Are you considering adding a shade structure to your deck, patio or pool deck but are unsure which will best fit your outdoor lifestyle? There are plenty of different types of outdoor structures to choose from, and each has its own unique benefits.
The first step is to think about exactly what kind of living you plan to do there. Do you host elegant outdoor cocktail parties, or gather the family around the fire pit in the evenings? Do you want a full-time shade structure or prefer to have control of sun/shade balance? Would you like to be able to use your new outdoor living space in any weather condition?
An outdoor structure that can accommodate all of these would be the most ideal solution. When homeowners are looking to create all-weather outdoor spaces, most ultimately narrow their choices to either a pergola and gazebo.
So, first, let’s get a better understanding of each option.
When most people think of a pergola they think of traditional slatted-roof structures that offered little sun or rain protection. Modern pergolas have evolved significantly from these traditional stalled-roof designs.
Where pergolas used to be made from wood, modern pergolas are fabricated from high-quality aluminum that makes them one of the most flexible outdoor structures available today. Lightweight yet durable, aluminum pergolas are powder coated to protect against damage from rain and storms. The powder coating can also be customized to match any home’s exterior color, or coated with a simulated wood grain.
The unique structural capabilities of aluminum also allow pergolas to hide their assembly hardware to deliver clean exterior lines that can seamlessly fit any type of architecture from the Gilded Age old Palm Beach to the minimalist contemporary style of nouveau Palm Beach County.
Amping up the flexibility of a modern pergola, the once-static roof slats can now be motorized to make the roof completely adjustable. This allows the louvers to open and close with the push of a button, controlling just how much sun reaches the living space below. Fabricated with extreme precision and featuring dual-walled design, these louvered roofs create a tight seal against rain water. With the roof closed, rainwater drains away through an internal gutter system concealed within the aluminum structure.
To take these modern adjustable louvered roof pergolas to the next level, homeowners can opt for an intuitive sensor array that turns the pergola into an autonomous smart system. An integrated sensor monitors for the first drops of rain, and automatically closes the louvers. And, an embedded wind sensor keeps watch for excessive winds, opening the louvers to prevent damage from updrafts when necessary.
A gazebo is a static structure most often built from wood. The quintessential gazebo can be seen in just about every historic community’s town square. The open sides of a gazebo can give it a similar feel to a pergola.
Since gazebos are built from wood, they tend to require more maintenance than an aluminum pergola. Despite often being built on a raised foundation, the wood support columns of a gazebo need to be protected from standing water. Also, the whole structure will need to be routinely repainted or re-stained, and its traditional shingle or tile roof will need routine attention as with any home’s roof.
With its fixed-roof design a gazebo creates full-time shade for an outdoor space. For homeowners looking to bring TVs or indoor furniture out to their patio, the fixed roof over a gazebo might offer the shade and rain protection they are seeking.
With some deeper insight into what separates a pergola and gazebo, you are probably starting to envision the best fit for the type of living you plan to do in your outdoor space. While a gazebo can be a perfectly elegant addition to any home, the combined beauty and functionality that today’s adjustable pergolas deliver will impart more flexible living options to your patio, deck, or pool deck.
Here in South Florida where extreme storms are routine, a pergola can also provide peace of mind that your investment is being safeguarded against these potentially damaging events.
If you are trying to decide between a pergola or gazebo for your home, contact us and we can walk you through how a adjustable louvered roof pergola would fit your unique lifestyle and compliment your home’s existing style.