What is the Difference Between a Pergola and a Patio Cover?

Installing an outdoor patio cover or pergola structure can enhance your home’s functionality and aesthetic, providing endless possibilities for greater enjoyment and appreciation of your outdoor space. It may seem tough to choose which outdoor structure is right for you if you do not fully understand the unique components of each design, but we are here to help! That is why we are taking the time today to explain the similarities and differences between a pergola and a patio cover; that way, you know the ins and outs of each design option so you can the right choice for you and your home.

Similarities of Patio Covers and pergolas

High-Quality Materials
Electrical Packages
Multiple Design Options
Affordable & Easy

Differences of Patio Covers and Pergolas

Shade Options
Gutter Systems
Hidden Components

Pergola Vs. Patio Cover

Pergolas and patio covers each provides homeowners with a unique set of benefits, but how are you to know which one is best for you? We encourage you to carefully compare the primary four similarities and four differences before making your choice. 

Similarities Between Pergolas and Patio Coverspergolas and patio covers

  • High-Quality Materials

The first similarity between pergolas and patio covers is they are both made with high-quality materials to ensure that you get a long-lasting structure that requires minimal maintenance.

For example, at Patio Covers Unlimited, our pergolas and patio covers are constructed out of high-grade aluminum and are embossed with a wood grain texture to provide the look of natural wood without the hassle of upkeep. Unlike traditional wood, they will not crack, warp, split, chip, peel, chalk, or fade, even under harsh weather exposure. Therefore, once installed, there is very little for a homeowner to do to keep their structure looking spiffy! 

  • Electrical Packages

Another similarity is the option for electrical packages. Whether you want a light breeze from a fan to ease the sweat-inducing heat of the summer or you want to be able to read your favorite book at night, electrical packages come in handy. 

Both pergolas and patio cover installation projects can add LED lights, scones, flood lights, fans, and even outlets to create a functional and fun outdoor space no matter how you choose to use it. 

  • Multiple Design Options

When adding an outdoor element to a house, homeowners may want to have their structure attached to their home or as a stand-alone. With pergolas and patio covers, both designs have the option of being attached to or detached from an existing building.  

Additionally, while the options are different, both pergolas and patio covers offer multiple design choices. For example, with Patio Cover Unlimited, our pergolas come in several sizes, shapes, and finishes. Plus, they can be adapted to any desired combination of shade and sunlight. 

With patio covers, we offer multiple colors, post and column types, skylights, and even the shape of the ends of the beams and tails. 

  • Affordable & Easy

Lastly, a prime similarity between both outdoor structures is they are affordable and easy to design in order to compliment your home. Rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars on a home addition or attempting to hand build an outdoor structure, Patio Covers Unlimited offers a reliable and affordable service to provide you with the extra livable space you need to enhance your home. 

Differences Between Pergolas and Patio Coverspergola and patio cover differences

  • Shade Options

The first main difference between pergolas and patio covers is the shade options. Pergolas are an open roof system, whereas patio covers have a solid roof. 

You can balance shade and light with pergolas to suit your unique preferences. Whether you want a tight lattice to provide a darker shade or a wide lattice to let in more fun, both are available options. In comparison, a patio cover will provide constant shade and protect you more from the elements with its solid roofing system. 

  • Waterproofing

Speaking of the roof system, waterproofing is a second significant difference. With pergolas, you will get wet if you decide to sit out in the rain. On the other hand, patio covers provide rain protection due to the solid roof. Unless the wind is blowing sideways, you will stay dry. So, if watching the rain while drinking a hot beverage sounds like your cup of tea (pun intended), a patio cover would be the better option.  

  • Gutter Systems

Speaking of rain, what about gutters? With patio covers, the open lattice roof system lets the water right through, so there is no need for rain collection. However, with patio covers, the rain needs to be redirected to prevent unnecessary problems to the surrounding structures and landscaping. 

Therefore, all solid patio covers built by Patio Covers Unlimited include a complete gutter system and are backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

  • Hidden Components 

The final significant difference between pergolas and patio covers is hidden components. Since patio covers are an open lattice roof system, there is nowhere to hide cords powering fans or lights. While you can minimize the visuals of them with proper planning, they are still present. With patio covers, there is the option of running electrical cords through the roof system, hiding it from view. 

Patio Covers Unlimited Northwest Pergola and Patio Cover Installation patio covers vs pergolas

Now that you have a greater understanding of the differences between pergolas and patio covers, are you ready to take the next step in your installation? No matter which structure you choose, Patio Covers Unlimited Northwest is here to provide you with the ideal structure to enhance your home, backyard, and outdoor living space. 

We serve homeowners in Eastern Washington, including the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Yakima, and surrounding areas. For more information on our services, please complete our contact form, and we will get back to you soon! 

P.S. Psssst! There are more options than just pergolas and patio covers when it comes to outdoor structures. Click HERE to learn about all of the available services we provide! 

P.P.S: Be sure to read our previous article on The Benefits Patio Covers: 8 Best Benefits of Installing a Patio Cover

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