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How to Choose a Pergola for Your Backyard

Mar 09, 2022

With spring upon us and summer just around the corner, you may be thinking of ways you can elevate your backyard experience, in order to enjoy more time outside this year. One idea is to add a pergola to your space. A pergola is an outdoor structure with columns that support a roofing grid of beams and rafters, which can either be left open or kept covered to offer shade and protection from the elements. These structures can be attached to your house and act as an extension of whatever backyard covering you already have. A pergola can also be freestanding. Oh, and the most important part of shopping for a pergola? Making sure you say the word correctly before you talk to any retailers! (The word pergola is pronounced “PERG-uh-luh,” not per-GO-luh.)

Choosing the Right Pergola

Before you decide to erect a pergola in your backyard, make sure it’s the right thing! Pergolas are wonderful for many outdoor spaces, but your backyard might benefit more from a patio swing, a firepit, a chimney or chiminea, a patio bar, a grilling area, an outdoor TV, a fountain . . . The options are almost endless! With that said, a pergola can certainly bring a great deal of ambience and usefulness to your backyard, as these timeless structures offer both stylish appeal and functionality. However, with so many options available, choosing the right pergola might seem overwhelming. Here’s how to gain a better grasp of which one is right for you and your outdoor space.

Design Style

Sometimes it’s hard to know your own style. But don’t worry! You DO have a style — everyone does. Adding a pergola to your backyard can prove an excellent exercise in learning more about your style, and then using that design aesthetic to help you decide on a centerpiece for your backyard. Your existing backyard space, your current outdoor furniture (or the furniture you’re planning to acquire) and your home’s exterior design can tell you a lot about your style preference, so make sure to look at your current space and determine what elements you love.

Here are some questions to help you through the process:

  • Do you have an already-defined patio space?

  • Where do your friends and family tend to gather?

  • Do you prefer a more rustic look? More modern? Or something else entirely?

The answers to these questions can help you figure out which design and style is best for you as you shop for pergolas. Remember, a pergola is a large structure, and it will naturally become a focal point of your backyard. For this reason, it’s important that you consider the style and tone you’ll be setting for your space with your new pergola.


Before you start shopping for pergolas, consider how you’re going to use this versatile structure. For example, if you are someone who invites friends and family over for outdoor barbeques or celebrations — and if you have a lot of space in your yard — then a large pergola that can accommodate guests might be a great choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re considering using a pergola to add to a garden or to accent a walkway, then a smaller, less obtrusive pergola that casts less shade would be a more logical choice.


Typically, pergolas are available in wood as well as maintenance-free vinyl styles. Wood pergolas tend to give off a more organic, rustic look and feel. You can choose a variety of different wood stains — from natural to light to dark. Vinyl pergolas, on the other hand, tend to come in white and ivory, shades that will help them blend with many backyard color schemes. There are even some pergolas that mix both wood and vinyl. These give off an artisanal feel and can provide the best of both worlds.


As we mentioned before, the size of your backyard will likely determine how big or small your pergola will be. The larger the space, the more room you’ll have for an expansive pergola — if that’s what you choose to go with. It’s also important to think about the size of some of your other structures, and the other features of your yard. For example, a small pool beside an oversized pergola will make the scale feel off. Each structure should ideally be sized to match the scale of the others to create a balanced feel.

Shop with Acima

Now that you’ve got a better idea of what to look for, why not shop for pergolas on Acima MarketPlace? When you shop with an Acima outdoor retailer, you can get the pergola of your dreams today, without using credit*, and lease it until you own it by making manageable lease renewal payments scheduled around your paychecks. You can also save by purchasing the furniture early. Either way, it’s yours to keep. The sooner you do so, the more you’ll save. If you no longer want the furniture, you can return it in good condition at any time without penalty. Learn more about our lease-to-own solutions* and how they can benefit you, and unleash your shopping power today.