Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gazebo, Pergola or Awning?

If there was a petition and the petition would actually be granted to end the winter, I would be the first one to put down my name. Winter weather continues to drag on - it makes me wonder if mother nature decides to skip Spring altogether this year. Although I am not a fire-up-the-grill-every-day-while-sipping-cold-beer type of patio person, I would still like to maintain a beautiful and serene outdoor space for guest parties. I've started to plan a few changes in my backyard, and my first priority is to take care of the sun shade. 

Right now I have a tiny 8'x8' gazebo with canopy for the sitting area, and a giant umbrella for the dining area. Both are functional except that for the gazebo it's been a pain to remove the canopy at the end of the season and put it back on the next year which requires some dissembling. I need a more permanent solution. 

Hardtop gazebos are all over my neighbourhood so I am sure they are good. I like that I will never have to remove the roof again because I could barely see any snow accumulation over the winter. The pillars can be screwed and secured into a deck so they are more permanent and sturdy. I heard the powdered aluminum material also makes them wind and rust resistant. 

Allen Roth Square Gazebo at Lowes, a tad too small for me at 10'x10'x10'.
The aluminum roof looks pretty stylish. 
Another popular hardtop gazebo is from Canadian Tire's Essex Collection, a perfect size for my backyard at 12'x10'x10'. I like that it's rectangular in shape so it can accommodate my dining table and more people. 
Canadian Tire
A pergola is also very tempting to me but I am concerned about the rain water accumulating on the flat canopy. Does anyone have any experience with this aspect of pergola? 
Or how about a retractable awning? 

You can have it custom made to fit your space, however, it does need to be mounted onto a wall so there's the location limitation of an awning. Plus when retracted it doesn't look very attractive, see below. 

So what's your experience with a backyard sun shade? Hardtop gazebo, pergola or awning?

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