Canvas awning with stripes

Choosing Between A Pergola And A Patio Awning

Last Updated on November 30, 2022

If you love spending time outdoors, a patio or a deck can be a great investment for your home. If you want to enjoy that new outdoor space without worrying about lathering on sunscreen every time you step into the backyard, then you’ll also need a shade covering for that new outdoor living space. Incorporating a patio awning or pergola into the patio or deck project will help make the space suitable for use regardless of how hot the sun decides to blaze that day. When planning to incorporate an awning or pergola with a patio or deck project, you can often streamline the installation timeline, and possibly realize some savings, by bundling the components with a single contractor.

Understanding Pergolas

Let’s explore some options in detail.

A pergola is a permanent structure that will be firmly rooted to the ground once installed. Pergolas can be mounted to the side of the home with just two support columns, or designed as free-standing structures fully detached from the home. A pergola can immediately enhance your home’s exterior décor with a new centerpiece to house intimate gatherings. Some pergolas exude traditional or contemporary looks, while others can cross the design divide and seamlessly fit into the aesthetics of any architectural style.  

Reasons to Choose A Pergola

A pergola is perfect if you want to ensure the perfect balance of shade while extending your outdoor living space for truly all-weather use. Talk to your local pergola experts (or ask us to connect you with one of our qualified local Azenco dealers) for guidance on the right size, style, design and feature set for a pergola to suit your home and outdoor lifestyle.

A Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Connection or A Stand-Alone Structure

Both a patio awning and an attached pergola can be designed to create a seamless extension of the indoor living space. By mounting the shade structure to the home, the cool breeze of the outdoors is only a sliding door away at any time. Compared to a patio awning, the pergola does offer more flexibility. While a patio awning can be retracted, they are either fully open or completely closed. Choosing an adjustable louvered roof for your pergola allows you to open the roof for full sun, close down the louvers to control the amount of shade or close the roof completely for a weather-tight seal in the rain and snow.

Designed as a separate structure from your house, a pergola can bring this level of control to a private space separate from your home where you can relax peacefully. To make the stand-alone pergola a truly seamless extension of your home or garden, you can easily add hanging lights, ceiling fans and even planters, hanging pots, or vines of flowers. A truly all-weather pergola offers the same relaxing space that you would expect of your living room, but with the added benefit of natural light and cooling breezes.

Look Great In Any Setting

Another reason to choose a pergola is to enhance your home’s overall architectural look. Pergolas can be made of wood, aluminum or fiberglass. Material selection will depend on which material will best compliment your home while also ensuring durability and longevity of the structure. For homeowners that want to ensure the longest life for their pergolas, aluminum is the ideal choice..

Understanding Awnings

 An awning is a fabric-like shade over a door or window that needs to be installed on an exterior wall or independent posts for support, and usually feature either a retracting mechanism or an aluminum tube frame over which the awning is permanently secured. For example, the bakeries, small cafes, and department stores along your local downtown promenade often feature awnings over doors and windows, or you may see retractable awnings attached to motor homes at the campground. An awning can be a cost-effective option, though it’s important to balance the benefits and constraints of the design with how you intend to use your new patio or deck.

While awnings are relatively easy to install, they often require regular cleaning. The retractable awning does allow you to close the shade when you aren’t using the space, which is often recommended to protect from damage.

Should You Get A Patio Awning or a Pergola?

Patio awnings come in various sizes and shapes. Even though a patio awning also provides shade from the sun and can accent the design of home and business exteriors in much the same way a pergola does, awnings come with some unique challenges for the homeowner. While the fabric awning can quickly improve a structure’s appearance, even have a transformative effect without a significant investment, they do not offer the same flexibility that an adjustable louvered roof pergola can, nor the long-term return on investment.

If you want more information or professional consultation, get in touch with us today.

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