparison.

Generally, a pergola is a wide-open structure with four support beams, no walls, and a decorative roof design, such as a lattice. For shade or even a touch of shelter from the elements, screens can be added to the roof or walls, although the primary purpose of a pergola is not to shelter its users.

Below, weve provided you with a quick list of different types of pergola designs that you can choose from as you plan your backyard addition.


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Great Place For Plants And Other Decor

Do you have a green thumb and love decorating with plants? Youll love all the things you can do with a pergola.

There are so many great vines thatll grow and twist their way up the pergola. Wisteria is a wonderful vine with a spectacular bloom.

Lavender trumpet vine, bougainvillea, and sweet pea are all great vines for growing on your pergola. The cross beams on the pergola are also a good spot for hanging baskets of plants and flowers, as well as other types of decor.

Wind chimes, birdhouses, and hanging lanterns are all great additions to your pergola which leads us to our next point


The Perfect Entertainment Space

Are you looking for an entertainment space where the kids can run around and the adults can chill? Look no further than underneath the pergola!

You can even put a TV under a pergola. Just make sure its shielded from the sun and rain. Now youve got a place to watch your favorite sports teams.

Add outdoor furniture and breezy curtains. Scatter a few small end tables and youre set.

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Can You Anchor A Pergola To Pavers

YES! It is a great idea to do this, as it is a beautiful way to maximize what you have. You can even set pavers on either side of the pergola for added privacy and make the pergola the focal point of your patio.


Many people prefer to anchor a pergola by resting it on brackets that are screwed into the paver stones and other things below them. Another option is to lay level paver stones around the perimeter of its base and anchor it to those with stainless-steel hardware.

For added stability and security, use weights with springs that attach vertically at the posts below an overhanging weight. Adjustable lines can pull down these weights, so there is not much pressure when tying them.

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A pergola is an architectural element originally used in ancient Greece and Rome to better define an outdoor space. A pergola created an articulated sense of order between two spaces by using columns on the sides, which were connected by beams and topped with open rafters. Pergolas were also a good cooling off point between two buildings or along a pathway. With the increasing use of garden structures in landscapes, many are confusing the terms pergola, trellis, and arbor, using them interchangeably.

Today, a pergola is mainly used as a landscaping structure consisting of four columns or posts to define a space, topped with beams and open rafters. Now more than ever, pergolas are covered with a retractable canopy for better protection from the sun and rain. The ability to add retractable canopies for protection and other accessories such as lights, curtains, and heaters has influenced the use of pergolas to create outdoor rooms.

Another garden structure is an arbor. An arbor is typically an open structure much smaller than a trellis or pergola, using interwoven lattice pieces and sometimes having an arched top. Arbors usually define a point of entry or the division of two places along a path.


If you are seeking a defined covered space large enough for relaxing and entertaining outdoors a place that offers the highest protection from the sun, wind, and rain, then a pergola with a retractable canopy is the best solution.

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Do Tesla Cars Break Down Often

Just how reliable are Tesla cars?

It has been proven that the Tesla Model S can continue to function well after passing 400,000 miles and do not break down often. This is because electric cars do not rely on as much mechanical movement in order to function. Less moving parts mean less chance for something to break.

When it comes to fuel-powered cars, one of the main causes of a breakdown is a faulty battery.

Now, what about a Tesla car that relies on thousands of battery cells in order to work?

Well, Tesla as a company has not been collecting data long enough to answer this question accurately for all of their vehicles .

However, we do have quite a few years of data for their slightly older models, like the Model S and Model X.

Below we have created two tables breaking down each models battery capabilities:

Model S & X
Charging Cycles1500

The above data are broad estimates. Obviously, the battery retention capacities will vary from driver to driver depending on individual driving habits, driving temperature, and fast charging frequency.

A Beautiful Garden Feature

Firstly, a pergola can be a show-stopping addition to your garden. There are many options available for purchase in various styles and materials, but you will have the most control over the finished product if you construct a custom-made pergola.

A brand-new pergola can be designed to match your homes style and refresh your patios appearance.

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Use Weights To Secure A Pergola

Anchoring a pergola to pavers has never been easier or more practical than with this technique. To put it simply, it entails putting massive weights to the pergolas ground stakes. Although these weights can be anything, planters are a popular combination in the industry.

To do this, acquire four large planters, fill them with sand, and then set the pergola pillars inside. After that, fill each pot with concrete and let it dry. There shouldnt be any problems with 100 pounds of concrete per one.

Once the concrete has dried for around 48 hours, youre ready to go. Once youre done, add dirt to the planters and flowers to the tops for a beautiful finish.

Attach The Rafter Tails

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Once the stain is dry, screw the tops to the tails with 2-1/2 in. deck screws and fasten them over the tops of each flat rafter and beam end. Then screw K in place from the backside of F1.

Note: Youll need to cut the tail top short on the assemblies that project from the corners and screw them in place from the backside of the front beam.

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Where To Position Your Pergola

Where in your yard you place the pergola should be determined by what you want to accomplish with it. For shade, the best place to position your pergola will be anywhere that doesnt receive constant sunlight. This may be under a tree or up against the house so your home can provide shade for some of the day. Of course, too much shade can be a bad thing if you want vines to grow on the pergola, or if you envision hanging plants from the slats.

A pergola next to your house can also provide shade to nearby windows in certain circumstances, which is something to consider.

Consider what you want to do with the pergola, and then take note of the potential places in your yard. Observe how much sun these areas receive at different times during the day. Pretty soon youll have a good idea of the best position for your new pergola.

Pergolas Create Versatile Shade

You might be curious, do pergolas really offer shade? Yes, pergolas were designed to add shade to your backyard space. They are excellent for providing relief from the harsh, direct rays of the sun while allowing sunlight access to fill the space. Although, as a stand-alone structure, pergolas do not provide full shade, their versatile structures allow many shade options. If you desire full coverage, you can add a retractable canopy. This option allows you to enjoy various levels of shade depending on the time of day or suns location. Retractable canopies arent the only solution for full sun coverage. There are many more ways to add extra sunblock to your pergola that can reflect your personal style or preference such as plants, bamboo, or fabric sales, to name a few.

Follow these links below to discover different shade coverage options for your pergola. Pergola Shade: Practical Solution for Every Outdoor Space and Cheap Ways to Cover a Pergola

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Why Do Pergola Rafter / Batten Dimensions Matter

These two crossbeams have the same length and width but have different heights. As you can see, when the sun is anything but directly overhead they will cast different size shadows.

A Pergolas crossbeams can offer a significant amount of shade whilst, unlike a solid roof, still allowing the free flow of hot air to rise up.

The crossbeams may be structural or not depending on the design. In some cases, there is only a ring frame, rafters linking the posts together at the top, and the crossbeams are only for shade/decoration.

When you adjust the height dimensions of the crossbeams/rafters you can dramatically increase the amount of shade whilst still maintaining the same amount of free-flowing air.

You could also add extra crossbeams/rafters to get the same amount of shade but you reduce the space where the hot air can rise.

In most cases, there will still be plenty of airflow, but you are also reducing the amount of indirect light, as you get closer to a solid roof.

Instead of adding more crossbeams/rafters you could add battens to make a grid/lattice. This is particularly beneficial when the pergola is to be used when the sun is directly overhead and the height dimension of the beams has less effect.

Pergola Shade: Pratical Solutions For Every Outdoor Space

How to Design and Build a Pergola – The Basics

For those of you just starting to look at pergolas as an outdoor living accessory, you may be shocked to learn they dont really provide much shade and they certainly dont protect from rain. It leads one to wonder why they exist at all then. Perhaps a little history is in order to shed light on the origins of the pergola and its evolution to the pergola shades you see in backyards now.

Pergolas have been built for centuries to protect from the sun and provide shade. They are simple frames covered with a variety of materials that tend to vary according to geography or time and place in history. Our pergolas here in North America are really an idea that is incomplete when only rafters are overhead. A fully featured pergola includes a sun screen of some sort.

Most people build a pergola to relax outdoors in a space that is inviting, comfortable and with a modicum of privacy. These characteristics encourage spending more time outdoors and thats what outdoor living is all about.

Rain protection is another feature that is a highly desirable feature for a pergola. I reviewed a variety of pergola covers in an earlier blog on pergola roofs. However, sun protection is the primary purpose of every pergola regardless of geographic location. The interesting thing is the variety of materials that can be used to screen the sun. Lets look at the different ways to create pergola shade.

Reeds and Leaves
Live Foliage
Branches or Bamboo
Lattice Panels
Fixed Fabric
Shade Cloth

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Disadvantages Of Having A Pergola

After installing a pergola, they may require routine maintenance or treatment depending on the kind of wood used. Over time they may need to be cleaned, painted or treated to avoid them looking weathered.

Furthermore, traditional pergolas are made from durable wood but this could also attract termites. During regular pergola maintenance, itll be especially important to look for any disturbances or activity in the wood.

While there are other material options like vinyl or bamboo, wood is traditionally used for pergolas and runs the risk of damage over time. Pergolas could require maintenance, a fresh coat of paint, or even termite treatment if left untouched.

But again, if well maintained they can last a long while.

Do Pergolas Really Provide Shade

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Pergolas are gorgeous freestanding structures that have been around for centuries. But the amount of shade they provide primarily depends on the build material.

To answer your question yes, pergolas can provide shade, but in modern establishments, its more of an aesthetic addition that enhances outdoor living through shade. That said, this quadrangular structure can truly elevate your porch or deck, creating a cozy hangout for family and friends.

So, if youre looking to add a vibrant and exquisite element to your home, pergolas are a great way to do it. And as far as their practicality is concerned, lets discuss the different shade materials and the purpose they fulfill.

Without further ado, lets begin.

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Sensational Benefits Of Using Pergola Kits In Your Yard

Spacious wooden deck with benches and attached pergola

Did you know about 80% of homeowners choose to remain in their current home? Of that 80%, about half are thinking about remodeling. Aesthetics, comfort, and adding value to the home are the primary reasons given for remodeling.

One way of adding beauty, comfort, and functionality to your outdoor space is with a pergola. A pergola acts as a beautiful and practical extension to your living space, connecting the indoors to the outdoors.

Pergola kits are an easy way to turn your backyard space into your dream space! Another added benefit? Theyre much more affordable than a full home remodel.

Are you wondering if adding a pergola is right for you? Read on for 9 sensational benefits of adding a pergola to your yard.


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