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Can You Screen in a Pergola? (5 Options to Consider)

Can You Screen in a Pergola? (5 Options to Consider)

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You probably have a pergola in your outdoor landscape and you wish to bring some privacy and protection into it. Adding some screens has probably crossed your mind, but can you screen in a pergola?

Screening in a pergola is possible. This will add more privacy and shade while still allowing access to air and a nice view of the surrounding landscape.

In this article, we’ll further discuss whether or not you can enclose a pergola and the pros and cons of doing so, so keep your hands on the page!

Can You Enclose a Pergola?

Yes, you can surely enclose a pergola! The structure of a pergola allows different materials, such as outdoor curtains, shade screens, and retractable screens to surround it fully.

Enclosing a pergola is a great idea, especially if you want to transform it into a stylish outdoor living space free of bugs and peeping eyes.

What Are the Best Materials to Use in Screening in Pergolas?

Here are some of the recommended materials to use in enclosing your pergola:

1 – Retractable Screen

Retractable screens are one of the great materials to use in screening a pergola. They can ensure a comfortable and inviting outdoor space while keeping bugs away.

When in use, they’ll give you a sense of privacy and good ventilation. You can also choose to retract them when you’re in the mood to get a true view of your outdoor landscape and get full access to fresh air.

2 – Fiberglass Mesh Screen

A fiberglass mesh screen is designed for filtering applications. It’s a practical, affordable, and effective screen material to keep bugs away.

Plus, it’s easy to install and is great in all climates—no wonder it’s a popular choice for screening in porches and pergolas.

3 – Shade Screens

Another option to use is shade screens. They’re made of thick materials and can serve as outdoor blinds. They can block excessive heat while providing ample shade.

Like outdoor curtains and retractable screens, you can open and close shade screens whenever you want to.

4 – Aluminum

Aluminum is a common screen material, too. It’s costly and a little hard to install, but it’s pretty durable.

You’ll also get the benefit of having good outdoor visibility and easy-to-clean screen material.

5 – Outdoor Curtains

If you’re not thinking of spending more dollars for enclosing a pergola, you may try using durable outdoor curtains instead. They can repel stains and water and can withstand stern elements without tearing or fading.

By using outdoor curtains, you’ll get the freedom to open them when you want fresh air and close them when you need shade and privacy.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Screened-in Pergola?

Screening in a pergola has its fair share of pros and cons. Knowing the good side and its downside will help you decide whether it’s worth going for or not.


Below are the pros of having a screened-in or enclosed pergola:

It’s a Nice Spot for Fun Activities

Having an enclosed pergola in your outdoor garden isn’t only aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also quite functional. It can serve as an outdoor room where you can do varied activities such as playing chess with your family, chatting and entertaining visitors, and even taking a relaxing nap.

This can also be a great venue to hold dinner dates, family gatherings, or other celebrations, like an outdoor birthday party.

It Controls the Sunlight

The primary essence of building a pergola is to provide shade so that you can enjoy the fresh air and the look of your outdoor landscape.

During the hot season, you’ll need further protection from the harsh sun, so enclosing the top of your pergola with an adjustable louvered roof will be perfect.

This will allow you to close and open the louver, giving you full control over the amount of sunlight that’ll penetrate through.

It Blocks the Rain

When you enclose a pergola with a durable roof system, it’ll also protect you and the furniture under it from the rain.

This is incredibly convenient since such weather conditions won’t be able to force you to go back inside when you don’t want to yet!

It Protects the Pergola From the Effects of Different Elements

Enclosing the pergola doesn’t only protect anyone or anything under its roof but the pergola itself.

Over time, the harsh sun, damaging rain, and sleet will take their toll on your pergola. By enclosing and covering the top of its rafters with a durable roof system, you’re protecting and helping this structure last longer, too.

It Helps Keep Bugs and Insects Away

Bugs and insects have long been a problem for pergola and patio owners. Their antagonistic move of buzzing around and landing on the table can prevent you from fully enjoying the outdoor experience.

One of the best benefits of screening in your pergola is it can put an end to this age-old problem. With screens around your pergola, you can enjoy your stay and even invite guests without having to worry about bugs scaring them away.

It Adds a Sense of Privacy

Screening in your pergola will allow you to make valuable moments with your friends or family and enjoy the serenity of the place with added privacy.

You can get a relaxing space where you can enjoy watching the drops of rain or the birds flying happily on a nice sunny day.


Now that you know the pros, it’s time to balance your expectation with the cons of having a screened-in or enclosed pergola.

  1. Modern materials for screening in pergola can be costly.
  2. Screening in a pergola limits the air that passes through it.
  3. You’ll have to deal with cleaning the dust buildup on the screen frequently to keep the pergola looking fresh and nice.
  4. You’ll have to create a heat source inside the pergola, especially during colder months.

Final Thoughts

If you have this question in mind, “Can you screen in a pergola?” know that you can and that there are different materials that’ll allow you to do so.

Enclosing your pergola may not give you a true outdoor feel, but it adds privacy, protection, and other great functions that can be worth the trade.

In essence, screening in a pergola may or may not be a good option. It all depends on whether you want to make it more functional by making an upgrade or keep it as it is to stay closer to nature.

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