The backyard is one of the major deciding factors of why people choose the house that they do. Outdoor living activities have increased in popularity. To that end, homeowners usually have contractors build structures that will augment their outdoor living. One of those structures is the pergola.

A pergola is a roofed structure usually with open sides. It can be freestanding, or it can extend from the house. In case you’re wondering what use a pergola has, below are four ways the structure can benefit your outdoor living.

1. Shady Space

Possibly the main reason homeowners have a pergola installed in their backyard is to add a shady space for their outdoor activities. The standard pergola consists of four poles with open beams across the top. Depending on the amount of shade you want, you can add elements such as climbing plants or screens. As a bonus, more enclosed pergolas also shield you from light rain or snow.

Obviously, you can use your new shady space any way you want. However, homeowners often set up a dining area under their pergola so they can enjoy eating al fresco. If lounging is more your style, you could place an outdoor sofa and relaxation chairs. Some homeowners even have a pergola constructed over their outdoor kitchen or bar. You can also place a hot tub underneath.

2. Space Definition

In that vein, another prime reason to add a pergola is to help define your spaces. Open-plan concepts are all well and good until you have a wide expanse of space and you need to plan out activity areas. A pergola can help add definition within that open plan.

For example, imagine you have an open patio and your backyard. You want to cook, dine, entertain, and relax. Placing cooking and dining elements near the door to the kitchen makes sense. However, what about your lounge area? Lolling around in full view doesn’t seem very restful. Instead, you could have a pergola built in one corner of your patio or yard and designate it as your lounge.

3. Increased Privacy

Along the same lines, your backyard may look like an open book to your neighbors. Sure, you’re enjoying perfectly wholesome activities, but maybe you don’t want to feel like you’re always on a stage for anyone to see. A pergola can add privacy without closing you off completely to the rest of the world.

Going back to the ways you can style your pergola, you can have it built so it extends out from the house. You can also have a contractor install screens between the roof slats so you have a fairly enclosed structure. From there, you can set up a system of weatherproof screens or curtains. When they’re closed, the interior of the pergola is relatively private.

4. Added Beauty and Utility

Speaking of styling your pergola, the design opportunities for integrating it with your landscaping and hardscaping are almost limitless. You start with the structure itself. Talk to your contractors about customization options for the ends of the rafters and the roof lattice. You also have different options for materials, including wood, composite, and metal.

Consider also some other structural additions. For instance, some homeowners have the pergola wired for electricity. In that way, they can add lighting and even a fan. Likewise, you might want to have a bench built in between posts. Adding a permanent lattice screen at one end for increased privacy is another option.

Many homeowners use their pergola as a design focal point for their landscaping. You’ll want to consult with your contractors about training plants to grow directly up the structure. That said, adding climbing vines is a common design element. Indeed, a pergola covered in grapevines is a classic. Also consider other additions such as a nearby fountain or pool for increased beauty.

Add a pergola to your backyard both for enjoyment and beauty. The experts at Harco Exteriors, LLC, will work directly with you from design to installation.

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