As garden structures go, a pergola is about as traditional as you can get. Made from wood, stone or metal, these structures have been around for centuries, adding beauty and functionality to garden landscapes. However, while the more classic models were made with open, slatted or crossed beams, designs have modernized a bit, allowing for several roof options. Therefore, before hiring a contractor for a pergola installation, review the materials available and choose a roof that will fit with your landscape.
The traditional pergola was developed as a shade structure with a roof of crossed beams that were meant to support vines and other plant life. In essence, pergolas were built to be a type of living structure. The traditional roof and vine combination is still quite popular, but it has dwindled in popularity when compared to more robust and modern roof lines and options. Some will argue that vine-covered structures are hard to maintain and invite bugs, which makes it uncomfortable to sit and relax.
While not everyone appreciates the idea of a vine-covered patio, many appreciate the beauty of the crossed beam layout. If you are only interested in a minor reprieve from the sun’s rays with your pergola installation, then a transparent roof of plexiglass may work. These roofs allow for some shade without obstructing the view of the sky.
Another option for those who appreciate the crossed beams of more traditional pergolas may also like a fabric roof covering. This option allows for superior shade and comfort on hot days, but it still leaves the exposed wood beams.
If you are not completely attached to the traditional pergola structure, then you may be interested in more modern rooflines and materials. You can cover your pergola in metal sheeting or wood. However, the roofline may change slightly to allow for drainage. This is the most durable option for your garden structure.
Regardless of the roof you choose for your pergola, you should speak with a professional about your pergola installation and your options. Depending on the look you are going for, one roof may be superior to the other options.