A good outdoor space is an essential part of any Aussie home. If you’re thinking about extending, renovating or remodeling your home, it can be tricky to work out what’s the best outdoor structure for your property. Should you go for a patio or a pergola? What about a verandah?
To help you make the most informed decision, we will go through some of the differences between patios and pergolas and the house types and purposes that suit these outdoor spaces.
What is a Patio?
A patio is often installed as an extension of the main house. It is a recreational outdoor space, often reserved for dining or casual gatherings. The Spanish term ‘patio’ is actually used to refer to roofless outdoor courtyards. In Australia, however, it is almost always used to refer to roofed structures. Additionally, patios are typically paved. Common flooring materials include concrete, stone pavers or gravel. Wooden decking is also a popular choice.
In terms of shade, you can get polycarbonate roofing installed. This will protect your patio from the harmful effects of infrared and ultraviolet rays. At the same time, it won’t block natural sunlight.
While patios and pergolas look similar, there are slight differences in their respective purposes. Generally speaking, patios are much more versatile. The area can be a dining spot, a lounging area or even an open game room. In terms of home decor, it is quite flexible. You can decorate it however you like and establish an ambience that suits you.
A patio is a great way to add personality to your property. Install it the right way, and your home will become attractive to many potential buyers. Although it isn’t as common in Australia, it’s also possible to have a roofless patio.
What is a Pergola?
Pergola is an Italian term that refers to the outdoor feature that supports trained vines and climbing plants. Traditionally, they are made of wooden support beams and a latticework that lays overhead. These structures often used foliage as shade.
Unlike traditional patios, providing shade is a fundamental part of pergolas. Instead of having a wooden lattice laced with vines, most modern pergolas feature roofs made of polycarbonate or metal. Pergolas can be installed as an extension of your house or as a detached structure.
One major difference between patios and pergolas is their respective relationship with nature. Traditional pergolas were mainly ornamental and were often used to enhance a garden area. They were designed to interact and intertwine with climbing plants and foliage.
More modern designs, however, have made pergolas more similar patios in a sense that they offer a versatile casual outdoor gathering space. Some homes even feature pergolas that don’t fully integrate with their gardens.
Which one is Right for your Property?
When choosing between a patio or a pergola, don’t just go with what looks good. Aesthetics are important, but it’s the practicalities that are going to make or break these outdoor spaces.
For example, getting a traditional pergola installed at your home will certainly add flair to your property. The intertwining vines and the foliage shade will be amazing to look at. However, if you’re planning to use it for outdoor events, you’ll find that a wooden lattice isn’t going to keep your space dry during the wetter months.
There are also some legal issues to consider. If you’re planning to build a sizable detached pergola, you might need to get a building permit from your local council. On the other hand, if you want a patio extension for your main home, most local governments will allow it without the need for a permit. To be safe, it’s best to check the official Australian government pages regarding the necessary paperwork.
Now that you know the difference between a patio and pergola, you’re ready to start planning the outdoor space of your dreams. There are a few key things to remember before you start building. You have to consider what you intend to use the space for, your aesthetic preferences and of course your budget. Keep these things in mind and you should be able to create an enviable outdoor space.