How to cover a pergola?

How to cover a pergola?


Covering a pergola can transform it into a comfortable and versatile outdoor space that can be enjoyed year-round. Whether you want to provide shade, protect against rain, or create a cozy atmosphere, there are various options available for covering a pergola. In this article, we will explore different methods and materials to help you choose the best option for your pergola.

1. Retractable Canopy

Materials used: Weather-resistant fabric, retractable frame, mounting brackets.

A retractable canopy is a popular choice for covering a pergola as it offers flexibility. It allows you to adjust the amount of shade or sunlight you desire. The canopy is typically made of weather-resistant fabric that can withstand different weather conditions. The retractable frame can be mounted on the pergola’s structure, and the canopy can be extended or retracted using a manual or motorized system.

2. Shade Sail

Materials used: UV-resistant fabric, ropes or cables, mounting hardware.

Shade sails are another versatile option for covering a pergola. These triangular or rectangular pieces of fabric are stretched tightly between anchor points on the pergola’s structure. Shade sails are available in various colors and sizes and offer protection against harmful UV rays. They can be easily installed using ropes or cables and require minimal maintenance.

3. Pergola Roofing

Materials used: Polycarbonate sheets, metal panels, wooden shingles.

If you prefer a more permanent and solid covering for your pergola, roofing materials can be used. Polycarbonate sheets are lightweight, durable, and provide excellent UV protection. Metal panels, such as aluminum or steel, offer a sleek and modern look while being resistant to weather elements. Wooden shingles can create a rustic and charming atmosphere but require regular maintenance.

4. Climbing Plants

Materials used: Climbing plants, trellis or wire mesh.

For a natural and visually appealing covering, consider using climbing plants. Vines like wisteria, grapevines, or climbing roses can be trained to grow on a trellis or wire mesh attached to the pergola’s structure. As the plants grow and intertwine, they create a lush and green canopy. However, keep in mind that maintaining and pruning the plants will be necessary to prevent overgrowth and ensure they do not damage the pergola.

5. Bamboo or Reed Screens

Materials used: Bamboo or reed screens, zip ties or wire.

Bamboo or reed screens can add a touch of privacy and create a tropical ambiance to your pergola. These screens can be easily attached to the pergola’s structure using zip ties or wire. They provide shade and protection against wind while allowing some natural light to filter through. Bamboo or reed screens are eco-friendly options and can be replaced or refreshed when needed.


Covering a pergola opens up a world of possibilities for creating a comfortable outdoor space. Whether you choose a retractable canopy, shade sail, roofing materials, climbing plants, or bamboo screens, each option has its unique benefits and aesthetic appeal. Consider your specific needs, budget, and desired style when selecting the best covering for your pergola.