Spending time out in the yard during the spring and summer can be fun. It’s nice to enjoy the warm weather and look at your garden.
Many people enjoy eating lunch out in the garden, but sometimes it’s difficult to do. When the sun is too bright, it can be too hot outside.
Also, having the sun beaming down on you can make it tough to see. This is why you need to have access to shade.
Is installing a pergola on your property a good idea? Will this be a good way to gain access to shade?
Keep reading to learn about whether pergolas do a good job of providing shade. It should help you to decide if installing a pergola is worthwhile or not.
Do Pergolas Block Sun?
Pergolas do a good job of blocking the sun a little bit. However, they’re not designed to totally block the sun.
They just give you a break from the harshness of the sun by giving you a bit of shade. Pergolas don’t have traditional roofs.
As such, they’re only able to provide a bit of shade. They can give you more shade than that, but you’ll need to use some type of cover.
Generally, pergolas are designed with some type of lattice or crossbeam section on top. They don’t utilize traditional roofs.
The pergola is designed this way so that air can circulate. The airflow is supposed to keep things breezy.
Note that there are pergola designs that are a bit different. People also sometimes add roofs to these structures.
When you add a cover of some sort, the pergola is going to block the sun. If the pergola is left to its normal design, it won’t block the sun completely, but it’ll provide you with shade.
How Do Pergolas Provide Shade
There are many different ways that pergolas can provide shade. Typically, these structures have lattice work in place of a roof.
Otherwise, they’ll have a crossbeam section on top. This will provide you with a limited amount of shade.
You can increase the shade that the pergola offers by doing certain things. One common thing that people do involves growing plants.
You can allow plants to grow in the structure and have the vines intertwine with the latticed section. This will provide you with quite a bit of shade.
It’s very common for people to let hoyas, ivy, and other plants grow on pergolas. This is an option, but it might not be the quickest solution.
Climbing plants are certainly an appealing option. Many feel that they add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the structure.
Some will prefer using a fabric cover that’s meant to go on top of the pergola. You can buy these fabric covers at department stores or you can purchase them online.
They’ll give you much more shade by covering the top of the pergola. You can easily remove the cover when you don’t need it, too.
Some people choose to install roofs on pergolas. Having a full roof on the pergola will give you much more shade, and it’ll also protect you from the elements.
Do Pergolas Provide Enough Shade?
A standard pergola is only going to provide you with so much shade. So some might say that pergolas don’t give you enough shade.
It just depends on your expectations. If you want just a bit of shade to get out of the heat while sitting in the yard, a pergola might be perfect.
If you’re looking for full shade, you might need to add some things to the pergola. For instance, you might be better off adding a roof to the pergola when your goal is to have a nice shaded area in your yard.
This really comes down to personal preference. Some will think that it’s perfect to use a fabric cover with the pergola to provide a little more shade.
Others might find that only a true roof provides enough shade and protection. You just have to figure out what you want.
How Much Shade Does a Pergola Provide?
How much shade a pergola provides depends on various factors. It’ll depend on the design of the pergola and whether you’ve added extras to provide more shade.
As mentioned earlier, pergolas generally don’t provide a lot of shade with their standard designs. They provide a bit of shade and give you a nice spot to sit to get out of the sun for a few moments.
They don’t fully block the sun out, though. You can do a better job of blocking the sun when you use a fabric cover.
Sometimes pergolas are sold with fabric covers, but you might need to buy your own. They aren’t overly pricey, and they’re well worth having.
If the pergola has a roof, it’ll provide you with quite a bit of shade. There are different roof design options that you can choose from as well.
Some people add retractable roofs to pergolas. This allows them to enjoy the pergola area in several different ways.
What Should I Put on Top of My Pergola for Shade?
Putting something on top of your pergola for shade is a good idea. You just want to make sure that you’re using something that will give you as much shade as you need.
Plants might be good for providing a bit more shade. You can get plants to grow on top of the pergola and vines can intertwine with the latticed sections.
This might be very appealing to some, but it won’t provide as much shade as a fabric cover. You can simply buy a fabric cover from a store and put it on top of the pergola.
Such covers are very useful because you can put them on and take them off whenever you want. It’s a good way to stay out of the sun while still enjoying your time outdoors.
These covers can protect you from the rain a little bit, but they won’t do too much to keep you from getting wet if it’s raining a lot. This is why some people prefer to install pergola roofs.
A pergola roof is a roof that sits on top of the pergola. These roofs can be made out of many materials such as metal, plastic, polycarbonate, and even wood.
There are even special retractable roofs that you can get installed. For some, these are going to be amazing options that allow you to conveniently move the roof into place when you want more shade.
So you can see that you have options. It’s just up to you to choose whatever is going to work best for your needs.
Pergolas Are Aesthetically Pleasing
One big reason why people install pergolas in their yards is that they look nice. The purpose of a pergola isn’t always to provide shade.
Sometimes people just want a structure to place somewhere in the yard. It can add aesthetic appeal to the yard.
The design of the pergola might look very nice by itself. When paired with a beautiful garden, it can enhance the beauty of the area.
So pergolas have other purposes besides just providing you with shade. They can be installed in yards for purely aesthetic reasons.
If you think pergolas look neat, don’t hesitate to build one or buy one. It might be the perfect addition to your yard.
People Use Pergolas as Gathering Spots
It’s also common for people to use pergolas as gathering spots. You might host little parties or lunches outside sometimes.
Having a nice seating area underneath a pergola is perfect for this. The pergola provides everyone with a little bit of shade.
They’re still able to enjoy the breeze and the fresh air while sitting under the pergola. You can easily fit a table under a pergola so you can enjoy a small lunch with friends or family.
In many ways, pergolas are used in the same way as patios. You might find the pergola area to be one of your favorite aspects of your yard.
When you like spending time outside, it makes sense to use the pergola to host guests. This is especially true if you have a nice garden area.
Can You Build Your Own Pergola?
Many people do indeed decide to build their own pergolas. If you have some carpentry skills, you could go through with designing and building a pergola.
This could be a good option, but not everyone has the skills to build a good pergola. Before you commit to a project like this, it’s best to ensure that you have a good plan.
If you’re not confident that you can get things done properly, it would be better to buy a pergola instead. Don’t let this discourage you from trying if you think that you can handle this.
For some, this is a much more affordable way to get a pergola. You can buy the lumber that you need and make it yourself, if you have the tools and the skill.
You Can Buy Pre-Cut Pergolas
Buying pre-cut pergolas is one of the most common ways to get what you need. By going to a hardware store, you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Various hardware stores will sell pergolas this way. You buy the pergola and it comes pre-cut for your convenience.
It’s still necessary to assemble everything yourself. Doing so isn’t that difficult, though.
So this is significantly easier than building your own pergola from scratch. You’ll have simple instructions to follow and you’ll be able to get everything set up fast.
Understand that pergolas can be a bit pricey. In many cases, you’ll need to pay thousands of dollars to get a pergola from a hardware store.
Keep this in mind and plan your purchase accordingly. You’ll be happy with how everything turns out if you go this route, but you need to fit it into your budget.
Other Options to Get Shade
There are certainly other options to get shade in your yard if you don’t want to spend the money to get a pergola. If you’d like to keep more money in your wallet, it might be better to buy umbrellas.
There are various types of umbrellas that you can buy to provide yourself with shade while sitting in the yard. You can purchase patio umbrellas at department stores and hardware stores.
These large umbrellas do a fantastic job of providing you with shade. Combining these with patio furniture will give you a good spot where you can sit in the yard and enjoy yourself.
You can stay out of the hot sun on a summer day using an umbrella. These umbrellas are substantially less expensive than pergolas.
Of course, they don’t look as nice as pergolas either. Patio umbrellas don’t serve the exact same purpose as pergolas, but they’re great for giving you ample shade in the yard.
An awning will be another way to get some shade. You can install an awning on your home that extends over your patio or deck.
It’s an excellent way to stay cooler when outside. This will keep the sun out of your eyes and make it more comfortable to spend time enjoying your patio or deck.
In some ways, having an awning might be more practical than having a pergola. However, many people think that pergolas that are attached to the house look nicer than awnings.
Now you know that pergolas can be used to give you some shade in your yard. They only provide a little bit of shade unless you take other measures, though.
These structures don’t have roofs, but you can add a roof to give you more shade if you’d like to. Many people find pergolas with roofs to be superior.
You could also put a fabric cover on the pergola to give you more shade. This is a good option that won’t cost a lot.
Otherwise, you can let climbing plants grow on the top of the pergola. This can give you more shade than usual.
Pergolas are very interesting and can make your yard look even nicer than usual. It’s good to have a pergola in your yard and you will likely get a lot of use out of it if you choose to buy one.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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