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Picture the scene: you’ve found the perfect pergola. It’s going to look great in your back garden, offering shade and style to anybody who relaxes underneath it.


However, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before you install it, namely the fact of its height. How high should a pergola be?


Well, we’ve got the answers for you. In our helpful guide below, you’ll find out how to get the height of your pergola just right, as well as the things to consider when deciding on it.

How High Should A Pergola Be?

What Is A Pergola?


Firstly, let’s look at what a pergola is. These are outdoor structures that have a roofing grid on top made out of rafters or beams.


That roofing grid is held up by some columns, and the grid can either be covered or left open - usually depending on the weather! A pergola can either stand on its own, or it can be attached onto a house.


What Is The Height Of A Typical Pergola?


The typical height of a pergola is usually anywhere between 8 and 12 feet tall. However, it can all depend on the individual elements, and how much head room you want.


If you want 9 feet of head room, for example, the roof beams will add another foot, as will the rafters - bringing it to about 11 feet tall.


The Downsides Of Getting Pergola Height Wrong


You may think that there’s not much downside to having a tall pergola, but there can be if you have one that’s too high.


If the pergola is built too high, then it may not offer you the proper protection from the weather - it won’t give you the shade you need from the sun, or shelter you from any rain.


On the other hand, having a pergola that is too low is also bad. If your pergola is too short, it might be really dim underneath in it, ruining your relaxation.


Additionally, it can compromise the ventilation of the pergola, meaning that being under the pergola becomes a stuffy affair.


On top of all that, you don’t want to constantly be bending down, or bumping your head on the roof of the pergola.


What To Consider When Picking Pergola Height


The height you go for will depend on what works best for you, and offers you the most of what you want. A lot of it will depend on the style and roofline of your home, because it needs to line up with it and not look too drastically different.


It’s worth checking with your neighbourhood to make sure that your chosen design doesn’t ruin their overall look. Additionally, if you want to add a chimney to the pergola, it’ll affect the height.


If you have a small house and want a more intimate atmosphere under the pergola, then you’re best going with a height of around 8 feet. On the other hand, if you want a bit more going on underneath the pergola, then you’ll need to go taller.


We don’t just mean more people under there, but more objects too: special lighting, a ceiling fan, and so on. The height you’ll want to go for this medium tallness is about 10 feet.


For the higher end of the height spectrum, you’ll want to aim for about 12 feet. This is best if you’ve got a larger home, and it needs a larger roofed pergola to suit it. On top of that, you’ll be able to fit lots of guests too.


You’ll also want to decide whether you want concrete footings or anchors. If you pick the concrete, be sure to account for an extra 2 or 3 feet to each of your posts’ height.


Concrete flooring is great for its strength, as well as for people who live in colder climates where the ground is known to freeze - you want something stable.


Matching Your Pergola To The House

Matching Your Pergola To The House

As we’ve touched on, you’ll want your pergola to be dictated by the surrounding architecture to an extent. This doesn’t just mean that its style and colour shouldn’t clash too much with your house, either.


It also means that you need the height to allow the roof to connect to your building properly, and be tall enough that it doesn’t obstruct the building.


You don’t want a roof grid colliding with a door or some windows, it needs to lift above them.


Fit For Functions


You also want your pergola to be dictated by how you’re going to use it. As we’ve mentioned, a smaller and lower pergola will do well for cosy gatherings, while a larger and taller one will allow you to have parties with lots of guests.


10 foot by 10 foot is a good size for smallers ones, offering enough space for a couple of people and some furniture. On the other hand, large houses will want a large pergola, such as 16 foot by 16 foot, or even 20 foot by 20 foot.


A word of warning, though,you will need to have more beams the wider your pergola stretches. They need to be strong enough to hold it up.


Decorating Your Pergola


Obviously you will need to have enough space for any decorations you want to put on your pergola. Some of the larger and taller pergolas are very fancy, kitted out with lighting, chairs, and sofas.


On top of that, some even add a chandelier. If you plan to add lots of features, you’ll need a taller pergola to give hanging room (and room) for them.


Final Thoughts


A pergola is a great way to relax outside without being affected by the weather. However, you should always make sure yours is tall enough in advance - we recommend that you hire a professional to advise.



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How High Should A Pergola Be?

7 Jul 2022
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