Choosing Pergola Roofing Materials



Pergolas can have many uses. They can protect you from the sun and rain, they can provide you with extra ‘indoor’ space outdoors, they can add aesthetic value to your home and garden, and they can add monetary value to your property. And because they have so many uses, they come in all shapes and sizes – according to what they are being used for.

When choosing your pergola and roofing materials, you will have to consider a number of factors, such as its purpose, the elements it will face, the cost and whether you want to build it yourself or employ a builder to do the job for you. Here are a few things you may want to think about.

The protection you need

Pergolas can offer protection against the elements. They can offer protection from the sun, giving you a cool, airy space to relax in, and they can also protect you from the rain – allowing you access to your garden and patio, even when the weather is poor. Think about what kind of protection you want your pergola to provide, and choose the roofing materials that will offer the most suitable protection.

For example, if your pergola is likely to be in full sun at all times you can choose between the added shade that Colorbond® roofing provides, or heat reflective Suntuf solarsmart polycarbonate sheets (the colorbond will give you better shade but can radiate heat when it’s extremely hot, and the suntuf sheets will allow more light in but their heat reflective properties will keep the space cooler) similarly if you are looking to add roofing to a pergola in a shadier place a simpler and more transparent sheet like suntuf standard will suit your purposes.

Standing up to the elements

Your pergola not only has to protect you from the elements, it also has to stand up to them. Your pergola is out there come rain or shine, hail or frost – so we only provide you with roofing materials that can cope with the harshest of climates. It’s important to also ensure that your roofing is installed correctly so that it won’t leak and damage your structure inappropriately.

In addition to this it’s worth ensuring that your pergola is designed so that the water that runs off from the roof is adequately dealt with. Softwoods use Colorbond® gutters, caps and flashings to make sure that all water is effectively dealt with. We also have an innovative internal gutter system so we can neatly dispose of water on attached structures without adding to the load of your home’s stormwater system.

Design flow

It’s important to choose a pergola design that flows on from your house and into your yard. You don’t want a pergola that looks out of place! Do some research to find the pergola design that would work best with the design of your house, your yard and your needs. Speak to a pergola expert to discover your options.

Some of the design options that you should consider with roofing on your pergola are the use of Suntuf Sunlite twin wall polycarbonate sheeting which allows you to achieve a great clean look on your pergola with no visible joins between sheets. You can also match a Colorbond® pergola roof with your homes existing roofing to seamlessly match your new pergola with your home.

You can also use a mixture of sheets to achieve your desired effect. Many people add a few polycarbonate sheets to a Colorbond® roof to act as skylights. You might also want to use new double sided Colorbond® sheets that feature either the same colour on both sides of the sheets or different shades on the inside and outside.

Design details

Your pergola can be as simple or as extravagant as you like (as long as your budget can stretch to it). You may choose a simple design that provides protection from the sun, or you may choose a more detailed design that offers an ‘inside’ feel outside. Roofing options for the more contemporary styles of flat structures that are currently in fashion vary depending on what you are attempting to achieve. As these structures have a lower pitch they normally require a higher profile steel sheet. However the main roofing decisions on these outdoor room type structures are to do with the ceiling lining that you choose. We generally use solarspan or glosswood in these applications as we find them to be great products for these purposes.

Depending on the type of pergola you choose, you can also include lighting, fans and other design details. Read more about pergola types here.

Fit for purpose

One of the most important factors to consider is whether your pergola will be fit for purpose. Basically, will it do what it’s supposed to do? Do you want an extra living space, a barbeque area, or a meditation space? Do you want a comfortable place to relax or perhaps a place to raise your plants? Do you want a spa in your pergola? The roofing that you choose can have a much greater impact on these factors than you may first think. Make sure the design and the materials you choose allow you to make best use of the space, and get the most out of your yard.

Purchase all your roofing requirements from the Softwoods online roofing store.



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Attached gable pergola with timber liningIronbark deck over sloping site with inbuilt stairs and stainless steel balustrade

Softwoods is a family owned South Australian company that has been trading for over 30 years.


We understand that making changes to your home is a major and important thing, and we take care to understand that every project that we handle should be done with as much care as we would expect is used in our own homes. Learn more about Softwoods.

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Croydon, SA

573 Port Road
West Croydon SA 5008
Corner Rosetta Street

(08) 8346 1499

Modbury, SA

493 Wright Rd
Modbury SA 5092
Corner Wright & McIntyre Roads

(08) 8396 4044

Lonsdale, SA

28 O'Sullivan Beach Road
Lonsdale SA 5160
Corner Dyson Road

(08) 8384 5133

Perth, WA

Suite 15 Plaistowe Mews
102 Railway Street
West Perth WA 6005

1300 737 465