Reasons to Add a Pergola to Your Deck (13)

There are many reasons to include a Pergola in your deck designs or add one to your existing deck. Each reason highlighting the benefit of a deck pergola.

There are two main reasons for having a Pergola on a deck. Increased comfort on a hot sunny day while improving the aesthetics of your deck. Evaluating and defining the space while sheltering from the sun’s hot rays. 

But these two reasons are only the start of why adding a pergola to your deck can be an excellent idea. 

Building on these two primary reasons for a pergola, here are 13 ways a pergola could be advantageous on your deck.

Making reading through the entire list of reasons to add a pergola before building your deck or even after a considerable benefit. For you, your family, and your backyard guests.

A pergola may be the reason why to enjoy your deck again.

Pergolas are even advantageous for your decking, but I am getting ahead of myself.

But let’s get to answering why include a pergola on your deck.

Increases The Amount Of Time You Can Spend Outside

Obviously, you can spend as much time as you like outside among nature and the elements. But for those who aren’t keen on frying in the afternoon sun. A pergola is an excellent solution. 

The pergola rafters bearing the brunt of the sun’s heat. Allowing you to enjoy the gentle breeze outside, the warmth of the sun without burning. The partial shade cooling you a few degrees while still enjoying being outdoors on a bright sunny day.

Creating a small oasis throughout the summer to enjoy.

Offers Shaded Safe Barbecuing Space

It’s not ideal to grill on the barbecue in covered areas. Places like a gazebo, some awnings, and other flammable structures are not great spaces for safe grilling practices. A pergola, however, gives ample airflow, height for ventilation and smoke escapeOpens in a new tab. and does not affect any possible escape route in case of fire emergencies. 

We still recommend keeping safety in mind with the following safety measures:

  • Keep your barbecue at a distance of at least 3 feet from combustible appliances and materials.
  • Use a barbecue or grill mat by placing it underneath your BBQ.
  • Have access to safety equipment like sand buckets, fire blankets, and fire extinguishers. 

Before setting up your grill on your deck, especially a composite decking, check out the qualities of a grill mat for a deck.Opens in a new tab.

Pergola will shelter you from the sun’s heat, but you still need to shelter the decking from the barbeque.  

Cheaper Than an Outdoor Room

Cramped for space, add a room to your house. A full addition can get pricey. HomeGuide puts the average room addition between $22 500 and $74 000.

A pergola gives you a define outdoor room for less. How much less depends on size and material but almost always less than a house addition.

Fiberglass is a more expensive option than treated wood, cedar, and vinyl.  But Fiberglass has the added advantage of strength, durable, fire-resistant, lightweight and can be easily painted.

Pressure Treated is the least expensive material option for a pergola but also will require the most upkeep. But despite all that, extra upkeep will have the shortest life span.

Vinyl or composite similar to decking will cost more than wood but offers the advantage of less maintenance and will last longer.

If you are a fan of Trex decking, and many of us are. Trex even sells pergolasOpens in a new tab.. Pergolas with the same benefits as their decking. They are not cheap, but they are low maintenance and will enhance your composite deck for years to come.

The middle of the road of pergolas is cedar. Costing less than fibreglass and composite, lasting longer than pressure-treated but with less maintenance. Making it the material of choice for many decks.

Regarding size, that really depends on how you plan to use your pergola. Similar to designing your deck for how your plan to enjoy it. Opens in a new tab.Male sure the four posts are far enough apart to provide sufficient space to enjoy. But unlike your deck, a pergola does not have to cover the entire area.

A pergola can be a nice addition but still limited to only a section of the deck. Not covering the entire deck but giving you a small space to withdraw to for comfort or a more cozy space outdoor.

Whatever size or material you build your pergola it will cost you less than an additional room on your house but with many of the same benefits.

Which is the next reason for adding a pergola to your deck.

Essentially Gives You Another Room

Although pergolas are for outdoors, installing a pergola basically provides you with another area to utilize, essentially creating a whole new room for activities. 

You can have a large enough pergola that extends your living room space or incorporates an outdoor gym or an entertainment area. Use your imagination, and your options are limitless. 

Here is a couple of examples you could build your pergola for:

  • Outdoor entertainment area for socializing; add a barbecue!
  • Kid’s play area
  • Outdoor gym space
  • Outdoor dining for those warm summer nights
  • Home theatre under the stars
  • Your own personal yoga and meditation retreat

The one that really has been catching on recently is including an outdoor TV. You can enjoy the game on your deck without cooking in the afternoon sun with the right design.

Allows You to Entertain Guests

Speaking of an entertainment area, if you’re hosting a party and the central premises for the party is outside. You don’t have to cancel or move everyone indoors when the mercury starts to rise. The pergola’s shade will keep the party going. 

If large enough to account for the number of guests you’re hosting, providing shade for everyone.

Party on, Wayne!

Gives The Kids Somewhere To Play

When you feel the kids don’t play outside often enough and are cooped up on their consoles inside all day, a pergola offers them an outdoor recreation area to play outside. 

A pergola can be part of your complete kid-friendly deck designOpens in a new tab..

Cresting a kid fort out on the deck. Your kids will enjoy a pergola for the same reasons that you do.

Shade from the sun and a defined space outdoors.

No more excuses like, “But mom, it’s cooking outside”. The shade of the pergola is a welcoming space from the sun’s heat.

Increasing Your Deck and Homes Value

Adding a pergola to your home can increase your home’s market value. Outdoor recreation areas, like pergolas, have become increasingly popular, and people looking to buy are looking to buy with available outdoor living space. 

Again one of the main reasons for a pergola is appearance. It enhances the look of not only your deck but the entire yard.

Think of a pergola as curb appeal for your backyard.

How much value will depend a lot on the design, material used.

The more it enhances the space, the more value it adds to your home. Minus whatever maintenance is required. Select wisely, and a pergola will add value to both your bank account and life.

A Simple Solution for a Long-Term Improvement to Your Deck

Pergolas look incredible, and some of them might look like they take a lot of hard work to install. Fortunately, pergolas are actually quite simple to build or install.

There are pergola kits that do most of the hard work for you. But even if built from scratch can be an easy weekend project if you are handy around the house and have the right tools.

But if building a roof over your deck is imitating. Hiring an experienced deck and pergola builder can make adding a permanent shade solution to your deck a breeze.

Regardless of if its you or a pro make sure that your deck can support a roofOpens in a new tab.. A pergola may be lighter than a full roof but will still add weight and load to your deck’s structure.

Pergola can be the easiest solution for increase deck comfort. While improving its appearance.

Increased Privacy and Comfort

A few boards resting above your head may not seem comforting, but they are. A roof over your head, even if it open rafters, provide a sense of security. Too many chicken little stories, I guess.

But you will feel more comfortable sitting under a pergola.

Including a privacy wall or two with the pergola will increase privacy. A place just for you and invited guests to unwind. Without worrying about what your neighbours might think or see.

A pergola is great for hanging drapes, screens or vines off. Which also increases privacy while dressing your deck up. Beauty plus blocking prying eyes, now that’s a beautiful match.

Looks Great

Adding a pergola to your deck looks great. Depending on the materials you use to build your pergola, you can paint it to match your deck and home and add finishing touches that create something magical. 

Here are just a few ideas you might consider to create a unique pergola space for the whole family:

  • String some fairy lights.
  • Add comfortable furniture.
  • Add outdoor plants that don’t need much sunlight.
  • Add colourful drapes.
  • Use recycled materials for a more sustainable approach.
  • Swing chairs add a nice touch for book lovers.

But pergolas do more than just add charm to your deck.

Pergola Shade Makes the Decking Cooler to the Touch

All decking gets hot in the sun. Especially composite decking. On a hot sunny day, composite decking can get so hot you can’t even walk on it.

Yes, there are some composites that stay cooler in the sunOpens in a new tab.. The right material and colour can lower the burn of composite decking.

But regardless of the type of composite deckingOpens in a new tab.. A little shade will go a long way in cooling down the decking. Composite decking, especially PVC, holds very little heat, but they reflect the sun’s heat. Protecting them from the intense sun’s heat, the shadow cast by the pergola will reduce the temperature of the decking and you on the deck.

Protect the Decking from the Suns Damaging UV

The sun’s damaging UV can fade the vibrant colours of the decking. Most quality composite decking has inhibitors that protect the decking from fading in the sunOpens in a new tab..

But shade can add one more layer of decking protecting.

I still wear a hat even when I have sunscreen on.  The hat is just one more layer of skin protection from the sun. So, is a deck pergola. One more layer of decking protection from the sun’s UV. Even if it is designed to not fade in the sun.

Pergola’s Often Don’t Require a Permit

Not requiring a permit makes construction that much easier. You don’t need to fill out any forms, submit paperwork or schedule an inspector.

In many jurisdictions, you are free to add a pergola on your deck with a permit.

There are often size, heights and construction limitations, so always check with your local municipal government but often, it is not required.

For example. In Calgary, where I build decks, a permit is not required for a pergolaOpens in a new tab. if

  • Less than 107 sqft (10m2)
  • Not attached to the house
  • Less than 15 ft. (4.6 m) from the finished floor(deck)

There are a few other qualifiers, so please read the small print before building.

But overall, building a pergola on your deck will have limited red tape.


As you can see, there are multiple advantages and benefits to building a beautiful pergola on your deck to create ample space for the whole family. The hardest part now is going to be how you decide to use your pergola space. With so many options and ideas available, start with knowing that adding a pergola over your deck is the right thing to do to keep your decking in excellent condition.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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