Entertaining and relaxation have moved outdoors for most homeowners. Extending your living space to enjoy fresh air and sun is an excellent way to combine both worlds. However, appreciating your outdoor living area can be tricky when you are fighting against wind, rain and sun. Thankfully, there is an easy fix for homeowners wanting to spend more time outdoors, while also having protection from the elements. These three great options suit a variety of needs and budgets, while also extending your outdoor living space:
All three, offer shade and protection from the elements, add visual interest to your backyard, and are extremely close in characteristics and materials used. However, there are differences that can make choosing the correct structure take some careful thought and planning.
Beautiful and ‘budget friendly’, pergolas are the traditional source of shade for many homeowners. Characterized by open sides and slatted roofs, their open concept provides a semblance of protection while still allowing plenty of fresh air and sunshine to filter through. A well-built pergola will be anchored into your existing concrete or stabilized with an underground concrete footing and can be attached or unattached to your home.
Pergolas are beautiful additions to any outdoor environment. They not only add visual interest, but also increase your living space. The outdoors is to be enjoyed, and pergolas are a great way to do just that!
For outdoor lovers who want complete shade, pavilions are your answer. Normally constructed of sturdy cedar, pavilions have complete roofs that are carefully constructed of sturdy beams. If you want your pavilion to match your home, we can cover its roof in matching shingles.
Pavilions are the perfect option to protect outdoor kitchens and furniture. If you have an outdoor kitchen, your appliances have a much longer lifespan if they can be protected from intense heat and rain.
Flexible in their customization, a pavilion’s design can be simple or beautifully intricate with a cross-weave of exposed beams beneath its roof. They can also be designed to cover large or small areas, as well as different shapes and sizes. If you want full shade and protection, then a pavilion is both functional and beautiful.
Sophisticated and practical, classic yet cozy – gazebos provide numerous possibilities! The perfect setting for an intimate family wedding or just a secluded place to enjoy a glass of wine. Gazebos by design, give a more intimate gathering place with partially structured sides and an enclosed roof. Traditionally they are circular in design, but can be built in any size or height.
Gazebos are extremely functional and provide a host of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, while also being protected from the elements. Their cozy interior makes cool evenings and sunny days relaxing and enjoyable.
Part of the beauty, of pergolas, pavilions and gazebos, is the material used in their construction. All three structures can be made from several different materials, with the most popular being cedar. Each material brings its own sense of style and elegance to the table. Choosing your material depends heavily on what look you want to achieve and what type of maintenance you wish to put into your structure. Let’s look at the three types of materials and their pros and cons.
Pressure Treated Wood
Pressure treated wood has two distinct advantages over cedar, it is heavier and less expensive. However, it is more susceptible to cracking, moving and warping over time. Sometimes it is best used in certain parts of the structure, while letting cedar take a main role in the construction.
By far the most beautiful material of the three options, cedar gives an undeniable rich texture to your structure. Cedar is a hardy wood that can withstand most of what mother nature has to offer. It can also be stained or painted, which gives you hundreds of options for its ‘look’. To maintain its rich color, it must be re-stained every year or so depending on your climate.
Vinyl is the easiest when it comes to maintenance of your outdoor structure. It is easy to clean and comes in a variety of colors. While it is durable, it can bend in extremely high winds. It can also become scratched or dinged from debris or heavy use.
When choosing your outdoor structure, consider the many beautiful roofing styles available. In addition to style choices, there are several materials available for roof construction: cedar shingles, asphalt shingles, corrugated plastic, metal and tile. Each gives its own look and style.
There are so many extra options to add to your outdoor structure, that your design possibilities are virtually endless.
The desire for full shade can become very intense during the hot summer months. The less sun that invades your outdoor space, the better. Solitude is also an important commodity for the hard-working homeowner. Retractable awnings, curtains, and privacy screens can be extremely beneficial when you are trying to unwind, and relax in your new outdoor space.
Pergolas, pavilions and gazebos, can all be accented with decorative columns that add to the beauty of the design. Whether load bearing, or non-load bearing, these columns can be constructed from:
Brick accents can be full height, from floor to roof, or just designed around the base of the column. Combining cedar with brick can make for a stunning feature for your structure. Fiberglass posts give more of a Grecian style element and can also be combined with brick for a rich aesthetic. Either choice is anchored firmly into a concrete base for additional stability and longevity.
To help cool things down in the summer, your outdoor structure can be outfitted with electricity to power ceiling fans, lights, or appliances. Ceiling fans will assist in cooling down your guests and aide in the enjoyment of your outdoor space. They can also be outfitted with light kits. If you desire lights with personality and flair, then outdoor string lights can give your area a warm glow, while also giving much needed light at night.
Fortunately, electrical wiring can easily be hidden during the construction of your structure. Matching trim pieces and hollowed out posts or slats can keep your cords hidden from view. If you need to power an outdoor kitchen, or heater, then electric sockets can be outfitted onto the floor, posts or roof.
As with any addition, pergolas, pavilions and gazebos can add value to your home. Not only does it pay off if you choose to sell your home, but it pays dividends for your enjoyment as a homeowner. Our outdoor structures are specifically built to avoid sagging, warping, shrinking or twisting. They are customized to your needs and desires and are built to last. Our goal is to have your outdoor structure last as long as your home does! We achieve that through dedication, high-quality materials and expert knowledge. Our outdoor experts work closely with you, to combine the natural beauty of your outdoor environment, with your design vision. Give us a call today for a FREE consultation.