You may have seen them around but weren't exactly sure what to call them. We call them pergolas, but they are also called arbors or trellises.
"Think of it as a cousin to a gazebo," explains John from Decks R Us. "The difference is, a pergola doesn't have a roof like a gazebo. And you will have a harder time enclosing it with screens. It is for partial shade or for looks only."
We can also add lights or ceiling fans to your pergola. This will increase the amount of time you spend on your deck or patio.
Choices with Our Pergolas
With the popularity of pergolas on the rise, more manufacturers are jumping into the market, which means there are more material and color choices than ever. Along with white and tan colors, we can now offer clay and black vinyl pergolas.
Pressure-treated wood is a good option for pergolas, as well. They can be stained a natural color or painted to match the color of any decking or railing. Another good option for wood pergolas is cedar. If you like the beauty of natural wood, cedar is definitely the right choice.
If you want a low-maintenance pergola but want a specific color or a bigger profile that is not available on vinyl, we have an option for that, as well. We can build a pergola using free-foam PVC boards that can be left their natural white color or painted any color you choose. We install aluminum channel inside the PVC boards for strength. Given the amount of custom work and the aluminum channel, this is our most expensive pergola option.
Cost of Our Pergolas
Pergolas are priced per square foot, with the white and tan vinyl ones usually costing between $20 and $25 a square foot. If you are looking at a 12'x12' pergola, that's 144 square feet, so that's a range between $2,800 and $3,600. You could get the same size pergola in pressure-treated wood for around $15 to $20 per square foot, or between $2,000 and $2,800. It's a little too early to say for sure with the new vinyl colors black and clay, but right now it looks like a clay vinyl pergola will be about 25% more expensive than white, and a black vinyl pergola will cost roughly 30% more.
Cedar pergolas greatly vary in price depending on the grade of cedar lumber you want to use. For example, if you want to use #1 grade wood with very few knots, cedar pergolas can cost a few dollars more per square foot than a white vinyl one. But if you choose a mid-grade wood with some knots, you can have your new pergola made of cedar for somewhere around $18 to $20 per square foot.
Paintable, free foam PVC Pergolas usually cost about double the price of white or tan vinyl, and that does not include painting.
Pergolas with Canopies
One of the things Ray does when he's not busy getting the permits for our customers is to notice what's hot with decks. And when it comes to pergolas, Ray has one word ... canopies.
"It's basically a track that mounts on the underside of your pergola where you manually pull the canopy in and out. Since it's made from a really durable canvas, you can pull and it in and out over and over again and not have to worry about tearing. The material is actually something like a high-end umbrella that you put over a table out on your deck.
If you're torn between a pergola or an awning, maybe consider a pergola canopy combination. Because the canopy is on tracks, you can sit under the pergola and easily cover it with the canvas. So you can have it completely open allowing the sun and air to flow in, and have a pergola look, or completely close it to full shade from the light and the sun.
You can get a canopy to match nearly any size pergola, covering both the width and the length. And you can choose from over 20 different fabric styles, for the perfect compliment to your deck and home.
Canopies vary largely in price depending on the length of the drive beam, please contact us for pricing info. If you have an existing pergola and you want us to add a canopy, it may cost you more depending if we need to retrofit your pergola to fit the canopy.
Pergolas with Shades
John says, "We have been getting more requests for shade curtains from our customers recently, We have found that Bali makes some high quality, retractable shade curtains that work well on the side of pergolas and gazebos." As you can see in the pictures below, we can also modify your current deck railings to install these curtains, even if you don't have a gazebo or pergola.
Give Your Deck a Real Focal Point
Designer Will Hapeman said, "A pergola may not give you the function of a gazebo, but then again it really makes a stronger statement. I've recommended pergolas to clients who were looking for a quiet outdoor space, not real far from the house or when there isn't that much yard. Because it gives some shade, you can easily place some outdoor furniture underneath there and make it a spot for some top quality chilling."
A Grand and Unique Deck
"Unlike a gazebo, there isn't as much practicality with a pergola, but man, do they look good," says John.
"It does provide some benefit though- depending on how the sun moves across your deck, it can give a few needed hours of shade each day to retreat from if you've been out there working on your tan."
And you can determine how much shade you want. Because we customize our pergolas for each customer, we can build it so it gives more shade or less shade.
We can work with you find out how many cross pieces (or lattice) you want on top of your pergola. The more cross pieces you have, the more shade is provided.
If you have a hot tub on your deck now or will be adding one in the near future, a pergola could be a good way to complement it. Whereas a privacy wall will obstruct the views from the sides, a pergola can create an unobtrusive overhead barrier.
"It's really a way of making your house a real home by putting something truly unique like a pergola on your deck."
A mild warning: Pergolas are much more of a permanent structure than they appear. Although it doesn't look like too much went into the construction, it really is securely built so it's not that easy to take down or change once it's constructed. And sometimes they do require a separate permit or zoning approval. But rest assured by going with Decks R Us, all of those headaches are taken care of as part of our Hassle Free Guarantee.
Consider if your family will be on your deck during peak sun times.
John says, "It probably would be well worth your time to track the amount of sunlight the area you are considering gets- throughout the year, remembering to lessen the time during the winter months. And if you think you'll be using your deck during the brighter-and hotter times of the day- a pergola can give some shade and keep you out of the direct sunlight.
A Real Life Story from One of Our Customers
Over in New Freedom, we were working with a customer who wanted a pergola, only he didn't really know it.
He knew he wanted something to give some shade, but didn't want to block out the sun entirely and since the deck was going to be facing south, he wanted a little something just to cool the deck down. He wasn't looking for something as big as a gazebo so we told him about pergolas.
"Oh….I've seen those things but never knew what they were called."
We pointed out that a pergola would allow some shade from the summer sun and a place to drink an iced tea while he read his magazines and eat outdoors a few evenings a week but he was still a little unsure.
As we often do with our customers, we asked one of our past customers who got a pergola if he could come by and check it out.
And the minute he saw it, he knew that he wanted one, too.
Already have a deck but just want a pergola?
Contact Decks R Us and we can give you a free estimate on just a pergola