Pergolas add style and functionality to any outdoor design. However, with so many pergola styles on the market, finding the perfect patio shelter solution can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, with the proper preparation, you can transform your outdoor space into a relaxing oasis. Whether you’re looking to improve outdoor comfort, ensure weather protection, enhance aesthetics, boost curb appeal and value, or all the above, there’s a solution perfectly suited to your needs. In this two-part series, we’ll explore pergolas in detail and how to narrow down the process of selecting the best pergola for your space.

Establish Your Pergola’s Purpose

Determine what you’d most like to use your outdoor patio structure for:

  • Extend your living space
  • Quiet outdoor retreat
  • Intimate bistro dining space
  • Fully functional outdoor kitchen
  • Outdoor entertainment area
  • Spa or poolside relaxation area
  • Patio bar

Are you still trying to figure it out? It can be tempting to wing it to get your project in motion. Yet, this essential decision is critical to narrowing down key facets of your pergola design, ensuring lasting happiness with your investment.


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Define Your Outdoor Living Layout

After you’ve decided on the purpose of your outdoor space, consider your available space and layout with these things in mind:

Outdoor living setting

The ideal pergola location should be flat, level, and away from trees and other structures that could impact pergola enjoyment.

Legal requirements

Bearing in mind HOA, zoning, and setback requirements, what location, size, or shape best suits your outdoor addition?

Attached vs. detached pergola styles

Would you prefer an attached pergola to create a seamless transition from indoors to out or a freestanding pergola to delineate space and enhance privacy?

Single or multi-zone system designs

Does your lot size or budget dictate a more intimate, dedicated space, or would a multi-zone setup, including separate cooking, seating, and entertainment areas, provide greater functionality and enjoyment?

Furnishings and appliances

Window shop furnishings and appliances to get an idea of the items you’d like to include, taking note of measurements.

Using chalk or tape, create a mock layout in your ideal setting and navigate your design. Be sure to use accurate measurements to ensure adequate clearance around furniture, doors, and walkways, considering real-life traffic flow and functionality. Keep in mind oversized designs will feel cavernous and impersonal and may dwarf smaller homes, while undersized designs may be too cramped to accommodate key features comfortably. To help you find the perfect balance to suit your needs and space, consider taking advantage of StruXure Denver’s professional design assistance and 3-D rendering services.


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Decide How Much Shelter You Need

Think about what types of weather protection you need to enjoy your space comfortably, such as sunlight protection, shelter from rain or snow, or the ability to improve airflow or manage windy conditions. These needs will vary based on whether you want seasonal or year-round usable square footage. With these things in mind, you can reliably choose between:

Fixed roof patio shelter

Traditional, open-roofed wood pergolas offer classic looks and ample airflow but no protection from the elements. On the flip side, closed roof designs provide sun and rain protection but no airflow. They’re no match for today’s smart pergola designs.

A pergola with adjustable louvers

Motorized pergolas offer the ideal solution, giving you complete control over sunlight, rain, snow, and airflow with the click of a button. Louvers open and close, rotating up to 170 degrees, allowing you to choose the ideal setting for changing weather. You can also enhance weather protection and comfort with integrated motorized screens and curtains.

Determine Your Perfect Pergola Size

With your measurements and design features in mind, you can select the perfect pergola size. The StruXure Pergola X model line offers multiple options to meet your precise needs:

Pivot 6 The Pivot 6 is a homeowner favorite, featuring a 2×8 frame and an integrated 5 ½ inch 360-degree gutter system. Choose from attached or detached single-zone designs in custom sizing from 12×12 to 12×20, including your choice of 4-, 6-, or 8-inch posts.

Pivot 6 XL The Pivot 6 XL features a 2×10 frame and an integrated 7 ½ inch 360-degree gutter system developed for more expansive pergola designs. Choose from single or multi-zone attached or detached pergolas with your choice of 6- or 8-inch posts.

Cabana X These freestanding, portable, 10×10 plug-and-play units install quickly and require no permit. Choose from design enhancements to meet your needs, including the ability to install multiple systems side-by-side.

What Pergola Design Should You Choose?

Now that you’ve determined your outdoor living area’s theme and essential functions, in our next installment, we’ll consider the benefits and drawbacks of common materials and design enhancements to make your time outdoors more enjoyable. If you need help on your journey in selecting the best pergola for your needs, StruXure Denver has you covered. StruXure Denver has you covered. Contact our pergola design professionals at 303-500-6669 to schedule a pergola design consultation today.


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Lakewood, Colorado 80401

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