Pergolas have seen a revival in popularity in recent years, but these architectural structures actually date back to the ancient Egyptians. Historians believe they were most likely used by the elite in society to get a break from the sun.

Moving along in time, Italians in the 17th century popularized these architectural beauties, using them as a means to allow grape vines to crawl in vineyards. The pergola decreased in popularity over the next couple of centuries but is now seeing a comeback due to its beauty and functionality. Nowadays, pergolas are mainly built to frame areas and offer shade in the backyard.

Functionalities of a Pergola

(debannja / pixabay)

A pergola consists of vertical posts with a decorative lattice-style or cross-beamed roof and no walls. As a freestanding structure or attached to an outside wall, pergolas typically sit over a patio or porch and make any outdoor area cozy and inviting. Pergolas offer so much potential, it’s not easy to sum up their charm and functionality in writing, but we’ll sure try!

1) Shade and Privacy

With a mostly-open lattice-style or cross-beamed roof, you may wonder if pergolas actually function as shade at all. In fact, they do! The shadows created by the rafter beams provide for varying degrees of shade throughout the day while allowing natural sunlight into your outdoor space. Shade can be maximized by running overhead rafters from North to South. You can further customize and control the amount of shade by adding a retractable canopy to your pergola or adjustable moving rafters known as louvers. Add more sun coverage and marry it with your unique style by adding flowing, colorful fabrics or native or exotic plants to increase the sun coverage underneath your pergola. As a bonus, fabric and plants can also add privacy to your outdoor space.

2) Beauty

It may be a simple concept, but there is something grand about a pergola that just naturally catches the eye and becomes the focal point of the backyard, pool, or patio area. Pergolas bring the coziness of the indoors to the outdoors and allow you the option of integrating your indoor design with your outside living space for a cohesive theme. Alternatively, a pergola can break up uniformity, such as that of a big backyard or large deck.

Choose from wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, metal, or even concrete for the structure, paintable in any color you can imagine. Your pergola could evoke any vibe from rustic to elegant, depending on how you choose to accentuate it. Add flowing white drapery for a Greecian theme; allow vines to grow up the posts for a classic Italian style; make it wistful and fragrant with wisteria blooming down through the roof beams, or hang outdoor lighting around your pergola for fun, festive nights. However you choose to customize your pergola, the possibilities are endless, and it is impossible to go wrong.

3) Inviting

So welcoming and inclusive is a pergola, stepping under one is almost like entering a warm embrace. From low-key barbeques to elegant weddings, family time to a time of solitude with a cup of coffee and a good book, pergolas invite anyone and everyone to come spend time doing whatever it is that makes their soul smile.

4) Appealing to Buyers

Real estate experts agree that great curb appeal and landscaping increase the market value of properties. With the increasing demand for pergolas, potential buyers will likely see value in a home that already has a beautifully crafted pergola in the backyard. Because it requires very little upkeep, a pergola can continue to add beauty and value to a home for an immeasurable amount of time.

5) Affordable

Compared to other outdoor structures like gazebos and pavilions, pergolas are much more affordable and have low maintenance costs. A wooden pergola could use repainting or staining every few years, and one built with an alternative material may need the occasional mold or mildew spots removed. Other than that, there is very little to think about when it comes to upkeep.

Now that you know more about the functionality, beauty, and affordability of a pergola, we’re sure you’re ready to start planning for yours right away. With so many different design, size, and material options, you’re sure to find something to fit your space, style, and budget. You can talk to one of our professional Colorado custom pergola builders right here in the Denver area to get started creating the outdoor space of your dreams.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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