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Do you have an area behind your house which you would love to make more use of, but find that it is too hot or windy in summer and too open to the rains to really use to its full potential? Perhaps it is the front deck or balcony of your home which needs additional protection from the elements, or simply needs to have an extra touch of appeal added to it.
Pergolas are the ideal solution to such problems, particularly if you do not want to commit to the permanence and cost of building solid walls and roofs over these areas. A pergola is a sturdy open-framework structure, usually made of wood or metal, with vertical posts or pillars that support a roof-like arrangement of cross-beams. A pergola specialist will provide you with an answer which will fit all your needs.
Pergolas are one of the most effective and useful additions to a home, providing both aesthetic value and extended living and entertainment areas. These structures may be found in both backyard areas and at the front of houses to provide shelter, shade and a framework for planting and awnings. They are solid, immovable structures which come in many forms, many of which are designed specifically for the individual needs of the homeowner and to suit the design of the property or to provide an eye-catching focal point in the garden.
Pergolas may be left in their natural state as a statement structure or covered with shadecloth, wooden droppers or luxuriant plant growth to enhance their usefulness and functionality. Pergolas provide a fashionable and alternative source of shade in areas where this is badly needed, and where large temporary umbrellas would be an unsuitable option. Umbrellas have a well-known tendency to succumb to strong winds which either tear or knock them over with ease. A pergola is a strong structure, immune to wind and, if properly treated with varnish, paint or sealants, able to withstand years of strong sun and rain.
Whilst pergolas were originally more popular as overhead shelters for walkways and as frames upon which heavy ornamental vines and creepers such as wisteria,
bougainvillea, ivy, honeysuckle and jasmine and fruiting vines such as grapes, passion-fruit, melons and kiwi-fruit were supported, they have become a fairly standard feature in most gardens. They extend the entertainment areas of a home, providing shade and shelter from the elements, and allowing more use to be made of gardens by acting as external rooms such as braai areas and sheltered seating areas. They often form part of outdoor decking designs, allowing for outdoor dining and seating in different weather conditions. In both residential and small commercial use, pergolas may be used as an alternative to shade parking, since they can support both canvas and vinyl coverings as well as plants which provide shade. Pergolas may be attached to a building to extend the entertainment area immediately outside the house, or be erected as stand-alone features in a garden.
As pergolas are becoming more and more popular, specialists in the building of these structures are becoming easier to find. Although you may certainly commission a carpenter or knowledgeable handyman to erect a simple pergola, it is best to use specialists if possible, as they are able to offer the widest range of designs and sizes to suit your individual needs. Online searches through sites such as Uptasker will speed up the process since this site has the advantage of listing services in geographical areas, enabling you to quickly find the right specialist in your own locality. If supplier webpages are available, you will be able to check designs and quality online, and request quotes from different suppliers if you know exactly what you want.
Be sure to check online ratings and customer reviews, where possible, as these will give you the best indication of customer satisfaction levels. Pergola specialists may also be found through home and garden magazines, building and architectural publications and the Yellow Pages. Enquiries through reputable construction companies may yield the names of their own preferred suppliers. If possible, use word of mouth referrals from people you know and trust who have dealt with a particular supplier and have been totally satisfied with the end result.
Shade pergolas are so much more than simple attachments to homes and commercial enterprises such as restaurants, cafes and garden centres which offer outdoor restaurant facilities. They provide highly attractive, functional, effective and welcome outdoor seating areas. For more tips, see our pergola specialists’ articles.
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