Pergolas have been a fixture of homes for centuries dating back to ancient Egyptian times. The architectural style of the roof and columns make a great accent for any type of home design. Over centuries, pergolas have evolved immensely. Early fixed-slat roofs created partial shade but were unable to block the sun or rain, so designers crafted solid roof pergolas bringing full-time shade with complete rain protection. Today’s most advanced pergolas, though, are designed with motorized adjustable louvered roofs for a patio cover that opens and closes. These designs can open to allow full sun to reach the patio, close partially to create shade, or close completely to block out the sun and rain.
Pergolas with adjustable louvers are a relatively modern adaptation. Crafting these structures from high-grade aluminum that is powder coated to protect from the elements ensures they are lightweight but still very strong structures. The addition of remote-controlled motors allows the louvers to be adjusted with ease. Homeowners control the angle of the louvers with a standard handheld remote, or can upgrade to voice controls via their preferred household digital assistant like Siri, Google Home or Alexa.
To truly elevate your aluminum louvered patio cover, you can upgrade to a sensor integrated control system that adjusts the lovers autonomously. The system includes rain sensors that monitor for showers and automatically close the roof at the first sign of rain. This feature is especially valuable for homeowners and restaurants looking to protect their outdoor dining spaces and their guests from the elements. Additional sensors can include a wind sensor which monitors for high winds and automatically opens the louvers if potentially dangerous gusts are detected. While not a common request here in South Florida, in colder climates a thermo sensor can also watch for freezing temperatures and open the louvers to prevent snow build up.
Choosing a model with operable pergola louvers brings the most flexibility to when and how you use your outdoor living space. The ability to open the roof means you do not have to settle for full-time shade on your patio or deck. You can open the roof in the cooler mornings to let in some sun as you enjoy your coffee, then close the roof partially as the sun creeps higher to create some shade. With the louvers partially open, airflow on the patio is improved as well. If you do a lot of outdoor cooking, the ability to open the louvers lets you ventilate smoke and ash from a charcoal grill or wood-burning fire pit as well.
Closing the louvers obviously brings complete sun protection to the patio, but selecting a louvered roof pergola that completely blocks the rain will ensure you get the most use out of your outdoor living space. Not all adjustable louvered roof pergolas are capable of completely blocking the rain though. The pergolas we design, and our manufacturing partners at Azenco fabricate for us, standout in the market because they are the only model that truly blocks all the rain. These pergolas (R-Blade model) feature louvers that extend all the way into the roof frame. This key design trait allows rainwater to be channeled into a hidden internal gutter system keeping the patio below dry even in the heaviest rains which ensures you can enjoy your outdoor living room regardless of the weather.
As mentioned earlier, not all pergolas are created the same. In addition to louvers that extend into the pergola frame, there are some additional features that deserve your attention, including:
Opting for a patio cover that opens and closes will certainly provide you with the most control over the sun/shade balance on your patio and make sure the space is a comfortable and enjoyable relaxation destination in any weather conditions. Budgets for custom pergola projects vary greatly depending on the overall size of the structure, the amenities you select (like embedded LED lighting, patio fans, motorized retractable side curtains, sensor-based controls, etc.).
If you are considering adding a pergola with louvers to your patio, deck or pool deck, we’d encourage you to contact our design consultants who are eager to help guide you through the design process and provide a quote for your new outdoor addition.