With summer starting to peek its way over the horizon, we’re all starting to think about how we can enhance our outdoor areas for the nice weather ahead. Whilst a pergola is a fantastic structure for outdoor entertaining during the summer months, they often don’t have as much protection as we would like. This is where waterproof retractable awnings come in – they can afford your pergola with protection without completely blocking it off from the elements.
What is a pergola?
The classic pergola is a freestanding structure without any sides and with a lattice-style roof – they generally consist of four corner posts that support the roofing overhead. They were traditionally constructed from timber, but are often constructed using more durable materials (like steel and aluminium) in this day and age. Many people like to train vines and other plants up the corner posts and across the lattice to really tie the structure into their garden.
What is a retractable awning?
Also known as folding arm or cassette awnings, they are a window covering that goes on the exterior of the home. They consist of a metal frame, an operating mechanism and a fabric panel. Depending on the area that you wish to protect, they can be installed to extend straight downwards or out, across an expanse of your outdoor space. There are a number of operating mechanisms to choose from, including manual (crank handle) and motorised (sensors or remote awnings).
How can I use awnings with my pergola?
There are actually two main ways that you can combine waterproof retractable awnings with your pergola in order to make the space beautiful and functional:
- Roof covering – The first way is by using the awning as a makeshift roof, which can be extended out across or underneath the lattice to provide protection against the elements.
- Wall covering – The second way is by using the awning as a temporary wall, which can extend down from the top of the pergola to cover the sides and protect against the elements.
What are the benefits of using awnings?
Retractable awnings will actually offer your pergola a number of benefits, the key one being that they can protect it from the elements. During the winter, the space is often pummelled by driving rain, wind, hail and even snow depending on where you live. During the summer, the space is subjected to extreme heat from the sun and UV rays (which have been linked to sunburn and skin cancer). Being able to protect the space from the elements is of real benefit.
Another benefit of these awnings is that they can help you to control the temperature of your pergola, keeping it more comfortable for your family and guests. During the summer, the shade they provide will help to lower the temperature in the space. During the winter, the wind block they provide will help to increase the temperature in the space. You will actually find that your pergola is more usable all year round.
As you can see, there are a number of ways that waterproof retractable awnings can be used to beautify your pergola. Awnings are available in a variety of colours and finishes to ensure that they are a perfect match for your home and alfresco area. Ensure that you have carefully considered how you intend to use the awning to determine which type of operation will best meet your needs – do not hesitate to ask for assistance if required.