Skip to main content

Deciding between a pergola vs patio cover for your outdoor living space? You’re not alone, thousands of homeowners make this same difficult decision each year. Pergolas and patio covers are both great ways to make an outdoor space more livable. And since both come customized to fit your home, it can be really difficult to decide which one is best. Fortunately, we’ll walk through all the factors to consider when choosing between the two so that you make the best decision possible. Keep reading to learn more! 

What’s The Difference Between A Patio Cover vs Pergola?

Patio covers are often attached directly to the home—which is why they are commonly considered a “home extension”— though they can also be freestanding. Patio covers typically feature a solid roof and are built from materials such as vinyl and aluminum. Vinyl patio covers are a popular, cost-effective choice for durability, though insulated aluminum patio covers are another great, durable option. Insulated aluminum patio covers can be a bit more expensive, but the added insulation comes with temperature-control benefits.

Like patio covers, pergolas can also be freestanding, or attached directly to the home. The main difference is that though patio covers have a solid roof, pergolas have a non-solid roof made of beams, allowing for filtered sunlight and some (but not full) protection from the elements. Commonly used elements in pergola construction also include aluminum, steel, wood, and vinyl. 

Pergola Benefits

Not only are pergolas typically a more cost-effective option when compared to a patio cover, but they are one of the most flexible outdoor elements from a design perspective. Pergolas can be built just about anywhere—on decks, over grills, or elsewhere in the yard—allowing for total customization. Additionally, pergolas made from aluminum are very low maintenance and require little cleaning or regular care once complete. As a downside, pergolas do tend to provide little privacy/protection from the elements.

Patio Cover Benefits

One of the biggest benefits of patio covers is that they provide complete protection from the elements—from sun to rain and even snow! With the total protection provided by a patio cover, you can enjoy your outdoor space all year long. Another huge patio cover benefit is that you can install mounted fans, TVs, and other entertainment systems so that your patio space truly becomes an extension of your home. 

Which Is Best?

When it comes to creating the perfect outdoor space for lounging and relaxation, deciding between a patio cover and a pergola can be a tough one. Ultimately, the answer to which is best often depends on your wants, needs, and vision. If privacy and protection from the elements are high up on your wishlist, a patio cover is the way to go. With a sturdy, roof-like structure, you can enjoy the outdoors no matter what the weather brings.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more flexibility in terms of where your lounge space is located and don’t mind being a little more exposed to the elements, a pergola may be a better choice. Its open-air design allows for fresh air and sunlight, while still providing a sense of coziness and intimacy. No matter which option you choose, both patio covers and pergolas make a wonderful addition to any outdoor living space.

Torn between which would look best? Don’t worry—rely on the professionals at Blackrock Decks to help you decide.  We have over 40 years of experience providing decks, pergolas, and custom patio covers along the Wasatch Front, and we know that you’ll be happy with the finished product. Call Blackrock Decks for a quote on custom pergolas and patio covers in Utah.