An age-old question – and one that Outside Concepts gets asked quite a lot – is what’s the difference between a pergola, patio and verandah?

Pergolas, patios and verandahs generally adjoin the house, have a timber or metal structure and are used to define an outside living space. So are the names interchangeable? Is it similar to tomato and oregano, which taste the same but are pronounced differently depending on what country you live in?

In a series of articles, Outside Concepts is going to answer these questions and more, and take a look at each of these outside structures. We start with the pergola, a structure that generally unlike a patio and a verandah can be freestanding or adjoin a dwelling.

What is a pergola?

Strictly speaking, one of the big differences between a pergola and a patio or verandah is that a pergola doesn’t have roofing.

Traditionally, a pergola would have had a deciduous climber (think a grapevine, wisteria or climbing rose) growing on it to form a canopy overhead, providing protection from the summer sun while letting the winter sun shine through. But it’s not uncommon, particularly these days, for pergolas to be bare and therefore provide no protection from the sun, wind or rain.

So you might be thinking, what’s the point? If a pergola doesn’t provide protection from the elements, what does it do?

A well-designed and built pergola will define an outdoor entertainment and relaxing area. It can also add beauty, poise, form and a focal point to an otherwise bland and unbalanced part of your home. And the fact that it doesn’t provide protection from the elements can be a strength. Yes, it may be uncomfortable in the hot summer sun or unusable during rain, but at other times it will be a perfect spot to relax with a coffee or entertain with friends.

Plus, while the traditionalists might disagree, if you want to completely or partly roof your pergola there’s no reason not to. The choice is yours.

Note: At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether you want to call your new outside structure a pergola, patio or verandah. Just make sure you give Outside Concepts a call so we can organise an initial discussion. Then, when you give us the go-ahead, we can look after all aspects of the design, planning, building and clean up for you; apart from what you call it – we’ll let you decide that!

Life’s too short to compromise. Phone Outside Concepts on 1800 601 674 for a free quote.

What’s the difference between a pergola, patio and verandah?