Pergolas or Patio Covers: How to Choose The Right Shade Solution

For those of you looking into outdoor shade solutions for your backyard, you may have already encountered pergolas and patio covers. Choosing between these two options can be difficult – they seem to share several of the same benefits. How can you choose between a pergola and a patio cover?

To start off, it can help to have a more concise understanding of what distinguishes these two patio shade ideas from one another. Though often conflated, these patio shades take a different approach to enhancing your home and backyard and can ultimately deliver very distinct benefits.

Understanding the Distinction

A patio cover works as an extension of your home. Most come in kits that are designed to assemble and attach easily to the wall of a house. The kits are difficult to integrate into the overall look of your home as their primary purpose is one of practicality. In most cases, a patio cover is a very basic shade structure. A patio cover extends directly out from the wall of your home, likely positioned over the patio doors that open onto your backyard. The roof of the structure is usually a solid panel of aluminum fiberglass or PVC with posts supporting the end away from the wall of the house.

A pergola does not have a roof. Instead, it defines the outdoor space with an overhead frame of open rafters (or joists). A pergola’s role is to create a defined space for outdoor living and to compliment your home or garden with an architecturally stylish and beautiful feature. Today’s pergolas are well-built, solid, and impressive structures that can include covers or retractable canopies to offer sun and rain protection.

The Benefits of a Patio Cover

Patio Covers

Patio covers extend a magnitude of benefits to homeowners. For one, they can help you save on energy costs; adding shade around your home helps it stay cooler and can also give you an alternative to running the AC all day in hotter months. Plus, patio covers can be retrofitted with various accessories that add to their value and enhance your way of life, including outdoor lights, fans, misters, and even home entertainment equipment. Patio covers are the practical solution for protecting a homeowners outdoor space from the elements.

The Benefits of a Pergola

Pergola Patio Cover

Pergolas address all of the same benefits that patio covers do but introduce few key ingredients to the mix – ambiance and style. While these shade structures can also hold all the accessories you need to enhance your outdoor space, they deliver on an aesthetic level in a way a patio cover just cannot. Pergolas may also integrate well with your garden – many pergola owners like to grow vine plants and flowers on their pergola to add to their already impressive look and style.

For those looking to retreat to the shade, pergolas can also work with UV-resistant, retractable canopies, providing you with the option of indulging in the sun or finding some shade. A pergola can also be equipped with curtains, allowing you to grab a bit of privacy whenever you want and adding a distinct touch of style to a setting. Overall, a pergola creates a much more diverse and free-flowing space in terms of look and vibe, while also delivering all the benefits of a patio cover.

So when it comes time to make your decision, weigh these factors and decide which shade cover choice can work best with your home. Both patio covers and pergolas offer a range of practical answers that can not only add to your quality of life, but also add to the value of your home. Whether you want an add-on feature or a freestanding structure that acts as a complement to your home, these shade solutions can give you a viable and attractive way to improve your outdoor space.

Retractable Solutions for Outdoor Spaces

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