A redwood pergola

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the pergola is to consider what it is not. Though its popularity in backyards might bring to mind a gazebo, the pergola actually shares few traits with that other, Asian form of outdoor pavilion. Others might tend to think of the pergola as a kind of arbor, but structurally it is actually much different.

A Brief History of the Pergola

Modern pergolas trace their roots to 17th Century Rome. In fact, the word itself comes from the Latin pergola, meaning “projecting eave.” Popular throughout the Renaissance, they faded from use until the 19th Century, when brick and stone pergolas began appearing in public parks and gardens.

In modern times, wooden pergolas have become a fixture around swimming pools, throughout garden and public spaces, and outside restaurants and cafes. Their uses are both practical and beautiful. Their overhead lattice provides protection from direct sunlight, and they make great frameworks on which to grow orchids, vines, and ivies. Pergolas are also ideal in place of gazebos for sheltering hot tubs and to cover patio furniture.

Modern Pergola Design and Construction

There are essentially two types of wooden pergola: those with arched roofs and those with flat, level tops. The gently graceful arch of the roof affords greater headroom inside. It also increases the pergola’s space consumption, however, and may be more expensive.

Red cedar has become one of the most popular materials for modern pergola construction. Durable but handsome, red cedar’s heavy consistency makes it an ideal load-bearing scaffold for plants and ivy. Another popular wood variety, redwood, offers the same strength with a touch of California glamour.

Other, more affordable pergolas will feature a wooden lattice but aluminum or steel legs. Pergola accessories include lighting systems and retractable canopies for nighttime and inclement weather use.

Choosing the Pergola That’s Right For Your Home

PergolasArched roof pergolas work best in larger backyards and as the centerpiece – or pavilion – for larger patios. Flat-roof pergolas can serve the same purpose, too. However, flat-roofed pergolas work better on backyard decks, near swimming pools and within gardens. Many homeowners choose to replace their back porch or patio overhang with a pergola, to take advantage of their greater beauty and versatility.

Pergolas also make great additions to restaurants and cafes that offer patio dining. Customers will enjoy the intimacy and elegance the pergola provides while also appreciating its shade.

Pergolas and Vegetation

Depending on the climate, the vegetation planted on or atop the pergola will require watering. Pergola owners should therefore make sure the wood is treated against frequent dousing. Such information is usually available before a purchase is finalized.

Undercover Canopies

The 10 x 10 Undercover Canopy

Undercover’s new series of canopies and tents solve some of the most common complaints about portable shelters and covers. With advance construction and easy setup, they bring the ease and convenience of popup shelters finally within reach.

Design and Construction Bring Versatility

The Undercover Canopy’s aluminum frame marks an important change in canopy and tent availability. Aluminum frames are a full 50 percent lighter than traditional steel frames. Because they’re so lightweight, transporting them becomes much, much easier. A sophisticated “honeycomb” construction adds to their durability, too. As the name implies, the honeycomb design adds reinforced durability for years of sturdy use.

And with greater ease of use comes greater versatility. Because the Undercover Canopy is usable by a wider variety of people, it also becomes suitable to a wider variety of functions. Undercover Canopies can be used for a variety of purposes, including weddings and professional exhibitions. They can also be used for team meetings and competitions, and even uses around the home and backyard.

The canopies are available in a range of sizes varying from small personal tents to large-scale professional models. Sizes and specifications vary, but all feature the same rugged components and durable construction.

Quick Setup Saves Time, Effort

Undercover Canopies

A 10 x 10 Undercover Canopy with sidewalls

Undercover Canopies assemble in minutes, and only need one person to set them up. (See the video below.) Beside the lightweight materials, these tents feature rapidly telescoping legs, similar to a camera tripod. The legs expand outward, lock into place, and the tent is ready for use.

Taking the tent down is also simple. The pinch-proof releases make sure the legs retract again without inconvenience.

No more confusion, snipped fingertips or frustration at setting up the tent. No more asking strangers for help or feeling the embarrassment of having one leg collapse and jilt the tent to one side. Just extend the legs until they lock, stretch out the frame and the canopy is ready to use.

Canopy Tarps Bring The Best In Shelter, Coverage

A sturdy frame still wouldn’t mean much without a reliable tarp cover. The Undercover Canopy tarp is built from reinforced polyester, and many models feature tarps that are treated for added weather protection. Some of the larger models include tarps rated to 600 Denier, meaning they provide a truly formidable degree of weather resistance.

Undercover Canopies sometimes come with helpful accessories, too. These can include weightbags to more firmly anchor the canopy in place. They may also include travel bags to ease transport.The most popular, however, is likely the vinyl sidewalls that enclose the canopy’s interior.

Pop-Up CanopiesPop-up canopies, sometimes universally referred to by the popular brand name EZ-Up Tent, offer the ease and convenience of rapid setup and easy transportation but without the flimsiness common to many forms of wire or frame canopies and tents.

Many pop-up canopy owners feel their pop-up canopies make the perfect accessory to their team event or small-business display. For small business owners especially, having a pop-up canopy emblazoned with the business’ logo can make a great impression when displaying merchandise at shows, conventions and exhibitions.

Easy Setup and Long-Lasting Construction

Pop-up canopies feature a unique “accordion” type structure that allows them to expand and contract for setup and takedown times that last only minutes. In fact, in most cases a single person can assemble and disassemble the canopies by themselves.

Usually, pop-up canopies feature aluminum or steel frame construction for long-lasting use. Both types of construction offer advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum is lighter, but less resistant to wear and tear. Steel is more durable, but subject to rust.
When determining what type of frame will best suit your needs, consider how much use your pop-up canopy will experience. If you plan on constant use, a steel frame model is probably better suited to your needs.

The Pop-Up Canopy Top

The quality of a pop-up canopy’s top, or covering, is expressed in Dernier: the higher the Dernier, the thicker the material. Most pop-up canopies feature polyester in their construction, either by itself or coated by a vinyl sheath. Vinyl-coated tops offer better UV protection and more resistance to water, but are also more expensive.

Graphics and Accessories

Pop-Up CanopiesPop-up canopy owners are essentially faced with two options when selecting custom graphics for their pop-up canopy tops. Many pop-up canopy retailers will offer manufacturer-printed graphics for an additional charge. A second option, called a canopy headband, features your logo or design printed on a slipover that adheres to the canopy top itself.

The most common – and popular – canopy accessory is sidewall panels, which act as “walls” around the canopy frame. Other accessories include carrying cases and weight bags that help anchor the canopy frame.