Pergolas add beauty to the home and surrounding property. These structures consist of a set of column or pole supports and an open, lattice-style roof. This allows for good air circulation while at the same time providing sufficient shade. Patio pergolas are becoming more and more popular for homeowners. A patio pergola can be thought of as an extension of the house itself.
Large patios are often used as outdoor entertainment centers. If the home has a larger back porch, the pergola can be constructed as a roof. When the top is latticed with vegetation such as grapevines or rattan, the structure becomes quite natural in appearance. The shade provided means cooler air above the patio floor.
Many people prefer to build a pergola as a free-standing structure near a swimming pool or outdoor barbecue pit. The floor can be a concrete slab, and the owner can add picnic tables, lighting fixtures, and even appliances. The most commonly used materials for the construction of a pergola are wood and vinyl.
The affordability of these structures makes them very attractive as an alternative to a pagoda or a screened veranda. When properly water sealed and stained, a wood pergola is a structure of natural beauty and becomes the talk of the neighborhood. Vinyl pergolas, although lightweight, are very strong and will last a lifetime with minimal maintenance.
Because they are lightweight, pergolas generally do not require the pouring of a full foundation. If the structure is to be built around an existing patio, small foundation footings can be poured to support the columns. The latticed roof can be made of the same wood species as the columns. If a vinyl pergola is chosen, the color choices are virtually limitless.
Most patio pergola designs have a tightly woven linear or square lattice roof. This allows for vegetation to be placed on the top. However, many homeowners prefer the open lattice top with vinyl screens placed in parallel rows beneath. The screens can be angled to keep out direct sunlight while allowing natural light to penetrate. The result is a cool-air patio without the need for a full roof.
When choosing a patio pergola design, remember that these structures can be wired for electricity. A direct plug-in to an exterior outlet allows for the hanging of exterior light fixtures. The pergola can even be fitted with perimeter shades made from vinyl or cloth.
Patio pergolas increase the overall value of the property. The initial cost of the materials and the construction costs are outweighed by the added value. Most kits are simple enough to construct as a DIY project, or they can be erected by a local contractor for an affordable price.