Pergolas and formal stylized outdoor entertaining areas have been a mainstream trend in building construction in Australia over the past few years. New and existing homes are adding style and ambiance to their outdoor facades so friends and family can easily entertain all year round. The traditional ‘Aussie’ barbecue has become much more sophisticated with emergence of gourmet cooking outdoors with chef like barbecue kitchens. The need for our outdoor entertaining areas to become more stylized and functional has been the result.
When planning and designing a new pergola one of the main construction considerations is selecting the type of roofing material you want for your pergola in line with your needs. There are a number of different types of roofing available including polycarbonate, colorbond steel, tiles and opening roofs.
The first point to consider when making your selection is that the more light you let in, the more heat comes in. The catch being of course, that you need more light in winter and less in summer. There are a few ways around this problem, firstly you can use a combination of polycarbonate and colorbond steel incorporating 2 or 3 sheets of polycarbonate inserts and having the rest of the pergola roof in colorbond steel. This will effectively still let the light in that you need and the pergola climate underneath will remain comfortably cool. Another alternative is to have colorbond steel on the west side of the pergola and polycarbonate sheeting on the other, if the pergola has a gable roof.
With the polycarbonates there are a number of different qualities and light/heat factors available. Some polycarbonates let more light in and others less heat. Within the Laserlite range, there are over 20 to choose from. Polycarbonate also comes in many profiles such as Greca, Roma, Trim deck and Multi-wall System.
If you have a larger budget then an opening roof may be ideal, in this instance you can control how much light and heat you let in. In winter you can get all the winter sun by angling the open blades towards the sun and in summer just close the roof off. In the event of rain whilst you are out, the rain sensor will automatically close the opening roof for you.
Another style of pergola roofing to consider is an insulated roof with polystyrene in the middle, a colorbond roof at the top and a stucco finish on the bottom. With excellent insulation properties this style of roofing is often used for cool rooms. Of all the pergola roof coverings this one will keep out the most heat. The only downside is that it’s extremely hard to install light panels into this type of roofing.
Depending on the type of materials and roof design of your pergola it’s often possible to change or reposition some of the roof sheets if your pergola is too dark or too hot.
Fortunately with the emerging trend of the sophisticated pergola in outdoor entertaining there are a large range of materials and colours in pergola roofing to enhance your existing facade and to compliment your entertaining style.
© Greg Jacobs, Pergola Land – 21st November 2007
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