Pergola, Awning, or Solar Shades? How to Decide For Your Home


From a tranquil, shaded oasis to a verdant and picturesque backdrop, the right installation can go a long way towards ensuring homeowners are able to enjoy the perfect backyard environment. A pergola can make a handsome accent for any garden or landscaped environment while outdoor solar screens can provide relief from the summer heat or even even help to reduce utility costs. For homeowners who may be considering a new landscaping project or exterior renovation, weighing the potential benefits that each installation and option has to offer is often the best way to get started.


A pergola can provide the same shade and protection from the elements as an awning, without limiting the locations and installation options that can be utilized. While awnings are typically attached to the home or other outdoor structures, a pergola is a free-standing structure. While some pergolas feature an open roof design that may be ideal for defining a space or providing vines and other climbing plants with room to grow, others may feature a variety of roofing styles in order to provide superior shade or to help create a cozier and more sheltered environment.


While an awning may be more limited than a pergola in terms of possible positions and installation locations, the addition of an awning can have quite an impact on a patio or deck. Access to an outdoor environment is often dependent upon the weather. Outdoor furnishings and environments that have been shaded and sheltered by an awning can be enjoyed rain or shine. The installation of an awning is also a great way to add a splash of color to an outdoor deck or patio area, a decorative detail which can help to create a more well-defined space.

Solar Shades

The simplest option for those who are seeking relief from the summer heat, solar shades are designed to be deployed from an upper mounting point and are frequently used in concert with an awning or even a pergola in order to create a more secluded space. These shades can be installed in a number of different configurations, including retractable shades that can be deployed at need or on multiple sides of a space in order to provide superior privacy and even protection from insects and other pests. Shades that block sunlight that would otherwise fall on an exposed window, a glass door or even an exterior wall can help to promote more efficient cooling of interior environments.

Maintenance and Upkeep

When deciding on which installation may be best suited for an upcoming renovation or home upgrade, cost is often an important concern. While purchasing a solar shade for use with an existing installation or structure may be of only trivial expense, building a new pergola can be an expensive undertaking. Maintenance and upkeep are often overlooked when it comes to tabulating costs, and homeowners would do well to select materials and installation options that will be as durable as possible in order to keep from exceeding their allotted budget.

Utility Costs and Property Value

Awnings and solar shades are usually the go-to option for home and property owners who are interested in curbing their cooling costs, although a well-positioned pergola can also make a difference. While the addition of a single solar screen is unlikely to be a factor when determining the market value of a home, a well-constructed pergola or even a quality awning may prove to be a significant asset. Being able to make better use of outdoor spaces and environments is a popular concern among many potential home buyers, and properties that already feature a comfortable and well-sheltered deck, patio or outdoor area may fetch a higher price when sold.

Making the Right Choice

From finding ways to add value to a home to simply creating a more comfortable outdoor space, choosing the right installation can make a real difference. Homeowners would do well to learn more about various options and to consider what each installation has to offer before arriving at a decision. Choosing the right option means that exterior home-improvement efforts are more likely to be met with success.