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What is a Louvered Pergola?

If you’re looking to add a pergola to your space, it’s likely you’ve found the phrase “louvered pergola” come up a few times in your searches. But what is a louvered pergola? And how is it different from traditional pergola structures that you are likely very familiar with?

Understanding what pergola options are available to you will help you to make an informed choice. Ultimately, the right structure will provide functionality at a suitable price point, and provide years of shade and relaxation for your family and friends.

What is a louvered pergola?

A louvered pergola is named for the style of slats incorporated onto the structure. Merriam Webster defines a louvered roof as a “an opening provided with one or more slanted fixed or movable fins to allow flow of air but to exclude rain or sun or to provide privacy”. Essentially, louvered pergola employ movable or retractable slats in their roof. These slats are built on an angle and can be opened or closed depending on weather, wind, or other conditions.

To visualize this process, think of a traditional set of louvered blinds. Spin the curtain rod, and the blind slats shut, blocking out light. Alternatively, you can open them to nearly a 90 degree angle to let more light in. A louvered pergola works in this same way.

In today’s market, louvered pergolas can either be adjusted manually or by remote. Some advanced options can even be linked to sensors that adjust without human intervention based on the current weather conditions. The level of louvered pergola you prefer will depend on your budget and your lifestyle.

How do they work?

Louvered pergolas work by attaching slats to a frame on an angle. The slats are linked to either manual or motorized gears. These gears turn to adjust the angle of the slats. The mechanisms of a louvered pergola depend on the level of automation of the product. 

Some models may be fully motorized, or fully automatic. In this case, there will be no obvious way to crank the slats open or shut. For those which do allow manual adjustment, a crank or turning system will be installed.

Benefits of a louvered pergola

Louvered pergolas have been growing in popularity over the years, and for good reason. There are a lot of benefits to installing a louvered pergola in your space over a traditional structure.

Flexibility

A louvered pergola's largest benefit is the level of flexibility it offers. No matter what position the sun is in, or how hard the wind is blowing, you will be able to make adjustments to suit the current conditions. Block out intense midday rays, or let the light in on a particularly bright morning.

Along with increased flexibility comes increased comfort and convenience. The more you are able to tailor your fixture to your preferences, the more you will enjoy your space. This emphasis on what works for your space at the given moment is one of the biggest draws towards louvered designs.

Air Flow

Air flow is also a unique advantage to louvered systems. The adjustable angle of the slats allows you to position them in a way which encourages better airflow into your living space. This means you can catch a breeze on a hot day. Similarly, you can block harsher winds in cooler conditions.

Extend Your Outdoor Season

Traditional pergolas are typically only functional for as long as weather allows. Lattice or stationary roof pergolas are great for dispersing sunshine on a bright day. However, they also do little to block rainfall, snow, or other precipitation. Louvered pergolas fix this problem.

Shutting the roof of your pergola allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space rain or shine. This means you can spend more time in your backyard enjoying your investment. For many families, the year-round usability makes a louvered pergola a worthwhile investment.

Increase the Value of Your Home

As with many outdoor home renovations, investing in quality additions to your backyard living space will increase the value of your property. While it can be pricey to add a custom, quality louvered pergola system to your space, you will see that money back if you ever choose to sell your home. Of course, for those planning to stay put, this may not factor largely into the move toward a louvered system. But for those with a five year plan including a relocation, the investment could be a smart money move.

Are louvered pergolas more expensive than traditional pergolas?

Long story short, yes. Louvered pergola systems are nearly always more expensive than their traditional counterparts. This is due to several factors including automation, complexity of the build, and the luxury experience of the product. Still, there is a range of pricing within the louvered pergola market itself.

For instance, the larger your pergola, the more it will cost to build and install. Larger systems require more material, more know how, and are more difficult to erect in your yard. Additionally, the level of customization will affect the final pricing. A system that is a copy from a big business with little changes will often cost less than a system which is built to be specifically integrated into your space.

Finally, as with all things, quality will affect the final price tag of your louvered pergola. The more reputable, and more luxurious the system, the harder the investment will be on your bank account. However, investing in a more expensive system may also come with perks such as long warranty, and durability. You’re likely to enjoy decades of use from a truly quality louvered pergola system.

Where to buy a louvered pergola?

There are a number of companies that are currently circulating in the louvered pergola market. Some are louder than others, but all offer options that may be suitable for your space. Some companies, such as StruXure, emphasize modern technology, weather sensors, and a “smart-home” approach to their product. Others such as Solara may provide a larger range of louvered options with fewer bells and whistles.

The best option for your space will depend on what features you are looking to receive with your louvered pergola purchase.

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