Which Type of Pergola Is Best For Your Home?

Kenneth Wilson

If you’ve just moved into your new home and have a huge empty garden, you might want to consider adding a pergola.

A pergola is a wide-open structure that can be freestanding or connected to a home. It is usually used to provide shade, to extend living space outside, or as a place to entertain guests.

Since there are different types of pergolas, it’s best to choose the design according to its purpose. Check out which one will be perfect for your new home.

Traditional or Open top Pergolas

This is the most common type since most pergolas have an open top design. But it’s not completely open since traditional pergolas have a trellis or lattice roof that is usually covered with climbing plants such as trailing vines or roses.

Look at this beautiful 12′ by 10′ open-top pergola with crisscrossed beams roofing which provides more shade and stability. It has a 6′ 7″ headroom and 63 square feet interior space, perfect for furniture of different sizes.

Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola 12′ by 10′

 

Open top pergolas are usually made of timber, but it can also be made out of tooled concrete or stone brickwork. With this type, it provides the best airflow but less shade, allowing sunlight to pass through.

Flat Roof or Skillion Pergolas

If you prefer a pergola that can shield you better from the sun or is rain-resistant, one option is the flat roof pergola.

This type is also called a skillion pergola and has a slightly leveled roofing. This design is easier and less expensive to build since it requires fewer materials than other types. You can also turn this type into a solar power pergola since they have the roof space and structure for it.

Another reason to get a skillion pergola is if you live in an extremely windy area or a town prone to tornadoes or cyclones. This structure has better resistance against strong wind pressure since it has less surface area exposed to the wind. A part of your pergola roof can still be damaged or blown away, but the chances are less with this design. If you’re getting a pergola made of wood, this type is best for this weather.

Sunjoy 110105005 Pergola, Black/Brown

But if you live in a rainy town, you might want to consider a different type since water would not runoff, which means the rain would pool or collect on the roof.

Another downside to this structure is it will heat up more quickly, compared to the gable pergola – which is the next type I will discuss.

Gable Pergolas

The gable pergola is one of the more popular types of landscaping structure. It has a peak or ridge roof which gives it a triangular shape and house-like appearance. This design can be customized to easily blend to the architectural style of your home. This style will also make you feel you’re indoors while getting a nice breeze and natural sunlight.

You may add a dutch or false gable for decorative purposes and make it appear bigger. The ceilings of this pergola can also be lined with timber, giving it a traditional look. Similar to traditional pergolas, this type can also accommodate climbing plants like vines or roses.

Aside from aesthetics, its sloping sides allow water runoff, making it a better option for places that often get the rainy weather.

It also reflects sunlight better than a flat roof pergola – so you can consider this type if you want to place a dining area or hot tub under your pergola.

This type of pergola has a raised design giving the structure an extra height. This means it is more spacious and provides more airflow than a skillion pergola.

Pitch Pergolas

The pitch pergola may look like a flat roof pergola, but these two are different. It’s called pitch pergola since it has a pitched or angled roof that is attached to a section of a house, a tall wall, or a standing structure.

If this pergola is connected to exterior doors, it’s like expanding your home living space. It’s like having a less expensive patio or veranda-like structure.

Similar to gable pergolas, this type also offers water runoff because of its slanted roof ( and a range of interesting design options.) So this is another type to consider if it frequently rains in your area.

It will also provide more space and airflow, as well as reflect sunlight better than skillion pergolas. But it will be warmer saying in the pitch pergola compared to a gable pergola since its roof is tilted at a lesser angle. You can make it feel cooler by choosing roofing that reflects sunlight better or get a pitch pergola with a wooden ceiling. If it’s still warm, another simple solution is to install fans inside your pergola.

Sail Pergolas

Compared to other types, the sail pergola is a simple structure. It has a stretched fabric or canvas material that is suspended between posts as a roof instead of the traditional lattice or trellis roof.

It gives off a sleek, clean, and modern look that offers more shade than an open top pergola. Check out this is 8×8 pergola kit with a shade sail.

TOJA Grid – Pergola Kit with Shade Sail (8 x 8)

Steel Pergolas

This type of pergola incorporates steel beams for its structure. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, this structure is a great option. It is stronger and more durable than other types. It’s better at withstanding strong winds and is also low-maintenance.

Compared to the traditional pergola made of timber or the sail pergola with its fabric, this design offers a more modern and unorthodox look.

Look at this steel pergola with canopy shades. A nice structure to have when you have an outdoor pool.

Steel Pergola Gazebo with Retractable Canopy Shades

Arched pergolas

This arched-roof pergola gives off a different look than the open top pergolas. You can either get concave arches or convex arches. But this type is more complex, making it more expensive to construct.

Doesn’t this arched pergola look unique? If you have a hot tub, you can place this structure over it for more privacy.

Yardistry Arched Roof Pergola Gazebos with Plinth, Tugboat

Promenade pergolas

If your home has a walkway, you can also opt for a promenade pergola. This type is used to decorate pathways, making it look like a magical path in a forest if there are climbing plants such as vines, roses, or wisteria.

Kenneth Wilson
July 25, 2019
Yard & Garden

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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