Are Pergolas Worth It: A Buyer’s Guide

Pergolas are a handsome addition to any home, and recently they’ve enjoyed a brave new renaissance as the must-have items that will elevate your yard to be something truly spectacular.

The origin of the pergola is quite regal, dating all of the way to Ancient Egypt, but today’s varieties can suit any taste and budget! You can dress up or down your pergola, making it truly your own.

Pergolas are a cost-effective way to upgrade a home’s outdoor living space due to their minimal design and material usage. Homes located in warmer areas will get more benefit from having a pergola due to the extended usage.

There’s no shortage of fantastic pergola design ideas out there. Before you truly get started, though, it’s essential to understand what pergola is best for you. 

What Makes Pergolas Special?

Many people confuse pergolas with pavilions, but the two are not the same as all! Pavilions refer to a closed-in space in your yard, whereas pergolas don’t have an enclosed roof.

Some varieties can come with slats or other roof-like features, but pergolas usually straddle the space between the outdoors and an enclosed environment. 

This fusion of outdoor and indoor living space is partially what makes them so popular!

This makes them ideal for those who want to capitalize on a bit of shade but still like to enjoy a cool breeze while they are outside. 

Pergola Perks

There are plenty of perks that come with having a pergola in your yard. Since everyone is different, these are just a handful of the ones that most people enjoy.

#1 Better Airflow

Since pergolas represent the best of both worlds and expertly meld the outside with the inside, you will experience good airflow when you are sitting inside one of them.

This is great for people who want to be shielded from the outdoors but still want to enjoy a light breeze. It also makes pergolas ideal for entertaining.

#2 They’re Private

Although they can be open to the elements, pergolas are also reasonably private.

Many models have different types of curtains that you can close to enjoy maximum privacy. You can also open the curtains if you want more airflow.

One of the best parts of having a pergola is how easily you can customize it!

#3 Increased Home Value

Pergolas can and do, increase the value of your home. Not only do they provide substantial curb appeal, but they also make your yard a more attractive and inviting place.

Many prospective home buyers will see your yard as an extra room of the house, which is intensely appealing to people who want ample space and the ability to enjoy the outdoors.

#4 Protection Against The Elements

Although pergolas aren’t entirely closed off, they still provide substantial protection against the elements. Many of them have curtains that you can close, keeping out the wind, rain, or sun.

Additionally, some pergolas have closely-placed slats that allow you sun protection as well as a bit of cover from the rain.

You can even put a tarp up on your pergola if you want enhanced protection. 

Choosing The Right Pergola For You

When choosing the right pergola for you, you should consider several different factors. Specifically, think about the type of budget that you have. You can also consider where you are physically located.

Some pergolas do better in hotter or colder climates. Another thing to keep in mind is what you want to use your pergola for. This will dictate the size of the pergola, as well as what kind of material you want.

Ultimately, it makes sense to shop around for the pergola of your dreams. Usually, you can get a better deal in the off-season.

Since the summer and spring are prime pergolas months, it makes good sense to consider looking at pergolas during the winter. You might wind up with a fantastic deal that you can use in the upcoming year!

Type #1 – Metal Pergolas

Metal pergolas are gaining popularity because they are easy to set up and can be made out of virtually any different type of metal, from steel to aluminum.

Metal pergolas also tend to be on the less expensive side. Some people worry about rust affecting their pergola, but today’s models are largely rust-resistant, especially if they are made out of aluminum.

The only downside to a lighter-weight metal pergola is that you have to make sure it is securely fastened. Pergolas do have the tendency to fly away if they’re not tightly secured, so make sure that your metal pergola is anchored to something heavy, like cinder blocks.

Metal pergolas are an excellent choice for those who want to go with a more minimalistic approach or people who want to decorate their pergola with accent colors.

They look far more modern than other types of pergolas and are suitable for those with sophisticated but simple tastes.

Type #2 – Vinyl Pergolas

Vinyl pergolas are a great, cost-effective option for those who want an elegant look that won’t break their bank account. One of the best aspects of vinyl is that you don’t have to put all that much work into it.

It requires very little maintenance besides a good wipe down every season. You can even power wash vinyl, and it will still keep its form. Power wash once every one to three years for the best results. 

Vinyl can truly last almost forever if you take care of it properly. The only actual downsides to getting a vinyl pergola are that you are relatively limited in your color selection. Most vinyl pergolas only come in white and off-white.

On the other hand, you can always decorate your pergola to your heart’s content!

Vinyl pergolas are a popular choice for both renters and homeowners because of their cost and versatile nature. They are also fairly easy to move around your yard, and you can modify them to host events outside if you so choose.

Type #3 – Fiberglass Pergolas

Fiberglass pergolas are a relatively new kid on the block, but they’re one that you should consider if you want to find the right pergola for you. Fiberglass tends to last a long time and doesn’t require much in terms of maintenance.

You can also paint your fiberglass to match your decor, but the fiberglass is unlikely to take in moisture or corrode over time, even if you don’t.

Despite being relatively lightweight, fiberglass is hearty enough to hold up under extreme weather conditions. Fiberglass beams last longer than wooden ones thanks to their excellent construction and the fact that the material they’re holding up is so light. 

With all of the upsides to fiberglass, there are some downsides, specifically the cost. Fiberglass pergolas are exceptionally expensive, and even if you buy yours out of season, you can still expect to put down a lot of money. 

Type #4 – Wood Pergolas

Wood is one of the most popular pergola materials on the market, and it’s easy to understand why. Wood is a classy material that looks rustic yet sophisticated at the same time.

It’s also less expensive than some other options, and you can choose from a wide variety of different woods when selecting the pergola that works best for you.

You need to properly take care of your wood pergola if you want it to last for the long run, but if you treat your wood pergola right, it will certainly give you years of beautiful al fresco enjoyment.

If you live in a more humid climate, you need to be careful with wood as it can warp over time. Always use a proper sealant and pressure treat it to combat the humidity appropriately.  

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