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Understanding wooden pergolas: Everything you need to know

With summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to upgrade your outdoor living space so that you can make the most of the warm, sunny weather.

Wooden pergolas are just one of the things you can do to enhance your garden, and it’s a popular summer renovation project choice for many homeowners across the UK.

But what exactly are wooden pergolas, and why might they be the best option for your backyard?

Our experts here at Pheasant & Co. share everything you need to know about wooden pergolas in this post!


So, what are wooden pergolas?

A wooden pergola is a popular outdoor building, most commonly found in back gardens or patios.

Slightly smaller than a gazebo, they typically consist of vertical posts that are supported by horizontal beams or slats, and together, they form a frame.

Not only do they provide shade – from the sun and the rain – but they also act as a stunning stand-out feature in any outdoor area.


Do you need planning permission for a wooden pergola?

Planning permission is an important part of any building project, but in the majority of cases, you won’t need it to build a pergola.

So long as your project doesn’t break the rules under the Permitted Development Rights, you won’t need to seek planning permission. These rules are as follows:

  • You must not use more than 50% of the land surrounding the original house for outbuildings and garden buildings.
  • You must not install a pergola forward of the front wall of the house, also known as the principal elevation.
  • Your pergola must be no higher than four metres, or three if you’re installing it within two metres of the boundary you share with a neighbour.
  • Your pergola can not be installed on verandas, balconies or raised platforms.


What’s the difference between a pergola and a pergoda?

Both pergolas and pergodas are designed to provide shade and shelter from the elements, but there are some slight differences you should consider when deciding which one is right for your outdoor space.

Whilst pergodas a similar in design to pergolas, with wide-slatted rooves to allow sunlight to filter through, they’re much more decorative and feature intricate details on the pillars or roof.


How close can a pergola be to my neighbour’s fence?

The allowable distance from your neighbour’s boundary differs depending on the type of pergola you’re building, its height and restrictions set out by your local council.

For example, if your pergola measures 2.5m or less in height, it can be placed within 2m of the boundary fence. But if it measures between 2.5-3m in height, it must be positioned more than 2m away from the boundary. 


If you’re unsure and need further advice, it’s always best to check with your local planning office to ensure you’re not breaking any building regulations.

Should a pergola have a roof or not?

Whether or not your pergola has a roof is entirely down to your personal preference.

A pergola with no roof will allow for better air circulation and allow more sunlight to filter through, which is great if the weather is reliable. 

However, if you’re looking for a solution that allows you to enjoy your garden year-round, whatever the weather, adding a roof to your pergola is always a good idea.

Not only will you be able to sit outside come rain or shine, but any outdoor furniture you have will also be protected from heavy downpours and harsh UV rays when the sunshine makes an appearance.

A pergola roof also provides plenty of privacy – great for those who have particularly nosy neighbours.


What are the pros and cons of wooden pergolas?

When considering a pergola for your garden, it’s important to be aware of the various pros and cons.

Some advantages of wooden pergolas include:

  • They’re cost-effective – Of all the garden building options available, pergolas are the most inexpensive, and you can still achieve a stunning look without having to break the bank.
  • They’re easy to maintain – Wooden pergolas don’t require much maintenance at all. They just need to be cleaned with a gentle power washer – to remove mould, mildew and algae build-ups – once or twice a year, as well as occasional re-staining/resealing to protect against UV rays.
  • They’re durable – Wooden pergolas are made from some of the highest quality pressure-treated timber which can, with the right maintenance, last for up to 40 years!

Some disadvantages include:

  • They can attract pests – Wooden pergolas can attract troublesome pests, like wood flies or termites, which can lead to irreversible damage and costly replacements.
  • Warping and weathering – When exposed to heavy rain, snow and ice, wood is prone to warping and buckling, which can compromise the integrity of the structure. However, with the correct care and maintenance, this shouldn’t be a problem.


Considering a wooden pergola for your garden?

A wooden pergola is the perfect addition to your outdoor space for the summer, and here at Pheasant & Co., we supply some of the highest quality wooden pergolas that are ideal for those looking for a quick, cost-effective transformation.

We also offer a selection of bespoke options – including the ‘The Cube’ bespoke wooden pergola kit and custom-size BBQ and hot tub shelters – so you can find the perfect fit your your back garden.

To find out more about our collection of wooden pergolas, or for help choosing a pergola for your garden, get in touch with our specialist team today by calling 01280 825 766. Or email in**@ph***********.com and we’ll get back to you!

Pheasant & Co… make your garden at home!

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