When you buy a pergola you are investing in a purchase that hopefully will give years of pleasure and value in your home or business, something that needs to be resilient in a wide variety of weather conditions and look as good as the day it was installed.

This is why investing as much as you can into a pergola will naturally be a better option than buying a cheaper model which may not have as many features to help it last as long or be as well-designed and constructed. With pergolas, like everything in life, you really do get what you pay for and our pergolas although with a range of budgets are ‘reassuringly expensive’!

So, what is under the hood?

All our pergolas are made with sturdy aluminium frames which are built to withstand high wind speeds and although they look slim and elegant they are constructed in such a way that they won’t budge in those winter gales or for that matter the summer ones we seem to be having at the moment! The key difference between our models and the cheaper ones on the market is the way we join the posts and the roof construction. Cheaper pergolas tend to just use bolts to fix this together which means in a high wind or under pressure it all relies on the strength of those bolts and the components there to keep things together, this often works fine in relatively normal wind conditions but when the gales roll in from the Atlantic the pressure on the bolts, not just once but time after time starts to put pressure on the joint. Consider as well that if the components are cheaply made and of a poor design you have a disaster waiting to happen!

Our pergolas are made with concealed bolts these provide a high level of strength to the joins between the posts and the roof meaning that not all the strain is taken by the bolts and they aren’t exposed to the elements either as on the design in figure 1. There’s also no risk of long term corrosion as everything is protected from contact with the elements too. You can also note that many cheaper pergola designs lack a drainage system or are poorly designed in terms of this which can be disastrous if we have heavy rain in winter or indeed a very wet summer – like this one! Figure 2 shows what the consequences of poor drainage systems can be on your pergola over time. Our pergolas feature a well designed drainage system that channels water away from your pergola roof and down drainage gutters in the posts and onto the floor your pergola stands on, therefore it’s normal to see some moisture around the feet of your pergola and is why we recommend you give a good deal of thought to how your hard standing is constructed and how it will drain – making sure your pergola is located in an area of your property where flooding is unlikely is a key consideration and we can advise you on any potential problems we see and how the drainage from your pergola works.

One key thing we always advise on is to look at the weight of the pergola you’re intending to buy. Is something that weighs only 50kg likely to stand up to high winds? Remember, high winds aren’t just something that happen in winter, we’ve had some very high winds this summer and the thought of constructing and reconstructing your pergola every time gales are likely might not be a fun way to spend your summer! Our pergolas weigh a lot! That’s why it takes a team to install them! They are made to take on the elements, that’s why we fit weather sensors which respond to the different elements so our pergolas can respond accordingly. Our pergolas are wind resistant up 120kmph and will survive the winter gales easily if you follow our instructions on storm setting in our FAQ. A cheaper pergola will be literally ‘Gone with the Wind’ at this point and although you’ll have paid less, the cost of putting it right could be high, not only will your pergola be gone but in the process you could well have suffered property damage as it comes apart.

We work with some of the best and most experienced suppliers in Europe, companies who have 70 year track records in designing and building some of the very best pergolas and other outdoor shading solutions such as awnings and sails. Our products are not only well-designed and stylish but they are also intensely practical and extensively tested to make sure they will last and give pleasure for years to come.

So, with the raindrops falling at the Great Yorkshire Show this rather soggy July we are confident of one thing – they won’t be falling on our heads!