Patio Cover vs Pergola: Which Shade Option Should You Choose?

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Do you want to make better use of your property’s outdoor space? You should consider installing a shade structure in your yard or on top of your deck or patio area. There are two main shade options you can choose from: pergolas and outdoor patio covers. Each type has its advantages, but which one should you install on your property? Read on to learn more about the differences between the two.

Patio Covers

These are shade structures that are primarily direct extensions of your home. They are attached straight to one of the house’s outer walls and have a roof supported by a network of beams and posts. They can also have an electrical wiring system to accommodate outdoor speakers, ceiling fans, and other electronic devices.

Patio covers have many benefits. As their name suggests, these shade structures are mainly built to shelter the patio area from wind and rain and to make the area last longer. Homeowners also use them to shield their patio doors from direct sunlight. These structures prevent any unwanted heat from the sun from directly entering the house and help maintain the overall internal temperature and keep electricity bills down.


Pergolas are structures independent of the house. Although they are also composed of a network of beams and posts similar to patio covers, they are detached from the home’s outer wall.

Most people add them on top of an existing deck, but these structures can be placed anywhere in your yard. You are free to set up a pergola in the middle or at the far end of your outdoor space to shade an area separate from your home. You can choose to build a cozy reading nook or dining area or to make a little recreational space surrounded by your garden plants. These structures are also commonly used to shade a walkway or deck.

Another significant patio cover vs pergola difference is that pergolas often do not have a solid roof. Parallel or lattice beams make up their roofing structures. These provide partial only shade and do not offer as much protection as patio covers. However, homeowners often use pergolas as a foundation for plant vines to climb and to create shade. There are also operable pergolas that allow homeowners to turn the lattice structure into a solid roof. Operable or adjustable pergolas have motors that can rotate the roofing slats to open and close them.

Call Home Town Restyling

Get a pergola or patio cover built on your property to enhance your backyard space. Our team at Home Town Restyling provides various home remodeling services for residents of Eastern Iowa.