Pergola Design – read before you start

We have one of the most extensive range of polycarbonate products in Australia. Our team of experts are second to none and can advise you on the best solution for your project.

Pergola Design – read before you start

09th Nov 2022

Perfect Pergola Design – The No.1 Mistake To Avoid

So you want to design the perfect pergola? An idea area for outdoor entertaining and relaxing that invites refreshing breezes while providing protection from harsh direct sunlight and unexpected rain? Awesome idea! We can help you with that. 

Whether you’re starting from scratch and seeking ideas for a brand new pergola design, or updating your current pergola, our top tip is to work from the top, down: think about the pergola roof and materials FIRST.

A quick phone call to the team of roofing specialists at Polycarbonate Roofing to discuss pergola roofing material options to suit your space will save you a whole lot of headaches down the line.  Trust us (we’ve seen what happens when pergola roofing is considered last, and it’s never pretty!). 

When it comes to ideal materials for pergola roofing, we’ve got you covered. Literally.

With over 20 years of experience in supplying Polycarbonate Roofing to customers throughout Australia for the construction of domestic pergola designs to large commercial projects, we’ve put together some tips for you to keep in mind while pondering your perfect pergola design…

The No.1 Pergola Design Error To Avoid

While you may need to actually build your pergola structure from the ground, up…don’t make the mistake of designing it that way.

Always work from the TOP, DOWN in design stage, when it comes to pergolas.

I know we seem to be harping on this point, but it’s so important that it’s worth repeating. 

When building a new pergola, roofing options are so often NOT the first consideration. People presume that they’ll just be able to find a roof to fit whatever size and shape of pergola structure they build, but this is not often the case. Cue headaches and blown budgets to fix the problem and find a pergola roofing solution at this stage. 

But if you have a chat with a roofing specialist first?  

You can definitely save yourself time, stress, disappointment and dollars. 

At Polycarbonate Roofing, we understand that building your pergola and adding a new space to your home is exciting.  Planning the overall design and the finer details of how the structure itself will look and feel so that it compliments your home is all important…just don’t forget to cover yourself by choosing the right roofing materials from the get-go.

One last time for the folks in the back: your pergola design will work best when it’s considered from the TOP, DOWN!

The Cost Of Pergola Design – Knowledge is Power

We are frequently contacted by customers who are facing pergola roofing problems and need us to help find a solution.

Most often, their problem involves the cost of their new pergola design blowing out.


The product that they had set their hearts on, with the ‘look’ that complimented their new pergola and their home, simply will not fit the structure they have built! Often because they didn’t consider the roofing material specifications in design phase. 

At this point, they’ve put themselves in a position where they are either forced to make costly structural changes to accommodate their preferred roofing material option. Or they have to opt for a roofing material that was not their first choice, which can change the look and feel of their space significantly.  

With a roofing specialist in your back pocket from early in the design phase, this situation can be very easily avoided without any major changes to the look of your pergola design. You’ll be able to move forward in planning your perfect pergola space, by acquiring the knowledge you need about the roofing material and  installation.  Armed with this essential roofing product information to pass on to your builder, they can then build the structure and roof to be able to perfectly support your Polycarbonate Roofing system of choice.  

A little (pergola roof) planning goes a long way. 

The Best Roofing Options For Your Pergola Design

There are so many Polycarbonate Roofing options these days, it can feel overwhelming when it comes to picking a perfect pergola roofing product.

Handily, we’ve designed our Polycarbonate Roofing webpage intuitively, to help you easily understand the features and benefits of each product. Us it to guide you in choosing the best roofing material for your for your pergola design.

Polycarbonate Roofing sheets are available in a wide range of styles.  Traditional profiled sheets with classic and contemporary colour options, flat lightweight but strong twinwall, high end glass-like panels without the weight or expense of glass that come in a multitude of colours that help control light and heat transmissions. 

Some are simple to install and some are more complex, requiring aluminium bars to piece them together.   

Many of our products come in different widths, thicknesses and lengths. These factors inform the dimensions of your roof, such as spacing between rafters. 

This is why it is important to know what roofing material you want before you start building your pergola and work from – you guessed it! – the TOP, DOWN!

Choosing your roofing material first can not only save you disappointment but could potentially save you time and money 

When you consult a roofing specialist to gain an understanding of the dimensions of your preferred Polycarbonate sheets and their supporting systems, you can avoid additional timber or metal costs in the structure.  You can also skip the expense of a situation where additional Polycarbonate sheets are required because the structure is just a couple of centimetres too wide. 

The devil is definitely in the detail when it comes to the perfect pergola design. Happily, our team at Polycarbonate roofing is devilishly good at design details and are available to take your call during business hours, Monday – Friday. 

Where to find inspiration for your Pergola Design

Permanent pergolas provide a stylish and practical alternative to the temporary collapsible gazebos and outdoor umbrellas that people erect in the summer. Over time they are a cost effective and sustainable option. But they are a significant investment, so it’s worth taking your time to plan a pergola that’s perfect for you. 

If you’re a visual person, it might make sense to start your pergola design process by searching for images that inspire you. 

Pinterest is a great place to look, as an image-driven search engine that is a treasure trove of diverse ideas and styles, works-in-progress and inspiration.  Once you start clicking on a particular style that appeals to you, more of the same will be presented to you.

Be specific in your searches, using keywords to seek and find the images that will be most aligned with your overall vision, for example:

Metal – black – contemporary – pergola design

Timber – Mediterranean – white – beach – pergola design

Country – timber – natural – light – pergola design

Use your keywords well and you will be rewarded with images and ideas of what will prove helpful to you and inform your process from and inspiration and design perspective, rather than being bombarded with offers of products for sale.

If you’re a list-lover, then you might want to jot down what you think you’ll be using your new pergola  for most often and make sure the space your planning will suit these activities. Is it for relaxing with family, entertaining friends, sheltering your laundry and/or pets from harsh or inclement weather. All of the above? You may want to read some of out other blog posts about pergola designs now too!

Once you have your dream pergola look pinned down, then it’s time to make sure that your builder is well briefed to build a pergola roof structure that fits the polycarbonate roofing material you have chosen.  

And then?

Pour yourself a cup of something, sit back, relax and indulge in a daydream about the many ways in which your new pergola will change the way you live, by becoming an additional usable space in your home…and start planning your pergola-warming party!

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We have one of the most extensive range of polycarbonate products in Australia. Our team of experts are second to none and can advise you on the best solution for your project.

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