Everything You Need to Know About Buying A Pergola



Traditional designs take the form of a basic wooden arbour formed of horizontal trelliswork supported on columns or posts that act as a framework for climbing plants. However, today’s contemporary pergolas have improved vastly, both in terms of design and functionality. They’re now available in weatherproof aluminium with added features such as automated retractable roofs and retractable screens, transforming your outdoor area into year-round usable living space for relaxing, dining and entertaining.

At SUNS Lifestyle, premium pergolas and outdoor set-ups are our speciality, so we’ve put together our guide to help you make the best purchasing decision for your home and garden.



Putting a pergola in your garden combines the benefits of a patio awning with that of a full veranda, providing additional space for you and your family and friends to relax and entertain in comfort.


Our range of contemporary aluminium-framed pergolas have a unique elegance to them, with a choice of sculptural and architectural designs that you can use to create unique visual interest in your garden sanctuary.


Traditionally used as a supporting framework for climbing plants, pergolas add height and intimacy to your planting scheme, drawing the eye up to admire your choice of beautiful clematis, wisteria, honeysuckle, roses, vines and more.


Define a section of your garden for outdoor dining or lounging with the erection of a pergola and create the ultimate link between indoor and outdoor living. Finish with your choice of flooring, outdoor furniture, accessories and finishing touches.


A pergola is the perfect solution for creating extra shade and shelter in your garden. SUNS Lifestyle pergolas come in a wide range of designs, including louvered pergolas, louvered and retractable pergolas with the option of adding sun screens and side panels as desired.


An affordable option that is quick to construct, built to last and easy to maintain, a modern pergola will have a big impact on your garden, both in terms of functionality and visual appeal, and it may even add value to your home.



When it comes to getting the best use out of your pergola, location and placement are key considerations.

If shade is your main concern, choose a spot that targets the mid to late-afternoon sun, which is when shade will be most desired. You can also position a pergola to act as a wind barrier. Make sure any new addition to your garden doesn’t block a beautiful view. Instead, use the structure to frame the vista for maximum effect. Ensure your side screens are semi-transparent so you can enjoy the view regardless of the weather.

If you are planning to use your pergola as an extended dining area, it makes sense to position it near the house near the kitchen or dining room for maximum convenience.



When choosing the size of your pergola, take into account the size and dimensions of your home and relevant structures. A small pergola mounted to the side of a large building (or vice versa) could look out of proportion.

Make sure you measure the area carefully to check it will give you enough space for your needs, and take exact size measurements – length, width, height and area size – for your pergola order. Many designers recommend a minimum pergola height of 230cm / 7’6” to give enough headroom.



Pergola frames come in a range of materials, including traditional wood, wrought iron, plastic, composite and aluminium. Of course, each material has its pros and cons, as we outline below:

Timber is a budget-friendly material typically associated with conventional garden structures. As a natural material, it has a life cycle of around 15 years but must be regularly maintained and protected against damp and insect attack.

Wrought iron is a strong and impact-resistant material with an elegant appearance and a typical lifespan of 15 years. The extremely heavy structure is susceptible to rust which can substantially shorten its lifespan unless rust proofing is carried out diligently.

Plastic is a cost-effective material with a modern appearance and low maintenance requirements. Unfortunately, it only has a service life of 5-8 years, which makes for a shorter return on your investment than you may be planning.

Aluminium is the material of choice for all SUNS Lifestyle pergolas. While the initial outlay may be more than for other materials, the payback in terms of looks and performance is unsurpassed. Our toughened aluminium pergolas are powder coated in a choice of colours and are UV protected against colour fade. They’re fully weatherproof, offer good thermal resistance, require minimal maintenance and have an unlimited service life. The payback in terms of looks and performance is unsurpassed, providing unrivalled quality at a fair price.



We offer a range of pergola screening options to protect you against the elements.

Our louvered pergolas have vented roof shutters with a simple winding mechanism for opening/closing which can create a fully weatherproof space simply by a turn of the handle. Any rainwater is seamlessly drained off and down specially engineered channels on the inside of the legs.

Our retractable roof pergolas offer innovative functionality and design to protect against sun, wind and rain using the latest technology. The price point is higher due to the motors and systems involved. Slide open to reveal the sky above your terrace, or close fully for insulation in all weathers.

Optional side screens including standard sun screens and deluxe screens for shade and shelter are also available. For extra durability and your ultimate convenience, all our premium built pergolas use high quality weatherproof materials, including roof and side screens made from Textilene, a PVC coated woven polyester non-stretch yarn that is unrivalled for its strength, is flame retardant, heat sealable, mildew-resistant and temperature stable.



The complexity of your pergola installation depends on the design and materials used as well as the designated garden location. A simple timber frame could be erected by a confident DIYer, a landscape gardener or general builder. More complicated designs are best left to the professionals.

At SUNS Lifestyle, we offer free nationwide delivery and an in-house installation service by our trained team, which includes assembly and bolting down of your high-quality aluminium pergola including any screens and louvered panels. Please ask us about our Pergola Pre-Installation Guide for soft or hard surfaces that must be adequately prepared in advance of the install. All you then need to do is ensure that access to the site is clear and free from obstacles on the day, that there is someone available to greet our team and show them to the site and to sign off upon completion of the works.

The good news is that the vast majority of pergolas won’t need planning permission unless you live in a conservation area or the building is listed. If in doubt, check with your local planning authority. Our Rota, Maranza and Galaxy models are classed as semi-permanent structured secured to existing surfaces, meaning they do not require planning consent.



Your pergola is as unique as you are. Whether you are looking for an outdoor space for alfresco dining, garden soirees or general downtime at home, there are countless ways that you can add the finishing touches to your pergola to complement the style of your home and reflect your personal tastes.

Take a look at our huge range of outdoor furniture choices including our lounge and sofa collections, bar and dining collections, sun loungers, daybeds and more to help you create the perfect environment for eating, socialising and relaxing. Don’t forget to add colour and texture with cushions, soft furnishings and outdoor rugs, and add some stylish lighting options so you can enjoy the long summer evenings on the pergola, and a heater for cooler days and nights.


Explore our range of pergolas and furniture collections, to create your perfect summer set-up.

Get In Touch

Suns Lifestyle are leaders in luxury outdoor furniture and premium-range pergolas, and we can help you make the most of alfresco relaxing, dining and entertaining at home. If you are considering investing in a stylish and weatherproof pergola for your patio or garden, our dynamic team is at your service with fresh thinking and innovative products to make your vision a reality.

Contact us for more information or to book your showroom appointment.