We have built a lot of Pergolas over the years, and while they provide some shade from the sun when it is overhead. They do little to keep the intense afternoon sun from beating in the sides, even if you have added a canopy to it. We have recently found an affordable source for beautiful, quality, shade curtains. These curtains can be installed on one, or all sides of your pergola. They are custom made to fit your pergola, and are available in several different colors. They are raised and lowered with a cord, just like indoor curtains.
The curtains are installed on the underside of the pergola, and guided by 2 cables installed down the outside of the posts. This makes them very stable on windy days. Combining these curtains and an overhead canopy can make your pergola much more usable on hot, sunny days. They also add some privacy to your deck area.
By Ray Ebersol