Installing a pergola in your garden enables you to protect yourself from the sun and thus to create shade for your outdoor space. A pergola is the ideal solution to create shade for a patio, if you choose a wall-mounted pergola, or to shade a place in the garden, in the case of a freestanding one. However, it is absolutely necessary to find a way to shade your pergola for it to be effective.
Shading a pergola: modern roofs
Effectively shading your pergola is essential if you wish to create a new living space. As for contemporary aluminium pergolas, it is essential to select the right roof to be able to enjoy all the comfort that is offered by pergola builders today. Here are the most common roofs for modern pergolas:
- the transparent polycarbonate roof is treated against UV rays. It does not create shade as such but protects from the sun's rays;
- the double-glazed roof can be treated with argon for better solar protection;
- the aluminium sandwich panel is perfectly filtering and creates shade under the pergola while preserving natural daylight.
These roofs can be enhanced with many options, such as an opening roof or a skylight.
Classic roofs to shade a pergola
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to a 'classic' roof for a pergola. You can choose a permanent roof, which will cover the pergola regardless of the weather and heat. You can also choose a movable or retractable roof. This is the case of bioclimatic pergolas and we will come to them in the final paragraph. A few roof ideas for pergolas:
- reed screening creates shade to protect you from the sun's rays. You can choose among bamboo, wicker, briar and bulrush;
- a retractable sail is a horizontal canopy that is held in place by cables. It can be raised from spring to autumn according to the position of the sun and the place you wish to shade;
- a bamboo panel consists of woven bamboo canes and measures around 2 metres wide, which creates an attractive yet solid roof;
- a pergola shade sail is a canopy stretched over the structure and can be removed during the winter season;
- a wooden roof is often made of slats to create a sun blind effect.
The equipment to shade a pergola
Once you have chosen your roof material, you can add equipment that will bring even more shade to your pergola. One often incorrectly imagines that only a roof can create efficient shade under a pergola. The covering is the main element of a pergola and it is essential to make a strategic choice. However, a roof is not the only way to shade your pergola. Depending on the position of the sun or your need for decoration, you can decide on other types of equipment: a sun blind is installed under the roof. You can manually select its degree of opening according to the position of the sun; motorised vertical blinds not only enable you to create shade under the pergola, but also protect your privacy; curtains, like blinds, create shade and privacy and are also very decorative.
Creating shade by greening your pergola
There are several easy possibilities to green a pergola. The first is to create a green roof. The construction of the frame is very important for this. If the pergola is wall-mounted, the roof beams are assembled perpendicular to the wall. You should then plant one or more climbing plants around thirty centimetres from one of the posts of your pergola. The climbing plant will flourish on the structure and roof and will shade your pergola within a few months. The second solution is to create a trellis on the side to be shaded. Thanks to your climbing plants, the sun's rays will be blocked before they penetrate the pergola. Concerning the varieties of climbing plants, you can plant the following without hesitation: Virginia creeper, wisteria, climbing rose, clematis, sweet pea, jasmine, etc. The list is long, colourful and sweetly scented! Another idea to create shade under your pergola is to plant a tree! You might not necessarily think of it, but there are so many types of trees that you are sure to find one that will suit your garden. In addition, it will provide shade all through the year while decorating the surroundings of the pergola.
The bioclimatic pergola: for bespoke shade
Modern, attractive and practical, everybody's talking about bioclimatic pergolas! They have adjustable louvres that can be motorised or manually operated. This particularity provides protection from the sun and also enables you to control the elements. By tilting the slats up to 135°, you can create natural ventilation to air your pergola in case of intense heat. You can enjoy the sunshine when it is not too strong and shade your pergola when necessary. You can also protect yourself from bad weather by closing the retractable slats of the bioclimatic pergola if there is a sudden shower!
Interested in a pergola project? Get the support of our AKENA technician-adviser to carry out your project!
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