What is the Point of a Pergola?

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what is the point of a pergola

This is a bit of a weird one. But we know you’re curious about this topic.

…”​​​​What is the point of a pergola?”

You may recognize that they look nice, but you might also wonder, “what’s the point?” Pergolas have no sides and sometimes have no tops – offering little to no wind or UV protection.

That’s not always the case.

One of our best performing posts is the best retractable roof pergolas (one of the best options for UV and rain protection).

Anyway, let’s deep dive into the world of pergolas.

What Factors Make a Pergola A Good Buy?

If you hadn’t previously thought about constructing a pergola, you may find them a bit strange. They sort of have a roof, but they sort of don’t. They don’t always have walls, but they can. They come in various shapes and sizes, but they all have a distinct look. They seem nice enough, but seriously, what is the point of a pergola, and what can they do for you? Let’s explore now.

Pergola Resources To Consider

Here is a curated list of posts to help you learn more and purchase the most appropriate outdoor structure for your garden.

This is a mixture of our own posts and some recommended reading from relevant external sites.

Lets get stuck in.


Because a pergola is an outdoor structure with a definite shape and size, it can be used to create definition in your garden. It can become a focal point, an area where the eye is drawn and from where you continue your decorating efforts.

If you’re using a pergola as a meeting spot, it can easily define the boundaries of that spot. Depending on the layout of your garden, you can create a pathway to your pergola and decorate the area around it with shrubbery or flowers. In this sense, a pergola is not much different from a fence or even an enclosed room — just much more open. 


If you are using your pergola as a place to rest and relax, you no doubt have constructed it to provide shelter from the weather, be it sun, rain, or something else. While most pergolas have an open roof design, the placement and angle of the slats can provide relief from the sun late in the afternoon or in the mornings. 

Some pergolas are constructed with temporary or permanent roof panels that block more of the sun’s rays and sometimes even rain and other inclement weather. In these cases, these outdoor structures are more like summerhomes, minus the walls.

If you plan to use your pergola even in cold weather, you can increase your comfort by investing in an outdoor heater. Powered by electricity or some type of fuel, these warming devices can take the chill out of the air so you can enjoy a meal, read a book, or just spend time with loved ones.


Of course, if you like the idea of a pergola with walls, you’re welcome to have it. One of the most wonderful things about these structures is that they’re highly customizable. Whether you prefer the look of wood, the resilience of metal, or a pop of your favorite color, you can customize your pergola to fit your preferences.

Back to walls, an enclosed pergola is an excellent way to maintain privacy in an otherwise open garden. You might consider such a structure if you have a hot tub or just want a space that’s out of view of the neighbors. You can build a pergola with solid walls made of panels, or you can choose a more airy option, like netting or curtains.


And at last, let’s not forget that pergolas can also function simply as decoration. In this case, the answer to “what is the point of a pergola?” is simply: to look nice.

If you have a spot in your garden that doesn’t see much use, you can turn it into a green space by installing a pergola. Once the structure is set up, plant vines and other climbing plants nearby to allow them to create a natural work of art.

A pergola can provide shelter to humans, but it can also offer reprieve to plants. Do you have delicate flowers that don’t do well in direct sunlight? Have you been thinking about creating a lush oasis? A pergola and your favorite plants can come together to form a picture of beauty.

Now that you’ve gotten some answers to “what is the point of a pergola?”, you have to ask yourself whether you’ve found a point that makes sense to you. If so, it may be time to do a little renovation in the garden to make room for one.


Are pergolas expensive?

Pergolas don’t have to be expensive. Their cost will depend greatly on your construction plans. Do you have a particular style, size, or overall look that you’re aiming for? Do you know what kind of materials you’d like to use. Will you be building the pergola from scratch, or will you purchase a ready-made set? If you’re looking to stay within budget, a ready-made set is a very good option. You’ll see the cost of your pergola up front, and you won’t have to worry about purchasing additional materials because everything you need is already included within the kit.

Can I build a pergola?

You can build a pergola from scratch if you’d like. However, if you’ve never built one before or don’t have much construction experience, a pergola kit is probably your best option. They include everything you need for the job, including in-depth instructions to take you through every step. Best of all, many kits require just a few hours of your time, so it’s possible to finish your project in just a single day.

What material is best for a pergola?

You have several material options for the construction of your pergola, including wood, metal, and vinyl. Wood offers classic styling and allows for easy updating with just a coat of paint or stain. If you choose pressure-treated wood, you can expect your pergola to last for 10 years or more. If you’re looking for something more durable or that will hold up in an area with lots of inclement weather, you might consider metal. Aluminum is a popular choice for its strength. When you go with this option, your pergola could easily last decades.

How easy is it to build a pergola on concrete?

Our advice is you will need a professional to do this unless you are a competent DIY’er. Check out our friend on YouTube, Glenn Frazee, who accomplished this in two days. This will give you an idea of what it takes. Also, he has a cute dog, so, enjoy!

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