Choosing the perfect Pergola: Top 20 questions answered

Pergolas are the ‘crown jewels’ of garden architecture, blending beauty and function to create outdoor havens. Whether you’re considering one for your home garden or your business’s outdoor seating area, understanding the nuances of pergolas is crucial. This blog covers common queries we receive about pergolas, helping you navigate through the options and regulations, so you can make an informed decision.


tarasola elegancy fabric retractable pergola

Tarasola ‘Elegancy’ Folding Fabric Pergola


Q: What is the difference between a pergola and a veranda?


A: While both pergolas and pagodas enhance outdoor spaces, they differ mainly in structure and purpose. Pergolas typically have an open or louvred roof, offering versatile shading solutions, ideal for garden settings. On the other hand, Verandas (also commonly known as ‘pagodas’) have a fixed roof, often with multiple tiers, inspired by traditional East Asian architecture, often extending from a building to cover an adjoining outdoor area, providing consistent shelter.



“The primary difference lies in the roof. Pergolas often feature open or louvred roofs, offering flexible shading that’s perfect for those who enjoy both sun and shade. Verandas, on the other hand, boast a fixed roof, extending from buildings to provide a continuous shelter. Both enhance outdoor spaces but serve slightly different purposes with their unique structural designs.” —Will, Technical Manager at AMO




Q: Do pergolas require planning permission in the UK?


A: Pergolas generally fall under ‘Permitted Development Rights’, which means they often do not require planning permission. However, it is always recommended to check with your local council as there can be exceptions based on the size, height, and location of the structure.


Q: What are the height restrictions for pergolas and awnings in the UK?


A: In the UK, pergolas and awnings should not exceed 2.5 meters in height if they are within two meters of a boundary. Structures outside of this boundary can be taller, but specifics should be verified with local planning regulations to ensure compliance.


Lakeland altera louvered pergola

Lakeland Altera Louvered Roof pergola


Q: What is the best flooring for a pergola?


A: The best flooring for a pergola depends on your usage and aesthetic preferences. Common options include reinforced decking, paving stones, concrete, and tiles, each offering different benefits in terms of durability, maintenance, and style.


Q: Do I need reinforced decking for a pergola to stand on?


A: Yes, if you choose to install your pergola on decking, ensuring it is reinforced is crucial. This will support the weight of the pergola and maintain the structural integrity of both the pergola and the decking.


Q: What sizes do your pergolas come in?


A: Our pergolas are made to measure, fitting a wide range of dimensions to suit different spaces and customer needs. Whether you need a small addition to your garden or a large coverage area for a commercial space, we can accommodate your specific requirements.


> Browse our full range of Pergolas <


Q: How can I customise my pergola?


A: Customise your pergola with options like outdoor heating, LED lighting, zip screens, sun/wind sensors, and glass sides to enhance comfort and usability. These additions not only increase comfort and usability but also transform your pergola into a year-round outdoor retreat, shielded from the elements.


Q: How do pergolas handle rainfall?


A: Many aluminium pergolas are designed with a built-in drainage system that efficiently channels rainwater away from the roof, through the framework, and out, preventing water pooling and ensuring the area underneath stays dry.


Q: Are aluminium pergolas better than wooden ones?


A: Aluminium pergolas offer significant advantages over wooden ones, particularly in durability and maintenance. They resist weathering and decay better than wood, requiring minimal upkeep, and fit seamlessly into modern garden designs with their sleek, contemporary look. Perfect for those looking to create a hassle-free outdoor entertainment area.


weinor terrazza originale pergola

Weinor terrazza originale pergola


Q: Can pergolas be attached to the house / building?


A: Yes, pergolas can be designed as freestanding structures or attached to your home/business. Attached pergolas are a popular choice as they seamlessly extend the living space, offering a covered area directly adjacent to the house.


Q: What types of materials are available for pergolas?


A: Pergolas can be constructed from various materials including wood, aluminium, vinyl, and even steel. Each material offers different aesthetic and functional benefits, such as durability, maintenance requirements, and cost. All of AMO Group’s pergolas are made from premium quality aluminium.


Q: How long does it take to install a pergola?


A: The installation time for a pergola can vary depending on its complexity and size. From order to installation, the lead time for our pergolas is typically 8-10 weeks, depending on the product and season, with the installation process usually taking 2-3 days.


Q: Are pergolas waterproof?


A: While traditional pergolas are not designed to be completely waterproof, modern pergolas can be equipped with waterproof roof panels or retractable covers that provide effective protection against rain.


Q: Can I grow plants on my pergola?


A: Absolutely! Pergolas are ideal for supporting climbing plants and vines. Adding greenery can enhance the natural beauty of the pergola and provide additional shade and privacy.


“Growing plants on your pergola adds lush, natural beauty and extra shade. Pergolas can also be equipped with UV-protective fabric for additional sun protection, and customised with integrated lighting and sound systems for that perfect evening ambiance.” —Rachael Hudson, Owner & Director at AMO


Q: How do I maintain my pergola?


A: Maintenance requirements depend on the material of your pergola. Wood pergolas may require periodic staining or sealing, while aluminium and vinyl pergolas typically need just occasional cleaning with soap and water.




Q: Do pergolas provide UV protection?


A: Pergolas with solid covers or those outfitted with UV-protective fabric can provide significant protection against harmful ultraviolet rays, making them a safe space to enjoy sunny days.


Q: Can pergolas be customised with lights and sound systems?


A: Yes, modern pergolas can be customised with a variety of amenities including built-in lighting and integrated sound systems. These features enhance the functionality of the pergola, making it perfect for evening entertainment.

Tarasola Technic Pergola


Q: What is the best orientation for a pergola?


A: The best orientation for a pergola depends on its intended use and your geographic location. Typically, positioning a pergola to maximise natural light while offering protection from the midday sun is ideal.


Q: Are there different styles of pergolas available?


A: Yes, pergolas come in various styles, from traditional to contemporary, to match any architectural aesthetic. Each style can be tailored to complement the surrounding environment and meet your specific design preferences.


Markilux pergola awning by Amo Group

Markilux classic pergola awning

Summing it all up

“Pergolas are versatile additions to any property, providing aesthetic appeal and functional outdoor space,” says our Director Rachael. With various styles and customisation options available, pergolas can be tailored to fit any design preference and functional requirement. Whether attached to a house or freestanding in a garden, they transform outdoor areas into stylish, welcoming spaces that enhance your living or business environment.


Ready to add a pergola to your space or have more questions? Browse our full range.

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