For homeowners who have been cooped up inside for months, outdoors is the new indoors. Whether you're gearing up for spring or you're lucky enough to live in the small section of the country that hasn't been experiencing freezing temperatures lately, this is a great time to think about maximizing your outdoor space—and one of the best ways of doing that is to install a pergola.
These wide-open structures are typically built with vertical beams, a lattice roof, and no walls. They offer just enough shade without compromising on the feeling of being out in the sunshine, and allow breezes to sweep right through.
“Treat your outdoor space as newfound square footage, and look for ways to maximize the value of that space,” says Scott Selzer, CEO of StruXure, which creates modern pergolas.
Yes, pergolas can be minimalist and modern, or they can be more elegant and elaborate. Plant lovers, rejoice: Pergolas can also support climbing vines and flowers!
Below, some of the most compelling reasons to add a pergola to your outdoor space.
1. Extend your home's footprint
People are spending more time outdoors and taking with them the comforts of indoor living.
“High-quality pergolas give a visual aesthetic of a room that extends out of your home. This is much like a three- or four-season porch feeling except it’s truly open-air,” says Aaron Cook, national sales manager for Heartland Pergolas in Davenport, IA.
“Pergolas can also serve as anchors, helping to define unique spaces within a larger, multipurpose backyard design,” says Selzer. They're often used to define and connect an outdoor kitchen, dining room, or pool.
2. Increase your property value
Adding a pergola can add character to your home, but it may also boost your property value.
“Buying a home is an emotional process for most. Many buyers will find a couple things they love about a particular property, and those things may be enough to nudge them off the fence and make an offer,” says Cook. He says a new pergola with a welcoming outdoor area could be the extra touch that prompts a buyer to make an offer.
“We know that when future homeowners visit houses, the backyard is now one of the main concerns, and adding a pergola is a real game changer in that area,” says Leslie Chapus, vice president at Azenco International in Miami.
3. Offer privacy and shade
Do your neighbors have a direct sightline into your backyard? Up your privacy factor with a pergola that has a lattice roof or privacy screens. Some high-end pergola models even come with motorized screens that can be adjusted with the touch of a button. That means you can adjust for privacy or the weather. Let the sun in when you want to soak up that vitamin D, or keep the shades closed when you're craving shade.
“Those newly upgraded patios and decks are not usable if it’s 90 degrees and you’re in the direct sunlight," says Cook.
4. Make a worthwhile investment
Building a pergola in your backyard isn't cheap, but it's definitely on the low end when it comes to home renovations. Prices range from $2,155 to $5,871, according to HomeAdvisor, and the amount you pay depends on the materials, craftsmanship, and features. While a couple of thousand dollars may sound like a hefty investment from the get-go, if you focus on the cost per use and the value it'll add to your property, it's worth it.
“We offer a lifetime warranty, low-maintenance option, and our average unit is about $5,200, so our pricing is in the middle," says Cook.
If you’re ready to go all-in on a high-end pergola, StruXure’s Pergola X starts around $15,000. Fancy enhancements such as corbels, panels, and curtains will increase the price.