Can a Pergola Have a Solid Roof?

If a solid roof on your pergola is what you desire, then no one is stopping you from having one. As long as the structure and support necessary to hold the roof are present, you’re free to add a solid roof to your pergola.

There are many who consider a pergola with a full roof to be a form of gazebo or pavilion, but as long as the structure the roof is built on is a pergola, you’re still “living the pergola lifestyle”.

It might be shocking to learn, but some pergola styles already include a solid roof or feature a roof that can transform into a solid structure. There are plenty of benefits of having the increased amount of coverage that a typical pergola does not offer.

So why hesitate to add a solid roof to your pergola? As long as you have the ability to hold the weight on top of your pergola, then go for it!

pergola with a solid roof covering backyard patio

Different Types of Pergolas

There are many different types of pergolas, just as there are many different types of backyard spaces. Some pergolas are more modern, whereas others adhere to the classic style to a fault.

The type of pergola you choose should be based on the aesthetic of your home and your yard and it should provide you with the sun protection that you desire. Some pergola styles, as was mentioned earlier, already feature a type of solid roof to protect you from the sun and rain.

Raftered Pergola

This is just your typical pergola style. When you look up an image of a pergola, this is what will come up first – it’s a freestanding, wooden, fiberglass, or vinyl structure with a series of rafters overhead. These rafters help provide some shade during the day without closing off the sun completely. You’ll typically see this type of pergola standing in a backyard over an entertainment space.

It won’t protect you from the rain alone, but many homeowners add canopies or lattices to help. You can also grow some climbing vines up, over, and atop the rafters to add increased sun protection and a “secret garden” vibe to your pergola. 

Attached Pergola

An attached pergola can be any type of pergola – standard, louvered, etc. – that is attached to a solid structure. In many cases, the pergola would be connected to the house, offering plenty more support. If the pergola is attached to another standing structure, then this would be the optimal case for a solid roof.

If you’re depending on the pergola for complete support, you’ll have to get a lighter material for the roof, but with the added strength of the house, the possibilities are endless.

Louvered Pergola

A louvered pergola is a more specific subcategory of pergola that can typically be spotted by looking at the roof. If you’re looking for a pergola that already comes with a solid roof, then the louvered is the perfect example. The roof of a louvered pergola uses either aluminum or tin and can be adjusted based on the angle of the sun or the weather.

It can be fully open, like the raftered pergola, or completely closed, like a solid roof pergola, and you can change which option you prefer depending on the weather conditions.

Canopy Coverage

Adding a solid roof requires a lot of work. For many, the idea of adding a solid roof to the pergola is a form of commitment they’re just not ready for. In many cases, you might not have a structure that can support a solid roof, yet you still want that shade and sun protection. Luckily, there is a compromise that many pergola owners have turned to: canopies.

Adding a canopy to your pergola is the perfect middle-ground solution to covering up your space. A canopy can be light like a sun curtain, or heavy like an awning. Canopies are easy to affix to your rafters and can easily be taken down when you want full sun exposure. The thicker the canopy, the better it is at protecting your space from a rainy day.

You don’t need the best legs on your pergola to support a canopy either, so it’s much more accessible to everyone. While it’s not as sturdy or protective as a solid roof pergola, a canopy is the perfect answer for anyone who wants a roof but isn’t ready to or unable to commit to the full, solid roofing option.

Choosing a Solid Roof Pergola

A solid roof pergola brings the entertainment outdoors, no matter what. If you want to be able to host your guests outside regardless of the weather conditions (rain or shine), then the solid roof pergola is perfect for you. However, before you decide to go with a solid roof pergola, there are a few things you have to make sure of before you commit. Make sure your pergola passes the following requirements before moving on.

First off, you have to make sure that your pergola can support the weight of a solid roof. If you have a freestanding pergola, then a roof made out of solid wood might not be the best idea. One compromise that you might have to make with a freestanding pergola is the material the roof is made out of. Light metals like tin or aluminum are great for freestanding pergolas.

If your pergola is attached to a solid structure like a shed or your house, or even if you utilize solid wood as the legs of the pergola, then your roofing options are much more flexible. Now you have to consider the look of your pergola. The main purpose of a pergola is to provide a stunning structure in your yard that enables you to entertain outside, so choosing your roof should match the aesthetic of the space as it already is.

Wooden ergola with ceiling in backyard

Related Reading: Waterproof Pergola Roof Ideas [8 OPTIONS]

Benefits of a Solid Roof

From ample rain protection to the committed shading from the sun, there are plenty of reasons why people get a solid roof added to their pergola. The solid structure protects users from the elements in a way that canopies or louvered pergolas simply cannot, while still keeping the open-air feel and the stunning look of a standard pergola.

There is nothing holding you back from adding a solid roof to your pergola. It offers a stunning addition to any pergola!