Household & Real Estate

DIY Pergola Cover Ideas: Is It Worth the Trouble?

Are you dreaming of all the DIY projects you can start to transform your backyard this summer? Pergola covers fall neatly into the “more shade, more space, more relaxing” category, and you may be wondering what to do in terms of a pergola cover.

There is quite a lot to think about, and you can’t simply buy any old cover and expect it to work wonders. This is a thing that is going to cost you time, effort, and money.

When you are wondering whether or not you should DIY your pergola covering, here are a few pergola cover ideas to get you started. Keep reading to learn more.

Let’s begin!

Why Cover Your Pergola?

Before delving into the DIY pergola cover ideas, it’s essential to understand the reasons why you might want to cover your pergola. There are several compelling reasons to do so:

Sun Protection

Pergolas are excellent for providing partial shade, but they often lack complete coverage. By adding a cover, you can protect yourself and your outdoor furniture from the harsh sun, making your outdoor space more comfortable.


Depending on your location, pergolas can expose you to various weather elements. A cover can shield you from rain, wind, or even light snow, allowing you to use your outdoor space in different seasons.


A covered pergola can offer more privacy, creating a cozy oasis in your backyard. It can act as a barrier to prying eyes and surrounding noise, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and entertaining.

Enhanced Aesthetics

A well-designed pergola cover can significantly enhance the overall look of your outdoor space, adding character and charm to your home.

Now that you understand the benefits of covering your pergola let’s explore some DIY pergola cover ideas.

Canvas Shade Sails: Affordable and Stylish

Canvas shade sails are an excellent choice for those seeking a cost-effective and stylish way to cover their pergola. These sails come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing you to get creative with your outdoor design. Installation is relatively straightforward, and you can adjust the tension to control the amount of shade you need.

Bamboo or Reed Roll-Ups: Natural Elegance

If you prefer a more natural and rustic look, bamboo or reed roll-ups could be the perfect choice for your pergola cover. They offer an earthy and organic feel, creating a harmonious connection between your outdoor space and nature. Roll-ups are relatively easy to install and can be rolled up or down to control the amount of shade and privacy you desire.

Pergola Canopy: Classic Elegance

A pergola canopy is a timeless choice that adds a touch of classic elegance to your outdoor space. These canopies are typically made of fabric and come in various styles and colors to match your aesthetic preferences. While they provide excellent shade, they may require more maintenance and cleaning to keep them looking their best.

Motorized Pergola Cover: Versatile and Convenient

For those who want a versatile and convenient pergola cover, a motorized retractable option might be the way to go. These covers can be opened or closed, allowing you to control the amount of sunlight and shade at any given time. While retractable covers offer great flexibility, they can be more expensive and might require professional installation.

Plants and Vines: Natural Beauty

If you want to combine aesthetics with functionality, consider covering your pergola with climbing plants or vines. This natural cover provides a serene and lush atmosphere, creating a living roof of greenery.

Additionally, you’ll need a landscape design service linked here because while it offers partial shade and can be stunning, it requires patience, as it may take time for the plants to fully grow and cover the pergola.

Polycarbonate Panels: Durable and Weatherproof

Polycarbonate panels are a fantastic option for those looking for a durable and weatherproof pergola cover. These panels are made from a strong, lightweight material that can protect from rain and harsh sunlight. They also come in various colors and designs, allowing you to customize your outdoor space. The downside is that they might not offer the same aesthetic appeal as other options.

Roller Blinds: Adjustable and Practical

Roller blinds are a practical choice for covering your pergola. They come in a variety of materials, from fabric to bamboo, and can be easily rolled up or down to control sunlight and privacy. Roller blinds are versatile and can withstand different weather conditions, making them an excellent choice for most outdoor spaces.

DIY Pergola Curtains: Budget-Friendly Customization

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to add a cover to your pergola, DIY pergola curtains might be the solution. You can choose your preferred fabric and design, allowing for complete customization. While this option is cost-effective, keep in mind that it may not be as durable as some of the other choices.

Is It Worth the Trouble?

The answer to that question depends on your individual needs, preferences, and skills. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:


DIY solutions like canvas shade sails, bamboo roll-ups, or DIY pergola curtains are typically more budget-friendly, while options like retractable covers or polycarbonate panels tend to be more expensive.

Skill Level

Some pergola cover options, such as DIY curtains or bamboo roll-ups, are relatively easy to install on your own. In contrast, more complex choices like retractable covers or polycarbonate panels may require professional installation.

Aesthetic Preferences

Are you aiming for a rustic, natural feel with bamboo roll-ups, or do you prefer a classic and elegant look with a pergola canopy? Your aesthetic preferences will help guide your choice.

Weather Conditions

Think about the climate in your area. If you experience heavy rain or snow, you’ll want a more durable and weatherproof option, like polycarbonate panels. On the other hand, if your main concern is sun protection, canvas shade sails or retractable covers may suffice.


Consider the level of maintenance you’re willing to commit to. Options like plants and vines or natural materials like bamboo may require regular upkeep, while polycarbonate panels or roller blinds are low-maintenance choices.

The  Perfect Pergola Cover Ideas Await

While these DIY pergola cover ideas require time, effort, and planning, the result can be a beautiful addition to your deck with a pergola. From simple, cost-effective solutions to more advanced designs, there are numerous options to choose from.

So if you’re up for the challenge, give it a try and transform your pergola into a stylish and practical oasis. Don’t wait any longer and start your DIY pergola cover project today!

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