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Guide for Buying a Pergola

A pergola is an ideal high-style addition to any home, besides it is the best option to create private coves in the midst of your garden. This Buzzle article takes a look at all that you need to know before investing in a pergola to add character to your home.
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Guide to buy a pergola
From the Horses Mouth:

Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.
―Billy Baldwin (Interior Decorator)
The best way to landscape your garden or backyard is to install a pergola that will create your own personal space in the midst of greenery. Using a pergola not only provides a shaded area for you to sit and enjoy your favorite beverage on a warm summer's day, but also provides a basic framework to support delicate vines and flowering creepers.

Installing a pergola as an addition to your landscape helps enhance the overall look of your backyard, which automatically increases the aesthetic value of your home front. While a stand-alone pergola looks classy in a large backyard, houses with smaller backyards can use a pergola as an extension of their homes. While picking the right pergola kit, you need to first decide the elements of function, style, and material of the pergola.

When choosing a pergola for your home, it is imperative to take the following points into consideration.

Decide on the style
The style you wish to achieve in your backyard is crucial to deciding the type of pergola kit you need to purchase. The basic styles for pergolas include―traditional, contemporary, cottage garden, rustic, and modern.

Gazebo style Pergola
Gazebo-inspired pergolas with solid roofs are sure to catch the eye in a large backyard.

While a traditional pergola will come with painted wood trellises and simple yet elegant designs, a rustic haven can be created with cast-off wood teamed with stone to give it a natural look.

Trellis style Pergola
Go simple, yet elegant with an island created with a trellis-inspired pergola.

An intricate lattice-worked pergola will create an enhanced private space, while pergolas made from vinyl, fiberglass, or metal with abstract symmetry, can lend a modern look to your backyard. Ultimately, it's the look you want to achieve in your backyard that decides the type of pergola kit you should purchase.

Stone Pergola
Lend a rustic touch to your home exteriors with a pergola made of stone.

Choose the right material
While choosing the best pergola for your home, you need to decide on the material of construction. It is always good to remember that a pergola is going to be placed outdoors, in the open, which means, it ought to withstand the elements of nature. Pergolas are, generally, made from either wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or metal.

Wood Pergola
A traditional wooden pergola teamed with a casing of stone can lend a modern look.

Wood
You can choose between pressure-treated lumber―that is chemically treated to resist pests and fight decay, softwood―that will resist pests and mold, and hardwood―that can resist expansion and contraction. You would have to take into consideration your geographical location while choosing the type of wood that will be best suited for the pergola. Remember, what works for one climate may not be suitable for another.

Gazebo
Gazebo islands are your best bet to create a private cove in the midst of your backyard.

Vinyl
Vinyl pergolas are created with pressure-treated posts and support beams that are covered in vinyl sleeves. The best part about opting for a vinyl pergola is that it is relatively low on maintenance and high on style.

Fiberglass Pergola
Fiberglass pergolas can be placed near the pool area to provide a shady retreat.

Fiberglass
When it comes to durability, there is no match for pergolas made out of fiberglass. In addition to strength, fiberglass pergolas do not absorb moisture, making fiberglass an ideal material to sustain the outdoor elements. Besides, it can be adapted to resemble wood, sans the high maintenance that comes with wooden surfaces. However, care needs to be taken when handling fiberglass materials, especially when using sharp objects.

Powder-coated Aluminum Pergola
The coveted seating area is sure to be a rage with an aluminum-coated pergola adorning the sight.

Metal
Powder-coated aluminum pergolas are light in weight, strong, and guaranteed to remain rust-free. Powder-coated pergolas may turn out to be your best bet if you are living along the coast. You can achieve a sleek and modern look or a rustic look by installing metal pergolas in your backyard.

Metal Pergola
Your garden is sure to make a statement with sleek metal pergolas.

Size of the pergola
When deciding on a pergola to adorn the exteriors of your home, it is essential that you pay attention to the size of the pergola and your backyard. Deciding on the size of the pergola will help you decide on the style, the material, and estimate the overall cost of installing the pergola.

Metal Pathway pergola
Use metal pergolas to create sleek canopies for your pathways.

Covering
Pergolas are designed to have slats instead of solid roofs to enable the growth of creepers and vines. However, you can opt for a gazebo-style roof to meet your privacy requirements. You can also look for roofs made from fiberglass or a weather-resistant convertible cover.

Concrete Pergola
Custom-built concrete pergolas with wooden slats can act as a wonderful extension to the home.

Custom-made vs Ready-made
What would you prefer―custom-built or an easy to install, factory-made pergola? The only difference here is that you get to create a pergola using your own unique ideas with a custom-made pergola, while the choice for the ready-made pergola could be limited to the above-mentioned styles and materials.

Arbor style Pergola
An arched pergola adorning the entryway to the garden is definitely best suited for a home with a small backyard.

Pathway pergola
Walk in style beneath a canopy with a pergola shielding the pathway or adorning the entryway.

Solid Roof Pergola
Use protected arbors/pergolas to create your own private space in your garden.

Metal Gazebo
Take inspiration from rose gardens, and use metal gazebos or pergolas for your garden.

Design and shape

Depending on your needs, you can choose from rectangular, octagonal, and circular pergolas. As far as design is concerned, you can choose between trellis with close knit slats, or spaced out slats for your pergola.

You can alternatively use resources around the house to construct your own pergola, which will be unique and talk-worthy. For instance, you could use entwined branches to create an arbor, or stones along with a raised pergola to create your own personal space.
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Published: January 17, 2014
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