Here’s everything you need to know to decide between a patio cover and a pergola for your home.

One of the great things about living in Texas is our state’s love for outdoor spaces. We all have a neighbor or a family member with a covered porch or patio where everyone loves to hang out.

When it’s your time to invest in that perfect outdoor space, you want to choose the right structure for you and your family. Below you’ll find a brief guide to your options so you can make the right decision.

Pergolas 101: The benefits and the drawbacks

patio cover or pergola

A pergola is usually a freestanding structure, though it can be attached to your home if you prefer. Pergolas have slatted roofs and walls made of wood or composite material. They’re very customizable: You can choose any size, change the color with stain or paint, or move them if need be.

If you have a green thumb, you can grow ivy or another vine up and over your pergola for a beautiful look. You can also add a retractable roof or a shade for a bit more sun protection.

One of the best things about a pergola is how easy it is to cook underneath one. Because it’s an open structure, you don’t have to worry about soot and smoke damaging the ceiling. This is great if you have a log fire pit, a big grill, or even an outdoor heater.

Pergolas are more exposed to the elements, making it challenging to wire them up for lights, a sound system, or a television. And a slatted roof isn’t always enough to protect you from the Texas sun.

Patio Covers 101: The benefits and the drawbacks

Building a patio cover is like adding another room to your home, albeit an outdoor one. A patio cover is essentially an extension of your roof that creates a sheltered outdoor space for you to gather with friends and family.

Patio covers offer some great luxuries. You get complete sun protection since the roof is solid and essentially weatherproof. Additionally, you can tap into your home’s existing electrical wiring to add lighting, a sound system, a fan, or a television to your outdoor space.

A patio cover is a more significant investment than a pergola. Additionally, they’re not ideal for a log fire pit since all that smoke and ash can wreck the look of your ceiling. One solution is to opt for a gas fire instead of a log fire.

So, which is better? Patio cover or a pergola?

Of course, only you can answer that question, but these considerations will help clarify that decision:

  • What’s your budget? A pergola is more affordable than a patio cover.
  • What kind of sun protection do you want? A patio cover has a solid roof. A pergola has a slatted roof that you can modify with a sunshade.
  • What kind of fire do you like? A pergola is better suited to a log fire pit. However, if you choose a patio cover, you’re better off with a gas fire pit.
  • What do you plan to use the space for? A patio cover is better for family movie night or watching the big game. A pergola is better for an authentic s’more.

Whether you know what you want or you’re still not sure, the team at Texas Home Improvement can help you decide your next steps.