Adding a pergola to your outdoor space can instantly transform your basic backyard into another living area. Pergolas offer shade, rain protection and can be a beautiful architectural focal point. All pergolas are not created equal, though. Material, construction, and aesthetics are all factors to be considered, as well as overall size. But choosing the right structure for your needs doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Keep reading to see just what to consider in a backyard pergola.

Solid metal structure keeps rain and sun out, comes with shades for full privacy and requires very little upkeep. Erommy

Pergolas come in a variety of shapes, sizes and coverings. If you prefer to get a fair amount of sun and rain isn’t much of an issue, choose a pergola with a slatted top to let the rays filter through. If you prefer to have complete sun and rain protection, choose a structure with a solid top made of durable steel. If you want something in between, go for a pergola that has a retractable top shade for versatility.

Easy-to-assemble steel frame, with sliding top. Footings can also be bolted into place. Coolaroo

Finding a pergola that can be secured is important, especially when you’re installing it as a permanent structure.This means it should be able to withstand high winds and rain while still staying firmly in place. Choose one that can be bolted onto concrete pads or a wooden deck.

Extremely durable construction with high end design and color that can be left up year-round. Sojag

When it comes to pergola structure, do you prefer a rectangle, square or circle shape? Are you looking for a breezy spot to let grapes climb and grow? Are you looking for a traditional architectural element, or a more modern look? Be sure to consider the practical design aspects before you buy.