Awning or pergola? Choosing a cover for the terrace

23 of April '24

Terrace is a unique space that allows you to enjoy the fresh air in the immediate vicinity of the house. An important element of terrace structure is the canopy — its size, stability and additional functions. Awning and pergola are two popular and readily used sun protection systems that offer the most possibilities. Using them, you can create a year-round veranda, as well as a lightweight structure for summer barbecue feasts.

What is the difference between an awning and a pergola?

What is your first association with a traditional patio awning? It will probably be a colorful canopy, stretched over the garden of a cafe or the window of a small store. This is a good clue. An awning is a type of canopy made of fabric, stretched on an extendable arm. Its undoubted advantage is its lightweight construction, and its main function is to protect from the sun's rays and a little rain. However, garden pergolas can also have elements of impregnated fabrics.

The main difference between an awning and a pergola is the method of their installation. The first sunshade is mounted on the facade of the building. It has no legs, supports or any vertical elements. A pergola, on the other hand, stands on the ground and is supported by posts or entire walls.

Markiza to lekka konstrukcja na taras i do ogrodu. Tkaninowe poszycie jest rozpięta na stelażu, przymocowanym do elewacji budynku

An awning is a lightweight structure for the terrace and garden. The fabric covering is stretched on a frame, attached to the facade of the building

Photo: fotosforyou_rk © Pixabay

Awnings and pergolas — how to choose a terrace canopy?

If you are looking for a sun shading system that will be ideal for your terrace, you need to consider two basic factors: space and budget. The right design should fit the size of your garden, balcony or terrace, leaving room for greenery and other planned features. Cost is also important. The prices of awnings can differ significantly from the cost of purchasing a pergola, especially if an elaborate structure and difficult installation are involved. Taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions, you are sure to choose the best sun protection for your terrace!

Odpowiednio dobrane zadaszenie powinno być dopasowane do rozmiarów tarasu, balkonu lub ogrodu, pozostawiając miejsce na zaplanowaną zieleń

A properly selected canopy should fit the size of the terrace, balcony or garden, leaving room for the planned greenery

Photo: evening_tao © Freepik

Does a terrace awning protect against rain?

A modern awning is a functional terrace canopy that will surprise you in a positive way! Yes, this type of sunshade has some limitations. A textile canopy will be a great protection from the sun's rays and a little rain, but it can't remain unzipped during strong winds and intense downpour. Mounting an awning is an ideal solution for a small garden, terrace or balcony — wherever there is no room for vertical posts or walls. Its span can reach as much as 12 m, providing comfortable shade for a large group of people.

Terrace awning — types, functions and costs

If you want to buy an awning that will work for years, make sure that its arm is made of extruded aluminum, coated with a durable varnish. The aesthetics and appearance of the canopy must go hand in hand with high weather resistance. The canopy should be made of high-quality acrylic or polyester material. The important parameters here will be impregnation, UV resistance and water repellent properties.

You also need to know that modern awnings are equipped with a number of mechanisms and functions to facilitate their use:

  • you can choose electric or manual control with a crank,

  • full-cassette awnings have an elegant appearance and additional protection of the retracted cover; other options are half-cassette or no cassette at all,

  • the shape of the textile canopy is usually rectangular, which provides the best stability, but many manufacturers make canopies to size according to the customer's wishes,

  • most awning models allow the installation of LED lighting and even rain sensors, integrated into the home SMART system.

The cost of installing an awning is PLN 300-500, while the prices of individual models range from PLN 1000-4000, depending on the size, control system and materials used.

Markiza jest świetnym zabezpieczeniem przed słońcem i niewielkim deszczem. Jednak podczas porywistego wiatru i gwałtownej burzy trzeba ją złożyć

An awning provides great protection from the sun and a little rain. However, during gusty winds and violent storms it needs to be folded down

Photo: Brant Synt © UNSPLASH

Modern terrace pergola and its functions

A large garden or spacious terrace is a strong argument for choosing a pergola. Its stable construction allows you to enclose any large area. Remember that the largest awnings can cover at most 25 sq m in shade, pergolas have no such limitations. A garden pergola can also be a freestanding gazebo anywhere on your property.

Each pergola consists of vertical load-bearing elements that support an openwork canopy. Traditional structures of this type are made of wood and can often be found as supports for climbing plants in home gardens. However, modern terrace pergolas are elegant, lightweight and stable sheds made of aluminum, polycarbonate or steel. You can also customize their appearance and function to suit your needs.

What possibilities does a pergola offer?

A wall-mounted pergola is a great sun protection system for building a terrace, located adjacent to the house. Stable front supports will protect the entire structure from strong gusts of wind. The development created in this way can be supplemented with any elements, protecting the side walls of the terrace. Blinds, roller-blinds, mosquito nets or even glass panels will be perfect for this role. Deciding on a full enclosure, you can create a backyard veranda that will protect you from the cold and rain regardless of the season. Remember that a full terrace enclosure is an expense of tens of thousands of zlotys. It is best to entrust the installation of the terraces to the manufacturer's team.

Compared to an awning, a pergola gives you much more possibilities to expand and personalize your terrace as well as fully insulate its interior from the outside environment.

If you are looking for ideas for interesting arrangements of your home space, be sure to take a look at the terraces section. We gather there the most interesting solutions and inspiring trends for you!

Pergola daje możliwość pełnej zabudowy tarasu. Dzięki niej możesz stworzyć całoroczną werandę, która ochroni Cię przed zimnem i deszczem

Pergola gives you the opportunity to fully develop your terrace. Thanks to it you can create a year-round veranda, which will protect you from the cold and rain

Photo by Max Vakhtbovycn © Pexels

Pergola roofing: laths or fabric?

Being able to choose the material for the roof is another difference between an awning and a pergola. In the first case, the canopy will always be textile, you can only decide on the type of fabric, its color and properties. The cover in awnings is usually made of acrylic or polyester with a weight of at least 300 gsm and reinforced with a PVC coating. Thanks to these properties, the canopy stretched over the terrace is extremely resistant to the sun's rays and effectively protects against rain.

The roof of the pergola can also be made of fabric, but in this case automatically adjustable laths are more popular.

Roof laths are horizontal slats (a.k.a. profiles) that are mounted on the pergola roofing in such a way, that you can adjust their angle as desired. Thanks to this technique, the canopy can be full or openwork and let in as much light as you want. You can adjust the angle of the lamellas by pressing a button on a remote control. Their movements can also be integrated into a SMART HOME system.

If you opt for a pergola with a fabric roof, you can also adjust its opening very easily. A canopy of this type can be rolled up completely or partially, letting the warm rays of the sun onto the terrace. However, you won't be able to achieve an openwork shading effect, which is only possible with adjustable slats.

Poszycie pergoli może być wykonane z tkaniny lub automatycznych lameli. Oba rodzaje zadaszenia umożliwiają pełne lub częściowe zacienienie tarasu

The pergola canopy can be made of fabric or automatic lamellas. Both types of canopy allow full or partial shading of the terrace

Photo by Max Vakhtbovycn © Pexels

Traditional awning and modern pergola – or maybe vice versa?

To make the house and terrace look cohesive, the canopy must be a part of a well-thought-out design. Fortunately, the market is keeping up with architects' visions, offering awnings and pergolas to suit every style.

A romantic striped garden awning (with a valance!) is immediately associated with a traditional house, a wooden terrace and a garden full of flowers. Of course, you can easily find products of this type in the offer of manufacturers. However, you can also find awnings that are modern canopies in a minimalist style. A simple canopy in anthracite or beige will fit perfectly into the elegant surroundings of modernist buildings.

A garden pergola can also surprise you with its original design. Some canopies of this type are modern sheds made of aluminum or steel, which look great in the company of modern buildings. However, pergolas can also be made of wood! This natural and timeless material can be a part of a rustic terrace, perfectly harmonizing with the surrounding nature. If you want a touch of romance, a fabric roof or airy curtains will be the perfect complement to this arrangement.

Romantyczna pergola w ogrodzie? Jeśli wybierzesz drewno i zwiewne zasłony, bez trudu uzyskasz ten efekt

A romantic pergola in the garden? If you choose wood and airy curtains, you can easily achieve this effect

Photo by Randy Fath © UNSPLASH

Do you want to enjoy relaxing time on your terrace during this season? Now is the perfect time to install a canopy! With the right enclosure, terrace can become your favorite place to relax until late autumn.

We have more inspiration for you about furnishing terrace!

Compiled by:MAŁGORZATA URBAŃSKA

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