Deck & Pergola: Do They Go Hand in Hand?

cedar deck building

If you want to see a perfect couple, take a look at the pair deck & pergola. Although they do fine on their own, they are better together. In other words, they complement each other.

But if you take a closer look, you will see that their co-existence is ideal for everybody: the outdoor decking, the pergola, you.

So, if you want the very short version of the answer to the question, then, yes, wooden pergolas and decks go hand in hand. Or, it’s best if they go hand in hand – if you will. Let me elaborate.

The bachelor life of decks and pergolas

  • gazebo builderYour outdoor decking can stand on its own. After all, it may be attached to the house and installed beneath a concrete ceiling. No need for a pergola, then. It may also go all around the house, be multi-leveled, or take its place by the pool. Simply put, decks are not always covered by pergolas. And when the deck is built on several levels or it’s truly big, it is sort of impossible to have the whole structure covered by a pergola.
  • Now, how about pergolas? Do they always cover a deck? No. They may cover a patio. They may be placed close or far away from the building.

But let us think things over. You want a deck to spend time outdoors and truly, relax, enjoy the family, have a ball with friends. And even the simplest deck construction, even the smallest deck can do that for you – minus the protection from the elements.

The pergola, on the other hand, is constructed to protect. You don’t sit on the pergola; you don’t use the pergola for any other purpose. Its role is to provide shelter to those sitting under the structure. And so, some form of decking construction – if not a patio, is needed anyway. And so, by definition, pergolas complement decks. One needs the other and you need them both.

Pergolas & decks: the marriage that lasts for eternity

pergola-builderAlthough you can do without a custom pergola, you are better off with it over your deck. The main reason why these two go hand in hand is protection. Let’s see.

  • You are benefited by getting shade and full protection from the elements when you sit on the deck under a pergola. Yes, you could get an umbrella. You could have an awning. There are several solutions that would work as deck coverings, but pergolas are more permanent and solid structures. They may be big enough to cover quite a large part of the deck and thus, your seating area.

With a pergola over the deck, the time you spend in the backyard is expanded and so, you enjoy more your deck, nature, your backyard. Since the deck is covered, you can engage in various activities, rain or shine.

  • The pergola doesn’t only protect you but also the deck. Although such outdoor structures are open from all sides, there are many ways today to confine the deck area when it’s raining – with curtains, shades, etc. The deck may not be perfectly protected since one of the main characteristics of pergolas is the semi-open roof, but this is also handled with fabrics, fiberglass, plants, etc.

To make a long story short, the deck covered by a pergola is better protected than a deck without a pergola. Now, if you add to the story that you may also have an outdoor kitchen and who knows how many chairs, tables, and other pieces of furniture on the deck, they are also protected from the sun and rain.

Yes, you can enjoy the natural environment of your backyard on a cedar deck, but nature won’t be a burden with a pergola over your head. That’s what your deck thinks for itself too. It can stand fine on its own. But its life will be longer and more pleasant with a pergola covering it. Talking about the perfect match!