The Perfect Pergola ~
Size. Seating. Shade.
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
Outdoor living is trending so if you are considering adding some quality outdoor time to your family lifestyle you are not alone. One of the easiest and most cost effective structures that you might be tempted to add to your garden is the pergola.
A pergola is not designed to provide complete shade from the sun, but to offer some protection from the harsh full glare of hot summer rays. The pergola’s cross beams cross the top held up by vertical pillars, and are often laced with vines and fragrant climbing plants such as honeysuckle and wisteria. The freely circulating air creates a pleasant sensation of being outside yet not exposed.
While you may not be seated under your pergola as the Fifth Duke of Cumberland in the mid 1600’s was said to be, enjoying a view of hares coursing across the Salisbury Downs, while servants waited hand and foot on his every need, the shelter a pergola can create is worthy of investment and can add a touch of elegance to any garden design.
How do you select the perfect pergola for your property?
The word pergola came originally from the Latin word ‘pergula’ meaning projecting eave. The simple structure can be manipulated into any size and was traditionally made of a variety of materials, from willow or hazel shoots to more permanent stone or wood. While wood is eco-friendly and is a traditional building material, vinyl material has become an increasingly popular choice due to its maintenance free appeal.
Today you can enjoy a myriad of choices in materials and design, along with an array of dazzling color schemes and maintenance free construction.
When you have plants climbing over the structure, painting and re-staining can necessarily provoke some angst for the pergola owner who seeks to maintain the plants and the integrity of the structure and highlight it’s appearance and architectural appeal.
The shape of a pergola can be designed to fit into any size garden. Height and width can be adjusted to avoid screening a view of the garden or can be deliberately conceived to offer privacy from neighbors’ prying eyes. The style of the structure can be matched to the period of other buildings on the property, contrast or complement the existing home.
The pergola roof can be arched, slanted or level and designs can be customized to fit any need.
The addition of a pergola to your backyard can create a centerpoint around which a garden may be developed or provide a destination at the end of the garden with seating from which offers a different viewpoint of your property. It can create a focal point and define a special area of the garden or feature of the property such as a pond or rose garden. The pergola can also give height to your garden without blocking the surrounding the view.
Placement of a pergola closer to your home, can add to the architectural appeal of your home by breaking up the line of sight and bring the roof line closer to the ground giving the appearance of a home more grounded in its environment.
A note of caution when selecting the size and particularly the height of your pergola purchase: Don’t be tempted to build a giant sized pergola right next to a one storey home that will immediately overshadow the presence of the existing building. Larger pergolas can work well farther from the smaller home, but placement close by make the home look small and undersized.
When considering the size of the pergola it’s wise to think about not just the needs you envision today, but also in the future. A pergola will add appeal to your landscaping design and improve the saleability of your home.
If you plan to provide outdoor family events then a pergola provides a venue for dining or setting up a tasty buffet or barbeque. A permanent outside bar or counter area may be added within a larger pergola and will provide a point of focus for distributing food and drink at large gatherings while keeping the all important chef and/or host sheltered from the hot sun.
A pergola can add privacy and provide a retreat for the homeowner from the stresses of everyday life. It makes the perfect shelter for a hot tub, sun lounge furniture or a place for the kids to play.
If you like the idea of a pergola but are concerned about an errant pop up shower spoiling your event, check out the option of adding EZ Shade Canopy or ES Shade Curtains. These items can give you much flexibility in the use of your pergola, instantly adding protection from a summer shower or shelter from the glare of a setting sun.
While building the pergola yourself is an option, if you’d like it professionally crafted and quickly delivered try a leading producer of outdoor buildings that can offer custom sizes and designs and a full complement of building materials and colors and a large enough company that will also offer on site construction if you want a larger project completed in style.
The Amish are well known for their hard work ethic and superior craftsmanship and working with a company such as Stoltzfus Structures, based in Atglen, PA, will provide you with all the resources you need to complete your outdoor living project including help with site preparation questions, site planning, financing if you need it to get started now, and a keen delivery timeline. Summer is nearly here after all!
As with any building endeavor, experience counts. With over 43 years in the business and a laundry list of happy and satisfied customers, Stoltzfus Structures is known as the ‘go to’ company and it may surprise you to know that despite its success this company is still very much a family run enterprise. While the pergola is one of the less expensive purchase options in outside living structures, Stoltzfus Structures offer all types of buildings, from pergolas to pavilions, gazebos and cabanas as well as sheds and garages.
Stoltzfus Structures produces buildings for residential and commercial use, and no project is to big or too small, so don’t be shy to ask for a ‘to the penny’ quote and enjoy shopping their wide variety of perfect pergolas and pretty pavilions.
The added value an outdoor living structure will bring to your world, whether it be a fun family event or a fundraiser for the firehouse, is not to be overlooked. Give the friendly Stoltzfus team a call at (610) 593-7700 or if you’re in the Atglen, PA area, stop in M-F: 7:00 a.m-4:30 p.m, Sat: 9:00 a.m-1:00 p.m and take a look in person at all the super pergolas and pavilion styles available.