A pergola on a deck is a simple outdoor structure that blurs the boundary between inside and out while providing overhead shade. This addition is great for families who want to be outside during peak sun times without scorching. The canopy and rafters minimize sunlight for a few hours each day. The space and size of pergola’s louvers and lattice give different amounts of shade or sunlight and transforms your deck into a partially shaded outdoor room.
Lancaster County deck builders are mavericks at creating these sturdy outdoor structures. Each pergola can be freestanding and close to the house or attached to the deck.
How to Support Free Standing Pergolas
frees tanding Azek pergola
Freestanding pergolas stay upright by first using a power auger, shovel or clamshell digger to dig post holes to the recommended depth set forth by local building codes. Once the holes are dug, the craftsmen measure diagonally to make sure the measurements are identical before setting the posts and making sure they’re plumb.
Builders brace the post with stakes and pour concrete in the holes until it reaches an inch below the surface. The concrete will be the consistency of peanut butter. Builders churn the concrete to break up air pockets and then let the concrete set for 48 hours. This is the foundation for a pergola that’s placed in the yard.
Securing a Pergola on a Deck
Whereas a free-standing pergola is set with concrete in the ground, a deck pergola sits up high and builders must ensure the pergola remains steady in heavy wind.
Instead of burying the posts in the ground, a deck pergola is held up by four posts attached to the joists—not the floorboards—of the deck. This prevents the structure from tumbling. Often Amish deck builders will use extra coated hot-dipped galvanized thick steel hardware to connect it.
white pergola on a deck white vinyl pergola installed on Azek Island Oak deck
In both instances the post bases and columns support the weight of the structure. Timber bolts secure the beams which create the pergola’s iconic open framework.
There are countless ways to customize your structure regardless of whether you desire a freestanding pergola or to build a pergola on a raised deck. By adding a pergola, it embellishes an otherwise a plain appearance of a deck that is devoid of additional architectural details.
Pergola with Canopy Ideas
Canopies are a popular addition to a pergola. If you’re torn between adding a pergola or awning to your deck, consider a pergola with a canopy.
Awnings are known to enhance a home’s architecture, create a defined space, protect interior and exterior furniture from the sun, and may help control inside temperatures.
A pergola canopy offers similar benefits and works on both free-standing pergolas and ones on new and existing decks.
Not only does the covered structure define an outside space and enhance privacy, but it—like the awning—will offer shade and protection from the elements while also affording additional space for plants like clematis, ivy, wisteria, grape vines and honeysuckles to flourish and offer more shade.
Best of all with attractive landscaping, an affordable pergola enhances the beauty of your outdoor area and can help to add as much as 20 percent to your home.
These structures are as beautiful as they are functional. Canopies have a track that mounts on the underside. Manually pull the canvas in and out without worrying about tearing the canopy which feels like a high-end patio umbrella.
The open canvas allows sun to peek though and air to flow. A closed canvas shades the structure and prevents rain from soaking the furniture underneath.
Canopies can match nearly any size pergola. It will cover the width and length. Choose from over 20 different fabric styles for the perfect complement to your deck and home.
Canopies vary largely price depending on the length of the drive beam. Please contact us for pricing info.
Please note: If you have an existing pergola and you want us to add a canopy, it may cost you more depending if we need to retrofit your pergola to fit the canopy.
Pergola Sun Shades
Customers love pergolas with shades. We found a company in Ohio that makes high quality, retractable shade curtains that work well on the side of pergolas and gazebos. We can also modify your current deck railings to install these curtains, even if you don’t have a gazebo or pergola.