Do you want to capture the old world charm in your back yard, get a touch of nostalgia? TRS can build contemporary arbors that are modeled on old designs: Victorian, for example. Many are grand affairs, sited to command a view over the garden and surrounding area or set as a focal point to attract the eye and form a welcome shaded seat.
Whether a freestanding construction or a “lean-to” with overhead beams attached to a house wall, the main use of the pergola today is to provide shaded cover over an area for alfresco entertaining. Overhead beams alongside the house — especially when clothed in climbing plants — help keep adjacent rooms cool in summer, protect furnishings from the fading effect of strong sunlight, and form a good visual link between the house and garden.
This association is successful because the open canopy of overhead beams and climbers becomes an effective transition between the solid roof of the house and the foliage and branch structure of the surrounding vegetation.
In many ways, a pergola with overhead beams is more satisfactory than a structure with either a solid canopy or a glass roof. A solid roof can run the risk of providing too much shade and appearing too heavy; it casts no interesting patterns of light and shadow and allows little air circulation. Glass roofs, while letting in more light, may become too hot and cause glare, requiring some form of screening and again casting too much shade. A roof such as this will, of course, protect you from rain, but the noise in a storm may prove too loud for you to remain comfortable, anyway.
Modern pergolas are really no more than a new look at a very old type of structure, designed to be inexpensive and easy to build. The do-it-yourself pergola kits currently available come with prenotched crossbeams and posts, corner braces and planed posts with a beveled edge, all made from lumber treated against rot.
The use of today’s structures has spread to encompass more contemporary functions such as carports: a wooden framework with a roof of slatted wood and climbing plants is far more attractive than utilitarian corrugated plastic roofing. This slatted wooden construction has also been used to good effect in the building of shadehouses, which allow you to grow shade-loving plants in gardens with no natural shade.
Pergolas have truly replaced traditional arbors as shaded walkways, even in small gardens. The traditional Italianate theme of a cloister-like shaded walkway around a central, open courtyard can be very successful today in small city gardens