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Awning or Pergola: Which One To Choose and Why?

Your outdoor living space is a perfect hub for relaxation and calm. However, the weather can disrupt your rest. An awning or pergola can protect you from the elements, but which one is best?

This article will cover both to help you make the right choice.

Awnings and Pergolas Explained

An awning is a fabric or aluminum structure attached to a deck, window, or door to give you some protection from the elements. Awnings provide shade from UV rays in the summer and keep you dry on rainy days.

A pergola is a structure erected away from the house, usually in the backyard. It features columns and a grid roof. Some people attach pergola covers for better protection from the elements.

Pros and Cons of Awnings



  • Awnings provide protection from the sun. Covered areas can be 20 degrees cooler than uncovered areas.
  • They are easy to install and don’t require a lot of space. Retractable awnings only need a mounting area to work.
  • Awnings around windows or doors can keep your home cooler, thus reducing your energy bills.
  • Awnings protect your furniture and other such property from exposure to UV rays, preventing bleaching.
  • Awnings add usable space to your home, increasing its value.


  • Fabric residential and commercial awnings are not waterproof.
  • Awnings cannot withstand extreme weather conditions.
  • Awnings require regular cleaning.
  • Lower-quality canopies require regular maintenance or complete replacement.

Pros and Cons of Pergolas



  • Pergolas are sturdy structures. Contractors make them from wood with metal or cement as the base.
  • They are free-standing units, making them a good fit next to gardens, swimming pools, or fish ponds.
  • Pergolas are magnificent additions to any outdoor area, improving your home’s aesthetic appeal.


  • Without the pergola covers, they don’t provide a lot of protection against the elements. However, the covers detract from the unit’s aesthetic appeal.
  • A pergola is a permanent structure. You can’t uninstall and move it elsewhere in the home.
  • Pergolas are only practical in a home with lots of outside space.
  • The construction is labor-intensive.

Awning or Pergola: Which Should You Choose? 

The right choice will come down to preference and your situation. If you are on a budget, you can find an awning that’s a decent fit. On the other hand, even the most basic pergolas will cost at least $1500.

An awning is an excellent choice if you want a shaded area you can move between the back yard and front lawn as the need arises. However, if you want a sturdy, permanent structure, you can choose a pergola.

If space is at a premium, pergolas won’t fit. On the other hand, awnings will fit anywhere.


Awning or pergola? It’s often hard to choose a favorite among them at a glance. However, when you compare your needs and situation to the pros and cons of each, you should have a clear winner.

Are you tilting toward awnings? Check out our residential and commercial awnings here at Van Nuys Awning Co. today.

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