half and full roof pergola

6 Questions About Half or Full Roof Pergola Styles

Last Updated on October 17, 2023

When you begin to consider adding an outdoor living space to your home, it’s important to contemplate how your patio cover will fit your personal outdoor living lifestyle. Do you want to sunbathe on your patio or be protected from the direct sun and rain? Do you want a more flexible solution with which you can control the amount of sun and shade? What will you do when Mother Nature rains on your garden party? These questions will all impact your choice for louvered, half or full roof pergola.

All pergolas have a roof of some sort. They can range from a full-coverage fixed roof, to a static louvered top, to one made of fully adjustable louvers. So, let’s explore pergola roof options to help you decide which style is best for your patio cover.

Table of Contents

What is a Full Roof Pergola?

A full roof pergola will create full-time shade on your patio. Some might also call it a gazebo or pavilion. The Azenco R-SHADE™ full coverage design is made from insulated sandwich panels to reflect the sun and keep the space below nice and cool in the summer (or even retain heat in the winter).

Full roof pergola by Azenco

What is a Pergola Without a Roof?

A static louver roof is one with roof slats that do not move. While it’s not actually a roof at all, it still fits the purest definition of a pergola. These designs are more traditionally seen in a garden or vineyard where plants or grape vines need something to climb for maximum sun exposure. They do little to control the sun and are completely unable to create rain protection.

traditional wood pergola in Greece - Cyclades
fixed roof

Can a Pergola Have an Adjustable Roof?

As mentioned above, a full coverage roof is an option, but adjustable louvered roof pergolas are truly dynamic designs. Able to adjust as the sun traverses the sky, the louvers can be opened or closed to create the perfect balance of sun and shade.

Obviously, providing protection from the sun’s heat and harmful rays is a primary reason to add a roof to your pergola. But, to make your outdoor living space a truly all-weather destination, you’ll need a roof that also captures and drains rain water and snow melt. Our adjustable louvered roof design is what separates Azenco’s R-BLADE™ pergola from the traditional static wood louver models and even other adjustable louvered models on the market. Fabricated from lightweight-yet-strong extruded aluminum, and powder coated to match your home’s exterior, our R-BLADE™ also features a hidden gutter system so your pergola maintains the sleek exterior lines to fit in with any architectural style.

Pergola with ajustable roof Gapless by Azenco

What is the Point of a Half or Full Roof Pergola?

Many clients ask us about the design and functionality advantages of fixed roof pergolas providing full-time sun and rain protection versus adjustable louvered roof pergolas that allow you to control the sun/shade mix. Each has their advantages, of course. But, a hybrid dual-roof pergola that is half louvered and half fixed, allows you to enjoy both roof styles and all the functionality that comes with each.

hybrid dual-roof pergola that is half pergola half roof

What Are The Main Differences Between a Half and Full Roof Pergola?

Half and full roof pergola styles have distinct differences in terms of design, functionality, and appearance. Here are some key contrasts between the two:

1. Coverage

Half Roof Pergola

As the name suggests, a this pergola covers only a portion of the outdoor space. It typically provides partial shade and protection from the elements. This design is often used to create a defined outdoor seating or dining area.

wooden pergola with veils

Full Roof Pergola

A full roof pergola offers complete coverage of the outdoor area it spans. It provides full shade and protection from rain, snow, and other weather conditions. This style is ideal for creating a fully sheltered outdoor living space.

R-Shade pergola in aluminum with solid insulated rood - white frame with wood finish roof by Azenco

2. Design

Half Roof Pergola

These pergolas have a more open and airy design due to their partial roof structure. They often feature slatted roof sections that allow dappled sunlight to filter through, creating a semi-shaded space.

patio enclosure - wooden pergola orientation for shade

Full Roof Pergola

These designs have a solid roof structure, typically made of materials like wood, metal, or polycarbonate panels. This design offers complete shade and can provide a more enclosed and cozier outdoor space.


3. Function

Half Roof Pergola

These roofs are often used for outdoor entertaining, such as dining or hosting small gatherings. They provide a good balance between shade and sunlight, making them suitable for various outdoor activities.

Louvered roof installation: benefits of a pergola. Featuring a white pergola wiht motorized louvered roof with lake view in Florida. Azenco Outdoor pergola, model R-Blade

Full Roof Pergola

These designs are more versatile and can accommodate a wider range of functions. They are suitable for creating outdoor living rooms, kitchens, and other fully furnished spaces that can be used in various weather conditions.

white pergola - fixed roof - full roof pergola, model R-Shade by Azenco

4. Aesthetics

Half Roof Pergola

Half roof pergolas have a more open and decorative appearance due to their lattice or slatted roof design. They can be adorned with climbing plants or hanging vegetation to create a natural, shaded atmosphere.

Full Roof Pergola

Full roof pergolas have a more solid and substantial appearance, which can be enhanced with architectural details and lighting fixtures. They provide a more formal and protected outdoor space.

5. Cost

Half Roof Pergola

These pergola models are often less expensive to construct or install because they use fewer materials and provide less coverage. However, the cost may vary depending on the specific materials and design features chosen.

Full Roof Pergola

Full roof pergolas typically require more materials and labor. the roof is often made of insulated sandwich panels making them a higher-cost option. The pergola cost can vary based on the chosen materials and any additional features like integrated lighting or fans.

Ultimately, the choice between a half and full roof pergola depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Consider the intended function, the local climate, and the desired aesthetic when deciding which style is best for your outdoor space.

How Does a Patio Cover Incorporate Half Pergola Half Roof?

The dealers that work with Azenco throughout the country are some of the best designers and installers in the industry, and they are particularly adept with these truly custom dual-roof pergola designs. These projects can take on many looks, including:

  • Split Zone Pergolas – A two-zone pergola design can be, quite literally, half pergola half roof. This split zone allows one side of the outdoor living space to remain in full-shade all day, while the sun and rain protection on the other side is completely adjustable. With our motorized louver system, the skylight can open and close to control the shade and block out the rain.
  • Adjustable Louvered Skylight – One breathtaking way to combine a fixed roof with a louvered roof pergola is by creating a louvered skylight. The solid roof creates the desired full-time shade and can support patio fans or embedded lighting. Adding an autonomous sensor array even automatically closes the louvers at the first sign of rain, allowing this design to be added to an interior courtyard.
  • Cantilever Pergola Roof – Your custom pergola can be fabricated to provide some overhang that extends beyond the frame. How much overhang can you have on a pergola? Well, for aesthetic and engineering reasons the overhang is usually limited to about 20”. That said, we’ve created some truly stunning cantilevered pergolas that overhang pools, patios and decks. This design creates an amazing architectural feature and ensures unobstructed views from your outdoor space.


If you’d like to connect with one of our expert design partners to explore the ideal half or full roof pergola styling for your outdoor living space, please contact us and we’ll connect you with our network for local dealers.

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2 Responses

  1. Hello. I would like to get my patio covered with R Shade pergola. The dimensions are 24 ft * 16 ft. What is the best size possible to cover this patio? I do not want 2 pergolas to be combined to achieve this? Can it be custom made to fit this size?

    1. Hello Siddharth

      We appreciate your interest in our R-Shade pergola.
      One of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly.

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