August 22, 2018

Differences between Patios And Pergolas

Patios and pergolas are quite often confused with each other, and for good reason. They are very similar in their design, use and construction with the difference usually coming down to a mix of aesthetics and purpose. On the one hand you have pergolas, which are traditionally detached from the house and made of sturdy materials such as metal, polycarbonate or treated timber decking wood. On the other hand you have patios, which are an outdoor area, generally attached to your house built with pavers or timber decking, with or without a covering.

Have you got some great timber patio plans? Maybe a great vision for a bold pergola? Maybe you’re not sure if you want a patio or a pergola built in your backyard? Before you make your decision, let’s do a bit more digging into what separates patios and pergolas so you can make an informed decision.

What is a Patio?

The word itself is Spanish. It’s original meaning referred to an inner courtyard devoid of a roof. It has since been adopted by the English language and in the process gained a slightly different meaning. We usually you the word patio to describe outdoor timber decking or just a general outdoor area out the back of our property, connected to our home. Most timber patio plans are rounded out with paving and in some cases even a roof.

Timber decking is a great material to use when constructing your patio as it is super versatile and lets you get creative with your timber patio plans. Stain or paint the timber decking so that it matches your home. You will be required to do some yearly upkeep though as timber decking requires a bit of tender loving care to keep it at it’s best.

What is a Pergola?

Italy is the pergola place of birth with the word originating from there. It’s Italian meaning describes a outdoor structure purposefully built to support climbing plants such as vines. Plants would grow up and around the beams and rafter creating a striking natural looking structure. Over time they would turn into naturally shaded areas.

Pergolas are generally detached from the house and are freestanding in the middle of your outdoor area. Many of them are largely ornamental and built as a statement piece. As the word was adopted into the English language it has come to define a wide selection of outdoor structures with pergolas connected to your house included.

What is the difference?

By now you might be asking ‘if a pergola is attached to the house AND has a roof, what separates it from a patio?’. You are right that they are essentially the same thing but the difference comes down to it’s purpose. A pergola, attached to your house or not, is generally designed as a part of your garden or yard. It’s purpose is to enhance the garden and work in tandem with it to provide an enjoyable space. Your timber patio plans are designed to be an extension of your home, rather than an actual part of the garden.

As you can see the differences between a patio and a pergola are minimal but also important. It’s all about the areas intended purpose and how the space has been designed. If you’re ready to action your timber patio plans or start use some timber decking to construct a pergola head over to and talk to the team. Your backyard will be looking awesome no matter what you go with.