Here is a note we recently received from a curious visitor to the site:
This is a great question and allows me to share this photo of one my favorite pergola design additions. Retractable canvas canopies are inexpensive and easy to install on any pergola. Build the pergola with the design you need and in the location you have chosen and then add on the canopy. As the writer says, they come in some very stylish colors that can really add to the overall beauty of the space. And of course, the important function is the shade providing a more complete shelter from bright sunshine as needed. When you want the light and warmth? Just roll the canopy up as you would a set of window blinds."Is it possible to build a pergola with a canopy? I just staked out where we want to put a pergola and it is the sunniest possible spot in the yard. I think I will definitely want some sort of adjustable solid shade function for hot summer afternoons.I’ve seen pictures of pergolas with pretty yellow or orange canvas shades. That would actually be a really vibrant accent to have there. It will be a nice, unexpected splash of color to liven up the area. Since we are putting it up to provide shelter over a backyard sitting area, the shade function is actually pretty critical. Of course, thanks to other obstacles like water lines and such that is really the only place we can safely dig to install everything."
So don't let the fact that the best spot for your pergola is also the brightest and hottest especially in the summer. Just add a colorful canopy and enjoy!