January 22, 2016
You may not be using your pergola much right now in the winter, but you may still have reasons to cover it, which can transfer to summer when you want to keep out the rain or just increase the shade. If this is the case, waterproof covers are the best way to go. There are several options to choose from—from budget-friendly to high-end—and even a couple that you can probably install on your own with the right tools and a little elbow grease:
Need it to be temporary? Use tarp. If you know you won’t be using the covering year-round but for seasonal or very specific reasons instead, think about using tarp. Not only is it on the cheaper end (no need to spend a ton of money for a temporary solution), but it’s also easy to find at some of the larger home stores. Use rubber hooks or fabric ties on the corners of the tarp and then secure them to the horizontal or vertical beams of the pergola. When you’re done with the covering, simply unfasten it, roll it up, and store it for next time.
Another inexpensive option: corrugated fiberglass. Still relatively wallet-friendly, corrugated fiberglass roofing panels can be installed on the top of the pergola (and you can do it yourself, if you’re up for it). The benefit of these fiberglass panels is that they let in quite a bit of light, especially if you choose clear or light-colored panels. But once they’re in place, it’s harder to take them down. So they’re really meant for more of a permanent covering as opposed to a temporary one.
Willing to go more high-end? Think canvas. Canvas, especially when treated, is an excellent water-repellant, so it’s great for those sudden rain storms or even to keep out snow (although there’s not much you can do in a blizzard). If you think about it, canvas is used as a tent material, so it makes sense that it can stand in as a waterproof pergola covering, too. However, what makes this an expensive option is not the canvas itself but the actual installation. You’ll want to hire a professional who can install a retractable system that slides the canvas over when you need it and rolls it back up when you don’t.
Another high-end option: custom louvers. A professional can also install a set of louvers for you, either from wood, fiberglass, or heavy-duty plastic. On top of the pergola, the louvers work like individual flaps that close down between each horizontal beam. In the summer when you want the sun, you can raise them up. Or during a storm—or in the winter—you can lower them to block out precipitation.
If you’re thinking about ways to enhance your outdoor space this year, consider the professionals at Kona Contractors in Denver. We can help you build a custom Denver pergola for shade, comfort, and enjoyment. Call us at 720-935-4922 to discuss your project.