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Picturesque Pergolas: Design Tips and Best Pergola Builders in Reading and Lancaster, PA

Posted On: December 05,2017 By: Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Pergola design tips and finding pergola builders in Reading or Lancaster, PA.A pergola is an attractive way to enhance the quality of your outdoor living space. There’s something romantic and elegant about a pergola that other structures simply don’t offer. A pergola can make your outdoor space unique—plus, it serves some important functions, as well.

While you may think you want to add a pergola to your outdoor living space, what you may not sure of is the best way to go about doing it. If you add a pergola, you want to ultimately end up with something picturesque and perfect, but you don’t want to have to do a ton of research on your own to get there. If you choose to add a pergola, you want to find a company that understands how to design and build it in a way that takes the guesswork out of the process for you.

Your Perfect Pergola

You might be leaning toward a pergola vs. a pavilion for several reasons. You like the sense of romanticism and architectural flair that a pergola can add to your space. You also like the open feel, but you appreciate that (when positioned properly), it can still add shade and privacy to your space. Though it’s not always the case, you also know that a pergola sometimes costs less than a pavilion.

There’s no question that pergolas can add interest to a space while also “defining it.” For instance, if you have an open dining area and you incorporate a pergola design, it suddenly feels a lot more like an outdoor room. In that way, a pergola can really help complete an outdoor living space, almost like its “finishing touch.”

Pergola design tips and finding pergola builders in Reading or Lancaster, PA.

Pergolas are typically built from wood, but exactly what material you choose for your pergola design should be dependent upon how maintenance-friendly you want it to be. If you are okay with your pergola weathering naturally, then cedar is an excellent choice. However, if you want something completely maintenance-free, then you might opt for vinyl or a composite material, both of which require virtually no upkeep.

One big difference between pergola builders in Lancaster or Reading, PA, and its surrounding areas, is how involved they truly are with the design and build of your pergola. Oftentimes, these companies use kits to put together a cookie-cutter-option that looks exactly like dozens of others they’ve already created. If you want something truly unique, then be sure to look for a company who can customize your design.

 

Unique Pergolas in Reading and Lancaster, PA

Some of the best pergola designs have come from thinking outside of the box. There are so many ways to get creative when it comes to a unique feature like a pergola. For instance, pergolas do not always need to be stand-alone structures. They can be attached to the home or even to an outdoor pavilion, giving you the best of both worlds.

Pergola design tips and finding pergola builders in Reading or Lancaster, PA.

When it comes to style, anything goes. You can mix and match materials and even shapes. However, the pergola design should include an effort to unify its look with the rest of the property. That means if you have a timber frame house, then you might want to incorporate some timber frame into your pergola design for a seamless blend of styles.

Even the shape of the pergola can be unique. At Earth, Turf, & Wood, we designed a pergola that was almost a complete circle for something that was truly original. We have also designed pergolas with all types of columns from rounded to square tapered.

Beyond the material and the shape, you might also consider added features. Pergolas can be wired for lighting or even a ceiling fan, making it even more functional. And some people like to grow climbing vines on their pergola for some added interest as well as increased shade.  
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Important Tips Often Missed in Pergolas

We already talked about the fact that the average pergola builder in Lancaster or Reading, PA may give you a cookie-cutter design. But there are a few other important factors to consider with your pergola project that contractors often fail to think about.

Pergola design tips and finding pergola builders in Reading or Lancaster, PA.Orientation of Pergolas

If you want your pergola design to also provide some shade, then orientation is everything. The pergola must be properly positioned with sun angles and orientation taken into account. Orientation is also important when accounting for wind that is going to pass through the space.

Location of Your Pergola

Similar to orientation, the physical location of your pergola is another critical detail that the average builder will likely overlook. Without a thoughtful pergola design that incorporates the structure into your overall landscape, a pergola might look as though it was just “plopped there,” with no real thought.

Stability of Pergolas

One of the biggest problems with getting a prefabricated kit or hiring a contractor that uses cheap material is the stability of the structure. You want a pergola builder that will install steel beams, serving as the main structural component to the pergola. Although you don’t see these, they provide vital stability, which is important as the pergola support beams are holding a tremendous amount of weight. Since this will be right overtop of people, you want it well-supported.

 

Choosing From Pergola Builders in Lancaster, Reading, PA and Beyond

It’s important that you choose wisely when it comes to the company that is going to execute your project. Hiring any old company for your pergola design is not going to get you the picturesque pergola that you’ve been dreaming of. However, a company that has a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) on staff would be ideal to oversee something like this. An RLA will take the entire outdoor living space into account so that your pergola is perfectly incorporated.

Pergola design tips and finding pergola builders in Reading or Lancaster, PA.An RLA will also think about all those small details that really go into making your pergola look like a seamless addition to your overall landscape design. And instead of getting something cookie-cutter, you’ll get the customization that you desire.

If you choose Earth, Turf, & Wood for your pergola design, you can be sure that you will get all of that. We have designed and created many projects that incorporated gorgeous, one-of-a-kind pergolas. If you want something that truly completes your beautiful outdoor living area, then be sure to choose the company that is best-suited to fulfill your needs.

If you’re ready to have a picturesque pergola in your backyard and want to find out more about our pergola designs for your Lancaster, York, Hershey, or Reading, PA home, check out our Dream Builder Budget Calculator and contact us for a free consultation. With the process under way, you can sit back and relax knowing that in no time you’ll be enjoying the pergola of your dreams.

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Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Written by Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Mary Hatch Dresser is a Registered Landscape Architect with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design. Mary has designed landscapes for 32 years and joined ETW exclusively in 2009. Mary is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); and also serves on the Shade Tree Committee in Strasburg Borough where she resides. Mary prides herself in carefully listening to her clients to professionally meld their ideas and personal criteria with sound, experienced design practice.

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