Pergola Sun Shade- Custom residential project in New York

Residential: Sun Protection Pergola Shades Massive Backyard Patio

Last Updated on April 18, 2024

After purchasing a new home for their growing family, homeowners in Melville, NY found the home’s massive patio was blasted by direct sun from sun-up to sunset every day. Looking to maximize the enjoyment of their patio, and create a safe place for their children to play, the homeowners approached Azenco dealer, Gary Duff Designs, to find a solution to cool an outdoor space. Working closely with the Azenco team, Gary Duff Designs created a massive 6-zone pergola with motorized louvered roof to offer the utmost control over the patio’s sun/shade balance.

  • 🗺️ Location: Melville, NY
  • 🏡 Type: Residential
  • 📅 Date: June 2022
  • 👷 Installed by Gary Duff Design

Product Choice

  • Product: R-Blade
  • Size: 6 Zones
  • Options: Pergola fan, pergola lighting, Corbel ends, motorized retractable screens
  • Color: White pergola roof and support columns
  • Benefits: All-weather protection for outdoor kitchen, full control over sun/shade balance

Project Overview

An affluent hamlet located in central Long Island, NY, Melville is a sought-after suburban destination offering easy access to New York City as well as nearby beaches and coastal towns. With such amazing livability, Melville is a wonderful place to raise a family. When these homeowners found their new dream home to accommodate their growing family, one of the amenities that truly stood out was the home’s massive gray slate patio. The space was ideal for the children to play outdoors, and an outdoor kitchen station made the patio an evening destination for the entire family. As the homeowners moved into their new residence, they quickly realized that the grand patio was bathed in direct sun from sunrise to sunset, which rendered the space extremely hot, especially for the small children playing on sunbaked slate.

Design Challenges

For this pergola sun protection project, the main challenge was to develop a pergola sun shade which could span the entirety of this massive patio without turning it completely dark. To span the space, the design team joined six customized interconnected pergola zones. To ensure the space could still see plenty of light when desired, they chose to incorporate Azenco’s R-Blade motorized adjustable louvered roof into all six zones. The ability to adjust each zone independently allowed the homeowners to open the roof over only a portion of the massive patio it desired. This meant they could maintain patio shade over the outdoor kitchen and dining space, while the outer reaches of the patio were bathed in full or partial sun.

The homeowners also wanted to ensure the new sun shade pergola would feel like an extension of the home’s colonial style, while allowing then to move from the indoor space to the patio without getting wet. With no externally visible hardware, the clean exterior lines of the Azenco R-Blade blended perfectly with the home’s traditional colonial stylings. To ensure complete all-weather rain protection, the design team overlapped the pergola roof with the home’s roofline to provide the same seamless feel as a pergola attached to the house. Covering this massive patio also meant the captured rain waters needed to be dispersed to keep the patio below dry. To accommodate the heavy anticipated flow, the hidden internal gutter system split runoff from the six pergola zones and deposited it in numerous surrounding planter beds.

Given the all-day sun exposure on this patio, the Gary Duff Designs team also focused on proper pergola orientation for the adjustable louvered roof. Ensuring that the louvers opened into the sun, meant they could be angled to allow sunlight to reach the patio when desired, or adjusted to block the prevailing sun rays. With tall trees lining one side of the patio, orienting the louvers away from the wooded area also ensured when the roof opened, the homeowners would see a beautiful blue sky.

With the woods encroaching within several feet of the patio, this backyard had a wonderful, almost rural feel, but the proximity to the wooded area also meant the homeowners were wary of mosquitos and other bugs interrupting their evening meals in the covered outdoor dining space. So, the design team added a motorized retractable insect screen embedded into the outside perimeter of the pergola frame. With the screens lowered, and the water-tight gapless louvered roof closed, this sun shade for pergola became virtually impregnable to the pesky bugs.


  • Four weeks
  • Two days on-site installation


If you are looking to create a sun protection pergola for your home, no matter how massive the space, contact us to learn more about our innovative solutions for your suburban or rural patio settings.

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