Ideas for Outdoor Pergola Design with Stylish Roofs

When you’ve decided to add a pergola to your outdoor area, you may not realise how important your choice of roof actually is. Fortunately, any pergola designer worth their salt understands this and will help you to determine which shape will best meet your requirements. In this article, we have outlined the areas that your designer will consider in selecting the ideal roof.

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The Area

The very first thing to consider is the area where the pergola is going to be built, as this will dictate the design, scale and limitations of the structure. Property boundaries, the existing home (position, shape and design), other fixed structures (such as retaining walls), significant trees, and the terrain or slope of the site will also be considered. A pergola designer’s key objective is to create an addition that complements the area and helps you to achieve your ideal lifestyle.

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The Purpose

Most homeowners will have a clear idea about how they intend to use the pergola. This can actually have a major influence on the roof shape you select.

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Outdoor Living – The priority of this space is comfort (keeping cool during the summer and warm during the winter). Gabled and curved roofs will be the best choice, as they generate shade with maximum airflow.

Gardeners Choice – The priority of this space is protection, as a gardener will want to defend their plants against direct sunlight. Gabled and curved roofs will also be the best choice here.

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Basic Cover – The priority of this space, which is rarely used for long periods of time (such as storage or cooking), is cover. Flat roofs are the best option for this purpose, as they are practical and low cost.

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Multiple Choice – The priority of this space is multifunctional (being able to be used for a variety of different purposes). The best roof is a combination of flat, gabled and curved.

The Look

A pergola designer understands that such a structure can significantly impact the overall aesthetics of your home; add your own personal touch to the space.

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Gabled – This roof is ideal for creating a spacious area that is also well ventilated. It can be designed to replicate the pitch angle of existing gabled roof structures or to contrast with a horizontal profile.

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Curved – This roof is perfect for creating a sense of high open spaces, blending the abstract elements of your garden, and making a bold statement that contrasts existing architecture.

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Flat – This roof is ideal for creating a subtle visual statement, as it combines function and simple form. It is the most popular roof currently available, but can also be seen as a little boring.


There are also a number of practical issues that may have a major influence on a pergola designer’s choice of roof shape. If you are surrounded by trees or live in a bushfire prone area, for example, a gabled or curved roof will be the best choice, as they will keep the area clear of leaves and twigs (which are fire hazards). Take your designer’s advice on board at all times.

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