When considering backyard construction projects, decks and patios are what most often come to mind. They certainly add a lot of outdoor living space, but they can be hot and exposed places during the height of summer. So if you already have your deck or patio project complete and you'd like to make it a more appealing place to spend time -- and add to your home's appearance and resale value at the same time -- you might want to give some thought to a pergola.
A pergola is basically an arbor. Unlike a full patio cover, pergolas are designed to be partially open on top, providing broken sunlight and shade. Pergolas are made up of posts or columns that support cross rafters or even a latticework on top, and sometimes are used to support vining plants as well. Their purpose is both to provide shade and decoration, and one of the great joys of pergolas is all the different design possibilities that they offer.