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Perfect Pergola Ideas to Transform Your Backyard

Perfect Pergola Ideas to Transform Your Backyard

What used to be called a patio roof is now commonly referred to as a pergola – it provides protection from the sun, rain and wind while expanding the living space of your home. An important architectural structure, pergolas are made up of rafters, beams and posts and can be attached or detached from a home. While opinions differ as to what distinguishes it from a gazebo, a gazebo is usually freestanding and has a pitched roof, while a pergola’s roof is flat. The terms arbor and pergola are often used interchangeably, but an arbor is more like a structure used to support vines or direct foot traffic within a garden.

If you have a patio or deck, a roof-like structure extends the time you spend outdoors entertaining guests or relaxing. With the growing popularity of outdoor living spaces, this can add value to a home.

DIY Options and Pergola Considerations
Before you jump into a pergola project, consider the following:

Orientation: north, south, east or west orientation.
Materials: These can range from hardwood to plywood, metals, prefabricated materials, fabric and glass.
Budget: The two most important expenses are labor and materials. When your budget is limited (and most of us are), this is where ingenuity, smart planning, DIY skills and creativity come into play.
Contractor vs. DIYer: Who Will Build It? Will it be a do-it-yourself project or will you hire a contractor? A prefabricated pergola kit is an alternative.
Building Codes: And Who Will Design It? Most outdoor features require approval from a building inspector or planning officer. Your local government officials should have guidelines on setbacks and height restrictions.
Zoning Laws: Do you need to obtain zoning laws and permits from cities, counties or regions? Depending on where you live, this process can take a long time, so keep track if you want the project to be completed in the next few months or even years. Committees sometimes meet sporadically, and motions can fall through the cracks.
Attached or Freestanding: Would you like the pergola to be attached to your patio or stand alone in the garden with nothing but landscaping around it?
We have found various pergolas representing different styles, sizes, materials and budgets that will surely inspire you.