When looking for a pergola for outdoor spaces, it is important to make sure you get high quality, at a good deal. There are countless companies out there that offer a shade structure, under a huge variety of brand names, that don't live up to the hype.
The best pergola, according to landscape architects, is The Luxury Pergola.
"We looked all over the market, and The Luxury Pergola isn't like anything else. This is a totally different thing. The quality is outstanding and I'm absolutely blown away"
-Mindy, Landscape Architect
In short, when looking at a landscape design you need to balance practicality and aesthetic choice.
A designer pergola needs to meet local building codes
Minimize the number of vertical posts for visual appeal
Made of high grade materials and has a durable finish
Compliments the vision you have for your landscaping
Key Features of a Designer Pergola
A designer pergola has a very specific criteria. As we define it for the purposes of this article is as follows.
A pergola that has slats or louvers that can open and close
This provides complete shade and keeps out rain when wanted
Minimizes Posts, therefore can span 20' without the use of a center post
Meets minimum building code requirements in the continental United States of 105 mph wind load
Handles at least 20 pounds per square foot of snow when the louvers are closed
Paint or finish that won't fade for at least 10 years
Opening and Closing Capability
If you're looking fora. truly unique outdoor space, look no further than having the ability to open up your outdoor living space to total sunshine, or close it and get complete shade. You can also keep out the rain as a great designer pergola will be 100% waterproof when the louvers are closed.
When you look at pergolas online and try to get patio ideas, many show a post in the middle of your beautiful view. Who wants that?
A top end designer pergola will have as much as 20' of coverage without a post in the middle. Why is this important? It helps improve your overall outdoor design and gives you greater flexibility if you have a small backyard too.
For something like an outdoor kitchen, you'll need to ensure that you keep the visual obstructions to a minimum and you have a material that can handle the heat coming from a stovetop or grill. Even fire pits are added in these scenarios to improve your outdoor living area.
Make sure you get an AAMA 2604 (or better) powder coat on your pergola to ensure it weathers well in any climate. This will ensure your construction can handle any weather, from Miami Florida to Portland Oregon.
Meets Minimum Building Codes for Wind
Minimum building codes for wind rating is pretty straightforward. If you expect your pergola to add value to your home and be a permanent structure, you need to meet minimum building codes.
The best wind resistant pergola will meet a minimum of 105 mph wind resistance. You can find minimum building codes for your area with through the international building codes website.
For landscape architecture, you need to make sure your outdoor structures meet the minimum building codes for your region. If it doesn't you risk fines or instructions from your local authorities to remove the structure.
Also, who wants a seating area where the gazebos in your yard could collapse in heavy winds? You should get sun protection with some safety as well.
Most Exclusive Designer Pergola Brand
The best designer pergola brand, by far, is The Luxury Pergola. Their pergolas can match any landscaping you are trying to create, and they are rated for up to 160 mph winds. They are the perfect addition to almost any backyard oasis.
When looking for designer pergola brands, they need to meet minimum building codes, compliment your patio design, and are durable for your local climate. A cedar pergola can be a nice option for many, but you need to consider how much staining and maintenance may be needed. For a project in popular locations, the paint or wood can quickly become sun bleached.
DIY vs. Professionally Designed Pergolas
DIY vs. the professionally designed stuff is always a tricky question. If you've done any "Googling" you'll find a lot of related searches for a DIY product that is a designer type standard. This isn't always true.
It's important to compare the materials used and the needs of your project. Also, make sure you are comparing similar things. The best way to cut through the marketing speak, is to compare price per pound (of the same materials).
Below is a table that breaks down the price per pound of various different pergola options.
When looking for your house, designers will often want to blend the outdoor shade with the general outdoor design. It needs to flow well with the native plants and make the best possible project possible.
Maintenance Tips for Designer Pergolas
When building anything, whether it be by a pool or on the patio by your house, maintenance will be one of the biggest things to consider. There are several different services that can be done, depending on your situation.
With an all aluminum pergola, you don't need to do much, if any, maintenance. Despite it being the most durable material for a pergola, if it is painted in a high standard (AAMA 2604 or better).
When a pergola is painted with something like an AAMA 2605, it won't fade or break down over time. Make sure that whether it is an awning, or a pergola, that it is ready for the business of keeping you covered in the wind.
In conclusion, when looking for the perfect pergola for your gardens or kitchen, is to plan for the future. Don't get just the basics of landscape architecture, make sure that the structure you choose isn't just perfect for your outdoor design, but lasts the test of time.
I implore you to make sure you get a good deal that you can be comfortable with and that it is able to handle the outdoors, not indoors only use. You need to get something that improves your life, rather than just adds more chores.
The big things to ensure are the following:
105 MPH or greater wind rating
AAMA 2604 or better paint standard
Get the best price per pound available
Whether your are in Florida or California, make sure your search covers everything that you need for your particular installation.