Shade Systems: How Custom Pergola Structures Can Work For You

Let’s talk about pergolas. There are lots of different types of shade systems you can put to use at home or at your place of business. Even if your business is a hospital, hotel, school or sports complex. But a pergola is in a class by itself. It’s something you should seriously consider, not only for the shade it can provide but for its sheer beauty.

What is a pergola?
It’s essentially an arbor, a structure you can use to create shade systems for walkways or outdoor sitting areas. A pergola has upright posts or pillars that support a “roof” constructed of parallel beams rather than a solid material. So you get a dappled shading effect that filters hot sun without darkening the space underneath.

A pergola can be a free-standing structure, or it can be attached to the exterior of your home or commercial building. Aside from their value as shade systems, they:

  • Help reduce reflected heat, if you have a fully-paved or brick patio.
  • Extend your garden and enhance your landscaping. Or provide a leafy contrast to hard urban surfaces and summer-hot concrete.
  • Add visual interest and architectural detailing that can match any style home or business.

Custom is the key.
Why buy some online kit you have to put together yourself or some off-the-shelf unit from one of the big box stores? Your home – or your business – is unique. It’s yours. You want it to look that way. And if your home or office does look identical to its neighbors, a pergola can separate you from the crowd in a heartbeat.

If you own a restaurant or bar, pergola shade systems provide pretty, shaded outdoor seating – put one anywhere you’d put a traditional awning-covered service area. If you own a retail shop, invite customers to sit under your pergola and enjoy a cup of coffee. Of course, pergolas can add a purely decorative architectural element to your place, too.

At home, a pergola can grace the front of your house, or transform your backyard into a space that’s more useful and better looking, too. No backyard? You can add a pergola to any type of terrace. Pergola shade systems can be tiny to shade just a chair or two, if that’s all the space you have.

You can go with square or rectangular, but pergola shade systems can be any shape from long and narrow to a triangle or trapezoid. Match them to your existing patio, or create an entirely new space.

Unsightly view of the neighbors? Add a lattice wall to your pergola and – voila! – no more ugly view. Or no more overly-attentive neighbors. You can add a low lattice wall or series of planters around the perimeter of your pergola, too, to give it even more definition.

Say it with flowers.
You can entirely cover your pergola, if you want. One way to do that is by installing a retractable awning-type weatherproof fabric to use when the sun is hottest, or even to protect the area from a light spring rain.

Or you can give your pergola a natural covering of flowering vines. Perhaps something fragrant like wisteria. There are lots of lovely choices that will work well regardless of your location and weather conditions. Add a few hanging pots of summer annuals, too.

Or you might consider grapes instead. The leaves are visually interesting and turn red or yellow in the fall, and you’ll have bunches of tasty snacks right there for the picking. Yum.

Spring may not be here, yet, but it’s definitely time to start thinking about making the most of the warmer months. The sooner you talk to a shade systems expert – one who’s specifically knowledgeable about pergolas, of course – the sooner you’ll have your pergola custom-designed and installed. Exactly what you want. Ready and waiting for you.