What is a Pergola and Why Do I Need One for My Backyard?

A pergola is a great addition to any home. Not only does it add value and curb appeal to your home, but it also provides a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

If you are looking to improve the outdoor area of your home, then a pergola may be the perfect option for you. In this article, we discuss what a pergola is and its purpose, how they offer value, and what the differences are between a pergola and a gazebo. We also share some tips on whether or not you should install a pergola yourself or bring in the professionals.

If you are considering installing a pergola in your home, you'll want to keep reading.

First, let's look at exactly what a pergola is.

What is a pergola?

A pergola is a free-standing structure that most often consists of four vertical posts and a number of horizontal beams. The beams are usually not covered, but homeowners often grow plants up the side beams and across the top. This provides shade and protection from the sun. It’s not the main purpose of a pergola though.

Pergolas can be made from a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, or vinyl. Wood is the most popular material, as it is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. Metal and vinyl pergolas are sometimes the preferred option, but they are more expensive.

Pergolas vary in size, from as small as 4 feet by 4 feet or as large as 20 feet by 20 feet. There are other designs that are introduced, such as those that follow a curved pathway or one that sits above a swimming pool. It really comes down to personal preference, but the only limit is creativity.

What is a Pergola Used For?

Most people install a pergola in their backyard as it is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It provides shade on hot days if they are covered with plants, and can be decorated with lights or plants to create a beautiful outdoor space during the evenings.

The combination of a wooden structure and creeping plants adds unique decor to an outdoor space. Many people add other decor to their pergolas, giving them a personal touch.

They also serve as a great area for a variety of activities, such as yoga, dining, lounging, or meditation.

Pergola Backyard PatioPergola Backyard Patio

Does a Pergola Add Value to a Home?

So, are pergolas really worth the investment? Yes, for many reasons. While they improve the aesthetic appeal of your home, add shade, and give you a great entertainment area, they also add value to your property.

Many experts claim that the landscape of a home can improve its value by up to 15%. That's a significant amount if you consider how much that would add to your property. So, when it comes to the outdoor areas of your home, items such as pergolas are important. An increasing number of homeowners are installing these and other features in an effort to drive up the value of their home and make them more appealing.

Above the actual value, they also add special character to your outdoor area, which will become attractive when you are actively looking to sell your property. They are often the final missing piece of any home, which can be attractive to buyers.

What Kind of Surface Do You Put a Pergola on?

When it comes to the surface you put a pergola on, there are a few things to consider. If you're putting it on your lawn, make sure that the posts are long enough to go deep into the ground so that they are secure. You don't want your pergola toppling over in the first gust of wind!

If you're putting it on a patio or deck, make sure that the surface is level and that the posts are securely fastened. It's also important to make sure that the structure is not going to damage the surface beneath it. For example, if you're putting it on a wooden deck, make sure that the posts have rubber feet to protect the decking.

In general, it's best to put your pergola on a level, solid surface. This will ensure that it is stable and secure. It will also make it easier to install, as you won't have to worry about leveling the structure or dealing with uneven ground.

A pergola is a great way to add style and value to your home. With a little bit of planning, you can create an outdoor space that is both beautiful and functional. Just be sure to consider the surface you're putting it on and the overall design of your backyard before you get started.

Pergola Close UpPergola Close Up

Is a Pergola Installation a DIY Job?

This is a yes and no. There are a few things to consider before you decide to do a pergola installation yourself, or call in the professionals. Let's take a look at what you need to consider.

Your physical fitness

This is an important one. If you have any concerns about your ability to handle a few hours of moderate to heavy physical activity, then it might be best to call in the professionals. A pergola installation is not a difficult job, but it does require some lifting and maneuvering of heavy materials. If you're not sure that you can handle it, it's better to be safe than sorry.

The size and complexity of the pergola

Another important factor to consider is the size and complexity of the pergola you're planning to install. If you're working with a large or complex structure, it's probably best to call in some help. The last thing you want is to get halfway through the installation and realize that you're in over your head.

The type of surface you're working with

This is particularly important if you're planning to install the pergola on a deck or patio. If the surface is uneven or unstable, it's best to leave the installation to the professionals. You don't want to risk damaging your deck or patio, or worse, injuring yourself.

Do you have help to install the pergola?

You'll need to consider whether or not you have help available to install the pergola. If you're working alone, it's probably best to call in some help. Installing a pergola is not a difficult job, but it is much easier with two people.

Do you really want to DIY?

The last thing you need to consider is whether or not you really want to do the installation yourself. If you're not confident in your ability to do the job, or if you simply don't have the time, it's probably best to call in a professional. But, if you consider yourself a handy-hubby, then go ahead and install it yourself. Just consider all of the factors that we mentioned above.

Overall, a pergola installation is a DIY job. However, there are a few things to consider before you start. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, be sure to find someone who is experienced in pergola installation. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can create an outdoor space that is both beautiful and functional.

Both approaches have pros and cons. This includes the cost, the convenience, the expertise, the flexibility, etc. So, draw up a list of each to help you make your decision.

How Do I Find a Handyman?

If you've decided that a pergola installation is a job for the professionals, then you'll need to find a qualified handyman. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you're searching for someone to help with your installation:

  • First, check with your local hardware store. They may be able to recommend someone who is experienced in pergola installation.
  • Second, ask your friends and neighbors if they know someone who could help.
  • Third, check online directories
  • Fourth, once you've found a few potential candidates, be sure to check their references and credentials.

So there you have it, all you need to know about pergolas, how they differ from gazebos and how they can add significant value to your home.

If you are installing a pergola in your outdoor area, you'll never look back.