In our last blog post we covered the process of building a patio that will stand the test of time. This week let’s take a look at a popular option to accompany your patio – a pergola. Pergolas are popular because of their simplicity and relatively low price tag, but they can also make a bold statement that can add value to your home.

A pergola is a frame structure that is basically a roof without a roof. It can help define a space and offer varying amounts of shade depending on the design. Here are some things to consider before constructing a pergola.

Selecting the location for your pergola is important. Is it going to be used as a patio cover, a covering for a pathway, or a support structure for plants like wisteria? It’s also important to consider the orientation. Will it be a shady, north-facing spot or a sunny, south-facing pergola?


Materials and budget are also important. I’ve seen pergolas made from wood, like the one at our Mason, WV market, and I’ve also seen pergolas made from stone at the Biltmore. Then there’s pretty much everything in between. Many home improvement stores even carry kits that are quick to install.


This brings me to the final points to consider. Are you going to hire a contractor or go the DIY route? This is largely dependent on the size of the pergola and your skills. However, another point to consider are your local building codes and permit requirements.

The main benefit of building a pergola is that they are like the Jedi mind trick of garden structures. They create a room where none exists! They define a space and make it seem more intimate. Also, depending on their design and use, they can create quite a bit of shade, especially if they support plants.

Along those same lines, a pergola and its smaller cousin, an arbor, can help direct the flow of a garden space by creating a shaded walkway or helping bridge the gap between garden spaces. In their own right, they can also serve as an artistic statement and focal point in your garden space.