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

Pergola Roof Risers – What, Why, and Where?

News   >  Knowledge Base   >  Pergola Roof Risers – What, Why, and Where?
Jason Herring
September 30 2022

The many benefits of a pergola include elevating the look of your outdoor living space, and opening your patio to fun and exciting new outdoor activities. With your patio protected from blistering sun and afternoon showers, your outdoor space is available for relaxation, dining and entertainment. In some cases, the addition of a pergola roof can initially give homeowners or restaurant guests a sense of confinement, especially if the patio was previously uncovered. In some cases, we can counteract this sensation by employing roof risers in the pergola design. Let’s explore the pergola roof riser, and when the roof riser becomes a valuable addition to your pergola design.

What is a pergola roof riser?

In pergola design a roof riser is a short support column that allows the entire pergola roof to be elevated, effectively raising the roof line. The risers affix to exterior walls or the home’s roof and then attach to the pergola frame. Because the pergola is now supported by the roof risers connected to the home, additional support columns can often be eliminated. This also means the adjoining structure needs to be able to support the weight of that new pergola roof, which is why risers are more commonly seen with lightweight-yet-strong aluminum pergolas rather than heavy wood designs.

deck roof risers - palm beach

Why is the roof riser great for a pergola?

Including the patio roof riser in a pergola design can add several benefits to your outdoor living space. First and foremost, the roof riser lives up to its name by elevating the pergola’s roof line. Adding clearance to the covered patio can ensure it maintains an airy feel that will prevent you from feeling confined by your new pergola roof. Creating some elevation for the patio roof can be a great solution when confronted with numerous design challenges, which we will explore below. In addition to simply raising the roof, the roof riser design can eliminate the need for additional pergola support columns. Removing these columns will maintain unobstructed views from within the covered space. This is especially beneficial if you want to maintain sightlines out to a pool deck, or for waterfront properties with sweeping ocean views.

Where to consider adding roof risers to a pergola design?

Incorporating the roof riser for pergola designs helps us tackle some common design challenges as well. You might see our design team recommend a roof riser design in situations such as:

  • Single-story buildings – Aligning the pergola roof with the home’s existing roofline is often pretty standard. Here in South Florida, many neighborhoods are comprised of single-story homes. Matching the pergola to the lower rooflines often leaves the covered space feeling cramped. Incorporating a roof riser design allows us to keep that covered patio from feeling closed in.
  • Flat-roofed buildings – Flat-roofed buildings are also common throughout South Florida. Leveraging a pergola roof riser design allows the pergola to sit just above the home’s existing roof to provide a unique design accent to the outdoor space and the home’s exterior look.
  • Patio confined by walls – Whether the patio is confined on three sides with the front looking over the vast ocean, or confined on all four sides like a courtyard, building a pergola roof over the top can often reinforce that enclosed feeling. This issue can be mitigated by elevating the clearance of the roof with a roof riser design. The riser can also elevate the pergola roof over the top of exterior or stem walls to allow a gap where natural light can still reach the space even when the adjustable louvered roof is closed.
  • Replacing aging awnings – One of the most common existing patios covers that we replace throughout South Florida are aging patio or deck awnings. The tube-and-canvass design of these structures doesn’t age well, but their vaulted ceiling design brings an airiness to the deck. So, when replacing these with a modern pergola roof, we often include a deck roof riser design that helps maintain the clearance of the awning being replaced.

For pergolas over a fire pit or barbecue – Fire pits, wood-fired pizza ovens, barbecues, etc. are popular amenities for many home and restaurant patios. When constructing a pergola over a fire feature, it is imperative to provide sufficient clearance to allow heat, ash and smoke to ventilate properly and not damage the pergola roof. A roof riser design can be an attractive and efficient way to accommodate these fire features.

Pompano Beach pergola - Azenco - Syzygy Global


Incorporating a roof riser design into your pergola project can often elevate the overall design of your outdoor living space, and provide a practical solution to some outdoor design challenges. Bringing these risers into your design will need to be done at the initial engineering phase and be part of the plans you submit with your pergola permit, as well. If you would like to explore adding a custom pergola to your home or business, and learn what the pergola cost in Palm Beach looks like, then please reach out to our design team for a consultation.

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