What are my options to cover my pergola?

While pergola’s are beautiful, there remains questions as to how much shade they actually provide. Over the past 10 years, there have been a variety of solutions that will provide additional shade and even create a dry space under your pergola.


The early solutions were fabric that could be attached to the top of the pergola to act similar to an awning but they were fixed in place. They came in a variety of colors and the Sunbrella fabric prevented them from fading. Some of the challenges we mildew and they still were not water proof.

Later, a company called Shade Tree developed a retractable fabric that installed under the pergola rafters. These have great utility but again are not water proof.

Most recently, we have discovered a polycarbonate resin that acts as a roof that can be screwed down on top of the pergola. This not only provides additional shade but is water proof!

If you are looking for just more shade, the easy solution is to add more rafters and perlins and place them closer together! To see a complete photo gallery of images of pergolas, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

Composite Deck and Pergola

How much sun comes through a pergola versus a porch roof?

Trex deck with pergola and composite rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex deck with pergola and composite rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

The famous question….how much sun protection will a pergola provide? What are the advantages of a pergola versus a porch roof?

At Archadeck of Charlotte we get asked this question almost daily! The answer lies in how the pergola is constructed. For example, the closer you space your rafters and perlins, the more sun protection you will receive. This is not to say it will stop all of the sun, but then again, neither will a roof. If you think about it, the sun moves all day long and your roof and or pergola of course are stationery. At any given time, the sun may peak under the roof as well. What both the pergola and the roof provide are some protection. The primary difference comes when you have rain, then the roof is the better protection by a long shot.

One solution to provide rain protection on a pergola is to cover it with either a canvas or metal pan system. There are some very nice products on the market now to cover a pergola with and you can get many design ideas at http://www.charlotte.archadeck. com

In the end, pergola’s can provide quite a bit of protection depending on how they are designed and the additional features you may choose to add to them. Talk to a professional who can guide you through the various options and prices!

Read the great review on this Charlotte patio built by Archadeck

Paver Patio with ledge stone fire pit and sitting wall and a wood pergola with an outdoor kitchen in Ft. Mill, SC by Archadeck of Charlotte

Paver Patio with ledge stone fire pit and sitting wall and a wood pergola with an outdoor kitchen in Ft. Mill, SC by Archadeck of Charlotte

Here is a review by a recent (2014) customer of Archadeck of Charlotte:

“From beginning to end: professional, honest, caring, and most expert in their profession. The result is beautiful. Every stage was planned, explained, executed and reviewed. Job was completed quickly, neatly, and thoroughly. Our every concern was addressed and viable suggestions added by Greg. Callan, Sue and others in admin. kept job on schedule. Construction by Master Craftsman, Waylon, and crew provided product with beautiful finish. Patrick kept a close eye on project and made sure all parties were on the same page. Minor aftercare issue handled with same courtesy. Third party guarantee was a nice bonus. As the ad says: Getting what you want, without a hitch—priceless”

-Jay Goldstein

What are my best options for shade structures in NC/SC?

outdoor fireplace charlotte, outdoor kitchen charlotte, open porch, stone patio

Stone Outdoor Fireplace in Charlotte on patio in porch

Most people in the Carolinas at some point are looking for shade options for their backyard. Whether it is to cover a patio, cover a deck, or even an outdoor kitchen, people want protection from the elements.

There are many options to achieve this depending on budget, architectural concerns, and size. Pergolas, arbors, and trellis’ are words often used interchangeably that are relatively inexpensive options to provide some shade. They are generally custom built in materials that range from wood to vinyl. They are not rain resistant but can be with the appropriate covers that are now available on the market. You can purchase fabric for the top of the pergola, aluminum ceilings that install under the rafters, and even polycarbonate roof sheathing that allows lights into the structure but does stop rain from coming through.

Retractable awnings provide wonderful shade protection and are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes.

Solid roofs or what we refer to as covered patios or covered decks (“Open Porches”) are going to be more expensive but ultimately provide the most protection from all of the elements. They can be designed and built with matching roof shingles to your home, matching gutters, and matching soffit and fascia that will make the cover to appear to be a natural extension of the house!

Archadeck of Charlotte is a custom builder of shade structures and outdoor living spaces, to see a large photo gallery of options, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Want to cover an outdoor kitchen?

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this covered outdoor kitchen with a cabana and all of the outdoor appliances including a Fire Magic AOG Grill

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this covered outdoor kitchen with a cabana and all of the outdoor appliances including a Fire Magic AOG Grill

How can you cover an outdoor kitchen? It is a question we get asked often at Archadeck of Charlotte! There are multiple ways to provide various levels of protection against sun and the elements.

The least expensive is construct a decorative pergola/ arbor that will at least provide some shade from the sun and also can be quite attractive! You could have a cabana/ gazebo designed and built that is more elaborate and depending on the architecture of your home, it can really enhance your outdoor kitchen and outdoor living space.

Another option is to construct it in a screen porch. This can be done with a vent in order to properly ventilate the room. To see great outdoor kitchen cover designs, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Brick outdoor kitchen with a Green Egg and outdoor sink in Charlotte by Archadeck

Brick outdoor kitchen with a Green Egg and outdoor sink in Charlotte by Archadeck

What is the true function of a Pergola or an Arbor, do they work?

Archadeck of Charlotte is constantly asked, what does a pergola or arbor really do? It is just decorative or does it have a function?

Archadeck of Charlotte built this pergola and paver patio

White pergola and paver patio in Charlotte, NC by Archadeck of Charlotte

Depending on how it is designed and what your objectives are for it, it can absolutely serve a function. While pergola’s/ arbor’s will not stop rail or wind, they definitely can provide shade. The closer you space the rafter’s and the perlins together, the more shade they will provide!

There are products on the market that will provide even additional shade and protection. For example, there are both fixed and retractable fabrics that can be installed that will provide complete shade from up above when you want it. These come in various colors and price ranges and we are able to give you great and up to date information on these.

The bottom line on pergola’s is that they can definitely provide shade and they add tremendous aesthetic appeal to a deck or patio! To see a wide variety of pergola’s, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this deck and pergola

Composite deck and pergola in Charlotte

Ultimate Outdoor Living Area design concepts and ideas

Archadeck of Charlotte has been designing and building outdoor living spaces for over 24 years now. The outdoor living space has been redefined in recent years and the concepts and ideas are endless. Consumers are looking to extend their homes to the outdoors more and more and it is no longer just a nice deck or patio.

Travertine patio in Charlotte with outdoor fireplace by Archadeck

Archadeck of Charlotte outdoor fireplace, travertine patio, and stone sitting walls

Today’s trends are centered around 4 areas: shade, fire, cooking, and water.  Home entertaining is more and more popular as people don’t want to drink and drive, they avoid the expense of restaurants, vacations, or just love the idea of escaping in their own backyard.

   Shade structures are an important part of outdoor living. Screen porches are largely popular in Charlotte as they provide refuge from the sun and insects. Other solutions include covered patio’s, pergola’s, and retractable awnings.

    Whether it’s a stone outdoor fireplace or stone fire pit, the fire features are still growing in popularity. It is not just the idea of providing heat, it is a visual focal point and great gathering area for friends and family.

   Outdoor kitchens are growing every year in popularity. People are no longer satisfied with just a grill. Most common additions include a refrigerator, a sink, a smoker, and side burner.

     Water features can be a hot tub, spa, pond, or water fall to create soothing noise. Water features are mostly about ambiance and beauty.

Travertine tile screen porch with stone outdoor fireplace

Screen Porch with integrated outdoor fireplace and outdoor TV and tile on screen porch

The latest trend is outdoor showers and bathrooms. Archadeck is seeing an large increase in demand especially in backyards equipped with pools, hot tubs, or a lakefront property. To view the latest in outdoor livng design concepts and ideas, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com