I have a patio I'd like to cover, but I'm not sure whether a full
cover or pergola is what I want/need. My main reason for the cover is
shade, but for those few days we get rain it would be nice for a full
cover. Also cost is an issue. I'm confident that with my current
skill level I can put up a pergola myself, but if I go with a full
cover I'd like to make it seamless with the roofline and shingle over
it... which I'd need a contractor to do.
At any rate, can who's gone down this road through out some pros and
cons of either? I know there are very few cons to a full cover, but
has anyone gone with a pergola and totally regretted it?
Thanks for any comments or suggestions. The patio right now is only
about 10'x8', but I'm planning expanding it to maybe 20'x15' or so
(still not sure on dimentions since I'm not sure where my septic lines
There are cons, or at least caveats, with the full covering.
(1) Slope. If the patio cover is too flat you'll face leaks where it
meets the house roof, no matter how hard you try to prevent them.
(It's because in heavy rains the water will actually run "uphill,"
that is, backs up because of the slow run off, and can wick UNDER your
(2) Architecture. You want this new patio roof to "fit" with the
house, and not look cheesy. Ideally, this means continuation of the
facia board from house, out around the patio, then returning back to
house in one horizontal line. You don't have to do it this way, but it
helps to think about the architecture before you start.
(3) Ceiling height and shape where porch meets the house soffit. This
could mean lowering joists, or else, stepping them up....etc.
Cons with pergola fall mainly on the nails and nail points. I've seen
cedar which is fairly weather resistant rot on pergolas where the
nails have allowed rain to enter the wood. This is especially true
where joists rest on beams and are toenailed. Rain seeps in and sits
there. Kinda hard to prevent this by design. Don't expect paint to
Also, I've never seen pergolas as a means of providing much shade. But
it's decidedly going to be the cheapest to build.
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