Outdoor pergola patio

Backyard Pergolas vs. Covered Patios: Which is Perfect for Your Outdoor Living Area?

Thanks to the desire so many of us have to reconnect with nature following the pandemic, there is a push toward bigger and more spacious outdoor living spaces. While there are lots of great ideas about where to begin and how to design your space, one of the first decisions you’ll want to make is whether to include a backyard pergola or a covered patio to offer a bit of shade and protection from the elements. Which one is right for your space?

A Backyard Pergola

A pergola is a freestanding structure that is open on all four sides. Typical designs include vertical posts with supporting cross beams to create the structure you see above you. This slat roof design takes up quite a bit of space, but it can help complement your home and landscaping. It’s the perfect structure if you’re looking for filtered shade. It can be installed anywhere on the property and accessorized with fittings like mesh netting to help keep insects out or curtains to offer more shade.

A Covered Patio

Unlike a backyard pergola, a covered patio is not a freestanding structure. Instead, it’s usually attached to your home, and the goal is to offer some shade to the existing patio or deck in your outdoor space. The benefit of a covered patio is that it offers a solid roof and full protection from gentle rains or the heat of the day. Thanks to recent advances in roofing technology, the top of the structure can stand up to the weather just as well as your home does, which means you can add various electrical features like fans or lights.

Making the Right Choice

Having a tough time choosing between a backyard pergola and a covered patio? You’re not alone. You’ll want to think about these key aspects as you work to select the right one to meet your needs.

  • The Function: covered patios offer full protection from the elements and is connected to your home for easy transitioning between spaces. A pergola, however, is free standing and offers limited protection from the elements. Both make great entertaining spaces and offer you a space for your outdoor kitchen. Pergolas, though, may not always offer you protection from harsh weather.
  • Required Maintenance: Both pergolas and covered patios require some maintenance depending on the materials used. If you select a pergola and you’re interested in adding interesting features like climbing vines, you may need additional maintenance to the structure.
  • Amenities: You may also want to think about what you want inside the structure. If you’d like to add features like fans, lighting, or even an outdoor speaker system, a covered patio is probably the right option. While you can absolutely add those amenities to a pergola, there’s a bit more work involved in the process.

Both pergolas and covered patios are the perfect way to enhance your outdoor living space, and we can help you explore the two options. Give us a call when you’re ready to talk about what might look best in your outdoor living area.