Envision a gorgeous South Florida day, with brilliant sun cascading across your patio while you enjoy a refreshing cocktail with family and friends. Can you see the perfectly appointed outdoor furniture, hear the dinner sizzling in the outdoor kitchen, and feel the evening breeze beginning to kick up? If this sounds like your idea of a relaxing day in your outdoor living space, imagine your outdoor lifestyle with a modern, high-tech, luxury pergola able to control the sun and shade balance that can even block out the rain of an afternoon shower.
A pergola is the ideal patio cover in South Florida if you are looking to create shade and enjoy your patio, deck, pool deck or garden in any weather condition. The insulated roof of a modern all-aluminum pergola protects from harmful UV rays, while also enabling control of the amount of sun and shadow on the patio, as well as temperature regulation in your outdoor living space. Designed to stand up to heavy winds and repel the frequent deluge of afternoon rain, our pergolas bring an architectural style to your covered patio space.
Aluminum pergolas offer innumerable design options to compliment any type of architecture, from Gilded Age glitz of Palm Beach to art deco charms of South Beach Miami. Modern pergolas can be fully customized to your unique outdoor living lifestyle.
This comprehensive buyer’s guide to South Florida pergolas will help you explore all the stylish design options, modern functionalities, and unique customizations that SYZYGY Global can bring to your next outdoor renovation project.
Let’s start with the basics. Pergolas are outdoor living structures erected over a patio, deck, garden or pool deck. Usually open on the sides, the roof of the pergola is supported by columns allowing air to circulate through the patio and maintain an open and airy view throughout the property.
The pergola roof can be designed in several styles. A solid fixed roof design is ideal for creating full-time shade on the deck, while a motorized adjustable louvered roof will allow precise control over the sun/shade balance. Leveraging a unique gapless louver design, our pergolas close to completely seal the rain during afternoon showers, and can even incorporate smart technology to automate the roof operations. Modern pergolas can be outfitted with integrated features that bring the amenities of indoor entertainment to your outdoor living space with embedded LED lighting, patio fans, retractable insect, sun or privacy screens, and much more.
Made from lightweight-yet-strong, high-quality aluminum, our pergolas can be erected on the ground over a patio, on a deck to delineate portions of the outdoor space, on a pool deck to create shade at the water’s edge, or even on a roof deck for all-weather protection of your panoramic views. Each of our pergolas are coated in high-quality heavy-duty, powder coatings that are designed to stand up to the blazing sun, humidity, and rain conditions here in South Florida.
While pergola roof options are truly smart home features today, the pergola has evolved over centuries from its humble origins in the ancient world. Combining functionality and beautiful aesthetics, pergolas are seen throughout history and maintain their popularity as a stylish addition to any home.
Historically, pergolas were born of functional need. In ancient Egypt, pergolas were erected to block the powerful desert sun. Often made of wood, stone, or brick, evidence of these ancient pergolas still dot the Egyptian landscape.
By the peak of the Roman Empire, pergolas were commonplace in homes, bathhouses, and grand estates. Monstrous pergolas built of stone and marble still mark historic sites throughout the once sprawling Roman Empire. Even the humblest of homes and community bathhouses often featured pergolas. Pergolas provided some privacy for Romans to change from their robes and slip into the baths. They were also a destination for community life.
It was in the Roman bathhouses where the pergola became part of every Roman’s daily life. The bathhouses were more than just a place to practice self-care. They were the center of Roman social and political life where people socialized with friends and entertained business and political deals. As technology advanced and bathing moved from the bathhouses to private homes, pergolas evolved as a dedicated space in the home for relaxation.
While Roman pergolas were designed to be functional spaces, only the most elite families would have well-adorned pergola spaces. The rise of the Renaissance throughout Europe took that style and luxury to a new level, particularly in Italy. The inflection of art in every structure saw 17th century pergolas featuring smooth pillars supporting intricately appointed roofs, all designed to exemplify the status of their owners.
Spend an afternoon with a watchful eye on the modern pergolas being constructed throughout South Florida and you will see many of these historic design elements combined with modern materials and home design aesthetics. Sleek freestanding solid-roofed pergolas create a luxurious shaded space on the pool deck reminiscent of the Roman baths throughout the historic districts of Gold Coast. In neighborhoods known for their modernistic design, advanced adjustable louvered roof pergolas are interwoven with all types of architecture, either as standalone structures or as a pergola attached to the home. With modern engineering practices, modern materials, and centuries of design inspiration, the pergola has become the pinnacle of outdoor living.
Today's pergolas are unique among other patio covers like gazebos, awnings, etc. They create all-weather protection similar to other alternatives without restricting your view. They also bring a host of luxury features to your Palm Beach outdoor living space. Our pergola's adjustable louvered roof in particular are outliers in the pergola market in that they are the only models capable of completely blocking out the rain. Additionally, with the assistance of some embedded sensor technology, our pergolas create protection autonomously.
All-weather features include:
When envisioning a rainproof pergola, many people still think of traditional fixed slatted roof structures incapable of blocking rain, but the innovative louvered roof systems built into our motorized pergolas feature a unique gapless louver design. Sealing tightly when closed, the gapless louvered pergola roof captures all the rain without annoying drips interrupting your patio relaxation. An integrated hidden gutter system then all rainwater away through gutters embedded in its support columns.
While louver operations can be controlled with handheld remote, smartphone, voice controls, or the addition of an optional embedded rain sensor, the pergola can function fully autonomously. This sensor-equipped, smart pergola will monitor for showers, and automatically close its louvered roof at the first sign of rain.
Our high-quality pergolas are fabricated from advanced aluminum, powder coated for durability in South Florida’s humid and rainy climate. Each customized pergola is also engineered to stand up to the extreme winds common here. One of the features that enables wind resistance for both freestanding pergolas and those attached to the home is another autonomous sensor feature. When constructing a pergola, it is necessary to buffer against potentially damaging high winds. By incorporating a smart wind sensor, our pergolas watch for high wind gusts and autonomously open the louvered roof to mitigate damage from potentially-harmful updrafts.
The sun’s powerful rays in South Florida not only turn an uncovered patio into a massive heat-absorbing slab of stone, but also can be damaging to our skin as well. While it's essential to get your daily dose of vitamin D from some sun exposure, an adjustable louvered roof pergola will allow you to precisely manage the sun/shade balance on your patio. Our bioclimatic pergolas allow you to open the louvered roof to allow full sun to reach the patio. Then, as the sun creeps higher, you can partially close the louvers to create shade for your patio. With full control over sun/shade balance, you can keep your covered patio at the ideal temperature throughout the day.
One of the key features that separate adjustable louvered roof pergolas from other static roof patio covers is the ability to control the louvers. This not only impacts the sun/shade balance as mentioned above, but also allows you to control the air circulation on your patio, deck, or pool deck. Opening the louvered roof creates a natural vortex that pulls fresh air through the pergola. This circulation can be particularly cooling amid the humid days of summer. Our automated pergolas can even be equipped with a thermo sensor that tracks rising temperatures to automatically open the louvers as temperatures climb to help promote airflow.
Adding a pergola to your home in Palm Beach is a great way to bring some added style to your outdoor living space. It also expands your entertainment options, and positions your home to stand out from the rest of the neighborhood. Some additional benefits include:
Adding a patio cover to your backyard delivers an instant architectural accent to your outdoor space. The structure itself can be customized to match any color you can imagine, or even feature faux wood grains for a rustically chic look. Our pergolas are also designed with all of the assembly hardware hidden from view, so the exterior of the structure displays sleek lines that compliment any architectural style.
Our modern pergolas offer you the flexibility to create privacy on your patio. Sometimes the open style of a patio cover in Palm Beach is the perfect feel for an afternoon. If you have nearby neighbors or your home abuts a public beach, you may want the ability to shut out the outside world too. We can design your custom screened-in pergola with motorized retractable privacy screens that roll up into the pergola frame when not in use. For a more permanent level of privacy, fixed privacy walls can be fabricated from louvered panels that still promote airflow or solid panels that can house artwork or a wall of greenery to bring some landscaping right into the patio.
A pergola will instantly elevate your outdoor cooking and dining space. With the all-weather protection of high-end pergolas, a fully-appointed outdoor kitchen becomes a destination even during the tranquil afternoon showers of South Florida. When designing a pergola to accommodate live-fire cooking, our design teams will ensure the pergola height is perfectly suited to your ventilation needs to allow smoke, ash and heat to escape the covered patio. Controlling the sun and shade balance also means you and your guests are supremely comfortable dining in the midday heat.
Transforming your backyard, garden, patio, or pool deck into a functional and beautiful addition to your home will instantly boost its curb appeal. Outdoor cooking spaces and covered outdoor kitchen or entertainment spaces are increasingly on the must-have list for home shoppers too. So, whether you are looking to simply impress the neighbors or looking to position your home for future sale, a modern, high-tech pergola will deliver the style and functionality to elevate your home’s curb appeal.
If you are looking for the finest pergolas on the market, look no further than our manufacturing partner, Azenco. The company precision crafts each of our custom-designed pergolas to order at its facility in Miami, FL. Azenco uses only the finest quality aluminum, and highest-quality powder coatings in fabrication. Leveraging high-tech robot cutting machines, each custom extruded aluminum segment is first assembled at the Azenco factory to check its fit and fittings before being delivered to our project sites for expert installation.
The motorized adjustable louvered roof R-Blade features a gapless louver design which makes it the only louvered roof pergola on the market capable of sealing out rain when its roof is closed. Some other unique strengths of this product include:
Controlling the louver adjustments, embedded LED lighting, patio fan, etc. on the R-Blade pergola is incredibly intuitive. The pergola can be controlled with a handheld remote or smartphone, or integrated with common smart home technology for voice control.
Adjusting the louvers allows one to control the sun/shade balance on their patio, while also manipulating the space between the louvers also to adjust airflow through the outdoor living area. As the louvers are closed, the space between them constricts, and the air flow accelerates to squeeze through its gaps. This effect allows you to keep your patio cool with even the mildest of summer breezes.
R-Blade is a completely modular pergola design, and is custom built to the specifications of your Palm Beach residential or commercial outdoor project. Whether your project calls for a small pergola by a rooftop pool, or a massive pergola to cover an outdoor restaurant patio, R-Bade can adapt to your unique needs.
R-Blade can be outfitted with an integrated sensor package that monitors the weather, and adjusts its louvered roof in real-time, making it a fully-autonomous, smart pergola. Sensor options include:
The R-Blade’s louvers allow you to enjoy 50% more light on your patio than other louvered pergolas on the market. Azenco also employs whisper-quiet electric motors to control the louver operations, so you barely hear them spin to life. The R-Blade also features a unique dual motor design that helps mitigate warping of the louvers over time, limiting the potential for leaking on the patio below.
The R-Blade support columns are fabricated with thermo-lacquered aluminum called Qualimarine® and Qualicoat. These top-notch materials ensure durability, and enable the pergola to withstand the harsh weather in South Florida. The louvers are also crafted from extruded aluminum laid as dual walls to improve weather resistance and create a perfect seal.
If you are considering adding a pergola to your home, restaurant, or country club in South Florida, our custom-designed Azenco R-Blade will provide the beauty, durability, and functionality that you seek.
The R-Shade pergola creates full-time shade for a patio, deck, or pool deck. Some of its key features include:
The R-Shade is the ideal poolside shade maker, with key features including:
A solid-roof pergola delivers the utmost protection from sun and rain while also imparting style and luxury to any patio. R-Shade is an instant upgrade to your deck or terrace. R-Shade’s embedded accessories bring many indoor amenities to the outdoor living space. With no visible assembly hardware and a hidden internal drainage system, the R-Shade delivers clean exterior lines to seamlessly fit any home’s architectural style.
The R-Shade insulated roof pergola vs a patio awning is built to last. Fabricated by our manufacturing partner, Azenco, at its factory in Miami, FL, R-Shade is built from the highest quality aluminum and powder coatings. R-Shade’s 60 mm thick roof panels are designed to stand up to the harsh sun without fading over time, and torrential rains without oxidation.
Bioclimatic pergolas allow you to make the most of your deck space whether constructed over an outdoor kitchen outdoor, dining area, a pool, or spa. The full-time shade created by R-Shade is an ideal space for hosting dinner parties, relaxing with an afternoon cocktail or unwinding with the family. Outfitted with stylish outdoor furniture, a poolside pergola offers bathers a place to get out of the sun, while building a patio cover transforms your backyard into a luxury resort.
If you are looking for the comfort and style of a modern pergola without the hassle and expense of obtaining pergola permits, the K-Bana modular cabana is the ideal solution. Easily scalable from a simple 8x8 to expansive 12x12-foot cabana. The aluminum cabana design also allows completely customized footprints. K-Bana’s roof and walls can be solid aluminum panels, fixed louvered panels, or sliding louvered panels. With K-Bana, a luxury resort-style cabana can be added to your yard, deck, pool deck, or private beach.
Some features of the K-Bana include:
Carports are a popular home design feature in South Florida, offering protection for your vehicle from sun, rain, and storms. The R-Car Carport offers a stylish way to keep your car from baking in the sun, so the inside stays cool when you sit down. As a standalone or wall-mounted structure, R-Car keeps you dry when loading and unloading the vehicle during routine afternoon rain showers, and provides protection from hail, debris, and other potentially damaging storms.
Here are some of the characteristics of the R-Car:
Whether you are looking to add a terrace shelter to your home or an all-weather patio cover to your restaurant’s outdoor dining area, SYZYGY Global has the expert design and installation experience to ensure your project is top notch.
Most pergola projects will require local permitting before construction can begin, and having a team to help you navigate this maze is imperative. Each county in South Florida has slightly different codes regulating outdoor structures, so it’s important to work with a pergola design team and installation team familiar with the various idiosyncrasies of ever-evolving codes throughout the region.
Here are some examples of the pergola installations SYZYGY Global can create for you:
One of the best ways to upgrade your home’s outdoor living space is to add a patio cover. While basic patio covers like sun sails or umbrellas create shade on the patio, the modern smart pergola brings a new level of sophistication to your patio. A modern all-weather pergola from SYZYGY Global not only creates shade, but also protects the patio during rain showers, so you can host outdoor dinner parties, relax with family, or practice outdoor yoga all under your pergola. SYZYGY Global’s residential installation options include:
1. Freestanding Pergolas
A freestanding pergola is a great way to create shade in the middle of a yard, a pool deck, or overlooking the beach. Supported by four support columns, the motorized adjustable louvered roof provides full control of over the sun/shade balance, or can close tightly to seal out the rain.
2. Wall-Mounted Pergolas
A pergola attached to the home is supported by two columns and anchored to the home’s exterior wall to create a seamless indoor/outdoor living space. A wall-mounted pergola can feature an adjustable louvered roof or a fixed solid roof to create full-time shade. Adding an integrated fan beam allows the roof to support patio fans or LED lighting with hidden wiring.
3. Poolside Pergola
Whether freestanding or wall-mounted, a pergola is the ideal poolside retreat that brings an element of architectural style to the wide-open pool deck. The poolside pergola can be designed with motorized retractable privacy screens to offer a changing space for guests or to block the sun as it lowers on the horizon. The shaded space on the pool deck is also a great way to find respite from the sun’s harsh damaging rays.
4. Covered Outdoor Kitchen
Fully-outfitted outdoor kitchens are all the rage right now. Modern outdoor kitchens go well beyond a simple grill on the patio. Now you are likely to find all the amenities of an indoor kitchen with refrigeration, wood-fired ovens, smokers, and hot and cold water sinks. A modern all-weather pergola will ensure any outdoor meals and preparation are uninterrupted from unexpected showers, and keep your guests cool while they watch the show.
5. Outdoor Carport
Constructed on the driveway, either as a standalone carport or attached to the home, a carport will protect your prized vehicle from the harsh sun and rain. Not only will the car be cooler when you climb in, but you can also stay dry when heading out for a drive during South Florida’s notorious downpours. Adding retractable screens can also hide the vehicle from passersby, and the height of the pergola carport can scale to accommodate an RV or boat.
A pergola is a great way for commercial customers to protect outdoor seating areas, parking spaces, entryways, etc. Commercial projects of such grand scale require an especially experienced contractor, which is why SYZYGY Global has become the commercial pergola expert in South Florida.
Here are some commercial installation projects SYZYGY Global can handle for your business:
1. Outdoor Restaurant Bars and Terraces
Outdoor dining spaces can be massive profit-drivers for restaurants, especially here in South Florida. But, to ensure that added seating is ready to drive business, it needs to be usable regardless of the heat of the day or the passing afternoon shower. Adding a restaurant pergola to an outdoor dining space provides just that protection. Plus, the pergola brings a new level of style and comfort to patio dining. With sensor-controlled louvers built-in, a motorized louvered roof pergola can open and close autonomously as the weather changes.
2. Outdoor Areas for Country Clubs
An all-weather pergola is not only perfect for outdoor dining spaces at country clubs, but can also be used to protect other revenue-driving spaces. For example, adding sun and rain protection to a golf practice facility makes the space accessible to members regardless of weather. Staying cooler in the shade will keep members on the range for longer too. With the addition of high-tech interactive games, these covered driving bays can even host small gatherings for parties, weddings, etc.
3. Covered Entryways
Incorporating fixed-roof pergolas to the entryway of a restaurant, country club, or office building allows arriving guests to disembark their vehicles in cool comfort protected from the rain. An entryway pergola can take on any size, shape, and design to cover a single doorway or encompass a massive arrival zone with a stylish porte-cochère. SYZYGY Global is able to fully customize pergolas to seamlessly fit the existing building exterior, and even wrap through walkways to reach the entrance.
4. Covered Pool Deck Space for Resorts
Resorts throughout South Florida, from Miami Beach to West Palm Beach, are travel destinations for sun seekers looking to relax by the pool. Keeping guests comfortable with shade structures on the pool deck not only improves the guest experience, but also keeps revenue flowing to poolside bars, restaurants, and services. An all-weather pergola can be customized to create massive sweeping shade areas or smaller aluminum cabanas with privacy screens for guests.
5. Commercial Condominium Common Areas
Commercial condo associations thrive here in South Florida, and competition for residents can often be decided by the amenities the condo offers. Associations with covered outdoor living spaces can find a strategic advantage in this market by offering protected outdoor relaxation spaces, cooking stations, and covered rooftop decks.
6. Outdoor Area for Office Buildings
Tenants seeking commercial office spaces are often looking for their headquarters to make an impression on visitors and staff. Covered outdoor relaxation spaces can provide space for employees to enjoy a lunch outdoors and out of the sun. The dramatic design aesthetics of a modern pergola in a building courtyard can demonstrate to visitors that elegant businesses choose to do business with similar surroundings.
7. Outdoor Area for Malls
Outdoor shopping malls have numerous needs for covered outdoor spaces from outdoor dining, and covered parking spaces, to shaded spaces for shoppers to take a break or wait out a passing storm. Strategically placed pergolas through the mall property can keep shoppers frequenting the mall's retail vendors longer and more frequently. They also add a unique design element to the grounds.
Adding a pergola to your patio, deck, or backyard requires some serious preparation. For DIYers such a project will take some serious research. If you would prefer to streamline your patio enclosure project, partnering with an experienced local contractor, like SYZYGY Global, will ensure your pergola is completed on-time, on-budget, and in accordance with all regulations and best practices. Beyond the basic design elements to ensure your pergola matches your outdoor lifestyle and your home’s existing architecture, there are many unique engineering requirements particular to your property. Whether the project is a free-standing pergola on a pool deck or an attached terrace shelter, here are some of the factors that our design team will help you navigate before the first shovel goes into the ground.
The climate here in South Florida is tropical, often dominated by extreme humidity and frequent rain showers, and occasionally, powerful storms. How much these tropical conditions will impact your pergola will vary based on your local microclimate. For example, a pergola project in coastal Delray Beach will have different weather patterns to deal with than a more inland community like Parkland. Coastal properties may have more stringent hurricane-rated construction requirements than other municipalities as well. These factors can also impact design choices, like the style of roof you select, but will certainly affect the footings and fittings necessary to safely construct your pergola.
Determining how you plan to use your new covered patio space will inform a lot of the design choices for the structure. Do you want to allow the sun to reach the patio during the cooler mornings, and then close at the height of the day to block out the sun? Do you want full-time shade with a covered outdoor kitchen? Does the prevailing path of the sun on your property necessitate retractable curtains to block out the sun when it's too low in the sky? Our design team can craft a pergola design to accommodate any and all of these levels of sun protection.
Pergola project budgets vary greatly. The overall footprint of a pergola is usually one of the factors that most-directly impact projects budgets. It goes without saying that larger projects necessitate more materials, more complex engineering, and more complex installations. Other elements that will impact pergola cost in Palm Beach include the cost of permitting and chosen accessories to add to the core pergola structure. Accessories like integrated motorized screens, embedded LED lighting, patio fans, etc. tend to be highly sought after amenities. When we sit down with new customers for an initial consultation, budget is always an important part of the conversation, as we help steer your design choices in light of any budgetary constraints.
Our customers range from homeowners who plan to live in their current home for the rest of their lives to more transient owners that view their property as a short-term investment. If you are building a pergola to enjoy the rest of your life, you may be willing to make more personal customizations to fit your outdoor lifestyle, the size of your family, your very unique style preferences, etc. For example, you could customize the exterior powder coating to make your eyes pop during evening dinner parties. For homeowners focused more on the resale value of their home, more classic stylings may be preferable.
Deciding where you would like to build your new pergola will also be a key decision during the initial design conversations with our team. Pergolas can be built as standalone structures that create a shaded space on a pool deck, in a garden or in the middle of a backyard. Alternatively, pergolas can be designed to attach directly to the exterior wall of the home to create a seamless extension of your indoor/outdoor living space. Whichever your preference, our design team will work with you to make your pergola a stylish accent to your home’s existing exterior, your garden’s bespoke landscaping, or your pool deck’s relaxed atmosphere.
The final element you should consider as you prepare to sit down with our design team is how you would like your pergola oriented on your property. A couple things to consider when choosing the best pergola orientation for your home are the views of your property and the prevailing path of the sun over your home. For coastal homes, ensuring that your pergola is oriented to take advantage of the sweeping views of the horizon will be a key factor in its design. Pergola orientation can also address just the opposite issue by creating a privacy wall to block the view of a nearby neighbor’s yard or public right of way. The prevailing path of the sun will also help determine the design of your pergola’s louvered roof. Our designers will ensure the louvers open to allow the perfect amount of sun to reach your patio when the roof is open, while being able to block the sun when needed.
Patio covers can be fabricated from numerous materials. Some material selections have advantages over others. Depending on where the pergola will be placed, how it will be used, and the level of sophistication a customer seeks, different materials will offer their own advantages.
A galvanized steel pergola frame is extremely durable. The structure itself will stand up to high heat and extreme weather, including high winds. Additionally, steel will never rot to a point of failure like softer material like wood.
The higher cost of a steel pergola is one of the main disadvantages of using it to construct your pergola. In addition, untreated steel can oxidize quickly, resulting in an unattractive look and weakened structure.
Wood is one of the most common materials for building pergolas. As a readily available material, wood pergolas can be constructed by just about any qualified carpenter, and are easily painted or stained to fit a home’s color scheme.
Wood is one of the most common materials for building pergolas. As a readily available material, wood pergolas can be constructed by just about any qualified carpenter, and are easily painted or stained to fit a home’s color scheme.
However, wood deteriorates quickly, especially when subject to the constant sun and tropical rains seen in South Florida. It is common for wooden pergolas to require annual painting or waterproofing, and even this exterior protection can not prevent wood from rotting over time. With a wood pergola, maintenance hassles will be inevitable.
Plastic and vinyl pergolas are popular options for big box store DIYers. They can be assembled quickly, and come in several colorways, often muted tan, gray or white. These lightweight pergolas stand up well to rain as well.
The downside to these plastic and vinyl pergolas is their lack of long-term durability. They are susceptible to cracking. After prolonged sun exposure, vinyl is also prone to fading and warping. While fading colors might be acceptable for some homeowners, warping of the pergola could render it unusable and potentially a structural liability.
Aluminum pergolas offer the best combination of durability, design flexibility and style. Treated with a high-quality powder coating, an aluminum pergola will repel oxidation making it the ideal option for a pool deck. A lightweight-yet-strong material, aluminum pergolas can be placed just about anywhere, even on a roof deck or high-rise veranda. Custom extruded in single panels, an aluminum pergola will also have clean exterior lines that fit any style of architecture. The powder coating can also be customized to match any color imaginable, or be sublimated with wood grain for a rustic look.
Depending on the market rates for lumber, aluminum pergolas can sometimes be a slightly larger investment than wood, and will always carry a higher price tag than cheap materials like plastic or vinyl. Because all aluminum pergolas are fully customized to order, homeowners will need a bit of patience as the structure is fabricated to their request.
Ancient pergolas were usually limited to fixed slat roofs that did little to block the sun, and were unable to block out the rain. Modern pergola roofs can be fabricated from an array of materials depending on the level of shade and rain protection a homeowner may desire.
Modern outdoor fabrics are usually made of acrylic and are designed to be:
However, a fabric-roofed pergola comes with major disadvantages:
Fiberglass delivers some unique advantages such as:
The cons of using fiberglass include:
Trellises, or fixed slat roofs, have been a popular choice since pergolas were first introduced in Ancient Egypt. Pergola manufacturers incorporate trellised roofs into their designs because they:
However, fixed slat roofs:
Insulated sandwich panels are a modern design that have become increasingly popular because they:
The only real downside to insulated sandwich panel roofs is also an advantage for homeowners. The solid roof design is intended to create full-time shade. Homeowners looking for more flexibility in the patio’s sun/shade balance should explore an adjustable louvered roof design.
An adjustable aluminum louvered roof system is the most dynamic roof option available because it can:
When adding a pergola to your deck, patio, or pool deck, the size of the pergola is important. The overall footprint of the pergola needs to be appropriate to your home’s exterior, and accommodate your planned use of the new covered outdoor living space. This is why every SYZYGY Global pergola project is totally custom. Whether you are looking to add a freestanding pergola or one attached to your home, our design team works with you to fit your new pergola to your unique needs.
The pergolas we design are also uniquely suited to the routine high winds of South Florida. The R-Blade adjustable louvered roof pergolas crafted by our manufacturing partner, Azenco, feature extra sturdy 6.5 x 6.5-inch support columns, which are the largest in the industry. These sturdy posts, combined with properly engineered footings, maximize storm resistance, and allow us to design longer spans between columns.
Many pergola contractors rely on standard structures in their project designs. These standardized sizes are convenient for inexperienced contractors looking to streamline their design process. When a client wants to cover a patio, they simply flip to the pergola that accommodates that square footage and order it from their manufacturer. While standardized pergolas are convenient for the installer, and sometimes more affordable than a fully customized project, there are several reasons to eschew these standardized pergolas:
Does your pergola need a dedicated barbecue space, room for outdoor dining, or more private sections for guests to change for the pool? Regardless of how you plan to use your new outdoor space, our custom pergolas will heighten your outdoor life.
In industry parlance, each section of a pergola structure is called a “zone.” While custom pergolas can be built to infinite scale, individual pergola zones do have maximum dimensions determined by the manufacturer. Our manufacturing partner, Azenco, is able to craft adjustable louvered pergola zones up to a maximum span of 23’ x 15’. That means each pergola zone can cover up to 345 square feet, a massive area on its own.
Our design team often pairs multiple pergola zones together to fit odd-shaped outdoor spaces or to cover massive outdoor areas. For example, we designed a giant 3,550 square foot structure made up of 21 pergola zones for the legendary Boca West Country club in Boca Raton, FL. With independently adjustable louvered roofs, each zone can be opened to allow the sun to reach the outdoor dining space below, or closed to block out the rain.
Just about every pergola, regardless of style, will need to be properly anchored to maintain structural integrity and stand up to the regular tropical storms that impact South Florida. One of the initial steps in our design process actually starts not at the design table but with the soil in your backyard. Soil content is unique to every project, and can even vary greatly from your front yard to your backyard, especially with oceanfront properties here in South Florida. As we start to learn how you plan to use your new pergola-covered outdoor space, we will take soil core samples to determine what type of footings will be needed to support various sized pergola structures.
For pergolas built over a backyard patio or in a garden, the pergola footings will usually be cast in concrete pylons buried in the ground. In some cases, we are able to engineer a support structure that has its footings anchored to an existing patio or affixing the pergola to the roof or walls of a home. Whatever the design for this support structure, it needs to be engineered to meet the local building codes, and the design needs to be approved by local permitting departments. Solid structural and a pergola plans, created by a certified engineer, are a must for any pergola project.
The one exception to the required permitting is the Azenco K-Bana. We often recommend this cabana for projects where we find especially poor soil content. The K-Bana is a modular cabana system that allows us to mix and match various sized cabana sections to customize your structure. The K-Bana sits on integrated self-leveling footings, so it may be built on uneven surfaces. It often bypasses most local permitting requirements as well. The K-Bana can be designed with a louvered or solid walls and louvered roof, allowing us to fully-customize the cabana flooring.
We often design pergolas to be installed over an existing deck, patio, or pool deck. In these cases, our design team will work with you to ensure the new pergola structure accentuates the existing flooring below your pergola. For projects that will include an entirely new floor area, the sky's the limit when it comes to design considerations. The sleek exterior lines of our modern pergolas can accent an elegant marble patio, a rustic beach sand floor, an expansive patio of stone pavers, or anything in between.
The popularity of backyard pergolas has driven some DIYers to evaluate whether or not to take on projects on their own. While basic static-roof pergolas may be within reach for a skilled DIYer, the more advanced modern adjustable roof pergolas we customize for our customers are far more complicated projects. If you are considering tackling a DIY pergola project, there are some definitive pros and cons to going it alone.
If you have the skills to construct your own deck, you might be a candidate to design and build your own wooden pergola. Some benefits of taking on such a simple project on your own include:
However, the potential risks of taking on even a static-roof pergola project on your own include:
Purchasing a louvered pergola kit sometimes makes DIY pergola projects seem more approachable. Some of the benefits of opting for a pergola kit to self-install include:
Conversely, even these DIY kits require a working knowledge of construction practices. Some of the potential risks of taking on a pergola kit installation on your own, include:
Building a pergola is a major home renovation project. Given the numerous risks associated with a DIY pergola project, it is always preferable to recruit a qualified, experienced and skilled pergola specialist that will safeguard your pergola investment. Choosing a skilled professional means:
A modern pergola is the most dynamic patio cover solution on the market. It allows you to control the sun/shade balance on your patio and will offer you both sun and rain protection, will stand up to the weather, and can be outfitted with lighting, patio fans, etc. to bring many amenities to the patio. But, why should you choose a pergola rather than some of the other popular shade solutions out there? What makes a pergola a better option than a trellis, canopy or gazebo? Here are how these options differ:
The standard patio umbrella easily pops up and down when needed to create a small area of shade, but they are ill-equipped to block out the rain, and anyone that has tried to keep cool under a beach umbrella knows they have to constantly move their seating around as the small patch of shade moves throughout the day.
Shade sails are a popular option for homeowners looking for a step upgrade from a patio umbrella. Affixed to the home and/or free-standing foundations, the sail expands the footprint of the shade area, but its fabric is often prone to fading and fraying over time, and must be taken down in high winds.
A canopy, or static awning, is usually fabricated of canvass supported by an aluminum tube frame. A canopy creates both shade but minimal rain protection and the canvass is prone to fading and damage. Canvass canopies tend to billow in the breeze making popping sounds sometimes, and often need to be taken down in heavy winds to protect the frame from being bent.
Patio retractable awnings are a step up from the static awning. Still clad in canvas material, these structures can be cranked open and closed to offer some flexibility in the sun/shade balance on the patio. Unlike permanent pergola structures, these retractable systems tend to suffer in high winds and their scissor arms are prone to failing over time, and offer minimal rain protection.
Often seen in gardens, a trellis is a lattice of interwoven planks often made of metal, wood or vinyl. These structures are great for training vines to create a “roof” of plants, but do little to block the rain and only create shade once fully grown. In many cases, modern pergolas have replaced trellises in landscape designs because they offer better shade control, and more rain protection.
A gazebo is a permanent shade structure which usually provides good protection from the sun and rain. With traditional roofs, like that you would see on a home clad in shingles, these structures offer no flexibility in opening the patio to the sun when desired.
You are likely wondering, “How much does a patio cover cost?” Below we’ve outlined a table of prices for some of the more popular patio cover options. Of course, pricing varies by geography and based on market fluctuations largely out of the control of pergola contractors, so you may see some variation in your local area. In the South Florida area, you can expect:
|Awning||Average: $2,800 for a manual awning, up to $5,000 for a DIY retractable awning, custom retractable units can range much higher|
|Tent||$200 - $400 from your local big box hardware store|
|Custom-built louvered pergola attached to the house or standalone||As with any custom build, the customer’s design choices and quality of materials make a louvered pergola project budget quite fluid. While the overall footprint of the structure might account for 80% of the project cost, other customizations like embedded sensors for automating the louvers, outdoor patio screens and custom color matching for exterior powder coating, can also impact the project estimate.|
|Insulated roof pergola||$1,800-$7,000 for an 11’ square DIY kit. The cost for custom structures depends on the customer’s design choices, similar to louvered pergola projects.|
|Steel pergola||Steel pergolas range from $30 to $60 per square foot|
Some small DIY patio cover projects can be erected without securing permits from the local building official. If you are planning a simple patio cover like a pop-up tent, shade sail or basic latticework trellis, you can likely avoid the permitting process. Once you get into larger and more complex projects, like a modern pergola attached to the home, or a standalone motorized louvered roof pergola, securing the required permits will be imperative to successfully delivering your project on time and on budget while adhering to your local municipality’s code.
For the customized, automated pergola projects we build here at SYZYGY Global, several layers of permitting are standard. Throughout this permitting process, our skilled team will bring its years of experience navigating the permitting processes throughout South Florida. From securing approval on initial engineering, to electrical permits, to building permits and, eventually, certificates of occupancy, we will ensure your project flows as smoothly as possible. One additional level of approvals which may impact your pergola project would be the covenants of your Homeowner’s Association. If you are a member of an HOA, the association may prescribe where on the property a pergola can be constructed, which exterior colors are allowed, and the overall size of the structure, among other things. We often work with customers to help them navigate these covenants and approvals as well.
While we usually integrate permitting costs with project budgets, there are some projects that can be built without a pergola permit. Our manufacturing partner, Azenco, has created a unique customizable modular cabana called the K-Bana, which technically qualifies as “outdoor furniture,” and can often be built without a permit. Choosing a cabana project allows us to mix-and-match several size cabana modules to create unique outdoor living spaces complete with louvered walls, louvered roofs, sliding doors, and customized flooring. The entire custom structure sits on adjustable self-contained footings. Leveraging these unique self-leveling footings means we do not have to dig traditional concrete footings for the cabana.
The modern pergolas we construct are fabricated from high-quality aluminum and coated in a durable powder coating to stand up to the blazing sun, routine rain and constant humidity in South Florida. While this coating safeguards your investment for the longevity of your pergola, it also ensures the structure is extremely easy to keep clean. For routine cleaning, a gentle garden hose will wash away dust and light debris. If your pergola needs a bit more elbow grease, a gentle dish soap bath will handle most stains and messes. Beyond basic cleanings, the main issue to look out for is accumulating debris which is more common in wooded areas than here in the greater West Palm Beach area.
The hidden integrated gutter system in a modern pergola is an invaluable part of its design. The gutter system captures all of the rain water as it runs off the louvered roof, and channels it into hidden downspouts embedded in the support columns. If your backyard sees a lot of falling debris, such as leaves or pine needles, routine cleanings of the gutters and drainage outlets will help ensure your pergola continues to drain properly.
The modern aluminum pergolas we design and install require extremely little routine maintenance. As mentioned above, it is important to keep downspouts flowing, as you would with any of the drainage systems on your home. Beyond that, the best maintenance for your adjustable louvered roof pergola is simply to use it. As the motorized louvers open and close, they will self-lubricate, ensuring the system continues to work flawlessly for a long time.
Today’s modern, high-tech adjustable louvered roof pergolas are the most dynamic patio covers on the market. It is no wonder they continue to pop up on the most popular home renovation shows that dominate reality TV. This popularity has been reflected in the residential backyards, hotel pool decks and restaurant patios throughout South Florida as well.
Industry analysts have estimated the US aluminum pergola market was valued at $1.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow over the next several years. While pergolas have long been a favorite of exterior designers and landscape architects, it is the technological and design advancements seen in modern pergolas that are really driving this massive growth. The adjustable louvered roof pergolas we design are fabricated by our manufacturing partner, Azenco, which crafts the highest-quality aluminum pergolas on the market. What makes these pergolas truly stand out from the rest is a unique dual-walled louver that extends into the pergola frame to seal the roof when closed. This makes our pergolas better withstand the rain, keeping the patio below dry during routine South Florida rain showers, and keeping your outdoor space available to you rain or shine.
Another factor driving consumer adoption of modern pergolas was the years-long trend of homeowners spending more time at home. While the pandemic is finally behind us, there have been innumerable lingering effects from the worldwide ordeal. Some of those hold-overs are part of the silver lining of those long years too. With families spending more time at home, many homeowners sought to upgrade their outdoor living and entertainment spaces. Adding a pergola to an existing patio, or creating a flexible outdoor shade space on a pool deck, was an easy way to spend more time outdoors with family and friends.
The last couple of years also saw stylish outdoor living spaces becoming a sought-after amenity for home buyers. Many home sellers learned that investing in a dynamic shade solution for their backyard patio would increase property values and offer a unique amenity that allowed their property to stand out in a crowded housing market.
Commercial interest in modern pergolas has also been a driving force in the industry for the last few years, and the pandemic dining paradigms only served to escalate that demand. For restaurateurs, hoteliers, operators of private clubs and golf courses, etc., adding shaded and rain-protected outdoor dining spaces creates new square footage that can be monetized in any weather. Most of these commercial projects pay for themselves in one season.
The US pergola market has certainly grown exponentially over the last few years, and, as industry analysis continue to reinforce, the demand for high-quality, luxury pergolas will continue to expand for years to come.
Here in South Florida, pergola projects often include fully-customized luxurious designs. From the opulent home designs of West Palm Beach to the art deco stylings of South Beach Miami, homeowners expect their outdoor living spaces to seamlessly fit with the rest of their beautiful homes. The pergolas we design for the discerning South Florida market not only bring new levels of functionality to the patio and pool deck, but they deliver the luxury stylings that homeowners expect. Whether choosing a solid-fixed roof pergola attached to the home for its full-time shade qualities, or a standalone motorized louvered roof design that allows them to control the sun/shade balance on the patio, homeowners in South Florida routinely choose to incorporate numerous modern amenities into their residential pergola designs. These include patio fans, integrated LED lighting, and retractable shade and privacy screens that roll up at the touch of a button. Most popular among our customers here in South Florida, though, are smart sensors which make the pergola operations fully autonomous. These sensors monitor for rain and automatically close the louvered roof at the first sign of rain, and track wind speeds to automatically open the roof should potentially damaging gusts be detected.
Whether catering to seasonal tourists or year-round residents, the many restaurants, hotels and private clubs that populate South Florida have also been keen adopters of modern pergolas. SYZYGY Global’s work can be seen in many restaurants and clubs throughout the region, from the Grille at Martin's Landing in Hobe Sound, FL to the famed Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, FL. With each of these projects, the restaurants and clubs created new square footage into which they expanded their dining spaces. With their outdoor dining spaces protected from the mid-day sun and routine afternoon showers, property managers could confidently rely on the revenue for these spaces regardless of the afternoon showers. Demand for all-weather outdoor dining spaces continues to expand throughout the region.
Modern pergolas can truly transform any outdoor space. Whether you are looking to create some shade on a sunbaked backyard patio, or looking to maximize your restaurant’s revenue, you can reach out to our design team to explore a dynamic, luxurious and functional pergola for your property right now.