louvered pergola

Best Pergola For High Winds: The Luxury Pergola

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Many people are looking for a pergola that can handle strong winds, and survive the hurricane force winds of hurricane season, or just get piece of mind in a major storm. The answer is generally pretty simple:

Outside of the Luxury Pergola, a pergola's ability to withstand heavy winds will largely be dependent on the engineering requirements and the materials used. The biggest thing to look for is wind rating when everything closed tight.

You should look for the following:

  • A Pergola with a wind rating over 130mph CLOSED

  • Heavy duty mounting mechanisms (Stainless steel is best)

  • No disclaimers about high winds (ex. open the louvers or remove the louvers)

  • Customer Testimonials about handling strong winds

  • Check local building requirements to see what you need

Find Your Building Codes for a Pergola

A hurricane proof pergola or a hurricane rated pergola is a very specific product. It needs to be able to handle very high winds in the worst case scenario imaginable. Now pergolas usually are fairly open structures and most popular outdoor structures don't get anywhere close to meeting building codes.

A great source for checking your local building codes would be at the link below. This is ratings with the pergola closed (if louvered). The line to look for is pictured above the button.

What to look for when finding the wind rating for your building code.

Check Your Wind Codes

Understanding The Market

Comparison of best wind resistant pergola options

When you're looking for a pergola for high winds, don't get duped by disclaimers like "with the louvers open". This isn't something building authorities will accept and a few popular choices uses this exact language to dodge improper engineering for their wind ratings.

Deception in Wind Ratings

When you start your search for a wind resistant pergola, there is a lot of fluff and, quite honestly, deception that customers have to wade through. A wind resistant pergola design takes into account material, moment of overturn, and should be designed with the worst case scenario in mind.

Watch out for the following terms:

  1. Wind Ratings "With Louvers Open"

  2. "Open the Unit in Heavy Wind"

There are huge discrepancies in what is advertised and what a product can accomplish generally. Most pergolas cannot handle over 115 mph winds (many below 80mph) and therefore don't have the structural integrity to handle exceedingly high winds.

Materials to Consider

ArmorFinish Powdercoat for low maintenance pergola

Metal pergolas tend to have the greatest longevity when facing high winds, and there are very few high wind resistant pergolas on the market that customers can choose from.

The other factor to consider is paint. The perfect pergola will need a paint that can handle very intense sun. To avoid a fading metal look after just a few years, make sure the powder coat is rated for (at minimum) an AAMA 2605 rating.

Unfortunately there is only 1 pergola on the market that can truly claim a hurricane proof pergola, has an AAMA 2605 rating and doesn't ask you to open the louvers if the winds get too aggressive.

That's The Luxury Pergola.

What is a Wind Resistant Pergola?

wind resistance chart

A wind resistant pergola design focuses on the ability of a pergola to handle the winds in a hurricane-prone area, emphasizing the importance of durability and sturdiness, particularly with aluminum pergolas.

Understanding the wind load is crucial to bypass the "fluff" that most manufacturers add to their pergola's capability to withstand strong winds. This involves selecting the best materials for a wind-resistant pergola and ensuring proper installation and structural support to enhance its capacity to withstand high winds.

Almost everyone will claim they have a "hurricane rated pergola", but this term raises several questions. What does "hurricane rated" mean?

Typically, what a manufacturer will do is remove the slats or louvers and just rate the frame. The Costco Mirador Adjustable Louvered Aluminum Pergola advises that the customer should remove their louvers in high wind and storms.

Even more galling is that some ask you to open the louvers in heavy winds. Who is going to go outside to open their pergola in heavy winds?

Who is going to do that? No one.

Most Durable Material for a Pergola

pergola with durable material

The most durable material for a pergola is aluminum, known for its exceptional wind resistance and longevity. However, when considering pergola materials, it's essential to compare aluminum with other options like wood, steel, fiberglass, and vinyl.

Wood Pergolas

Wood pergolas can offer a strong build quality, but they are susceptible to weathering and may not withstand severe conditions as well as other materials. Steel, while sturdy, can corrode over time if not properly treated.

Fiberglass Pergolas

Fiberglass pergolas are gaining popularity due to their durability and resistance to warping and rotting, making them a good choice for areas prone to harsh weather conditions.

Vinyl Pergolas

Vinyl, especially metal-reinforced vinyl, is another viable option, offering good wind resistance and minimal maintenance, though it may not match the strength and durability of aluminum.

Material to Look For: Aluminum pergolas

The thing to look for is a structure that is made of extruded aluminum and has easy installation. Getting some kind of coverage from the rain, as well as shade for those long sunny days, is also incredibly important.

Ultimately the best thing to consider is pergolas that open and close. The pergola cost is the biggest consideration for your patio.

Next, we will look at other structures and what the term “hurricane force” means in the context of a pergola in your back yard.

What does "Hurricane Force Winds" mean?

kermit looking at rain

The best thing to look for is a DIY louvered pergola kit. If you get the right one, you can get something with solid construction for your project and one that is easy to install. A louvered pergola can stand against hurricanes and keep your backyard shaded from the sunlight when the harsher elements roll around.

Hurricane rated pergola means that the pergola can handle storms and winds with greater than 130 mph winds WITH the louvers on the pergola CLOSED. Anything less than that is just ridiculous marketing speak.

The best pergolas for Florida will be a structure that can maintain their color during the punishing sun and also withstand the high winds and offer true storm resistance. The Luxury Pergola louvered roof is easily the best option for this.

Checking for Wind Resistance and Harsh Weather

water resistant pergola structure

Alright let's figure out what to look for with a wind resistant pergola. There are a wide variety of durable pergola designs, but what is the best aluminum pergola?

You can go one of two ways, either louvered pergola kits, or custom pergola options with a wind sensor. Why a sensor for wind? Because the pergola can only handle winds in certain conditions.

When you are checking for the wind resistance of your pergola do the following:

  • Find max wind load on the website or manual

  • DOUBLE CHECK FINE PRINT. Many times the wind tolerance is with parts of the pergola removed or louvers open.

One of the most ridiculous things we see is a pergola structure that gives a high winds rating, but only with the louvered roof open or the louvers removed. It won't withstand inclement weather in most situations.

Pricing of Durable Pergola Styles

prices of many pergolas made of aluminum

Now when looking at pergola kits with a roof, the price of the pergola becomes a huge concern. Materials are the driving factor of putting a pergola in your outdoor space.

The most popular option is by far the Struxure pergola. The Struxure Pergola cost is the biggest issue for most people when the look at building something nice on their deck or garden.

If you want the best deal to install a hurricane rated pergola on your deck, look at Louvered Pergola kits. You can get high quality materials, with great construction and installation for an incredibly affordable price.

The difference in price is the kits (which can match engineering requirements of the larger units) are usually 50% of the price of a custom unit.

Getting a Permit

Some local building codes will require a permit before you build permanent stationary structures. For this, you need proper engineering.

When getting a permit, you will need to get a standard engineering package from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer claims they can handle hurricanes or meet your building codes this shouldn't be problem.

Usually companies will charge a small fee to get the engineering package stamped for your particular state, but it will tell your building authority how much wind the particular unit can take, and clarify that it is sturdy and not made from lightweight material.

Wrap Up

Pergola outside house

When looking for a wind resistant pergola, look for the following:

  • Made from Aluminum

  • Withstand 130 mph Wind

  • Appealing Style

If you can meet those requirements then you can create great outdoor structures with ease.

Shop Louvered Pergola Kits

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