Where Should I Install my Pergola?

“Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me.”

Like the words to this classic children’s song, many people love spending time out in the sun. Being out in the sun, at least for a short while each day, has many health benefits, including improved sleep and mental health. There’s something extraordinary about stepping outside and feeling the sun’s warmth on your face.

However, those of us that live in the Phoenix area know just how intense that sun can get. Shade provides a much-needed oasis while still enjoying the outdoors.

Installing a pergola is a great way to provide added shade to your yard. A well-placed pergola is an excellent addition to any yard. Not only do pergolas offer much-needed shade, but they can also be a lovely focal point of your yard.

But, if a pergola is placed willy-nilly, it can actually take away from your outdoor experience. So, don’t make that mistake. Consider the following when choosing the perfect space for your new outdoor area.

1. Where You Need Shade The Most

The first and most obvious thing you need to consider when choosing a location for your pergola is where you need its shade the most.

To help determine where the shade will be the most beneficial, consider what time of day you most often use your backyard. For most people, this will be during the late afternoon and into the evening. You’ll then want to evaluate the sun’s position during that time of day.

You’ll also want to consider the position of your home and any surrounding trees or buildings that might already provide shade. Choose a spot that isn’t already blessed with shade to maximize the shaded areas in your yard.

Another thing to consider is how much shade you want on your house. A pergola right next to your house can help lower your electric bill, as it helps keep that part of the home cooler. But the added shade also means less natural light will filter into your home.

2. Over an Existing Deck or Patio

If you already have a deck or patio, it makes sense to have your new pergola installed over that area. A pergola is a perfect way to improve a space you already use.

Yes, things such as patio umbrellas are much less expensive and may fit well with your patio table. But those umbrellas don’t tend to last very long, and they only provide a limited amount of shade. Pergola patio covers are a much better option.

3. Level Ground

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning. When choosing a good location for your new pergola, ensure the area’s ground is level. This will ensure the stability of your pergola. It will also make installing your pergola much easier. If the ideal spot for your pergola is uneven, you may want to contact a contractor to help level the ground.

Also, avoid installing your pergola in areas with damp clay or loose ground. A good, solid foundation is the perfect start to any structure.

4. Entertaining

Most people don’t have a patio cover installed just for it to sit there and go unused. The purpose of a patio cover is to provide an ideal space for entertaining. So, the location of your pergola should be somewhere you will do the most entertaining.

Consider these locations in relation to the entertaining you plan on doing most often:

  • Near the House– If you plan on mostly having meals on your patio, then a good location might be right next to the house. This will make transporting food and dishes to and from the patio less of a chore.
  • Near the Pool– If you have a pool in your backyard, a poolside pergola is a great idea. This will provide the perfect space for your guests to relax after taking a dip. It is also a convenient area for parents to sit as they keep an eye on their kids.
  • Near the Playground– A pergola situated near a children’s play area will make it easy for parents to visit while also watching their kids. Also, a pergola is a good place for kids to take a break from the heat while enjoying a cool drink or snack.
  • Accessible Electricity– If you plan on having music, lights, or even a movie as part of your entertainment, you will want to ensure your pergola is situated where electricity is easily accessible.
  • Extra Features– Fire pits and water features create an idyllic ambiance for a relaxing evening visiting with friends and loved ones. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, be sure your pergola is in an area where these extra features are possible.

5. Your Yard

Unfortunately, not all yards are created equal. To ensure your pergola doesn’t look out of place, factor in the following details.

  • The View– When deciding on the perfect spot for your pergola, consider which way the pergola will be facing. A view of the mountains, a lake, or even your own water feature is better than staring at the crack in your neighbor’s siding.
  • Highlight an Area– If you are particularly proud of a specific area in your yard, such as your flower garden, consider highlighting that area with the placement of your pergola.
  • Yard Size– When installing a pergola in a small yard, be sure to install it strategically so it won’t take up any unnecessary space. On the flip side, a pergola in the center can help break up the expanse if you have a large yard.
  • Privacy– If privacy is a concern, have your pergola positioned in such a way that nosey Carol next door can’t see everything that’s going on on your patio. For added privacy, you may want to consider a full patio enclosure.

While looks aren’t everything, when it comes to adding a prominent feature to your yard, such as a pergola, you want to ensure that it looks good and is in the perfect location. Consider all we have discussed in this article, and you are sure to find that perfect location.


A pergola is a wonderful improvement to any yard. Pergolas not only provide much-needed shade, but they may also serve as a wonderful yard focal point. However, if a pergola is positioned carelessly, it could detract from your outdoor enjoyment. When selecting the ideal location, take the following factors into account.

5 Best Places to Install a Pergola Infographic


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