Pergolas are becoming an incredibly iconic part of the Australian landscape. One of the great things about these nifty structures is that you can choose a style to suit your individual tastes. While they are not traditionally designed to protect users from the weather, you can add a suitable covering, so you get some respite from the harsh Aussie sun when you need it most – and that’s always worth the extra effort come summer.

Finding out which shade covering suits your garden and home best means knowing what your options are. Due to their ubiquitous nature, most people opt for shade cloth or polycarbonate roofing as their only choice. However, there are many different materials to choose from all of which come with various benefits. 

In this article, we’ll take you through some of the options available, and help you decide which pergola shade covering may suit you best.

Roofing options for pergolas

The real benefit for a pergola is that the style is totally open. It can be purpose-built to train plants, or simply act as a resting point for you to enjoy your garden. Adding shade to your space is one style feature that you have total control over and something you will thank yourself for. 

Think outside the box with latticed roofing

A fully latticed roof can allow you to pick exactly how much light and shade get through. With modern technology in abundance, it has become a cheaper option than some other methods, and there are usually a wide variety of styles available. If predesigned lattices are not appealing, you can have them custom made.

Go traditional and functional with shade cloth

These days, this type of cloth is available in many different colours and shade ratings. It is reasonably easy to install and can be replaced quickly if needed. Generally, shade cloth is installed flat against wooden beams and is excellent for producing copious amounts of coverage. However, it doesn’t offer much in terms of sheltering you from rain.

Go green

Plants are the traditional covering for a pergola, especially when greenery is your kind of vibe. Utilising live, healthy options can also give off that sense of returning to nature – a bonus if you live in busy urban suburbs or the city.

 It is essential to find the right plants, as you’ll need something reasonably quick-growing. Wisteria is the most common plant chosen for covering pergolas. A live plant-roofed pergola will require some maintenance to keep it trained and from getting out of control.

Colorbond steel

If you prefer complete protection from the sun and the rain, Colorbond could be the right choice. However, it will need to be applied on a pitched roof, and the total blackout means that you may find it hard to grow plants.

Polycarbonate roofing

Similar to Colorbond steel, polycarbonate roofing requires a pitched roof, but you have the choice of how much light will get through. You can have anything from a solid colour to shade, or even completely transparent.

Branches & bamboo

This will give your home a tropical feel. These can be laid in a density that gives you a choice over how much light penetrates. In most cases having them packed tight will provide you with the best look, and can offer protection from light rain. 

Fixed canvas

Nothing gives you that feeling of being at the beach more than natural canvas. It offers thick sun protection and works well in drier areas, but is not perfect for rain protection. It also looks appealing when appropriately installed and offers your home a unique and stylish look. 

If you’re not sure what option suits you best, we always recommend speaking to our friendly team for guidance.