Modern Pergola Selection Guide: 4 Tips For Homeowners

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Pergola for Your Outdoor Area

11 Mar 2024

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Pergola for Your Outdoor Area

Is your backyard looking drab and boring? Are you looking to improve the look and functionality of an outdoor section of your property? Then, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you want some extra shade or plan to recreate a space into a place to entertain guests, pergolas are the perfect addition to your property. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing the right modern pergola design for your outdoor area.


What Is a Pergola?

A pergola is a structure made by arranging pillars and posts to support a set of beams or open lattice. It can be attached to the side of a house or built as a freestanding structure. This type of outdoor installation can be made from weather-resistant materials.

A well-made pergola offers shade to walkways and entertainment spaces, and enhances a landscape with climbing plants.

Unlike gazebos, pergolas allow light to pass through. The open lattice structure also promotes airflow while adding some privacy. This can be useful for places with multi-level buildings, like apartments.

You can opt for a pergola that’s already been made or have one built specifically for your property. Either way, having one adds value and makes your outdoor space more hospitable.


How to Choose the Right Pergola for Your Property

Pergolas come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be made from different materials and come in various styles. To help you choose the right one for your home, we’ve compiled a list of tips you may find useful:


1. Start with what you need.

Like everything you purchase, you need to know what you want from a pergola to be able to choose the right one.

Do you want an enclosed outdoor living space? Or perhaps you only seek partial shade from the sun for your patio or deck for added comfort?

Your intended purpose for the pergola will dictate not only its size and style but also the materials to be used for the structure.


2. Learn about the different types of pergolas.

Once you’ve defined your purpose for the pergola, the next thing you need to do is research and learn about the available options.

Pergolas come in different styles, each with its own pros and cons. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of pergolas according to their style:


Attached Pergolas vs. Freestanding Pergolas

The first decision you must make when looking into modern pergola designs is whether or not the feature will be attached to your home or built as a separate structure.

An attached pergola is held up by one or two posts and your home or garage wall. In other words, one side of this pergola is attached to the home or garage, making it look like an extension of the building rather than a separate feature.

Attached pergolas are perfect for situations that call for additional shade, like extending the parking space or adding shade on a patio or deck.

On the other hand, a freestanding pergola is precisely as it is called – a standalone structure that is not connected to your house. 

It can be built as a focal point in a landscaped garden or an additional living area for entertaining guests in your backyard or beside a pool. To make it cosier, you can enhance your freestanding pergola with roller shutters and other implements.


Louvred Pergola

A louvred pergola uses movable rafters instead of the typical slats on its top. It is equipped with an automatic or manual mechanism that can open and close the roof-like part of the pergola, allowing more or less sunlight as necessary. 


Arched Pergola

As its name suggests, an arched pergola comes with an arched top instead of a flat roof. It has a more romantic vibe than the standard flat design, giving your outdoor space a subtly luxurious look.


Awning Pergola

Awning-style pergolas are ideal for small spaces because they don’t require posts or columns for support. They can be installed over a door, window, or garage for added shade and beauty. They are perfect for adding a touch of whimsy to an outdoor space, especially when combined with climbing vines and flowering plants in hanging pots.


3. Consider the materials.

A pergola can be made from all sorts of materials, including natural wood, like cedar and teak, metal, and even vinyl.

Wooden pergolas tend to have that classic look and feel. Plus, they are more affordable.

They can be covered with a natural clear coat to preserve the appearance of the rich wood grain or painted a variety of darker stain colours. The only downside is that the tone may change over time, not to mention that it would be susceptible to wood rot.

Meanwhile, vinyl pergolas may be pricier, but they are known for their convenience.

They require little to no maintenance and are not at risk of damage due to mould, bugs, and rot. However, they are only available in two colours: white and ivory. This isn’t necessarily a drawback since both hues can suit and blend into almost all types of backyard decor.

Want to get the best of both worlds? Consider an artisan pergola made with a wood top and vinyl posts.

Besides these two, metal materials like aluminium can also be used. Aluminium pergolas typically appeal to homeowners who prefer minimalist and sleek designs. As such, this type of material is preferred for modern pergolas.


4. Explore ways to maximise your outdoor space.

When you’re ready add a pergola to your outdoor area, remember to look at the bigger picture. Don’t just add a structure; look for ways to increase the functionality and value of your property.

If you have the budget, consider investing in additional features like outdoor blinds to enhance your pergola. These will make the structure look more appealing and create a more intimate and comfortable space for you and your family.


Make the Right Pergola Choice

Picking the perfect modern pergola design takes more than just a quick trip to a home improvement store. It requires thorough planning and preparation and a close look at the unique features of the styles and materials that make them the perfect choice for your property.

Already have a pergola but feel like it’s lacking? 

Contact Modern Group for your outdoor window furnishings and other home improvement needs. We also offer roof replacement, repair, and restoration services that have been tried and tested by thousands of homeowners across Australia.



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