A pergola’s sole aim is to provide a gathering space for you and your family or friends. You can use it as a place to entertain guests or as a more private place to relax and unwind away from the outside world. As demonstrated above, curtains can help with this. When you’ve got the pergola up and running, it’s time to get creative.
A typical 10 × 18 foot aluminum pergolas creates a space large enough to fit a hot tub or some sectional furniture, allowing you to relax. Of course, you won’t get much protection from the weather under a pergola, such as wind, sun, or rain, but that may not be your preference, as the purpose is for it to be open and enable these elements to be a part of your experience.
When we look at a typical pergola, we see that it contains at least four support beams which can be constructed of wood or stone, and then cross beams overtop to form a lattice, but no solid roof.
Pergolas, Gazebos, and Solariums
- The lattice or open roof of the pergola itself provide some shade, although there is always plenty of sunlight flowing in. There are normally no walls, curtains, or netting encircling a pergola; gazebos, solariums, and tents are usually used to keep us completely protected from the weather.
- The difference is that a gazebo has a roof while a pergola does not. In addition, gazebos aren’t always built with substantial walls. Between the struts of a gazebo, there is either no wall or a curtain or netting that serves as a form of wall. Solid walls can be found in some gazebos.
- A solarium is similar to a gazebo in that it has a roof, but it also has solid walls, making it feel like a little cottage or enclosed chamber, but with a characteristic octagonal shape that gazebos and pergolas don’t normally have.
Arbors vs. Pergolas
Pergola conjures up images of protection, whereas arbor conjures up images of vegetation, which makes sense given that arbors are nearly synonymous with gardens. Arbors, like pergolas, are not enclosed and have at least four struts supporting them, as well as crossbeams on top.
Unlike aluminum pergolas, however, an arbor is not recommended for long periods of time. It’s designed to act as a doorway or an entry / exit to or from one portion of your yard to another. It frequently leads to or exits a garden.