Pergolas are mostly used as shade structures. We find that our clients primarily use them in two ways. One purpose is to provide relief from the sun, and the other is to architecturally frame in an area on a patio or deck.
Our client was building a new patio that was elevated and a good part into the project, they realized it felt like they were on a stage. There was a built-in kitchen on this patio, and as they were envisioning sitting there, they could see all the neighbors around them. This, in turn, meant all their neighbors would see them as well.
We recommend to our clients that, when possible, they should stand in the area where they plan on building a deck. Look around and what do you see? Is there a better place in the yard to have your outdoor living space? Does it feel private? It’s challenging to do this if the proposed deck is elevated off the ground since your vantage point will be higher at completion, but consider all these factors when planning your project.
So, after the patio was completed, they were looking for privacy solutions. Now, one thing to remember, fences or any permanent structures work both ways. You will get your privacy, but it will also block your view as well. Sometimes that’s fine. Other times, to impede your view from the inside or your house is not desirable. That was the case on this project. They wanted privacy, but did not want their view obstructed.
The solution we proposed was to create a curved pergola that would follow the radius of the patio and have outdoor fabric screens that would slide open and closed as desired. The curtains would act as a privacy screen when desired.
The pergola would add to the aesthetic appeal even when not serving the privacy purpose. We curved the main pergola beams to follow the circle patio and the round columns added to the traditional feel of the house. Our client wanted the pergola to be low-maintenance as well. We obliged and used the composite Azek material for the beams and purlins, along with fiberglass circular columns.
The finished pergola really enhanced the beauty of their backyard and at the same time provided them with the desired privacy. When the homeowners are not using their outdoor space they slide the curtains next to the columns. At dinner time they slide them shut and enjoy a private setting.