What is the difference between a pergola and an awning?

UK Home Improvement

What Is The Difference Between A Pergola And An Awning?

In need of an outdoor structure that provides shelter from the sun and/or rain? If so, you may be considering a pergola or an awning. These are two popular investments for property owners in the UK. If you’re wondering what is the difference between a pergola and an awning, you’re not alone. Many people aren’t sure how these two structures are different or even if they are at all. 

The key difference between these two structures is that an awning is attached to a building whereas a pergola is a permanent, attached or detached structure built with posts, beams and rafters. If you’re not sure whether to choose a pergola or an awning for your property, talk to our team. We supply both awnings and pergolas in Nottingham, installing them to the highest possible standards.

What is a pergola? 

A pergola is an outdoor structure that consists of columns that support a roofing grid of rafters and beams. Bringing both style and shade to a garden and creating an ideal space to relax, dine and socialise outdoors, it’s no surprise that pergolas have become so popular over the years. Brits have learned to love their gardens again since lockdown, and this has led to more people looking for ways to enhance them. These structures are normally installed over a patio or decked area, although they can be positioned anywhere in your garden. 

Pergolas tend to be constructed from either wood or aluminium. Metal pergolas have a sleek, contemporary appearance whilst wooden pergolas offer a classic, robust look and feel. Which you choose will depend on your tastes and budget. A metal pergola will usually be pricier than a wood pergola, although you can expect it to require less maintenance over the years. 

As well as choosing which material you want, you’ll also need to choose how it operates. Some pergolas have motorised drop-down screens whereas some have screens you’ll need to operate manually. Alternatively, there are pergolas with no screens at all, providing a much more open feel. At Boyds’s Blinds, we’re on hand to help you find the perfect pergola for your property. 

What is an awning? 

An awning is a cover that extends over a space to offer shade from the sun and shelter from rain, wind and snow. Awnings often go over windows and doors of both homes and commercial buildings such as bars and cafes, providing a pleasant space to relax at any time of the year. An awning can serve as an attractive and practical extension of your home that can even add value to the property in many cases. 

These fixtures are available in many different sizes, shapes, styles and colours, catering to various needs and tastes. You’ll also need to choose whether you want your awning to be fixed or retractable and with a manual crank or motorised operation. If you’re still not sure what is the difference between a pergola and an awning and which you should choose, keep reading. 

Should I buy a pergola or an awning? 

If you’re not sure whether to choose a pergola or an awning, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. One of the biggest is space. Awnings take up much less of it thanks to their compact design. When retracted, they take up minimal space in your garden. A pergola, on the other hand, is a larger, more imposing structure, making it better for gardens with more room to spare. 

Another factor to consider is coverage. Although awnings do offer some shelter from the elements, pergolas provide a much higher level of protection. This is especially the case with pergolas that have drop-down screens. The screens can be lowered to create a rain and wind-resistant enclosure that’s ideal for relaxing in all year round.

You’ll also want to think about location. Whilst awnings are wall-mounted, pergolas can either be wall-mounted or freestanding. A wall-mounted awning provides shade for areas near the house, making them best for properties with small patios. Freestanding pergolas are more flexible in terms of placement. As long as there’s space, they can be constructed anywhere. 

Lastly, you’ll need to consider your budget when choosing between an awning and a pergola. Awnings tend to be slightly cheaper since they normally have a less complex design than pergolas. This may make them a better choice if you want a structure to provide shade in your garden but you don’t have much to spend. However, keep in mind that the cost will largely depend on the materials that are used. A high-end awning made from top-quality materials is unlikely to come cheap. 

Buying An Awning Or Pergola

If you’re looking to buy awnings or pergolas in Nottingham, Newcastle or Newport, ensure you utilise a reputable supplier like Boyd’s Blinds. By having a specialist assist you from the beginning of the process you’ll be able to cover all the considerations you need to make. From sizes and styles to colour and everything in between, you can ensure you pick the best solution for you and your needs.  


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