Backyard Design: Pergola or Umbrella?

Backyard design is a common thread of passion that we share at Shadowspec Umbrellas, we take immense pride in working with all kinds of backyard spaces to enhance and improve them.

Building the perfect backyard to enjoy with your family and friends is a rewarding endeavor and we’re here to support you on that journey.

A question that we get from customers on their journey to backyard success is “should I buy an umbrella or build a pergola?” This article will help you make the best decision for your garden, patio or outdoor area.

These discussions that kick off from here are always productive and every space has a different story to tell. We’ve decided that we can pull all of these learnings together into a comprehensive list of considerations for you. Everyone’s backyard and garden are different and your space is part of that algorithm. The first question you’ll need to ask yourself is:

Why do I need shade?

Are you finding it hard to spend extended periods outdoors? Or are you looking for something to keep the weather off you whilst you enjoy your spa? There can be plenty of reasons that you could require some shade and we have heard them all.

What area are you looking to shade?

Building a pergola can be a great option if you’re looking to shade or shelter a permanent installation, perhaps a full-time permanent structure is the way to go.

You may be installing a spa pool in your yard and looking to create a permanent shelter or, you could create a more “airy” setting with clear lines of sight with an umbrella.

Think about wall mounting or using a free-standing base to create unimpeded lines of communication. This will help you enjoy the space with your friends and family. A gazebo or pergola only serves to put barriers and hard separations around your yard.

Common backyard areas that require shade include: Spa pools, dining areas, barbecues and relaxation zones.

Where are you going to put the shade?

What and how you’re going to shade are important considerations to make when you’re deciding to build a pergola or buy an umbrella. As a permanent structure, the pergola is going to need a significant amount of space on either side of your installation.

The top outdoor project that the pergola vs umbrella debate arises from is spa pools. It’s easy to think a permanent structure is the way to go with a spa pool - but we find that backyard enthusiasts get more use out of wall mounted umbrellas for their spa pool - if you enclose your spa, you might as well have a warm bath indoors. There’s nothing quite like sitting in a warm spa at night and looking up at the Milky Way as it passes by.

We find that in the vast majority of use cases, our Shadowspec Umbrellas will outperform a built pergola.

What is the best option?  A Gazebo or Umbrella?

When you factor in build time, required space and cost - umbrellas stand up and stand out. Pergolas are a permanent structure. You can’t move them or rearrange your patio space once you’ve installed a permanent structure. Pergolas also need constant maintenance to keep them in ship shape, water blasting and stain to keep them up to date.

The Shadowspec umbrella range is growing and we’ve got plenty of great high-end options and the expertise to make sure you get the most out of your space.

Shadowspec umbrellas have been installed in backyards around the world from Auckland to California and everywhere in between (yes, even Hawai'i)

If you’d like to forget the pergola and install the world-leading umbrella. Get in touch with our shade experts.

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