The pergola is a great addition to any outdoor area but what exactly is a pergola and why is it such a good choice? Here is everything you need to know about the basics. Read on for more.
Defining the Pergola
A pergola can be defined as a freestanding structure or structure that is attached to your home. Traditionally, they were designed to be a support for climbing plants, as they had supporting columns with angled beams overhead that plants could grow up and around. The more modern pergola however is a roofed structure that shelters the entertaining area beneath it (usually the patio).
The structure of the pergola itself is typically made from timber (rated for outdoor use), aluminium, or steel, and it is roofed with a range of materials including Colorbond, Zincalume, thatch, polycarbonate, shade cloth, angled battens, or even plants. The pergola itself is usually rectangular in shape but it can also be square, hexagonal, octagonal, and even circular.
Adding a Pergola to Your Home
If you are thinking about adding a pergola to your home, the first thing that you will need to do is to check with your local council to see what restrictions they may have, and what permits and approvals you will need. Once you have permission from your council, you can then decide exactly what type of pergola you want – whether it is attached to your main roof or if it is completely freestanding. Your budget will also play a huge part in determining what materials you can use for the structure or roof. Treated timbers are the least expensive option and they will last for a relatively long time if cared for properly, while metal options will cost more but last for longer with less maintenance. From a practical point of view, think about what type of weather the pergola will need to withstand as you need to make sure the pergola can stand up well to wind, rain, and even storms. This is particularly pertinent when choosing roofing materials.
The pergola is seen as being an extension of the home so you will need to take into account the design of your home and garden when designing your pergola. You will want to use materials and colours that complement the home and mesh in well with the garden. Also think about what shapes will work well. A rectangular shape is ideal if you want to follow the line of the back of your house, but a hexagonal or even circular shape may work much better if you are planning on locating the pergola away from the house and somewhere inside the garden.
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