Is a Pergola Right for your PA Landscape?

Outdoor structures can play an important role in letting you extend your indoor living space to the yard of your Lebanon County, PA, home. There a few different types of structures each with their pros and cons. Choosing the right structure and features can not only make your yard more aesthetically pleasing but also add to its practicality to and functionality of the space all year round.

What is a Pergola?

Is a Pergola Right for your Lebanon County PA Landscape?

A pergola is typically a straightforward decision for most yards, especially those where the landscape follows a modern design. With their simple rectangular structure and straight pillars, they work well with modern landscapes and are easy to setup and maintain. Pergolas are characterized by their louvered roof where the planks are angled horizontally to provide ample sunlight and create a sense of openness. The character and warmth provided by timber is also compatible with more rustic design themes.


What are the Alternatives?

Naturally, before making a decision, a comparison with the different types of structures is warranted. Gazebos and pavilions are popular alternatives to pergolas, each offering a different character and set of features. Gazebos are distinguished by their round structure and usually domed roof that gives them a more natural, classical design. They typically work better in traditional landscapes due to their architecture.

Pavilions, on the other hand, are typically more grandiose than pergolas and gazebos with a high roof that usually matches that of your home. These are better suited for large gatherings and have a far more substantial structure, mimicking a house without walls.


Which Suits my Needs?

It is vital to outline your expectations from your structure and make an informed decision to ensure that it meets all your requirements. If you have a large yard and intend to host large gatherings, a pavilion is an excellent option. Similarly, if your landscape follows a more traditional design a gazebo will flow better with the surroundings.

Pergolas, with their louvered roofs and simple design, offer a cosy space for small, intimate gatherings or just soaking up the sun during the summer months. They are also far less taxing to install compared to the other two structures, which typically require a strong concrete foundation to support their more considerable weight.

Customizing your Pergola

While the design cues discussed apply to the strict definitions of these structures, you can easily adapt your pergola to better suit your requirements.  For example, a louvered roof for a pergola in northern Pennsylvania would limit the functionality of the structure during the snowy winters. A closed, angled roof would be better suited with a sufficiently strong weight bearing support structure.

Another option is to use increasingly popular motorized louvered roofs where the louvers can be closed at the touch of a button to protect you and your furniture from snow and rain. A simple textile canopy can also be added to protect you from the elements. Both these options add practicality to the mix while still retaining the characteristic openness that makes pergolas so appealing in the first place.


The biggest advantage of a pergola is the adaptability of their design. The louvered roof and pillars can provide an excellent base for climbing vines to make the structure a part of your landscape while the wide variety of construction materials lets you customize your design for your express needs. These factors make pergolas a versatile feature that can adjust well in all manner of landscapes.