What Is a Pergola and What Purpose Does It Serve?

What Is a Pergola and What Purpose Does It Serve?

You’ve probably heard the term “pergola,” but may be unsure of what a pergola actually is. If you’ve ever seen a backyard structure that looks like a cross between a gazebo and an arbor, it’s likely a pergola. These increasingly popular outdoor living spaces serve several purposes. Read on to learn more about pergolas and the many purposes they serve.


The Definition of a Pergola

A pergola is an outdoor structure consisting of four main columns supporting a roofing grid. The roof and walls can be left open or covered, depending on the particular style and need. While many pergolas are freestanding, they are also sometimes wall-mounted for attachment to a house or other building.


How Are Pergolas Different from Other Outdoor Structures?

When learning about pergolas, it is important to understand how they differ from similar structures:

  • Arbor – a shelter of vines or branches or of latticework covered with climbing shrubs or vines
  • Gazebo – a freestanding roofed structure that is usually open on the sides. Unlike pergolas, gazebos provide full coverage from the sun and often have several sides, along with pointed roofs.
  • Cabana – a tentlike shelter, usually with an open side facing a beach or swimming pool
  • Sail Shade – a device designed like a ship’s sail, used to create outdoor shade
  • Carport – an open-sided automobile shelter by the side of a building


What Is the Point of a Pergola?

A pergola is the perfect combination of fashion and function. It serves many purposes:


Aesthetic Appeal

What is probably the most obvious benefit of having a pergola is that it provides an attractive focal point for your lawn or patio area. Whether a pergola serves as an entryway to your backyard or stands alone in your garden, this beautiful fixture adds a great deal of visual appeal.

They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that best fits the look and feel of your outdoor space. While most pergolas are topped with a series of cross beams for a latticed or thatched structure, Shelter Outdoor offers top-of-the-line modern aluminum pergolas. These highly durable structures are available with false sound-proof membrane ceilings, or louvered roofs.

You can even customize your Shelter Outdoor pergola with features like LED backlit covers, sliding edge profiles, decorative drapes, and retractable panels to close the sides or roof.


Protection From the Sun and Rain

Pergolas are great for providing shade and protection from the sun’s rays. When properly constructed, they can also provide shelter from rain. For example, Shelter Outdoor’s thermally insulated pergolas are built with weatherproof aluminum and glass for protection from the sun, rain, wind, snow, and other elements. This makes them ideal for creating comfortable outdoor living spaces where you can relax outdoors without having to worry about the weather.



Pergolas are great for entertaining in your backyard. Pergolas offer a cozy outdoor seating area where friends and family can gather around a fire pit, dine al fresco, or even congregate in an outdoor bar. Since pergolas are not part of the home’s main architecture, they also help homeowners to maintain a level of privacy while keeping the home clean during get-togethers.



Whether you are unwinding after a long day at work or enjoying your morning coffee, a pergola provides the perfect place to relax. Many people furnish their pergolas with lounge chairs that allow them to sit back and take in the view. For this reason, pergolas are often placed in view of the garden, woods, or other scenic area around the home. They are also a great place to stargaze and watch the sun rise or set.

To enhance your pergola’s calming effect, consider hanging string lights or accenting your pergola with plants or oversized cushions.

However you choose to decorate your pergola, it is your own personal outdoor sanctuary.


Extra Space

A pergola not only offers a place to lounge, but also provides additional space for your furniture, grill, plants, workout equipment, and more. This helps you to free up real estate inside your home.

For even more space, consider Shelter Outdoor’s Pure Pergola: a modular pergola that can be customized to extend the length.

No matter how small your outdoor space may be, adding a strategically placed pergola will make it appear larger than life.


Low Maintenance

If you invest in a weatherproof aluminum pergola like the ones offered at Shelter Outdoor, you will find that it is virtually maintenance-free. Because the pergola is made of high-quality aluminum, it does not need to be painted or varnished.

These modern pergolas are also extremely sturdy and rust-resistant, so all that is needed for cleaning is a soft, damp sponge and regular detergent. Stay away from wire brushes or abrasive cleaning ammonia and bleach. The frequency of cleaning depends on the use and setting, but we recommend cleaning your pergola every few months.


Property Value

Besides increasing your home’s curb appeal, a pergola also adds value to your property. This helps to attract potential buyers if you are planning to sell your home in the future.


Where to Buy a Pergola

A pergola is clearly more than just a structure: It’s a destination. Whether you use your pergola as an entryway to your backyard or as an outdoor living room, it makes an excellent addition to any outdoor space.

If you are thinking about buying a pergola, Shelter Outdoor can help. Our aluminum pergolas are customizable in size and color and are available with a wide variety of modern features like retractable roofs and sides, thermal insulation, and LED lighting. Available in both freestanding and wall-mounted options, our custom pergolas are heavy-duty, weatherproof, and built to last.


Contact us here or call us at 855-768-4450 – let us help you customize the perfect pergola for your property.


By | 2023-12-13T16:35:30-05:00 February 24th, 2023|Pergolas|Comments Off on What Is a Pergola and What Purpose Does It Serve?

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