Ideas for Pergola Covers

Pergola covers can be quite pricey. While canopies look beautiful in magazines they may not provide you with all of the shade and UV protection that you need. Plus, most of these pieces are practically disposable because they just last for a few years. There are some DIY projects that are available to you that will save you money on the initial costs even if they don’t last as long.

Outdoor fabric is pretty expensive. However, look for unconventional materials. One of these is a drop cloth. It’s supposed to be pretty resistant to water. It’s also a way to get a lot of yardage and width. Sometimes when you’re trying to cover a pergola you’re going to need a lot more width than is available in most fabric choices. Plus, it’s the cheapest fabric option. Whenever you use unconventional outdoor fabrics, you need to check them regularly to make sure that they aren’t developing mold or mildew. You also need to keep them away from flames like you’d find in a barbecue or outdoor lanterns.

The key to making a pergola cover is to use smaller strips. This allows you to weave them between the slats and crossbeams. The weaving process is important because it helps to weigh down the fabric. It creates a canopy effect underneath, but there’s also a practical purpose for it. If you just had one large pergola cover the wind would come along and rip it quite easily. So it is important to secure it properly. Probably the most extensive part of this process is putting in the grommets so that you can hang it up.

If you’re going with a name brand company like Sunbrella then you can get a higher quality design and fabric, although you will pay more money. One of these is a retractable effect. This type of pergola focuses more on fabric instead of a lot of crossbeam structures for shade. While I love the look of pergolas sometimes when I’m underneath them I find that it doesn’t provide as much shade, or even casts a weird light. However, using a canopy option provides more shade and a better quality of light.

There are retractable versions available but be aware when it’s open, you really don’t have any shade. This is just because there aren’t going to be cross beams. This is probably the most modern style of pergola cover. However, if there are several awnings or valances on the side then this will feel more traditional. Look for plain colors and stripe fabrics to keep it pretty neutral. You don’t want to go with bolder trendy colors here because it is so expensive and you want it to last as long as possible, at least from a design standpoint.

You can also implement your pergola cover into the actual design. Of course, this requires that you plan ahead, but it’s the most durable and sleekest option available to you. Some outdoor fabric even though it’s pretty expensive just has a warranty of up to three years. If you’re using unconventional options where you live in a really harsh climate then it’s probably going to wear out even before then.

The most modern aesthetic actually uses cedar slats and even goes down into walls. This type of wood will be more expensive. However, if you have a cement patio it does add a lot of character to the space. We are seeing stone patios a lot more than wood decks. However, consider maintenance in this instance. Think about how difficult it is take care of the deck and then consider all of the staining and painting above your head or on a ladder. Also, consider the shade before you start building. You may need closer slats and hanging up typical patio covers might be more difficult later on.

Outdoor fabrics tend to work better in some styles than others. This still means that they can work with the modern aesthetic. However, pergolas tend to go in more of a traditional direction just because of all of the wood posts. If you paint your pergola gray then this can mimic a stainless steel post but it’s a lot cheaper. There are steel pergolas available but they are expensive and not the best if you want to train a climbing plant onto them. Keep this sleek looking with a plain white shade. Most pergola covers won’t last forever but they do provide you with a lot of shade and atmosphere.