Pergolas builder Port Jefferson

What To Consider When Designing A Pergola?

A pergola is a stunning garden or backyard structure and it’s a figment of classical beauty with its intricately designed pillars and the unique roofing. However, making or installing a pergola isn’t child’s play. Here are some things you need to consider before committing to getting a pergola. A pergola builder can surely help you in this process.

The Purpose Of The Pergola

The primary thing to consider when even thinking about getting a pergola, let alone designing it, is the purpose and utility.

You don’t want to blindly go for just any design of pergola. You need to ask yourself a couple of questions first like: How will the pergola be used? Is it an extra space for guests to host dinners and parties? Is it a lounging area for the pool? These are important things you need to ask yourself because you’ll want to narrow down a design that will serve the primary purpose for which you’re building a pergola in the first place.

You don’t want to be hasty with this decision. It’s best to take your time and look at related photos on the internet so that you can get ideas for the specific type of pergola that you want to install.

Shaded Or Unshaded?

This is also another important debate about designing a pergola. There is a clear preference of different people on this particular design aspect. Some people love the look of a roof on top of a pergola. It doesn’t only look complete, but it also makes the pergola look elegant and whimsical, not to mention it’s also a good source of shelter from the sun and rain, but not everyone likes shaded or roofed pergolas.

Some like the more minimal and barely-there design of pergolas, where it’s just pillars and slots on the top in place of a roof. While that idea is also equally as beautiful, it’s not as practical, especially if there’s no protection against the weather on top of the pergola. It’s just going to let sunlight, wind, and rainwater in and you’ll be soaked in no time.

This is why it’s better to go for a shaded/roofed pergola, but the choice is mainly up to you at the end of the day.

The Material Selection

You can’t design a pergola and not give the material selection a thought. The right material will make or break the pergola, practically. You need to select a material that’s not only durable but also weather-resistant and reasonable in price.

There is a plethora of materials to choose from, but not all of them will be good for you. For example, the most common material used in making pergolas is wood, but it’s not the most durable and weather-friendly material on the planet. Wood requires a lot of maintenance and waterproofing to last long. Some materials that are great for all kinds of weather are composite, vinyl, metal (aluminum), and fiberglass. They will ensure a longer lifespan of the pergola with minimal maintenance.

The Right Placement

The next thing to consider when designing a pergola is the placement. You can’t just place it anywhere you please. There are certain areas in your backyard or poolside where the pergola will not only look beautiful but will have maximum functionality as well. It’s typically placed near the pool, on a patio or deck, or as a centerpiece in your yard, especially if you want the pergola to be in the spotlight.

Similarly, if you’re building a pergola to host dinners and parties for your guests, then try to install it near your house so that people don’t have to take numerous steps to reach the pergola.

The Overall Design

There are a lot of choices when it comes to the actual pergola design. Some people like the classic look of it while some want to add a touch of modernity. You also might have a preference as to what you want your pergola to look like.

It’s always a good idea to look at different photos and find a design that you resonate with the most. While you’re at it, you also want to factor in the utility of the pergola after installation and other details.

The Size Of Pergolas

You might think that pergolas come in a standard size, but that’s not the case at all. There are different sizes of pergolas and you can even get your pergola custom-made based on how you’re going to use it.

Depending on the purpose for which the pergola will be used, they can range in size from small to humongous. Now it’s a matter of what size you want to go for.

A lot of people tend to forget this tiny detail and then they regret it after the pergola is built and installed. You definitely don’t want to make the same mistake.

What’s Your Budget?

You’re probably sick and tired of hearing this, but yes, budget is an important aspect to look over. Any installation or building will cost you money, and you need to have a reference for how much you’re allowed to spend because, at the end of the day, you don’t want to spend a fortune on something like a pergola.

This is where your research will come in handy. Try to look at different pergola ideas and discuss it with pergola designers and compare the prices and services. You’ll get a good idea as to what will be the perfect sweet spot for the budget.

Side Walls

Traditional pergolas don’t have walls. The design consists of pillars with arched roofs or slots, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any options with side walls. An encased pergola looks more like a room and it’s a great source of protection against strong winds.

Side walls are generally a hit or miss among people. Some people love the encased look of pergolas while some despise it. The choice is ultimately up to you.

Roof Design Of The Pergola

When designing a pergola, you also want to figure out the roof design and structure. The roof might not seem like a big deal, but if you’re spending the time and money to get a pergola built in your backyard, then you should cover all nine yards.

You can choose from a lot of awesome pergola roof options. There are arched roofs that look medieval and historical, but add that romantic aspect to the pergola as well. However, if you want to go for a more modern edge, then straight and horizontal roofs will work superbly as well.

If you really want to knock the ball out of the park, then go for slotted roofs with drainage passages for the rainwater that’s going to be very efficient during the rainy season and there’ll be no unnecessary weight on top of the pergola’s roof.


There are a lot of things you need to go over when designing a pergola because you want it to be a practical and beautiful structure in your backyard and not just a waste of money. These tips will help you to stay on the right track in designing a pergola. To avoid mistakes, get a pergola contractor Long Island on board from day one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top