Everything You Would Want to Know About Pergolas

Pergolas are popular architectural structures for improving the aesthetics and usability of exterior spaces. If you have been considering adding a pergola to your property but are unsure what a pergola brings to the table, the following breakdown goes over everything you need to know about pergolas.

What Is a Pergola?

What Is a Pergola

Many people use the terms “pergola” and “gazebo” interchangeably, although there are important distinctions between what is a gazebo and what is a pergola.

A gazebo is a stand-alone structure, located well away from the home or commercial building, usually in a park or large lawn. Gazebos have a full roof and a raised platform, often requiring at least one step for entrance. It is usually round or polygonal in shape and may include some type of attached bench seating.

A pergola is a bit more dynamic and versatile than a gazebo. It can be either stand-alone or attached but is usually situated in a way that gives people quick access to exterior areas of a property. Pergolas provide an element of architectural intrigue and protection from the sun. They usually feature some type of partial-shade or adjustable roof.

Components of a Pergola

Components of a Pergola

The basic pergola design consists of columns, beams, rafters, and stringers.

Columns are the vertical foundations of the structure. Attached pergolas typically have two columns, while stand-alone pergolas usually feature four. However, the number and size of the columns will vary based on the weight and dimensions of the pergola.

Beams go on top of the columns, spanning the width of the structure and providing support to the rafters and stringers.

Rafters run perpendicular on top of the beams, while stringers run parallel. This usually results in an evenly-spaced, grid-like roof for the structure.

Types of Pergola Roofs

As mentioned, most pergola roofs are not completely solid, providing partial shade. However, there are a number of different roof styles from which to choose, including:

  • Traditional slat – the classic partial covering consisting of rafters and evenly spaced stringers
  • Louvered and motorized – allows for adjustable shading based on the weather conditions
  • Fixed shade canopy – full covering, usually as part of an attached pergola
  • Retractable canopy – full covering, with adjustability when less shade is needed
  • Tension sail shades – attached fabric over the top of the pergola roof to create more protection from the elements

All You Need to Know About Pergolas

Pergolas are architectural structures that can improve the curb appeal and functionality of exterior spaces. For more on pergolas, check out the comprehensive infographic below.

If you are in need of a contractor for your Pergola, or Gazebo project in or around San Antonio Texas, please explore our gallery of recent work you will see what it means to be a Diamond Decks customer.