What is a Pergola?

Firstly, what is a pergola? A pergola is a structure, usually built out of wood, which consists of posts, beams and a grid of rafters to create shade or shelter over an area below. The most common type is a pergola with a roof, but you get open pergolas as well.

But a pergola is more than that, it’s a whole outdoor living space that can be a central feature piece in a garden. There are many different reasons that people build pergolas but more and more people are looking to create an outdoor area to escape from the pressure of daily life or to create that outdoor dining area to make those good memories. It is something that really should be part of every outdoor space – that is why you need one!

Why are Pergolas So Popular?

There are several reasons why pergolas are popular but one of the main reasons is that they provide an excellent covered outdoor space that works in almost every available space and property design. As they are easy to build it is an achievable way to create an area you can relax in or entertain friends and family outside with ease.

Unlike some garden structures, the design of a pergola is very versatile, able to come in any shape or size and can suit any style of property – rural or urban – so they are a cost-effective way to bring that bit extra to your property.

Wooden pergolas tend to be the most popular type and most people tend to build their pergolas with a roof to provide cover and shade outside in all weathers. The most common types of pergola roofing are polycarbonate sheets or corrugated plastic sheets

Do you need planning permission for a Pergola?

The answer is generally no! Most Pergolas are allowed under the `permitted development` rules so typically you won’t need planning permission to build one in your garden, but it is always best to check with your local council to make sure. It is worth noting that several other factors can determine whether you need Planning Permission including whether your house is in a conservation area, whether your property is a listed building, the size of the pergola and the proximity to the property boundary.

So why should you build a pergola in your garden?

There are several known benefits to building a pergola so here are the top five advantages – you can click on them below to skip down to a particular one you want to read.

Advantages of a Pergola

  1. A central feature to build your outdoor living space around
  2. Add value to your home
  3. Creates a secluded feel to your outdoor space
  4. Add style and texture to your garden
  5. An all-weather space for outdoor dining and cooking

A Central Feature to Build Your Outdoor Living Space Around

When planning how to layout or zone your garden it can be hard to distinguish between the different areas easily so adding a pergola can be a great way to do this. As a statement feature in the garden, the structure can be the focal point from which you create your outdoor living area around. The pergola structure itself can be a great feature to highlight your outdoor space but you can also make your outdoor area stand out by installing decking or paving below to create a defined space.

Add Value to your Property

Homeowners are always looking for ways to increase the attractiveness of their property through various Home Improvements but with more and more looking to create outdoor spaces, Garden pergolas are a way to make a statement with your property. A report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that the percentage of homeowners valuing a patio as a desired outdoor feature is a whopping 68%. A pergola over a patio not only makes efficient use of the outdoor space but is highly desirable for future potential buyers.

Pergolas can provide a great return on investment as they tend to be one of the less expensive hardscape items to add to your garden depending on the materials used. If the main use of the outdoor Pergola is to add value, it is key that the size is in proportion to the garden and that you don’t overspend on the materials. Generally, a Pergola is a cost-effective way to increase the value of your property.

There are three main reasons why they increase value:

  1. They increase living space on your property

Nowadays, buyers are looking for more space regardless of the property size. As we have learnt in the Covid years, more and more people are using their own homes a lot more and undertaking more home improvement projects so having somewhere outdoor as an additional living area is a great way to add value.

  1. Your garden becomes usable all year round

The beauty of a Pergola is its all-weather use, especially when you have your outdoor pergola covered. Along with covering your pergola, you can add heaters, lights, and seating to make the area usable all year round – all this increases the worth of your property in the eye of a potential house buyer.

  1. Improve the aesthetics of your home and garden

Generally, a garden has a certain look or theme such as a modern neat look or a rustic country look, which a pergola can match well. A pergola with some lights can transform a garden which in turn increases the property value.

Create a secluded feel to your outdoor space

Although pergolas are often open sided, they add a secluded more private feel to your outdoor space, allowing you to relax outdoors without feeling exposed or out in the open. Full outdoor dining used to be more popular in hotter climates but now you can overcome any weather challenge with a covered garden pergola to dine outdoors without feeling exposed to the elements.

Anyone that has a garden pergola for entertaining friends can testify that it is a great experience that you will want to repeat time and again – the perfect central space for those summer BBQs.

To enhance the space and make it more enclosed, simply cover off some of the sides with trellis or plastic sheets for garden screening. If your pergola doesn’t yet have a roof, then waste no time in covering it with a clear solid glazing sheet - it really enhances the experience and makes it dining outdoors viable in all seasons. There are two main plastic sheet garden screening options, either solid or Twinwall, so contact our team to discuss which is best for your pergola.

The other great thing is that with a more enclosed space you can add a BBQ, Pizza oven or Outdoor kitchen in to complete the outdoor dining and entertaining experience! - whilst protecting your equipment and maintaining privacy.

Pergola with a Roof Review

Add Style and Texture to Your Garden

As with most things nowadays, there are plenty of choices of pergola types and styles. You can choose from Aluminium, Softwood, Hardwood, Modern, Traditional, and many more styles but the decision lies ultimately with you, your preference, and your budget. Beyond the structure itself a pergola can add style and texture in several ways:

  • Add in some lighting! From Chinese lanterns to string lights, there are loads of different options to bring some light to the pergola. By adding lighting to your pergola, you can use it well into the evening! What’s more, lights create a warm atmosphere.
  • Plants are a popular item that can be added to a pergola to enhance the look and feel of the space. Plants, like wisteria, are great climbing plants and work well on standalone structures by growing across them over time. Another type of plant that can be added to a pergola is hanging plants or hanging baskets, which can be simply secured to the corner posts of beams and can bring colour to your pergola. Finally, consider adding some planters in and around the outdoor pergola – this separates the pergola as a space for relaxing and entertaining friends. Plus, it can look amazing. For example, Olive trees in pots or boxes are a classy shrub to use,
  • Another way to add texture to your pergola is to bring in some seating. This is an area where there are loads of options – from wooden seating to outdoor sofas, rustic to contemporary as well as accessories like fire pits and side tables you can really bring some amazing designs to your outdoor space.
  • Finally, vary the materials used to build your Garden pergola - they can be made from lots of different timbers and materials! Everyone is aware of the traditional wooden pergolas, but you don’t have to be restricted to just wood! Nowadays, you can create pergolas from Wood, Steel, Aluminium, and other materials. Because of this, you can find the perfect one for your home. Once you have built the structure, it is worth thinking about painting it to either tie in with your house windows and doors or to create a contrast. The most popular colours for pergolas include anthracite grey, lichen green, dark blue and cream - again this ties into the look you want to create in your garden.

An All-Weather Space for Outdoor Dining and Cooking

Regardless of the size of your garden pergola, an outdoor kitchen is a perfect addition to your space. Along with the kitchen, you can add some outdoor tables and chairs and cover the roof with either Polycarbonate sheets, Bitumen Corrugated Roofing sheets, or even plastic Corrugated Roofing Sheets, to build a full dining area.

If you are creating an outdoor kitchen, it is essential that you add a roof to your pergola that will act as protection for guests against any weather but also protect your kitchen equipment!  Having a pergola with a roof allows you to prepare for the best of British weather – both the rain and the sun!

If you are concerned about sun glare then a Bronze polycarbonate sheet can be an excellent option to reduce this. On the other hand, an Opal polycarbonate sheet has a clean white style which can create a modern minimalist style.

Conclusion – What is the point of a pergola and why should I install one?

A pergola can have many uses as the standout feature in your garden, the star of your outdoor living space or just somewhere outdoors for you to relax. In addition, installing a pergola can significantly increase the value of your property to a potential buyer in the future whilst not costing a fortune.

Installing a garden pergola should be a top consideration for every homeowner - they are practical but elegant additions to your back garden. They also increase the living space available and make your garden usable all year round, whilst increasing the value of your property – what’s there not to like! Generally, pergolas are a low maintenance structure, requiring only cleaning and depending on the material used, painting, on an infrequent basis – so they aren’t creating a lot of work for you to maintain and keep in excellent condition.

Everyone should consider installing a pergola on their property. There are numerous benefits such as making that outdoor space you have always dreamed of, that you can share with family and friends which you can do in all weathers and all year round, providing you have covered your pergola so that it is waterproof!

They can also be a great investment that gives you a good return as they can increase the value of your property, whilst enhancing the look and feel of your garden. That is the purpose of a pergola and why you need one!

Need Help with your Pergola Roof Project?

If you are needing help deciding which roof sheets to use please get in touch. Our Team will be happy to assist on our Live Chat or you can email shop@clearamber.com where our we will provide you with all the advice and support you require for your project.

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