Are Patio Covers or Pergolas Better For Houston Homes?

September 6, 2013

Southeast Texas has a warm climate. Although it can be uncomfortably hot and muggy in the summertime, the rest of the year is fair game for outdoor activities.

Of course, it’s best to equip the outdoor areas near your home with shade. The Texas sun can be blistering — even in the spring and fall — and prolonged periods of exposure to it can be bad for your health.

Luckily, there are several stylish additions to your home’s outdoor space that can keep the fresh air in your lungs and the sun’s rays away from your head. Two of the most popular additions are patio covers and pergolas. But which one should you choose for your home? Here’s a look at each.

patio cover

Patio covers can help keep you cool and your energy bills low.

Patio Covers

Patio covers are essentially solid roofs that hang over your patio. They’re generally anchored by posts, although the exterior of a home can attach to one end of a patio cover as well.

There are some obvious benefits to having a patio cover. A solid roof can protect you and your outdoor furniture from rain and other elements, and the areas underneath patio covers can be as much as 10 degrees cooler than surrounding sun baked portions of your property.

Patio covers can also help keep your energy bills low by shading more of your home. Windows next to a patio cover are blocked from most direct sunlight. This means that less solar energy is cooking your home, and your climate control system won’t have to work as hard to keep the home cool.

With all these benefits — not to mention many stylish options to choose from — it should come as no surprise that patio covers can increase your property value. This means that there are more benefits to installing a patio cover (year-round use of your patio and improved home resale values) than there are costs (the price tag for the project). Therefore, installing a patio cover is a worthwhile investment.

But what if you don’t want all of the sunshine to be blocked from your patio? Read on!


The latticed design of pergolas lets allows limited sunlight to reach your patio.


A pergola is a patio cover with a latticed design. Basically, that means that the covering consists of several beams with open spaces between them. This structure is often separate from the main structure of your home, and it’s anchored by at least three posts.

Pergolas are designed to allow controlled exposure to the sun. Since the beams shade portions of your patio, you won’t feel the fill brunt of the sun’s rays, even during the brightest (and hottest) part of the day. You can also angle your pergola in relation to the sun’s path in order to maximize sun or shade.

If you have a green thumb and want even more shade, you can allow vines or other plants to grow along the pergola. These plants will thrive on the sunshine and rain that hits your pergola, while helping to shield you from the elements.

The flexible design and use of pergolas can help improve your home’s curb appeal. This, in turn, can improve your home’s resale value.

Of course, there are some downsides to pergolas. Any outdoor furniture that’s located underneath them will likely still get wet during a rainstorm. Pergolas also only provide limited relief from the sun during summer scorchers.

patio cover

Patio covers provide more protection from the elements than pergolas do.

Are Patio Covers or Pergolas Best for Houston?

Whether you install a patio cover or a pergola on your Houston-area home, you’re drastically improving your outdoor living space. But a patio cover is definitely a better way to go.

Although pergolas are stylish, patio covers are better designed to stand up to the elements in Southeast Texas. Houston averages 47.84 inches of rain a year, so you’ll likely want a solid roof to protect your patio and outdoor furniture from frequent rain exposure. Pergolas don’t provide this protection, but patio covers do.

If you’re looking to install a patio cover or a pergola in your Houston-area home, turn to Best Investments Siding and Windows. We’ve been installing patio covers, pergolas, carports, sunrooms, replacement windows, siding and more across the Houston area for more than 35 years. For a free, no-pressure consultation, click here or call (281) 852-1866.