Feeling confused by the slew of available options for pergola designs? You’re not alone. One of the most common questions we get asked is “What’s the actual difference between a Pergola and a Patio?”
Although some people might use the names interchangeably, there are differences between the two. Each has their own distinctive features and benefits which may make them well-suited to your specific needs.
What exactly is a Pergola?
Traditionally, pergolas were built as a landscaping feature, usually to support climbing plants and to provide a shaded area in the yard, but over time, they have evolved into a series of structures designed for outdoor relaxation.
At its heart, the pergola is simple. Generally, they are an open framed construction consisting of support beams and open rafters. Pergola designs are usually simple and rugged and can either be free-standing or attached to the home.
What is a Patio?
While a pergola is most often designed to be an integral part of the garden, on the other hand, patio has come to be seen as an extension of the home. Many Australians around the country consider their patio a necessity just as much as a bedroom, kitchen or bathroom.
Patios are multi-purpose and used for an array of entertaining, recreational and dining activities. Patios usually have flooring (concreate slab, tiles or decking), a roof and many have all weather screening. (See Apollo All Weather Patio). The remainder of this blog is focused on Pergola design, if a Patio is what you need click here. (Apollo All Weather Patio)
Pergola Design: Get it right the first time
With so many different pergola designs available these days, choosing the pergola design that’s right for you can be tricky. Getting this right from the very start will undoubtedly save you headaches down the track.
Before choosing a pergola design, some things to consider are:
Desired use – If it’s all about relaxing, sunshine and enjoying the outdoors; then you are on the right track
Maintenance & Lifespan – Depending on the types of building materials used, your pergola can be as high or low-maintenance as you desire. Traditional wooden structures will require painting, staining and protecting from the elements from time to time. The use of more modern materials such as colour coated steel or aluminium will provide a fuss-free, little to no-maintenance solution to your outdoor space.
Appearance & Style – This part really comes down to your preference and might depend on how much light you want to let into the space and how much cover you want from the elements.
The main styles of pergola designs are:
Gabled Pergolas are instantly recognisable for their triangular shape and almost house-like aesthetics. Not only attractive, these provide superior durability and resilience, as well as provide extra space and height, making it perhaps the most perfect type of pergolas that can be had.
- Free Standing
This style commonly describes a free-standing pergola that is not connected to the house. Free-standing style pergolas are best suited to framing a walkway or passageway, to protect delicate plants or creating a shady outdoor garden retreat with your favourite climbers.
- Traditional open top
Probably the most recognised pergola style, a traditional open-top pergola will allow you to create a sectioned area while still letting in the air and sunshine. Most commonly, the roof is flat, made from open rafters that might feature a living, green canopy. But it’s not uncommon, particularly these days, for pergolas to be completely open. This makes for a perfect spot to relax while the sun shines bright.
So hopefully now that we’ve shed some light on the different types of pergola designs, you are better equipped to decide which pergola will work best in your home.
On the other hand, if this blog has left you thinking ‘What about when it rains?’, then consider completing your dream with an Apollo All Weather Patio. Rain hail or shine your family can enjoy their outdoor space all-year-round.
Need a little more style inspiration – check out our Gallery or Testimonials to see some of our amazing before and after backyard transformations.