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Best Pergola Designs & Ideas

A pergola is an outdoor structure that provides shade. Pergola designs can take a variety of forms, including walkways, seating areas, or garden canopies. The main purpose of a pergola is to provide shade from the sun. This sets it apart from gazebos that offer full coverage and protection.

A pergola allows some sunlight to shine through the roof and doesn’t block rain or wind. They are designed to make the outdoor seating experience a little more comfortable, so you can enjoy time outside in the sun without getting burned. Pergolas are elegant and minimalist. They are most commonly used to cover outdoor seating areas, pool areas, gardens and pathways. A pergola is often placed over a patio. They can be freestanding or attached to houses.

A good pergola fits into the minimalist design. To ensure the pergola is used to its full potential, sufficient space must be left between the slats to allow sunlight to penetrate. The pergola does provide shade, but it is a warm shade through which a touch of sunlight filters. If your pergola covers too much, it can also be a gazebo.

How to build a pergola
Pergolas can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common is wood. This is mainly because wood is affordable and easy to work with. Building a pergola at home is a fun DIY project with remarkably positive results.

As far as DIY goes, it’s one of the easier projects – you don’t need any special tools and the risk is relatively low. However, things can get tricky when you choose an intricate design to replicate. Make sure you do your research beforehand. If you’re a beginner, we recommend a comprehensive, no-fuss plan like this one by Josh Rhodes. If you’re on a tight budget, here’s another plan that shouldn’t be too difficult to implement.

Alternatively, you can always buy a pergola flat pack from a supplier like KBMS and assemble it yourself. This helps keep costs down and you still have the satisfaction you get from a well-done DIY. Pergolas are usually not too expensive, ranging from $100 to $500 per square foot. To inspire you in your search, here is a rundown of some of the best pergola design ideas and plans.