Why Are Pergolas Not Covered?

With residential construction starting to pick up once again, homeowners are beginning to look into renovations. Homeowners that are looking for a place to relax and get out of the summer sun may want to look at adding a pergola.

This is especially true if they have children or pets since both are not safe in the sun. You may be wondering, will they really provide enough shade? So maybe you are wondering, why are pergolas not covered?

Pergolas are intended only to provide protection from direct sunlight and are not designed to act as a roof. They offer a sitting area that allows for breeze and sunlight and provides climbing plants for a structure to grow on.

So another question you may have is how much sun do they really block?

How Much Sun Does A Pergola Blocks?

Pergolas is a great way of providing shade for your outdoor entertaining areas. They can also serve as a focal point if styled correctly – adding interest to your backyard landscape design.

People at times ask how much sunlight does a pergola block? This question is one that really depends on the type of pergola, the location, and the geometry of the pergola itself.

But a simple answer is, pergolas will block out a lot of the sunlight. They can be designed to block out up to 80 percent of the sun depending on the specific pergola design or where it’s located. While they are covered with vines, they can provide more shade and a beautiful rustic backdrop to a garden.

A pergola can be used to provide some degree of privacy as well. As you can imagine, on a nice sunny day, people can often look through a fence and see into your backyard.

When you include a pergola in the backyard design, it can block some areas of your garden especially when it’s filled with climbing plants. So it is an added benefit for privacy reasons.

How Do You Cover A Pergola For More Shade?

People often times wonder how to go about covering a pergola for more shade. After all, the main reason someone wants to cover their pergola is to get some shade in an area that might not normally receive any at all or otherwise.

To attain this goal, you need durability, affordability, and good aesthetic value. On that note, I hope that you find below how to cover a pergola for more shade easily.

Custom Fabric

If you are looking for an inexpensive yet elegant way to have more shade for your pergola, using outdoor fabrics is a great solution. It’s easy to customize and can blend into any type of outdoor space. So it fits into the decor of your garden or backyard.

The world is your oyster when using fabric cover for your pergola. It comes in a wide variety of designs, colors, and sizes that will suit your desire and budget.

Retractable Cover

Another means for adding cover on your pergola is to use a retractable cover. It can be a simple DIY solution.

A retractable canopy is compatible with most type of pergola frames like the ones that are made of wood. Using it is as simple as a pulling a cord or pushing a button. Retractable covers will provide a full shade whenever you need it or if you prefer to bask under the sun then you can simply retract the covers.

Rectractable covers comes in a wide variety of designs, patters and colors. You will never have difficulty on matching the designs on your pergola.

Solid Panels

While solid panels can be more expensive than the previous options, they are the best solution if you want a less hassle approach. You don’t need to store them during winter or replace them on every changing seasons.

Some common materials used for panels are steel, aluminum, tin and wood. Most homeowners will never have any problems using those for covering their pergolas.

But if just want to stay dry without blocking too much sun then polycarbonate is perfect for the job! It can block direct sunlight but not so much to the point that it will create too much shade.

Climbing Plants

Pergolas have been used throughout history to support vines and climbing plants.  A natural plant cover is a great solution if you love the concept of living on a covered pergola. A pergola that is lively, lush and adopts with the seasons.

While the size of your pergola will help determine how many plants you can add and which type to use. Choosing climbing plants that have large leaves and grows densely will provide more coverage on your pergola area.

What Is A Pergola With A Roof Called?


A standard pergola is usually an open-sided structure that features either a lattice-trellis or flat crossbeam cover to offer some level of protection against the elements. While these open-sided structures are very often very visually appealing, some homeowners might have a problem with a lack of adequate wind, rain, and snow cover.

This is where pavilions could prove to be a more appropriate solution for some homeowners.

Pavillons can be designed to cover a larger area of a patio or garden, which will allow for easy use as a functional, entertaining area or for purely aesthetic reasons.

The various designs used to make these open-sided structures can be quite impressive, featuring plants and trees in abundance, as well as plenty of seating and perhaps even an attractive fire pit. Various materials can be used to make these structures, including aluminum, cast iron, wood, and many others.

Some of the structures can be quite elaborate, while others are designed to look more simple and minimalist.

However, if you decide on going with a pavilion instead of a pergola, you should consider the layout and size of the patio to determine which type of pavilion would be best suited for your home or garden.

Pergola vs. Pavilion?

The real question here is, is it better to build a pergola or a pavilion?

Pergolas can be very helpful when entertaining guests and providing shade during the summer months and even providing rain protection in the spring months. Pavilions, on the other hand, provides great shade for your guests while you are outside but also has many other benefits.

You’ve probably been on the fence between choosing a pavilion or a pergola for your backyard and have been searching for an expert opinion. In this section, we will help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a pergola or a pavilion.

Protection From The Weather

Pavilions provide a better way to shelter you and your guests from bad weather while you are outside compared to a pergola. Whether it be from rain, wind, or sun. It provides excellent rain protection in the spring because of the water-resistant roofing material used on the pavilion.

It also provides excellent shade for you and your guests in the summer because of its high sidewalls and roof that protects from the sun. And it provides excellent wind protection because the materials used are extremely sturdy and well-built to withstand the gusts of extremely strong winds.

Easier Maintenance

It is said that (maintaining a pergola) is easier than maintaining a pavilion. Because pergolas are freestanding, they do not typically need the same level of attention that pavilions require.

Over time, though, pergolas are prone to rusting, falling down and need to be repaired on a frequent basis. If well-maintained, like a pavilion, a pergola can still last for many years.


Here’s the real question, is it better to build a pergola or a pavilion?

The cost of a pergola will depend on where you live and the availability of the materials.

Advancements in technology have made pergolas stronger and more durable. If you have the money, then a pavilion is a great choice, they’ll cost more money but provide a lot more benefits.

But if you are on a tight budget, then a pergola would be a great choice too.


Pergolas are only meant to provide protection from direct sunlight and are not intended to serve as a roof. They can be designed to block out up to 80 percent of the sun depending on the particular pergola design or where it’s located. They will also provide greater shade and a beautiful rustic background to a garden when they are covered with vines.

Pergolas have been used to support vines and climbing plants throughout history and if you use plants with larger leaves and that grow densely then they will provide more cover.

Pavilions have more protection from bad weather compared to a pergola. Pergolas are freestanding so that pavilions do not require the same care.

The cost of a pergola depends on where you live and the materials available. If you have the money, a pavilion is a great option, they’ll cost more money but provide a lot more benefits