What are the different types of a Garden Pergola?

March 2023
Armani Eagle

A garden pergola is an outdoor structure that consists of a slatted roof and supports to provide some, or full shade from the sun for its users. Garden pergolas are being constantly developed to be extremely versatile, and much more than a bit of protection from the sun!

Modern Garden pergolas create an outdoor space that can be used for entertaining guests, relaxing by the pool, or as a shelter for so many other uses. Depending on the material and build, their aesthetics make pergolas a very desirable and appealing addition to any garden in the UK.

Theres something about a pergola that creates a location in your garden to relax and unwind, and with the multiple options, such as lighting and drop-down sides, pergolas are an extremely versatile product that should be considered in any garden for anyone who wants to use their garden as much as possible.

Two Main Materials used for Garden Pergolas


  • Timber
  • Aluminium


Timber Pergolas

Pergolas made from Timber are common throughout the UK, and are constructed from either Hardwood or Softwood Timber. They require high maintinence and constant upkeep if they are to last.

Timber Garden Pergolas are most commonly a static structure with no moving parts. They provide a little shade from the sun depedning on the design selected, with usually no protection from wind or any other element.

Timber pergolas are either purchased as pre-cut and treated kits that are then constructed on site, or alternatively, as a custom project that is designed and cut from scratch usually by dedicated Timber Pergola installation companies.

Custom timber pergolas have flexiibile sizing, as they are built to size – this means that they will likely be built to exact customer specifications, rather than pre-dicided sizing as with manufactured timber pergolas.

Hardwood Timber pergolas last significantly longer than a softwood timber pergola. This is because hardwood is much more resistant to the elements, and is actually a stronger and more solid material. However, Hardwood is more expensive than softwood, so this will need to be taken into account.

As we all know, timber rots – this can be an issue for timber pergolas as it can dramatically reduce their strength an lifespan, over time resulting in a dangerous structure that may need to be removed.

Pros of a Timber Pergola

  • Low Initial Cost

Cons of a Timber Pergola

  • Not usually very strong
  • Short Lifespan
  • Susceptible to Rot – especially on the supports
  • High Maintenance – they require painting an staining to maximise their lifespan


Aluminium Pergolas

Aluminium Pergolas are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners throughout the UK for a number of reasons. They are a very versatile and stunning addition to any garden.

Aluminium Pergolas are constructed mainly from extruded aluminium profiles which are constructed quickly on site.

There are two main variants of aluminium pergolas – Freestanding and Lean-To.

Aluminium Freestanding Pergola

Freestanding Aluminium Pergolas have four or more support legs, and do not require any structural support from a building or structure. They can be situated anywhere in a garden as long as there is a solid foundation in which the legs can be bolted into. Freestanding aluminium pergolas are usually located away from a house as their own area, that is enjoyed separately as an addition to the garden, rather than an addition to your house.

Lean-To Aluminium Pergolas are supported on as little as one side, and lean on a building or structure for the rest of their support. Their most common location is on the side of a house, so that it is in effect, and extension of the house, bringing the outdoors in so to speak!

Aluminium is a very durable material that is resistant to fading and rotting, making it the ideal materials for constructing an aluminium pergola. Its high strength does mean that usually speaking, it comes in pre-specified sizes from the manufacturer, as they have the tools required to make the beams and supports.

Aluminium pergolas also often come with many different add-ons and options. The most common is having a louvered roof – this is a pergola roof which can be opened when sunny, and then as soon as it rains, can be closed to create a waterproof roof. Other options including drop down sides can further protect you from the elements. With the inconsistent UK weather, having as much protection from it at your fingertips can be really beneficial to avoid any upsets or having to change entertaining plans, just due to the weather!

Pros of Aluminium Pergola

  • Aesthetically Appealing
  • Very Long Lasting
  • Resistant to Rot
  • Resistant to Fading
  • Low Maintenance
  • Very Versatile

Cons of Aluminium Pergola

  • Initially more expensive than timber – however its stunning aesthetics and large lifespan outweighs this.

Whats the best type of Garden Pergola for my Project?

Now that you’ve got more of an understanding as to the different types of Garden Pergolas, and the benefits and drawbacks of each, you may be starting to wonder how you can decide on what one may be the best one for you.  You will want to consider how much you are willing to spend, how durable you’d like your Garden Pergola to be, and what you want it to look like, in order to make the right decision as to the best one for your own application.

Garden Pergola Pricing

Consider your budget, and how much you want to spend on your garden. Research pricing of all pergola options, and weight up the benefits of each in comparison to price.

This may be obvious, but as Aluminium Pergolas are so much more durable, versatile, and appealing than a timber pergola, they are usually more expensive. Take into account what you are going to be using your pergola for – are you going to want to be spending a lot of time out in your garden, enjoying the outdoors, even if the weather is not great? if so, we recommend making the extra investment into an aluminium garden pergola.

However, if you don’t think the investment is for you, look at constructing your own pergola out of timber. Obviously this will not have the same usability and enjoyment as an aluminium pergola, however it could be sufficient for you.

Garden Pergola Durability

Another point to consider, is how durable your pergola needs to be.

OVAEDAs Aluminium pergolas are highly resistant to the weather and will withstand high winds with ease. If you are looking for your pergola to last more than 20 years, and be a permanent addition to the garden which will stand the test of time, an aluminium pergola may be the best option for you.

Aluminium pergolas are also very low maintenance, with very little needing to be done after installation, whereas if you are considering installing a timber pergola, you will need to consider the time, effort, and investment required to keep your timber in the best condition possible.

Aesthetic Appeal

This is down to personal opinion, however, one of the most common reasons that homeowners initially choose to go with an Aluminium Pergola, is because their sleek and modern looks are sure to make a statement in any garden.


Timber Garden Pergolas do have a traditional look that may appeal to some homeowners more than an aluminium pergola – however large and intricate timber pergola designs can be get very expensive, so this is worth bearing in mind too.

Getting started with your Garden Pergola Project

Hopefully this article has been useful in giving you an outline and some initial knowledge as to garden pergolas.

OVAEDA has a premium but simple range of Aluminium Pergolas, that are sure to suit most gardens. Our aluminium garden pergolas are available in 3 different size formats, 2 colour options, and all have louvered roofs and dropdown sides so that you can maximise the value that you get from your garden.

OVAEDAs outdoor garden specialists would be very happy to help out with your next garden project, offering assistance with quoting, providing samples, and suppling the products!

Get in touch with us here.