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How To Cover A Pergola

Pergola Covers That Focus On Shade

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Most of the cases in this category are much easier to install, but are less effective when it comes to protecting the insides of a pergola from something like heavy rain.

Our first idea of a pergola shade cover is to grow vines as a makeshift cover. While this idea, if treated right, can become a beautiful and functional addition to your pergola and your backyard, there are a number of potential problems that you have to keep in mind beforehand.

For example, most of the time vines and plants are not capable of protecting you from rain, so its all about shade. Even grape vines with a lot of foliage would be able to protect you from a medium-sized rain, at most. Theres also the fact that youll have to be careful with the plant of your choice, some of the vines that are fit as a pergola roof can be an outright nightmare to keep in the shape and the place you want it to be.

The next pergola cover in this category is a stationary canopy . All of the examples below are DIY, of course, and require only a small amount of effort to install and use. Theres a few ways that you can attach your outdoor fabric to the pergola:

  • Attach the fabric to the rafters from inside of a pergola
  • Attach the fabric to the pergola from the above without stretching it too much
  • Attach the fabric from above with pulling the fabric tight between the rafters.

Make The Most Of Your Pergola: Cover Options For More Shade And Protection

A pergola may just be four simple posts topped by an open-roofed grid of beams and rafters, but its enduring charm and endless design potential can transform an uninspired backyard into a cherished outdoor living space.

Pergola-Cabana Design & Build by Hogan Design & Construction

Whether your pergola is lush with climbing plants and vines, trimmed in whimsical lights, or left completely unadorned, chances are it feels like a lovely, airy outdoor room.

If you wish that your pergola provided more shade from the midday sun, better protection from the rain, or all of the above, the solution is as simple as finding the right cover. Here are just a few of our favorite options.

Install The Eye Screws On The Support Bars

Stretch out the canopy and lay it on a clean surface. You may wish to install the canopy so that the support bars are either above or below the canopy fabric. Installing the bars above the fabric gives the cover a clean look that emphasizes the draping. Installing the bars below the fabric means that the bars will be visible from below. This is a stronger attachment since the support bars, not just staples, are holding up the fabric.

Attach three of the #10 eye screws on top of every support bar. Space the eye screws so that they match the spacing of the three eye screws you previously installed on the pergola. Be sure to drill pilot holes to avoid cracking the wood.

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Cover Attached To Top Of Pergola

The methods mentioned above for attaching shade cloth to the top of your Pergola would still be valid for canvas materials, making it suitable for heavier rain, as long as there is enough slope to ensure they drain. I found three different methods for attaching the cloth that if the whole roof structure of the pergola has a slope would still work. Check out How to Attach Cloth to Cover a Pergola. The main issue I can imagine is if using the batten technique you might trap water in the lower corners that may encourage the material to rot. Ensuring the water can all escape by maybe angling the battens and leaving a suitable gap at the corners should be sufficient.

Corrugated / Flat Panels

Know About Fantastic Pergola Covers of your House ...

A much more cost-friendly solution, it is now possible to buy a whole array of different styles, sizes and materials with various fixings from plain old screws to more optimized solutions that are less likely to leak or make your pergola rot. In order to maintain the same amount of light, in my research, I was looking at clear or lightly tinted panels rather than changing the concept of a Pergola and going for a solid dark roof.

I was initially not interested in using these but having investigated them they are now of real interest. I like them as I could add them to my existing structures and they are compatible with other shade methods, including growing vines and they would still work with the sliding fabric panels if more shade was required.

Having checked some reviews it seems that Fiberglass panels will craze/cloud quite quickly, which will change the appearance and amount of light they allow.

The PVC panels are an improvement but are still quite brittle and susceptible to cracking , although they are more scratch-resistant than polycarbonate.

The strongest and longest-lasting would be the Polycarbonate panels but they are also the most expensive and can last 10-20 years!

Most polycarbonate sheets come with specialist UV coating but for residential applications, it is usually only on one side of the panel. You have to check that it is installed with the UV coating upwards.

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About Pergola Climbing Plants

Plants and vines for pergola structures vary in size, growing habit, and appearance. Many pergola plants are flowering vines that add color and interest to the landscape. Some gardeners combine several climbing plants that bloom during different times of the season for year-round color. Be sure that your pergola structure is strong enough to support the weight of several climbers before you plant.

Attaching The Interior Of The Pergola Shade Fabric

When youve secured the cover to all four edges of the canopy, its time to move on to the interior sections.

This will add extra stability to the cover, just in case the outside fasteners fail. Try to leave the same distance between the fasteners, while always pulling the fabric to make sure its smooth and tight, but not too tight.

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Inexpensive Ways To Cover Your Pergola

Pergolas are outdoor structures that add a lot of value and beauty to your backyard. Like gazebos, they make a gorgeous space for relaxing and entertaining outdoors. But you can decorate them a little more by adding a cover.

This also gives you shade and privacy so you can enjoy your outdoor living area during most times of the year. If you are hesitant about covering your pergola because of worries about expenses, keep in mind that you can add a cover to your structure without spending a lot of money. Here is a look at a few inexpensive ways to cover your pergola:

Erect A Portable Canopy


Nowadays, you will find many different portable canopies, and all at different price ranges to suit any budget. Pick an affordable one for your pergola. All you have to do is install the canopy stakes near your structure to keep it in place. You can also install a tent. These make great covers for your outdoor structure.

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Garden Winds Universal Replacement Canopy For Pergola Structures:

The pergola covers from Garden Winds are a great option when it comes to purchasing a replacement canopy cover for your pergola. The cover can be used on all kinds of pergolas, be it wood or metal. With a length of 205 and a width of 81this pergola cover can comfortably cover a medium sized pergola. For a larger one, multiple covers can be combined to create various looks of the pergola. The cover has long pockets at each end so that weight rods can be inserted. These would avoid fluttering of the cover during winds. The metal rods will however have to be purchased as they do not come with the product.This pergola cover is a great low-cost option and is expected to last long due to its high quality fabric. Another aspect to know before purchasing this cover is that itcomes in different colours to match the décor of your house and backyard. Hence pick the one that matches your style and flaunt a stylish covered pergola in your backyard.

How Do You Rain Proof A Pergola

These next few options on the list are waterproof pergola covers which can also provide shade but may take a little more work to install.

  • 1 | Put Up A Shade Sail. Photo by My Amazing Yard Inc Contemporary patio.
  • 2 | Install A Tin Roof On Your Pergola.
  • 3 | Add Pergola Roof Panels.
  • 4 | Install Wood Planks.
  • 26.06.2021

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    Concealing Seams Or Two Pieces Of Pergola Shade Fabric

    If your pergola roof is big and you need more than one piece of fabric, make sure to hide the seams or where the two pieces meet, or else the project will look sloppy. To do this, conceal the bind between the two pieces with a rafter inside the pergola. No one will see how the cover looks from above, but a rafter inside will hide where two pieces of fabric meet.

    String The Drapery Rings

    Pergola Covers Waterproof

    Unhook your wire rope from the turnbuckle, string your drapery rings on each side, and reattach the wire to the turnbuckle. Use the turnbuckle to tighten your wire rope.

    While there are several steps, this is a pretty simple, DIY project that requires only minimal sewing skills and handiness to accomplish. Now that you have installed your pergola cover, all you need to do is start enjoying your now-shadedoutdoor living area.

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    What Do You Think Of Our Pergola Cover Ideas

    Phew! That was exciting! I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this list as much as I had fun researching it. Ive always been deeply passionate about outdoor decor and landscaping, so looking for pergola cover ideas was certainly a treat!

    As always, Id love it if you shared your thoughts in the comments below and, if you found it useful, please feel free to pass this list on to your friends!

    How To Attach Shade Cloth To Cover A Pergola 3 Different Ways

    With six different patios I wanted to check that after installing pergolas I can offer shade while waiting for vines to grow over the structure.

    Having done some research here are step-by-step guides to three different methods recommended for attaching shade cloth to cover a pergola. The Quick and Easy as well as two other, removable, techniques that give your shade a longer life and/or let you take down the shade for maintenance/preservation. In this guide, we will show and explain all of the key differences.

    Nails/Screws/Staples Fixings

    Although the actual fixings used are different they are all based on placing an attachment roughly every 12 -18 around the perimeter.

    • This tends to be for permanent installations.

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    What Angle Should A Pergola Roof Be

    A flat pergola is distinguished by the perfect 90° angle formed by the pillars and the top covering, which gives the roof a modern, attractive appearance. This aspect makes it particularly suitable for lovers of contemporary design or for those who want to add a touch of freshness to their outdoor space.

    Rafter And Batten Size

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    A basic pergola has four corner uprights that support a grid of beams or rafters. The number of different designs, however, is limitless and is why they are so popular as they can be styled to your own preferences. The number and size of uprights, rafters and even the addition of battens, as well as how high, how much overhang and the end profile shape, all allow you to individualize your outdoor area.

    All these aesthetic decisions also affect the amount of shade that the pergola will provide, even before you add any additional cover. Check out How Does a Pergola Work?

    Rafters and Battens are the cross members that create the grid pattern on the top of the Pergola. Now some of these will have structural requirements to ensure your Pergola is strong and will not collapse but the size and shape of most of them can be adjusted. By increasing the number and/or their shape you can increase the amount of shade that it creates this may actually mean you make the Pergola stronger!

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    Decorative Wood Pergola Cover

    This is a cover that provides shade, but lets the light filter in playful patterns. These shadows change throughout the day as the sun changes its position. Its not very costly to install, and if you are a bit into tinkering, you can easily acquire the needed materials and do it on your own.

    You might want to add a protective layer to the wood or buy a synthetic kind that resists water and humidity. You wouldnt want to change it every other season.

    Pergola Shade: Pratical Solutions For Every Outdoor Space

    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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    Fasten The Pergola Shade Cover To The Frame On One Of The Long Sides

    Starting on one of the long sides, begin attaching the pergola shade cover to the top of the pergola, using broad head galvanized nails, wood screws with large washers, construction staples , etc. or any other exterior fastener you like.

    Attach every 12-16 or so, and try to keep the weave of the cloth parallel to the pergola frame for a clean look.

    What Kind Of Waterproof Covers Can Be Used To Cover Pergolas

    Cover Your Pergola w/ our Premium Standing Seam Pergola ...

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    Your pergola adds an interesting element to your outdoor space, but unlike a more formal porch, it doesn’t do much to keep you out of the rain. If you’re looking for options to cover your outdoor structure — either permanently or just from season to season — you can choose from any number of materials to do the job. Some options will, of course, cost much more than others.

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    Size The Canopy Fabric

    When fully extended, the canopy must be the size of the pergola’s area, plus at least 20-percent longer to accommodate draping. Heavier cloth such as sailcloth will sag more muslin and linen will sag less. Determine the look you wish to achieve when the canopy is extended. Tighter cloth has a trim, finished look. Cloth with deeper sags gives your pergola an airy, fanciful look. Find the area of your pergola by multiplying its length by its width.

    Does A Pergola Add Value To A Home

    Heres what we tell our customers: yes, a pergola will add market value to any house. Since outdoor living has become more popular than ever, the value of properties with a pergola or a comfortable outdoor space has been on the rise. A safe gauge for a deck or backyard improvement is about 50% 80% for your ROI.

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    Decorative Metal Shade Plates

    Using shadows is an overlooked way to add uniqueness to your backyard! Instead of purlins, these beautiful pieces sit right on top of rafters to add more depth to your space.

    These stunning plates and panels will transform your pergola and the surrounding area. Both functional and beautiful these decorative pieces provide shade and a dramatic visual effect that is sure to impress you and your guests.

    Often referred to as privacy panels, these playful decorations offer enough shade to stay comfortable while still allowing the sun to shine through. Check out this metal variety used in covered pergolas.

    Create shade & cast gorgeous floral shadows onto your flooring at the same time with beautiful powder coated panels with a fun print.

    Leaves are a classic pattern that compliment any outdoor design and will never go out of style.

    For an even more dramatic effect install panels on the sides as well as above, to create an airy but private covered pergola.

    Find this selection and more at GazeboCreations. Available in Power Coated Steel, Power Coated Aluminum & Power Coated Stainless Steel.

    Initially, yes, metal may be more costly, however the durability and sustainability will pay for itself in the years to come.

    Metal shade plates can be installed over your existing pergola simply by screwing them to the rafters or posts. Larger size versions may require a helper.


    • Artistic look shade & pergola itself


    • Can be quite expensive


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