What are the differences between adjustable pergolas and arbors? Using these terms interchangeably is common, but these patio shelter styles are not the same. Each has unique features. Understanding key differences ensures you choose the best structure to meet your outdoor living needs.

Arbors and Pergolas Differ Significantly in Size

Arbors are small, freestanding structures that are more aesthetic than functional. They feature two to four posts that form a tunnel or archway and are often used to define entrances, add visual interest to paths, or serve as a design centerpiece against the wall. Pergolas cover larger expanses, featuring two or more posts depending on dimensions. These outdoor patio structures may be attached to your home or detached to define a space for entertaining, cooking, dining, or relaxing poolside.

Pergolas Offer More Roof Options than Arbors

Arbors typically feature an arched, fixed roof with a latticed or covered design. Pergolas offer your choice of a traditional open lattice-style roof or an adjustable louvered roof design. (Gazebos and pavilions, often confused with pergolas, feature a closed roof.) Traditional lattice-style roofs are beautiful but offer little sun shelter and no precipitation protection. A roof with adjustable pergola louvers allows you to change settings on demand. Enjoy sunlight or sky views and later rotate louvers for shade, ventilation, or rain protection with the click of a button, ensuring comfort throughout the day and from season to season.


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Pergolas and Arbors Serve Different Functions

Diminutive arbors make a charming decorative addition but provide no shelter. Pergolas define outdoor areas and provide weather protection with louvered roof designs. When attached to your home, they blur the lines between indoors and outdoors, extending usable square footage. Freestanding pergolas offer an outdoor oasis away from indoor distractions. Featuring custom dimensions with no maximum size limit, StruXure aluminum pergola with louvers allow you to add multifunctional space that fits perfectly into your yard and meets your every outdoor living need. Create your ideal design from modern to classic or rustic looks, choosing from faux wood and custom trim additions.

Arbor and Pergola Construction Varies

Arbors are usually designed to support climbing plants and vines and may be made of wood, plastic, or metal. Pergolas may be made of wood, vinyl, or aluminum. Wood structures require the most maintenance, including regular staining/painting. Plastic and vinyl discolor and wear quickly and are best avoided. Metal structures vary widely in quality – shop carefully to avoid early replacement.

StruXure pergolas last a lifetime, featuring fully extruded aircraft-grade aluminum built to withstand hurricane-force winds. Premium powder coating reflects heat and ensures easy maintenance, requiring only the occasional hosing or wipe-down with a soft cloth. Built-in gutters provide watertight rain protection, even in Denver downpours. Louvers support heavy snow loads when closed and whisk away snow melt. Integrated pergola accessories like lighting, fans, heaters, and motorized screens ensure enjoyment 24/7/365.


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Which Should You Choose – an Arbor or a Pergola?

An arbor may serve your needs if you’re looking for a decorative accent alone. However, an adjustable aluminum pergola offers a superior solution for those looking to incorporate a versatile, dependable year-round outdoor living area.

Transform Your Patio with a Pergola

Ensure a beautiful, functional outdoor addition that delivers Ensure a beautiful, functional outdoor addition that gives you years of enjoyment. Enhance your outdoor living design with a durable, feature-packed aluminum pergola. Contact StruXure Denver at 303-500-6669 to learn more or schedule a design consultation and see how a pergola addition could fit into your space with our 3-D rendering services today.


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