Can A Pergola Have A Solid Roof? (Explained)

A pergola is a lovely addition to any yard, but it’s more than just a pretty building. A pergola serves as an extension of your home and offers shade for both people and pets when needed most. 

If you’re considering adding this type of structure to your property, you may be wondering if there are any restrictions on what materials can be used or if there are any specific construction guidelines that must be followed. 

We’ve put together some answers to common questions regarding pergolas so that you can make an informed decision before deciding to move forward with the project:

A solid roof can be added to a pergola, providing increased protection against sun, rain, and other weather elements.
Adding a solid roof to a pergola can create a cozy and comfortable outdoor living space.
Pergolas with solid roofs offer enhanced shade and insulation compared to open-roofed pergolas.
Solid roofs on pergolas allow for the integration of lighting fixtures and ceiling fans.
The choice of materials for a solid roof on a pergola includes polycarbonate sheets, metal panels, shingles, and fabric canopies.
Local building codes and permits should be checked before installing a pergola with a solid roof.
Pergolas with solid roofs can be customized to match the existing outdoor space and personal style.

Can A Pergola Have A Solid Roof?

You can build a pergola with a solid roof, but it’s not the only option. You can also leave the top open to let in light and allow people to see stars on cool nights. 

Or you could cover each beam with plants or vines, which would give you privacy while letting light through.

The choice is yours!

When it comes to anchoring a pergola to a concrete patio, proper installation is crucial. Our detailed guide on how to anchor a pergola to a concrete patio provides step-by-step instructions and expert tips to ensure a secure and stable attachment.

How Long Will It Take To Build My Pergola Roof?

As with anything else in life, the amount of time it takes to build a pergola roof depends on a number of factors. 

The size and complexity of your design will affect how long it takes, as well as your skill level. If you’re hiring someone else to build your pergola, make sure they have experience building roofs before you sign on the dotted line!

The weather can also be an obstacle when trying to finish any project quickly. Extreme heat or cold can cause delays because workers might not want to work outside when conditions are extreme. 

However if you live somewhere where rain isn’t too common, then this won’t be much of an issue for most people who want to get their pergola built in time for summer barbeques!

Type of Pergola RoofEstimated Time (in Days)
Polycarbonate Panels3-5 Days
Metal Roofing2-4 Days
Cedar Shingles4-6 Days
Fabric Canopy1-2 Days
Thatched Roof5-7 Days

What Are The Best Materials For Building A Pergola?

You should use sturdy, weather resistant materials like cedar or redwood for your pergola framing. Some people also use composite materials, though these can be more expensive and harder to work with than wood.

Metal can be used as well, but it’s more expensive and may require extra equipment such as a power drill, so don’t try this unless you’re experienced at working with metal.

Are you looking to attach a pergola to your deck? Discover the best methods and techniques in our comprehensive article on how to anchor a pergola to a deck. From hardware options to structural considerations, we cover everything you need to know for a safe and reliable installation.

What Materials Should You Use When Building A Pergola?

While it may seem like a no-brainer to build your pergola with wood, there are some downsides to consider. Wood frame materials are more expensive than vinyl and plastic, and they’re also less flexible when it comes time to install the roofing or siding. 

However, they do provide a more natural look and feel that can be appealing if you have the budget for them.

Cedar is one of the most popular choices for pergolas because it’s strong and has natural oils that make it resistant to rot. Redwood is another great choice because this wood will last longer than cedar without needing much upkeep (even though redwood tends to be more expensive). 

If you’re looking for something with less maintenance but still holds up well against weathering elements such as sun exposure or rainwater damage from leaks in your home’s roofing system, then choose pressure-treated pine lumber (also called SPF). 

This type of wood won’t rot away over time like untreated white pine does after being exposed continuously throughout its service life span but even then we recommend treating all parts including those cut off pieces used during construction just so nothing goes wrong later on down the road!

Pressure-Treated WoodTreated for durability and resistance to rot and decay.
Cedar WoodNaturally resistant to insects and decay.
Vinyl/PVCLow-maintenance and long-lasting material.
AluminumLightweight, rust-resistant, and durable.
SteelStrong and sturdy material for structural support.
CompositeOffers the look of wood with low maintenance.
PolycarbonateProvides lightweight, shatter-resistant roofing.
Fabric CanopyOffers shade and protection from the elements.

What Tools Are Needed To Build A Pergola?

As with any project, there are some basic tools that you will need to build your pergola. Here is a list of what you should have on hand:

Power saw – A power saw will be used for cutting lumber into the appropriate lengths for framing your pergola roof. 

You can also use it for cutting out any circular patterns in plywood or other materials that might be used as flooring or ceiling panels.

Drill – You’ll want a cordless drill with several different bits so that you can drill wood screws into your project with ease. 

These screws will hold everything together tightly and keep it from coming apart when exposed to the elements during construction time outside in the elements during construction time outside in the sun or rainstormy weather conditions such as wind gusts/high winds which could cause damage if not properly secured by having all boards firmly attached together tightly via screws/nails etcetera!

Measuring TapeEssential for accurate measurements during construction.
Power DrillUsed for drilling holes and driving screws.
Circular SawCuts through lumber and other materials with precision.
LevelEnsures the pergola is even and properly aligned.
Screwdriver SetRequired for tightening screws and assembling components.
Adjustable WrenchUseful for tightening bolts and nuts.
ChiselHelps with woodworking and fitting joints.
HammerUsed for driving nails and securing connections.
LadderProvides access to elevated areas during construction.
Safety Gear (Gloves, Goggles)Protects against potential hazards during construction.

What Are Some Tips For Building A Pergola?

When building a pergola, you should start by making sure that you have all of the right tools for the job. 

If you are going to be using a framing kit for your pergola, it will come with all of the materials and instructions that you need to build it correctly and safely.{

It is important to take your time when putting together a pergola roof so that everything fits properly and looks good when finished. 

It may also help if someone else can assist in this process since sometimes two minds working together can get things done much quicker than one person alone!

The next thing is ensuring that there is some sort of base on which the structure rests before building up its walls; otherwise they could collapse under their own weight over time due to uneven ground surface underneath them (which would result in costly repairs).

Transform your existing pergola into a more versatile outdoor space by adding a roof. Learn about different roofing options and the installation process in our informative guide on how to add a roof to an existing pergola. Find out how a roof can enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your pergola.

Where Can I Buy A Pergola Kit?

There are a few places you can purchase your pergola kit:

Online: You can visit online retailers such as Amazon, Wayfair or eBay. There are several options available on these websites but make sure to read the reviews and make sure that the product is high quality before purchasing one.

Local Home Improvement Store: Some of the larger home improvement stores offer an assortment of pergola kits, however it’s best to compare prices before making a purchase because they may not be cheaper than buying online. 

Sometimes local stores may have better selections than big box retailers like Lowes or Home Depot due to their smaller size and extra attention paid by employees but it all depends on how much time you want (and money) spending shopping around for materials versus just ordering everything at once from one place like Amazon Prime!

Determining the ideal height for your pergola can significantly impact its visual appeal and functionality. Get valuable handyman advice in our guide on how tall should a pergola be. Find out the key factors to consider when deciding on the height of your pergola structure.

Should I Use Cedar Or Redwood For My Pergola Framing?

If you’re looking for a more durable material, cedar is the best choice. It can withstand heavy weather conditions and will last much longer than other woods. 

It doesn’t rot as quickly as redwood, so it’s better for building your pergola’s framing. On the other hand, if you want a cheaper material to build your pergola with, redwood is probably a good option for you.

The good news is both types of wood are good choices when it comes to building your pergola! And don’t forget that cedar shakes will give you an added advantage when dealing with mold issues  they won’t trap moisture like regular shingles do (which could lead to mildew growth).

Understanding the various types of pergola roofs is essential for making informed design choices. Our article on what is a pergola roof exactly explains the different roof styles, materials, and their benefits. Discover the perfect roof for your pergola project.


Building a pergola is a great way to add a little extra shade and privacy to your yard. It can also be used to create an outdoor living space that’s perfect for entertaining friends or family.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the topic of pergolas and solid roofs:

Can a Pergola Have a Solid Roof?: This article explores the possibility of adding a solid roof to a pergola and discusses the benefits and considerations associated with this design choice.

Can Pergolas Have Roofs?: Discover the different roofing options available for pergolas and learn about the pros and cons of each type of roof, including solid roofs, in this informative article.

Pergola with Solid Roof: This resource provides insights into the concept of a pergola with a solid roof, including design ideas, materials, and construction tips to create an inviting and sheltered outdoor space.


Here are some frequently asked questions about pergolas with solid roofs:

Can I add a solid roof to my existing pergola?

Yes, it is possible to add a solid roof to an existing pergola. However, it is essential to consider the structural integrity of the pergola and ensure that it can support the additional weight of the roof. Consulting with a professional or following a reliable installation guide is recommended.

What are the benefits of having a pergola with a solid roof?

A solid roof on a pergola provides enhanced protection against sun, rain, and other weather elements. It offers increased shade and can create a cozy and comfortable outdoor living space. Additionally, a solid roof can provide better insulation and allow for the integration of lighting fixtures and ceiling fans.

What are the popular materials for constructing solid roofs on pergolas?

Common materials used for solid roofs on pergolas include polycarbonate sheets, metal panels, shingles, and fabric canopies. Each material has its advantages and considerations, such as durability, aesthetics, and cost, so choosing the right material depends on personal preferences and the desired outcome.

Do I need a building permit to install a pergola with a solid roof?

The requirement for a building permit may vary depending on your location and local building codes. It is advisable to check with your local authorities or building department to determine if a permit is necessary for adding a solid roof to your pergola.

Can a pergola with a solid roof be customized or designed to match my outdoor space?

Yes, pergolas with solid roofs can be customized and designed to complement your outdoor space. You can choose from various roof styles, materials, and colors to create a cohesive look that fits your personal style and blends seamlessly with your existing outdoor decor.