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Tips for Building a Custom Commercial Pergola or Shade Structure

Tips for Building a Custom Commercial Pergola or Shade Structure

When you’re ready to enhance your commercial property, adding a shade structure is a smart strategy. A commercial pergola is ideal for restaurants, multi-family housing, outdoor employee areas and common areas. Since a custom pergola is considered non-essential, how do you maximize the return on your investment? These three tips for building a custom commercial pergola will help.

Commercial Pergola Tips

Tip 1: Design Intentionally
A pergola’s simplicity gives it amazing flexibility. It’s no wonder that this popular shade structure is utilized for a wide array of purposes.

  • Custom commercial pergolas can provide additional dining space at restaurants.
  • A commercial pergola is the perfect breezy retreat on the grounds of resorts and multi-family housing complexes. Not only do they look inviting, but they also offer shelter from the sun.
  • We’ve built these shade structures at multi-family pool areas, parks and public areas to serve as gathering spaces for guests.
  • They can provide room for employee-only spaces.
  • These structures can even stretch over parking areas to protect commuters and vehicles from the elements.

With so many possible purposes, being intentional about the custom pergola design is key. Consider how you intend to use the new shade structure. Think about its impact on your property’s appearance. Also, consider traffic flow so that you can make wise use of the available space.

Tip 2: Select Materials Wisely
When building a commercial shade structure, the materials you choose will impact your project’s price tag. As always, it’s important to be smart about this additional investment in your business. Therefore, the quality of materials should also be a factor. If value is your goal, price shouldn’t be the determining factor in your selection. After all, the materials that make up your commercial pergola will also affect its durability and need for maintenance. Over time, a quality shade structure with a longer lifespan and minimal maintenance is often a better investment.

While Florida is famous for its sunny skies, this area is also prone to high humidity, strong storms and fierce winds. Not every building material can tolerate these conditions. If you want the rich look of wood without the continual upkeep, consider Alumawood by Amerimax. This innovative material combines the durability of aluminum with the beauty of cedar. It won’t crack, peel, warp, rot, burn or fall victim to termites. Meticulously crafted with an eye toward quality and innovation, it comes in a variety of colors and styles and requires little maintenance to look amazing.

Tip 3: Choose the Right Commercial Contractor
Commercial pergolas may seem like simple structures but working with an experienced commercial contractor is still essential. A reputable contractor who regularly builds custom shade structures can offer invaluable insights. You’re not only buying the pergola, you are also buying the experience.

An experienced commercial patio contractor will guide you toward the optimal design and materials for your pergola design. A local pergola contractor will produce a quality product that meets all the required building codes and regulations. You’ll get a solid return on your investment that will add value and functionality to your property.

Are you Ready for a Commercial Pergola Today?

Serving our fellow Floridians for more than 50 years, Dulando Screen & Awning is committed to customer satisfaction. Our expert team works with you to explore your options and create the ideal custom pergola design for your needs. Then, our skilled fabricators and installers get to work. Are you ready to see why we’ve earned a reputation for quality, reliability and superior craftsmanship? If you’re planning to add a commercial pergola to your space, contact us today at 407-862-6060 to schedule a free consultation.

Backyard Pergola Designs & Options

Backyard Pergola Designs & Options

While the pergola can trace its roots back to Ancient Greece, its basic blueprint is as uncomplicated as it is timeless. After all, a pergola is simply an outdoor shade structure consisting of four or more vertical pillars connected by beams. Do you think that lack of complexity means that these structures are boring? Think again. The elements of a pergola are endlessly customizable. With infinite variations possible, here are a few of our favorite pergola designs and options to consider.

Our Favorite Pergola Designs & Options

Attached Versus Detached
Pergolas help to visually define a space. If you want to blur the line between your indoor and outdoor living spaces, consider an attached pergola. Tucked neatly under your home’s roofline, it creates an outdoor room at your backdoor. However, you’ll want to consider how it might change the level of natural light that enters your home. You’ll also want to think about its impact on traffic flow. What if an attached pergola isn’t a good fit for your home? A popular option when building a pergola is to build a detached pergola. This freestanding structure offers far more flexibility when it comes to placement and size. It makes it easy to pick a spot that offers fantastic views and comfort without interfering with travel through your yard.

How big should your backyard pergola be? That depends on factors like how you intend to use it, the size of your budget and the amount of room available. If you envision entertaining beneath the graceful lines of an airy structure, you may prefer a larger pergola with higher ceilings. Alternately, if you want a cozy escape, a smaller pergola may be better.

What will be beneath your feet when you’re using your pergola? Virtually any level surface will work as a base. Therefore, the floor is an ideal place to start putting your own stamp on your pergola design. Popular options include poured concrete, wooden decking, stone or stamped concrete and brick pavers.

The space above your head is another area where you can show your style. Traditionally, pergolas are topped with a trellis that allows the sun to shine through. However, some people prefer to increase the amount of shade offered by installing a solid roof. For those who want the best of both styles, there are canopies, curtains and awnings. Training vines or climbing plants to form a truly green roof atop your pergola is another possibility.

One of the most important decisions a homeowner will make when it comes to their pergola design is the construction materials. Wood can be exceptionally beautiful, but it’s a notoriously high-maintenance material. In contrast, aluminum offers a sturdy structure that requires minimal work to remain in excellent condition. At Dulando Screen & Awning, we use Alumawood for our custom shade structures. An innovative product that combines the beauty of a textured woodgrain finish with the ease and durability of aluminum, it is the perfect mix of aesthetic appeal and practical charm.

Additional Reading about Pergola Designs:

When designing your ideal pergola, there are plenty of other options to explore like the use of color and pattern, the structure’s height, the style of its posts, and even electrical packages. Are you ready to discover more pergola designs and options? Contact Dulando Screen & Awning at 386-246-0246 to schedule a free consultation. Put our experience of creating custom pergola designs to work for you.


The Pitfalls of Pergola Kits They Won’t Tell You About

The Pitfalls of Pergola Kits They Won’t Tell You About

Is your backyard in need of a fascinating feature to serve as its focal point? Are you longing for a shady outdoor living space where you can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of your yard? If dreams of perfect pergolas have you eyeing up pergola kits, proceed with caution. While those pergola kits may seem convenient, they come with some pitfalls that could hinder your plans for your new structure.

Size and Scope
You can find pergola kits that promise various sizes and shapes. However, kits don’t allow for customization. Using a kit means that your options for pergola designs are limited to those available. What if your space or your desires require something a little different? With a custom pergola, you’ll enjoy more possibilities. A custom pergola is designed by experts to suit your specific space and accommodate your needs and preferences.  A custom pergola will allow you to make the best use of your space over a pergola kit.

You cannot build a first-rate pergola without top-quality materials. Do you know what materials are best for your backyard? Consider this: A lot of pergola kits produce cedar pergolas. While this wood is often billed as being resistant to rot and insects, it’s no match for Florida’s humidity. Instead, contact a local pergola builder who designs and installs custom pergolas n your area. A custom pergola contractor will be able to show you materials like aluminum that offer improved durability and require less maintenance. Do you want the look of wood without the work?  Aluminum pergolas can be crafted from Alumawood.  Alumawood is a specialized product made of aluminum that resembles wood. You can have beauty of wood, but in long-lasting aluminum.

Attachment Issues
Do you have a door that opens onto a patio or a space that would be ideal for a covered one? Do you think that a pergola might provide the perfect amount of shelter? If so, you might want to put down the pergola kit. Pergola kits are only designed to produce free-standing structures. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a pergola attached to your house. A pergola contractor can design and install a custom pergola that connects to your home without damaging it to provide the look and function that you’re craving.

Special Features
Is the thought of a lazily spinning ceiling fan stirring the air overhead as you unwind in your pergola appealing? Would you like a few lights so that you can use your pergola regardless of the time of day? Can you imagine music wafting on the breeze from speakers installed in the structure? A prefab pergola constructed from a kit won’t be designed to accommodate these unique features. A custom pergola can.

When you want the perfect pergola for your outdoor living space, think outside the box. At Dulando Screen & Awning, we thrive on creating custom pergolas that delight our customers. Take a look at our gallery.  Every structure is engineered especially for your home and backyard by a licensed contractor and built using quality materials like Alumawood so that it will stand the test of time. To explore the possibilities for your project and request your free estimate, contact us today at 407-862-6060.

FAQs About Using Alumawood Covers for Pergolas

FAQs About Using Alumawood Covers for Pergolas

Pergolas are a classic design choice for a  patio cover that suits a wide variety of homes. However, Florida has so many days of high humidity and wet storms, using wood for a patio cover in Florida is not a wise choice. Alumawood covers resemble wood, but these covers are made of durable and flexible aluminum. Understanding the answers to a few common questions about Alumawood can help you make the right decision for your own backyard pergola cover.

Does Alumawood Rust?
Since Alumawood is made with aluminum, it is naturally resistant to rust. This makes it a particularly great product for our Florida climate. However, you may still see some rust spots due to the screws used to hold Alumawood covers together. Most Alumawood screws are still made from steel, but the screws used in these covers are typically galvanized or hidden from view to minimizing the appearance of rust.

Is Alumawood Easy to Maintain?
Alumawood requires far less maintenance than most other materials commonly used in pergolas. You won’t need to repaint your patio cover to maintain its look.  Dirt is easy to remove just by hosing or wiping down the structure. Unlike wood pergolas, you won’t have to worry about wood rot, insect infestations and warping. Additionally, a protective surface coating keeps your Alumawood pergola safe from salt, pollutants and other elements.

Can Alumawood Withstand Extreme Weather?
Living in Florida means living with extreme weather. Homeowners must be careful to choose materials that can withstand harsh storms which usually include high winds, even if it’s not hurricane season. Fortunately, an Alumawood pergola offers plenty of durability and is built to survive strong winds, including those experienced during a Category 4 hurricane. Alumawood patio covers are also built to endure other types of weather, including heat and extensive sunlight. As much as we love our sunshine, the sun can literally eat through materials.

How Can I Customize My Alumawood Cover?
Alumawood covers are available in a variety of colors, including varying shades of white, gray and brown. You’ll also be able to choose from four attractive designs for the end pieces of the cover. To further personalize your cover, you can hang lightweight plants, lights or other decorations from a lattice patio cover without worrying about pulling down the structure. Finally, Alumawood covers can be attached to your home or build it as a free-standing structure.

How Does the Cost Compare to Wood?
Pergola covers made with Alumawood will cost more to install than pergolas made with wood. However, it’s important to look beyond the upfront cost of both products; Alumawood is a strong material that will last without needing the expensive repairs and frequent maintenance that wood structures typically require. Building a pergola with wood will need to be replaced more frequently.

Additional Reading: Alumawood Covers

If you want a wood patio cover but are concerned about the strength of the material, consider opting for Alumawood instead. With Alumawood, you can have the wood look you desire without worrying about the pergola surviving a storm and years of moisture. Dulando Screen & Awning offers many types of patio covers and aluminum awnings built with Alumawood for Florida homeowners. Contact us today at 407-862-6060 to learn more about Alumawood.  We’ll be happy to schedule an in-home consultation and provide you with no-obligation free estimate to build the backyard of your dreams.

Six Tips Before Building a Backyard Pergola

Six Tips Before Building a Backyard Pergola

A backyard pergola adds wonderful architectural accents to your landscape, and it’s affordable. Many homeowners use their pergola as a private getaway or an outdoor entertainment center. There are so many great reasons for building a backyard pergola. Like any home improvement project, there are also several things to keep in mind before you start the process.

Building a Backyard Pergola: Six Pre-Planning Tips

Surprises can be fun, but you don’t want them popping up in the middle of your backyard project. If you’ve considered buying a kit or doing a DIY pergola, we’ve worked with those homeowners too. Our list outlines six tips for making sure your outdoor pergola gets off to a perfect start.

1. Turn Ideas Into Blueprints
Before focusing on the details of your new backyard pergola, take a few steps back, and begin to picture what you’d like to build. This is a permanent addition to your property that increases its value, so partner with a reputable contractor. A professional makes it easier to translate your ideas into working blueprints.

2. Navigate Permits and Paperwork
Unless you’re planning a small structure, your backyard pergola needs permitting through your municipality’s building department. Different homeowners’ associations also enforce a variety of deed restrictions. Your contractor is a great resource for information about navigating permitting requirements and will either secure those permits for you or help you every step of the way.

3. Confirm Utility Layouts
As you decide on the ideal spot for building a backyard pergola, consider what might be buried underneath the ground. Confirm locations of electric, gas and water lines with the Florida page of the National Call 811 site. Knowing what’s under your land before you start heads off potentially expensive problems.

4. Take a Good Look at the View
Do you want to enjoy summer shade without the scenery from a neighbor’s property? Are you partial to that spot under the oak tree even though it doesn’t face the pool? As you work with your contractor on overall pergola design, take a good look at the view before making a final decision about the location.

5. Choose the Right Materials
When adding a pergola, the building materials vary from inexpensive pressure-treated pine to high-end redwood and cedar. Woods are naturally attractive, but aluminum and vinyl materials hold up much better in our Florida climate. We recommend Alumawood covers because it combines the good looks of wood with outstanding durability.

6. Make It Special
With an outdoor pergola, you create a quiet, personal space. If you enjoy entertaining, it becomes an extension of your hospitality. Whether you prefer trellised walls graced with vines or contemporary styling that complements the pool, let your pergola’s design reflect your backyard dreams. It’s your corner of the world, so make it special.

Additional Reading:  Building a Backyard Pergola

Planning the Perfect Start
Building a backyard pergola doesn’t have to be complicated. Our overview covers the basics, and we’re always here to answer your questions in detail. We bring more than 50 years of experience to every job, so contact Dulando Screen & Awning at 407-862-6060 today. We’ll be happy to get your new pergola off to a perfect start.

FAQs When Building a Pergola in Your Backyard

Backyard pergolas are deceptively simple structures that can add value to your home and expand your living space. Before you hire a contractor when building a pergola on your property, make sure you know the answers to these common questions about pergola construction.

1. What are pergolas?
Pergolas are outdoor structures that provide varying degrees of shade from the sun. They can be functional or purely decorative. Smaller than gazebos or pavilions, pergolas are usually made of four posts supporting an overhead trellis, which casts shade from different angles as the sun travels across the sky. Pergolas can serve as a walkway through a backyard garden or a space for relaxing and entertaining guests.

2. Do pergolas improve property value?
A beautiful backyard pergola can add significant value to any home or commercial property. If you have a detached garage or shed in your yard, building a pergola can balance out the empty space to make your property more visually appealing.

3. What are pergolas used for?
In addition to being a great garden accent, pergolas can serve as an outdoor area for reading, dining or playing games. Although most pergola covers do not provide adequate shelter from rain, you can easily drape a tarp over the structure in inclement weather.

4. Which materials are best for building a pergola?
Dulando Screen & Awning uses Alumawood Shade Structures for our professional custom pergolas. Thanks to a textured wood grain finish, Alumawood provides the visual appeal of real wood without the maintenance headaches. An aluminum pergola is flame and termite resistant.  Additionally, Alumawood never cracks, peels or rots. A winning combination for Florida.

5. Do I need a permit to build a backyard pergola?
Depending on the size of the structure and where you live, you may need permission from your local government before you build. If you are part of a homeowners’ association, you should consult with them as well. Dulando Screen & Awning assists homeowners through this process by providing the necessary building plans and engineered drawings.

6. Should I Hire a Professional when Building a Pergola?
Some people assume they can save money by constructing their own pergola, but the time and costs of a DIY pergola can rapidly exceed the price of a professional custom pergola. In addition to the posts and other hardware, you’ll need tools, a ladder and a lot of time. A professional can custom-build a pergola to match the design of your home, which is not always an option with the pergola kits. If you intend to install lighting or other electrical wirings, then you definitely need professional help.

Additional Reading: Building a Pergola

Dulando Screen & Awning has been building custom backyard aluminum pergolas in Florida for over 45 years. We have built our business on stellar service, quality work and competitive prices. Our designers work with homeowners to make a structure that compliments their home and complies with local building codes. As a full-service outdoor living contractor, we design, construct and install to our customers’ wishes. In addition to pergolas, we specialize in an array of outdoor construction projects including screen rooms, pool enclosures and pavers. Call Dulando for a free consultation to start designing your new home enhancement.