Different options for timber and composite pergolas
Pergolas are a great way to convert an outdoor barren space into a perfect living area. Pergolas are structures that block the harsh UAE sun and provide shade during the day, thus increasing the amount of time which you can spend outside.
Generally, timber pergolas were once the most popular pergola option across the UAE but that has changed in recent years. Due to the harsh Dubai weather, timber or wood pergolas are prone to warp and cracking and have now been replaced by WPC or wood plastic composite that offer enhanced durability and appearance like that of timber. The wood plastic composite material is now a perfect alternative to be used in place of timber. The conventional timber is prone to warping, fading, and staining but the composite material is maintenancefree and a great choice for making pergolas, deck panels and fences.
When considering your preferred pergola design, composite materials can still be assembled in the same style of traditional timber pergolas. That is, with overhanging roof louvers that provide a nice aesthetic appearance that we all know and love. The pergola or outdoor structure can be installed in many different locations around our homes. Some ideas include:
- Entrance way structures that give our villas a warm friendly look. Structures over a villa front door are very popular but as anyone with a timber structure knows, they require constant maintenance. With a composite material, there is effectively no maintenance required other than an occasional hose down to keep the structure clean.
- Another popular installation option is the walkway down the sides of our villas. While this is an often underutilised outdoor area, by providing shade at the side of our villa we can turn the area into an additional play area for our kids. It has the added bonus of assisting to keep our villa cool.
- Some communities in Dubai are now allowing temporary structures to be erected on our villa balconies. Wood composite materials can be a great alternative to timber, steel or aluminium when considering a balcony structure. The structure could simply be a shaded area or could be a fully enclosed room.
Another popular design option with timber style composite pergolas is to enclose the roof with a shade cloth material. One of the disadvantages of timber pergola designs is that the roof cannot be closed off or adjusted to the elements. To solve this for those wanting full UV and sun protection, a shade sail material can be placed over the roof of the pergola. Alternatively, the shade cloth material can be manufactured in stripes and woven over and under the louvered roof of the pergola. This provides a nice design effect while providing excellent shade under the pergola. Our recommendation is to only use high quality shade sail material designed in Australia and manufactured from HDPE. There are many cheap Chinese and Korean manufactured shade materials in the UAE market but in our experience they simply don’t last.
The final options for covering your timber or composite pergola roof is the DIY retractable pergola canopy. The functioning of a retractable pergola canopy is similar to fixed canopies but is installed on guide wires which allows you to open and close the canopy as you required. This option helps you to reduce the temperature further by blocking the sun.
As there are many pergola design considerations, we recommend you discuss your requirements with a company that is dedicated to pergolas and has an in-house design team. www.pergolas.ae is highly recommended as they live and breathe pergolas and can advise you on a suitable design that meets your exact requirements.
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