Pergolas and summer houses are two popular additions to a garden that both create a new space for you to use. Both can usually be erected without the need for planning permission, although you should always check first. But what the benefits of each and how do you pick which would be the best option for your garden?
Why add a pergola?
A pergola is a structure that has lattice or beams on the roof connecting the columns. It doesn’t usually have a solid roof and is ideal to allow plants to grow up and over. Pergolas can be made from a timber frame kit and then finished or painted in different ways to suit your garden. Some of the benefits of a pergola include:
- Great natural feature for the garden
You can easily allow plants to grow and cover the pergola to create a natural feature in the garden. This also attracts wildlife and makes the garden a great place to sit and relax
- Ideal to block out unpleasant views
If you are overlooked by neighbours or there is something unsightly near your property, you can place a pergola to block this out or to add privacy to an area of your garden.
- Pairs up with other structures
Pergolas also pair up well with other garden structures such as gazebos, verandas or lean-tos on the side of the house to create an extended feature.
- Adds value to your home
If you decide to sell your home, a well-made pergola is a great feature that can add value to your home and make it more attractive to buyers.
There are lots of uses for a pergola. It can make a lovely seating area but also a great spot for a barbeque. Some kits even have the option to cover the roof if you want to be able to use it even if it is raining.
Why add a summer house?
If you want something more substantial than a pergola, a summer house might be the ideal solution. Summer houses are wood framed buildings that can be customised in various ways including right up to adding double glazed windows and doors. You can buy DIY kits to build them yourself and even get customised designs to perfectly suit the available space. Some of the benefits of a summer house include:
- Create a useable space
A well made summer house can be used as anything from a home office to an extra bedroom or a hobby room. You can fully insulate the building, add double glazed windows and doors and even security to make it a secure space that has electricity and can be used all year.
- Use regardless of the weather
Summer houses can be used regardless of the weather because they have a full roof and can be closed off. So if you want to use it as a potting shed in the summer and a place to relax in the winter, you can do this no problem.
- Enjoy your garden
Many of the designs have a lot of windows so you can still enjoy the garden while inside but get the benefits of a solid, usable space.
- A space away from the house
Sometimes you or a member of your family need a little space to themselves away from the house and this is ideal for the job. Easy to warm in winter and cool in summer, a well made summer house is a perfect escape.
How to choose
While pergolas and summer houses do share some features, both serve very different purposes. The easiest way to see which one is best for you is to see what you want to do with it. If you are looking for an attractive garden feature that can be covered with plants and use in the warmer months, then a pergola is ideal. But if you want a space that can be used for various purposes as an extension of the house, then a summer house is the best option.
Whatever you choose, always check with your local authority about any planning permission but in most cases, you won’t need it for either of these types of project.