Building Your Dream Pergola

A pergola is a great way to enjoy your home’s exterior, whether you’re using it in place of a patio, or as a larger part of your backyard’s décor for greater usability.

With Custom Design and Build, building your dream pergola doesn’t have to be a daunting or expensive process. We are here to help you plan and build everything from the start. From first outlining your vision and determining how a pergola fits into your space, to a finished product you can enjoy throughout the year, our team is here to help you turn your space into a place you can relax in.

What is a Pergola VS. a Gazebo?

Pergolas and gazebos are both structures that can accent a home and begin creating a unique ambiance that is full of personality. So, what is the difference between the two?

Typically, pergolas are utilized as an extension of a patio or a stand-alone structure to add functionality to the backyard, but it does not have a roof attached to it. Instead, it has a trellis-like structure which is typically utilized as a growing space for vining plants, or a way to add misting functionality for hot days.

Gazebos, on the other hand, do have a roof, and may – but typically do not – have covered sides. Gazebo roofs can vary just as much as home roofs, from shingles to metal to green roofs, and everything in-between.

What is the Purpose of a Pergola?

The main purpose of a pergola, particularly when we compare it to a gazebo, is to define the outdoor space and add visual interest. It may also help in creating shade and sun protection, as well as additional gardening space. A pergola can also provide filtered light in open areas.

Pergolas are excellent at allowing the heat to dissipate upwards, providing a source of ventilation and while maximizing winter sunlight and minimizing summer sunlight, creating a unique outdoor space to host family and friends. This is a great outdoor place to add furniture, grills, plants, and create a safe and playful outdoor space with a sense of privacy to it.

Elevate Your Outdoor Space with a Pergola

Simply building a pergola in your outdoor space doesn’t elevate the space around it, but mindfully designing and curating a space is a great way to improve how you interact with the space. By considering what you’d like to do with your space, and how you want the ambiance of the space to change, you can begin designing a pergola that creates this change.

For example, if you are looking to entertain guests, you might consider adding a pergola with natural wood finishes that complement the home, with slat angles that maximize sun during the winter and minimize sun during the summer. Adding plenty of seating, a grill, side tables, and lighting can enhance the effects, and with some outdoor pillows and cozy planters, you can transform the space into an entertainment lounge.

Alternatively, creating an isolated nook to get away from the daily routine and escape into the garden might make you think about the design completely differently. The pergola slats don’t necessarily need as much focus on sunlight, but instead it might need to support climbing plants and lighting. With an outdoor couch and some shelving or tables, a gas firepit, and ambient lighting to accent the natural scenery of your backyard, you can create an oasis to complement a garden.

Manual vs. Motorized Pergolas

Unlike their manual counterparts, motorized pergolas feature mechanized louvers that adjust at the touch of a button. This functionality allows homeowners to control the amount of sunlight filtering through or to seal out rain, providing comfort and protection with ease. Custom Design & Build offers motorized pergolas by Azenco Outdoor with high quality, superior function, and unique features – made in the USA.

Benefits of Having a Motorized Louvered Pergola

The primary advantage of motorized pergolas is their flexibility. Weather can be unpredictable, and having the ability to adjust your pergola’s roof based on current weather conditions enhances the usability of your outdoor space. Additionally, motorized pergolas can be equipped with sensors that can automatically adjust the louvers in response to weather changes, further increasing convenience and efficiency.

Features of a Motorized Pergola

  • Adjustable Louvers: Provide control over the amount of sunlight or shade.
  • Integrated Weather Sensors: Automatically adjust settings based on weather conditions.
  • Durable Construction: Often made with corrosion-resistant materials.
  • Customization Options: Available in various styles and finishes to complement any home.

What is the Cost to Build a Pergola?

The cost to build a pergola can range widely depending on the customizations and size of the space. Almost always, however, it is less expensive to custom build and install a pergola with a professional when you consider the time and expertise savings.

Building a pergola on your own or purchasing a done-for-you kit and installing it on your own is potentially hazardous and takes a significant amount of time and energy. There no guarantee that the pergola would mesh well with the exterior of the home or garden, and worse, the pergola may not creating the feeling you are looking for, which could result in costly mistakes and repairs. At Custom Design and Build, we ensure your pergola matches your home and creates the ambiance you are looking for.

Do Pergolas Add Value to a House?

When done correctly, yes, a well-designed and durable pergola can add a lot of value to a home. Current estimates state that anywhere from 50-80% of the pergola cost can be added to the home’s value, making it one of the more valuable additions that you can do as a homeowner considering selling within the next ten to fifteen years.

What is the Lifespan of a Pergola?

Pergolas typically last as much as a durable roof, putting well-constructed pergolas anywhere in the range of 20 to 30 years. Areas that see significant rainfall or a lot of direct sunlight exposure could wear down the pergola at a faster rate, resulting in shorter-term maintenance and repair needs to keep it looking its best for a long time. Like any other part of the home, it will require some repair and maintenance to keep it in top condition.

Why Choose a Professional for Pergola Construction

Not only can working with a professional help you create a pergola that suits your home and brings your vision to life, but it can also help you achieve a better quality construction over any other type of retail option.

No matter what home addition you are making, DIY is never a good idea as there are many shortcuts that can be costly to repair or even present unsafe conditions or those that live in the house. By choosing a professional contractor to build a pergola in your backyard as a patio or stand-alone structure for entertaining guests and enjoying the space, you’ll find that the pergola lasts a much longer time with more durable materials.

Contractors, like Custom Design and Build, have access to better materials like the pergolas from Azenco Outdoor and have more experience in implementing the blueprints they create, creating an atmosphere that matches or exceeds your expectations. They also consider many of the following aspects of design and installation that you won’t get with a DIY or retail-ready pergola:

  • Permits for Building a Pergola

Depending on your location and design, there may be municipality regulations around what you can – or cannot – build. Building larger pergolas, or ones with electrical features or any form of roof always requires a permit, and these must be obtained by a registered contractor.

Smaller free-standing pergolas without any type of roof may not require these permits, however, it’s always better to check with your local legislation to confirm whether you need a permit first or not. If you choose to work with a contractor, you don’t need to do this; they’ll take care of all the work for you.

  • Factors to Consider in Designing a Pergola

Every aspect of design must be considered before installing your pergola. First, you’ll want to determine budget and style. A good pergola team like those at Custom Design and Build will help you stay on track with your budget, while also helping you bring your vision to life without sacrificing the cohesion with the rest of the home. For example, a light house shouldn’t typically be paired with an ultra-dark pergola, or vice versa, but there are many nuances to the overall design style that can help your pergola look like a cohesive part of the home’s exterior.

You will also want to consider size, and material used for construction. Positioning within the space that you are working in is also a critical factor, helping you customize it to your satisfaction without over-crowding the space or looking too diminutive.

  • Process of Building a Pergola

The process of building a pergola starts with visualization and conceptual work. At Custom Design and Build, we take our time with consultations, helping create the ideal vision that you want to establish with your new pergola. Then, we’ll draw up a render of what this pergola could look like in your space, ensuring that you have a chance to make last minute additions or adjustments. Just like trying on clothes in the store before you purchase, it’s important to see how the pergola fits into your space. Then, we’ll draw up blueprints, apply for permits, and acquire the materials. Once ready, we install the pergola and design to your satisfaction.

Timeline for Building a Pergola with Custom Design and Build

Once your pergola has been completely designed and all required permits are obtained, the actual construction takes almost no time at all. Because of its simple baseline structure, a standard square pergola only takes a couple of weeks to install.

A particularly long or narrow pergola may take slightly longer to construct, as the construction becomes more complicated when these unique shapes are brought into the design work; however, at Custom Build and Design, we are always upfront with our estimated timeline for building and planning.

No matter what kind of pergola you are looking for, our team can help you conceptualize it and provide an accurate timeline for construction.

Choose Custom Design & Build LLC

Are you considering investing in a custom-built deck and need a deck contractor in the Maryland and Pennsylvania region to inspect the space and help guide you through the process from the very beginning?

Give Custom Design and Build a call today for a free estimate.

Just let us know what you are looking for in a deck, and we directly work with you to design the deck of your dreams, whether you know exactly what you are looking for or need a little inspiration to start.

We’re happy to provide you with guidance and walk you through each step, detailing project costs and showcase end results and potential designs.