patio functional

Patio Vs Pergola – What's The Difference?

Do you want to redesign your yard and aren’t sure whether you want a patio or a pergola? Maybe you aren’t sure what the difference is between a patio and a pergola? Or are looking to spruce up your outdoor space and can’t decide which would be best?

No matter the question, we are here to help. Today’s guide walks you through the main design and functionality differences between a patio and pergola, along with their pros and cons to help you create an outdoor area that works for you and your family.

Let’s dive in and see the differences.

In This Article:

What Are The Design Differences Between A Patio And A Pergola?

The major design difference between a patio and a pergola is that a patio has a solid roof structure, offering full protection overhead from the elements. It is designed to extend the living space of your home. In contrast, a pergola is an open or partially open outdoor structure that doesn’t usually have a roof.

A patio is typically used to expand your home, converting part of your outdoor space or garden into an extension of your living area. A patio usually directly joins the outside wall of your property, with a roof overhead. A well designed patio will enable light to enter your patio while still offering protection from the elements, providing the perfect area to relax or play.

A pergola, however, is often a freestanding structure that becomes an enhancing feature of your garden. Some pergolas might be attached to an existing structure, like your home or a wall. Pergola structures are usually built open, using beams to provide shelter and some shade.

Some choose to add more privacy to their gardens with pergolas that feature walls or decorative style panels across the roof; they are incredibly versatile, with many companies, like Apollo Patios, offering customised pergolas to suit any garden.

While there are different patios and pergolas, both often feature plants. Climbing plants, hanging plants, trellis plants, or potted plants can be used with either a patio or pergola to add privacy, create a green space, or serve as a covered garden.

Gable pergola

What Are The Functionality Differences Between A Patio And A Pergola?

The most significant functionality difference between a patio and a pergola is that a patio creates an additional living space for your home. In contrast, a pergola is more often viewed as a standalone structure and does not need to be connected to the home at all however can still be used similarly to a patio for relaxation.

Patios are often used as an outdoor living area, extending from your living or dining space in your existing house. These spaces serve as outdoor entertaining areas, with a protective roof that provides shelter from the elements.

A pergola also serves as an outdoor space for entertainment but tends to be a separate structure for example a pool pergola and because it is not enclosed, may not be suitable in all weather conditions.

Of course you can decide which works for you or design a mix of both a patio and pergola. Depending on the location of your structure, you can use it as a shelter for your vehicle, to eat underneath, or even offer protection for a hot tub.

Jesmac Patio

What Are The Maintenance Requirements Of A Patio And A Pergola?

The maintenance requirements of a patio and pergola are slightly different. We have outlined them below to see how to maintain your pergola or patio.

Maintaining A Patio

To maintain a patio, you need to carry out maintenance and cleaning. If your patio is installed in an area that in unwashed by rain or sheltered, you need to wash it down with water using a sponge or soft cloth. This should be done at least every six months, with particular care being taken to prevent any accumulation of salt crystals or industrial dirt. If you need further assistance please reach out to your local Apollo Patios Customer Care team.

Maintaining A Pergola

Maintaining a pergola is very similar, however often pergolas incorporate plants in various forms. Therefore any garden-related maintenance can be quite time-consuming if not kept in hand. To keep your pergola in good condition, you must regularly hose down your pergola to remove grime and dirt.

Any vines or climbing plants you have added must also be trimmed regularly. Twice a year should be sufficient for vines, although some plants might need to be trimmed periodically if they encroach on the living space.

Gable Patio

What Are The Benefits Of A Patio?

There are several benefits to a patio in your outdoor space. We have outlined them below with some details for you to check out now.

They Offer A Spacious Feel To Smaller Houses

Patios extend your living space and can make smaller houses feel more spacious and larger. You can entertain on your patio instead of using a smaller dining space in your home. Homes with French doors, sliding doors or stacker doors can open out to an alluring outdoor space, perfect for dinner parties, barbecues, or entertaining.

The open design of a patio allows plenty of space and fresh air without feeling cramped. The patio can also help your home feel more spacious, as there aren’t walls around the space, allowing for more movement for your guests and unrestricted views.

They Can Add Value To Your Home

A patio can dramatically increase the value of your home, giving you the added convenience of having a patio now and should you decide to sell, the benefit of attracting more potential buyers to your home. A patio acts as an extra room, increasing the square meterage of your house. Your house’s value is likely to increase, especially if the space enhances the home, offering families more room and flexibility.

Should your house be unable to be extended any other way (through extensions or renovations), a patio can increase the value of your home, attracting more buyers and generating a quick sale. Of course, you must check with your local council whether this needs planning approval.

They Offer Protection From The Weather

Patios provide protection from the weather, allowing you to use your outdoor spaces year-round. The roof can offer protection from extreme weather conditions. You don’t need to worry about rain ruining your furniture or soaking your guests. Likewise, extreme heat can be deflected, allowing you to use the patio while still enjoying a breeze or the comfort of your fan.

Some choose to add walls to their patio area, offering side protection from the wind and rain. These can be temporary structures, like portable screens, allowing you to use them as and when you see fit.

Patio internal

What Are The Drawbacks Of A Patio?

There are some drawbacks to a patio in your yard, outlined below.

You Need A Level Surface

Patios need to be built on a level surface. Should you not have a level surface in your garden, it will add expense to level the ground. You might need to cut and fill the existing ground to create a level surface, which can take time, or enlist the help of suitable trades.

Levelling the surface can take some time, too, adding to the installation time for your patio.

When Should You Buy A Patio Over A Pergola?

You should purchase a patio over a pergola when you want to extend the space in your home and offer more comprehensive protection and shielding from the elements while adding value to your home.

A patio is ideal when you want to open your back door and step immediately into an outdoor space that can be used for entertaining or for children to play.

Read more about building a custom designed patio with Apollo Patios if a patio seems like the right choice for your home.


What Are The Benefits Of A Pergola?

There are a number of benefits to a pergola. We have broken them down below for you to check out now.

They Add Privacy

Pergolas can add privacy to your property. These outdoor structures can add as much or as little privacy to your garden as you wish. They can make it harder for neighbours to peer into your garden, allowing you to relax or entertain in your pergola worry-free.

The privacy they offer makes these free-standing structures a good option to sit over a hot tub, adding privacy and offering some protection from the weather, too.

They Vary Your Outdoor Space

A pergola can vary your outdoor space and offer year-round use, too. The pergola you choose might add a different material or style to your garden, increasing its aesthetic appeal. If you add climbing plants, these can also vary your outdoor space, increasing the privacy your pergola can provide.

A pergola is extremely versatile. You can use your pergola as an outdoor dining space, offering room for large dinner parties, barbecues, or an area for your firepit – the perfect outdoor zone to unwind during summer evenings. You can also design a pergola that provides some screening overhead to allow you to use an area that you can’t currently use. Perhaps it’s too hot or sunny? With added shade overhead the space will become a light, bright and enjoyable space.

They Add Style To Your Garden

Modern pergolas come in various styles and designs, adding a unique flair to your garden. Whether you have something in mind or need guidance, you can find one that is aesthetically pleasing and practical for your garden and lifestyle.

There are lots of pergola ideas online for you to use as inspiration, with Apollo Patios offering plenty of pre-designed or custom pergolas for you to check out.

Pergola freestanding

What Are The Drawbacks Of A Pergola?

The main drawbacks of a pergola are outlined below to provide you with a balanced insight into pergolas.

They Require Maintenance

It is worth noting that pergolas need cleaning, ideally every 6 months, and especially if you are located in an area that does not get rain. While this a relatively quick and easy process, it’s good to plan to allow some time for some general cleaning and maintenance.

The Risk Of Termites

Apollo Patios don’t use any timber in their pergola designs. They specifically design their pergolas only using aluminum or steel posts. For this reason, there is no risk of termites weakening the structural integrity of your pergola or causing significant damage.

When Should You Buy A Pergola Over A Patio?

Pergolas can be customised easily to suit your backyard, whether you want them to connect to your home or be a separate feature in your garden.

They are the right structure for you if you want privacy added to your garden or a relaxing space to enjoy the oudoors without the added cost of a roof. Your pergola can add style and flair to your outdoor area, providing a unique living space that you can use for entertainment or private enjoyment.

You can read more about building a custom designed pergola with Apollo Patios to find your perfect pergola design.

Custom Designed Patio

Create A Custom Designed Patio Or Pergola With Apollo Patios

Now that you know the differences between a patio and a pergola, we hope you can see which option is better for your garden. Whether you want to add variety to your garden, create a unique dining or entertaining area, or add some privacy, a patio or pergola can be the perfect option.

Why not create a custom patio or pergola with the help of Apollo Patios? Our custom pergola designs and unique patios will provide years of happy use and a new lease of life to your garden.

Talk to the Apollo team today

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