A Guide to Premium Pergolas: The Perfect Outdoor Accessory

Garden renovation has seen a significant increase over the past few years - from upgrading outdated outdoor furniture to starting from scratch with the landscape and design of the garden or patio. Creating an outdoor space suitable for every season and occasion - sunny afternoons, cool evenings and conversations with friends around the fire - is important to improve the quality of outdoor living. One outdoor accessory, in particular, that serves purpose all year round is pergolas

Never cut your time spent outdoors short, even when there is an unpredicted rain shower. Avoid running and seeking shelter indoors; a pergola is a great place to retreat and take cover in all weather conditions. This article entails the benefits of an aluminium pergola, how to prepare your outdoor space for installation and everything in between you need to know about the most sought-after outdoor accessory.

What is a pergola? 

A pergola is a popular outdoor feature that can form a shaded sitting area or walkway to connect parts of the outdoor space. The standard structure of a pergola consists of posts that support a panel of beams or louvres and are made of wood or aluminium. 

What’s the difference between a gazebo and a pergola?

At first glance, a gazebo and a pergola are very similar. A gazebo and pergola are outdoor accessories and provide shade and shelter from the sun, rain and wind. However, the main difference between the two is the roof canopy. A gazebo, used for occasional events like BBQs and parties, has a permanent roof whereas a pergola has an opening roof. The most common roof framework for a pergola is louvres, which you can alter to be open or closed depending on the weather.

What are the benefits of aluminium pergolas?

Made from quality materials

Aluminium has been on the rise and on-trend for outdoor furniture because of its sleek and modern appearance, perfect for contemporary outdoor spaces. The streamlined design of aluminium garden furniture appeals for aesthetic reasons; aluminium is a great choice for gardens in terms of practicality and longevity. Aluminium pergolas, in particular, are made of high-quality materials designed to last for years.

Our Neptune pergola range is constructed using powder-coated aluminium; the powder coating protects the pergola from outdoor elements. The star quality of aluminium pergolas is that they require little maintenance, even during the colder months. All you need to do is choose a suitable spot for your pergola and leave it to stand in all its glory as the focal point in your outdoor space.

All year-round use 

The biggest misconception about outdoor living is that outdoor spaces can only be enjoyed when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. Most people cover their garden furniture and say goodbye to their loved outdoor lifestyle until the following summer at the first sign of autumn. But this is because they don’t have the right outdoor accessory to extend the time spent in their garden or patio - an aluminium pergola.

Pergolas are multi-purpose outdoor structures and can be used all year round - no matter the weather. Our range of pergolas comes with a manual crank handle which allows you to adjust the position of the louvres with ease. The adjustable louvres permit as much sunlight as needed on a bright sunny day or can be closed shut to offer a source of shade and keep you covered when there is a sudden rain spell. Lounge, dine and chat under a pergola without worrying about the weather.

Create a secluded area with privacy screens

As the weather defrosts and heats up and the evening sky gets lighter, you and your neighbours will most likely spend every spare moment possible in the garden. BBQs, sunbathing or having a late-night chat by the fire - are all activities experienced by most during the warmer months. However, you may feel like you have little to no privacy if your neighbours are in their garden too.

One of the main features of the Neptune Deluxe LED Pergola is the deluxe privacy screens, which will instantly make your outdoor space more private and secluded. Made from Textilene, a weather-resistant fabric, the screens will add an extra layer of protection from sunlight and unexpected rainfall. Simply pull down the side screens that zip into the pergola legs and enjoy your outdoor space without distraction or interruption.

Can a pergola be installed onto the decking? 

Decking is a common characteristic in most gardens because it is a quick fix to transform gardens into luxury outdoor spaces. Whether the deck is at the back of your garden or outside of your patio door, decking is the foundation to create a cosy seating or dining area. If you are interested in installing a pergola onto the decking, we have some information to consider before you begin your garden improvement journey.

A crucial part of the preparation process is that the decking must have structural support underneath to bear the weight of the pergola. The pergola should not be secured to the floor of the deck because there is a likely chance the planks will suffer damage or even break. One solution, which is the most popular option, is concrete slabs. Concrete provides sufficient stability for a pergola because the pergola legs can be grounded into the slab bases.

The most common types of decking are traditional wood and composite. Traditional wood decking is a favoured choice as many people desire the natural wood look. However, this type of decking requires a lot of maintenance to keep the deck looking its best all year round. Composite decking, on the other hand, requires less maintenance. Another benefit of composite decking is durability. Composite is usually a mix of wood fibre and plastic or synthetic materials, which means it does not rot or warp.

Whether you have traditional wood or composite decking, we strongly recommend asking your builder if the decking is suitable for a pergola and if the decking is safe and stable to bear the weight of the pergola. 

Do you need planning permission for a pergola?

In most instances, you do not need planning permission for a pergola because they are not considered permanent structures. 

We would advise speaking to your local planning authority before purchasing to double-check, especially if you relate to the following: 

  • You live in a conservation area
  • You live in a listed area
  • The pergola is for the front or the side of the property
  • If the pergola is placed within 2m of the property boundary, the maximum height should be no greater than 2.5m 

If you would like to install a pergola on decking, we recommend you speak to the local planning authority to check you are within the height requirements and permitted development. Also, you may want to consider speaking with your neighbours and ask if a pergola would obscure their sight lines. 

If you have any questions or concerns about planning permission, you should speak to your local planning authority. 

What preparation is required before installation? 

It is crucial to make sure the groundwork for the pergola site is suitable for a pergola. We recommend mounting the pergola on a flat hard surface. All groundwork for the pergola site should be completed before installation.

How do you build a pergola?

While the thought of building a large outdoor structure may seem daunting, it is possible for those with little experience in DIY. Our pergola range comes with instructions, including a parts list and a step-by-step guide to building the pergola. A range of tools will be required to start assembly. We advise that 2-3 people safely lift and assemble the pergola with a build time of around 4 hours. 

If you are not keen on assembling a pergola, we offer an installation service for our Neptune Deluxe LED Pergola range. Our installation service can be added to your cart on the pergola product page, for example, the Neptune Deluxe LED Pergola with 4 Screens - 3m x 4m

Once ordered, our customer service team will be in touch and may require further information about the site for the pergola. Please be prepared to provide us with details and images to assist the fitting team before they attend your property. After we are satisfied with the information provided, our team will arrange a date for installation. 

If you have any questions about ordering a pergola, please email info@atmliving.com, and our customer service team will be happy to assist with your query. 

Check out our latest reel on Instagram and TikTok featuring our Neptune Deluxe LED Pergola.