Originally defined as an open structure with an open roof, the concept of a pergola has been extended to include semi-enclosures and roofing. Take a look at the pergola design ideas in out gallery and you will see hundreds of pergolas that may not adhere to the original definition of a pergola, but remain faithful to the concept of a pergola as a light and breezy outdoor structure.
There are many modifications and materials of pergola roof cover. The main building material may be brick, stone, metal or wood. The choice depends on the general design of the main building, belvederes frame and decoration of the garden. Each material and roofing system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Considering the various projects of pavilions (even the most exotic), many people still prefer the most common and familiar to the eye structures with single and gable tops. In addition, almost all country houses and belvederes are built with a gable roof.
It is also necessary to choose pergola roof cover materials carefully. It should have good noise insulation characteristics. It will make you feel comfortable in the gazebo, when the rain is tapping on the metal roof. Currently gazebo topsides are often made of polycarbonate, which seems to be the most suitable material. It is durable, easy to install, rather cheap and has good thermal insulation characteristics. The main disadvantage of polycarbonate – is flammability, so it is better not to use it for barbecue grills and gazebos with it inside.
Waterproof fabric pergola cover is also widely used as it helps to protect the construction from rain and bad weather. Use it to protect the wooden frame from disruption and it will serve you for many years.
Today, you have more pergola roof options than ever before. Traditional and modern pergola roofs include:
- Traditional battens, either straight or angled.
- Traditional climbing vines.
- Metal (either aluminium or a zinc-aluminium coated steel)
- Shade cloth (or shade sails)
- Retractable awnings
Some pergolas even have ceilings and insulated roofs, but they retain their pergola “feel” in their overall design.
With virtually unlimited options to choose from, how do you choose the pergola roof that will be right for you? If you’re building a pergola for largely aesthetic reasons, your choice will be a relatively easy one: choose the roofing material (or lack of roofing material) that appeals to you and give your pergola the look you want. Don’t overlook practical considerations, though. Before you decide, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you want a fair weather pergola only?
- Do you want a living space, a barbecue area or a quiet nook in your garden for relaxation or meditation?
- Do you want a pergola designed primarily as an accent to your garden?
- Do you want to house a spa in your pergola?
- What’s your pergola budget?
You may have other reasons for wanting a pergola, but whatever they are, your choice of roofing is critical. Choose battens or roofing designed for climbing plants only if you’re sure your pergola is for fair weather use only or as a garden accent. For year around use, you will need to choose a solid roof covering.
Some homeowners shy away from polycarbonate roofing for a pergola because without insulation, it can be noisy in the rain and allows too much heat transference in sunny conditions. However, Pergola manufacturers have this drawback covered with multi-wall polycarbonate, which provides both thermal and acoustic insulation as well as UV protection. Others don’t like the “naked” look of metal roofing when viewed from below. Here again, manufacturers have come up with a solution. Colorbond and other metal roofing materials have been produced specifically for patios and pergolas that have a ceiling-like appearance when viewed from below.
Many homeowners are choosing a combination of materials for their pergola roofs. For example, some want the “roofless” traditional look, but want a covering to keep out the rain. To achieve this effect, they build a traditional pergola with battens or rafters and install a “floating” polycarbonate roof above it. Others want to let light in selected areas and choose a combination of polycarbonate and Colorbond roofing.Another option is the retractable awning. Retractable awnings today can cover wide areas and be controlled at the touch of a button. One of these can be ideal if you want both an open-roofed and a covered pergola.
Contact Signature Decks and find out which material options are best for your pergola with a roof.