Syzygy Pergolas & Pool Covers in Palm Beach
Syzygy Pergolas & Pool Covers in Palm Beach

A Primer on Pergola Height

News   >  Knowledge Base   >  A Primer on Pergola Height
Caroline Guillaume
Administrator
DATE
February 22 2022
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So, you’ve decided you want to turn your deck, yard, patio or pool deck into your go-to outdoor relaxation space and realized that a modern aluminum pergola will deliver the most flexible, all-weather patio cover possible. So, what comes next? One of the first design elements that our design team will assess in our first site visit is the proper height for your pergola. 

The main considerations when evaluating the proper pergola height for your project will be to ensure it is able to:

  • Seamlessly integrate into your home’s existing architecture
  • Meet local regulatory requirements for pergolas in your neighborhood
  • Accommodate your planned outdoor lifestyle
  • Enable any amenities you plan to include with your pergola project

What is a Standard Pergola Height?

There is no hard-and-fast rule for the correct pergola height, but there are some guidelines that we tend to follow. Most pergolas tend to stand at 8 to 12 feet tall, though this doesn’t have to be the case for every project. At this height range, the pergola is the perfect distance from the ground to optimize the shade footprint it will cast. Built lower, the pergola could become too dark when the roof is closed and could limit ventilation. 

  • Minimum height – 8 feet: Well-fitting for small structures. The lower roof line will provide the optimal feel for more intimate gatherings
  • Standard height – 10 feet: Suits most situations and allows sufficient clearance for patio fans or chandeliers
  • High height – 12 feet: Roof elevation can scale up to make the outdoor living space match adjoining interior rooms or create the feel of a vaulted ceiling

*Pergola post heights (from ground to underside of the rafters/cross beams)

R Blade pergola louvered roof Residential Azenco Florida70

What to Know When Deciding the Perfect Pergola Height for Your Project

First and foremost, the roofline and architecture of your home will help determine the best dimensions for your pergola. For single-story homes, the pergola roof lines are often aligned with the home’s roofline for a clean overall look. On multi-story homes where the pergola is attached to the home part way up an exterior wall, the pergola height can be more flexible. Obviously, if the pergola is being constructed as a standalone structure in a backyard or on a pool deck, the sky is almost literally the limit on pergola height. As you envision your pergola, also take into account sightlines both from your patio and onto your patio. You may decide that a taller pergola will allow more soaring ocean views, or realize that lowering the pergola roofline will help keep prying neighbors from spying on your patio.

Accenting Your Home’s Existing Architecture

Especially when constructing a pergola attached to the home, it is ideal for that new addition to seamlessly compliment your existing architecture and landscaping. We’ll generally recommend the pergola height be sufficient to allow clear views from interior windows while creating harmony with the lines and angles of the home’s roofline. Some of that styling synergy will be assisted by matching existing color schemes, which we can customize to match any home’s exterior and even some wood grains. Additionally, surrounding landscaping can help determine the ideal pergola height. A pergola surrounded by tall shrubs or trees can stand taller without seeming out of place. A pergola surrounded by low-growing plants can maintain the desired sweeping sightlines, but if the pergola is too tall it can look out of proportion.

Louvered pergola in white Wall mounted Azenco R Blade Coral Gables 13
Louvered pergola in white Wall mounted Azenco R Blade Coral Gables 13

Regulatory and HOA Restrictions

Obviously, local building regulations can often prescribe pergola heights. Our SYZYGY Global design team is expert in navigating these regulations to help you optimize your outdoor space within the confines of local allowances. One additional consideration that our design team often encounters in Southern Florida municipalities like Boca Raton, Wellington or Parkland is homeowner’s association regulations. These hyper-local regulations can dictate pergola height, as well as allowable colors for your pergola project, even the location on your property where a pergola can be erected. 

How You Plan to Use Your Outdoor Living Space Dictates Height Necessities

If you are planning a pergola for your patio or deck as a simple relaxation space where you can control the sun and shade balance or block out the rain, pergola height will not be affecting these activities too much. But, if you are expecting to also construct a functional covered outdoor kitchen with cooking spaces, a wood-fired pizza oven or even a fire pit, then the pergola height becomes quite important. For any outdoor spaces that feature these types of fire features, it is recommended that the pergola roof be elevated to ensure sufficient ventilation for smoke and ash. 

Conclusion

The easiest way to decide the ideal pergola height for your home, to meet its surroundings and your anticipated use of the space, is to connect with our design team here at SYZYGY Global to schedule a consultation at your home. Contact us to get your dream pergola off the ground.

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