What are the different types of Pergolas?

Key design components of a pergola

Pergolas provide shelter, shade, and defined seating to a landscape, creating a stylish focal point for entertaining or a vertical base for climbing plants. While they’re practically identical to louvre structures, the key difference is the roof’s functionality. A pergola’s roof is always stationary, whereas a louvre’s slats are adjustable. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to use the term interchangeably.

Glass pergola above social area


A pergola’s roof is made up of stationary beams, slats positioned at an angle, allowing partial sunlight to pass through. Climbing vines, evergreen or deciduous, are often encouraged to grow over a pergola to create a dreamy garden feature while providing a little extra shade in summer. Retractable canopies are also available for more shade too. 


Pergolas are most commonly constructed from wood, metal, and vinyl, but all materials are not created equal. To achieve a more rustic and natural aesthetic, wood is the way to go. If a low-maintenance option that’s super durable is more of what you’re looking for, aluminium, vinyl, and steel are better choices. 


At their core, pergolas are uncomplicated constructions. But there are countless ways you can upgrade, elevate, and customise them to suit your space and lifestyle needs. Take your pergola from a daytime lounge space to night time entertaining area, with features such as built-in lighting and outdoor heaters. 

Ways to incorporate a pergola into your landscape design

The best way to get pergola ideas or integrated pergola designs is to work with a pergola installation specialist. Whatever your preference, there are a few essentials involved in making your landscape design cohesive and functional. 

  • Create a pathway | Whether it’s pebbles, pavers, bark, or other material, defined pathways create a natural flow around your landscape. 
  • Complement with hardscaping | Pergolas and decking go hand in hand: check out this design.
  • Sort out permits | Building a pergola in Auckland normally won’t require consent but, since pergolas are often components of a larger transformation, other landscaping aspects of your project might. 
Pergola above outdoor socialising nook

Pergola design ideas and examples

Pergolas come in all shapes and sizes. Need a little guidance? Our Auckland Landscape Consultants have delivered some fantastic designs that we can explore for some inspiration!

First up, we have a design with multiple covered seating areas as well as a serene spa pool area. This finished Auckland landscape renovation cost $188,000. 

In this $153,000 landscape transformation, the pergola isn’t a bold design statement, but it’s an essential feature that improves the functionality of the living areas. 

Lastly, for $100,000, a large pergola was used to anchor this Point Chev landscape design including an outdoor wood stove and dining area. 

Family social area below pergola

How Zones Landscaping can help make your pergola installation easy

Whether it’s a simple pergola installation or part of a more comprehensive scope, our team’s professional project management and expert approach will ensure you have a stress-free experience. From start to finish, a Landscaping Consultant will guide you through the process, helping you tweak the design, pick the right materials, schedule contractors, and make sure everything runs smoothly. 

Your project will follow our 5-step process which includes an initial consultation, iterative concept designs, a detailed cost estimate, professionally managed construction, and seamless project handover. If you ever have any questions or concerns, you can communicate directly with your Landscaping Consultant, as they’ll remain your single point of contact, bridging the gap between you and the team of experienced contractors working to bring your landscape vision to life. 

What does your perfect pergola paradise look like?

We’d love to hear your ideas! To arrange a consultation, simply get in touch with a local Auckland Landscaping Consultant.

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