You see them everywhere, from backyards to restaurant patios. You have likely even sat under one before and maybe even wondered one of the following. “What is this thing?” “What does it do?” “How much did this cost?”. This “thing” is a pergola and put simply a pergola is an outdoor structure with columns that supports some sort of roofing grid. This is the basic layout of a pergola and it’s the base from which the more creative versions originate from.
Now how exactly does a pergola work? That just depends on the style of the pergola. There are some that are entirely covered by a roof and provide constant shade and protection from the rain. Then there are some that incorporate a lattice style pattern using cross beams to provide shade but little protection from the rain. Now how much shade is provided depends on the design of the cross beams, a tighter placement and more beams means more shade then vice versa.
Now this may seem like a basic structure and one that may not add to the outdoor experience significantly. This could not be further from the truth; a pergola is highly customizable and can be made to fit the needs and aesthetics of any home. Down below are some photos of some amazing pergolas that homeowners and builders had some fun with. Retractable roofs, privacy walls, aluminum instead of wood, the possibilities end when your imagination does.
Now for the cost, and there isn’t exactly a straight answer. These structures will all vary in cost because no two pergolas are truly the same. It will depend on the size, the material, and the extra features. One of the things that will affect the price the most is the material used to construct the pergola. Vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum will definitely run the cost up on a pergola, but these are longer lasting options than wood. Wood is the most common as it is the most cost effective, but requires maintenance and proper care.