Installing a pergola in an apartment: a good idea?

14 April 2023

Do you dream of enjoying your outdoors in all weathers, even in an apartment? If you have a terrace or garden level, anything is possible! Your apartment can be fitted with a designer exterior and benefit from a wide range of options. With a pergola, you can defy the rain and the scorching sun, with a roof made of canvas, hardwood or with adjustable slats.

Which pergola for an apartment terrace?

There are as many styles as there are projects! There are several key aspects to consider:

  • do you have a balcony, roof terrace or garden?
  • do you want a lot of shade or not?
  • when would you like to enjoy it most?
  • what do you need?

Depending on your answers to these questions, the options you choose for your pergola will be different, whether you live in an apartment or a house.

The bioclimatic pergola

The roof of these pergolas is made up of aluminum slats, all of which can be adjusted to suit your needs. They can be open to let in as much light as possible, or completely closed to protect you from the rain. They conserve coolness or heat in a natural way, hence the name bioclimatic.

Like other pergolas, these can be completed with removable or sliding walls to protect you from the wind.

bioclimatic pergola as apartment terrace
Pergola with fixed roof

The fixed-roof pergola

Unlike adjustable slats, the fixed-roof type offers slightly fewer possibilities, as you can’t manage the influx of light without another piece of equipment such as a parasol, shade cloth or awning attached to the underside of the structure.

However, this system offers less shade and therefore more light, thanks to tempered glass or translucent polycarbonate panels.

The canvas pergola

This type of roofing is found particularly on wrought-iron pergolas, whose style blends well with the canvas. But it can also be fitted to modern shelters. So you can play with brightness. Protection is less than with a hard roof, but sufficiently effective for quality shading.

The disadvantage of this type of pergola is that it can only be used when the weather is fine. In fact, these fabrics are not waterproof in the event of downpours.

canvas terrace apartment

Which material to choose?

To select the ideal material, you need to think in terms of aesthetics and maintenance. These are the two essential criteria (in addition to budget, of course) to take into account.

Commonly used materials :

  • aluminum: sleek and stylish, this lightweight material requires very little maintenance;
  • Wood: warm and authentic, it requires regular maintenance;
  • wrought iron: charming and classic, it’s particularly at home in a house with character. It requires regular maintenance to prevent rust, for example.

The advantages of a pergola on your apartment terrace

It’s a made-to-measure shading system to counter the scorching sun and protect you from the rain. It will adapt perfectly to the style of your building, depending on the material you choose. The pergola is the perfect compromise between the awning and the
. Its options can be adapted to become an all-season shelter, as well as an architectural element.

Installing a pergola offers many advantages:

  • shelter from the elements ;
  • protection from view and from the other side of the room;
  • privacy;
  • an original decorative element;
  • an additional living area adjoining your living room or kitchen;
  • the possibility of choosing a tailor-made installation: material, roofing, options, etc. ;
  • easy installation, as a hard floor already exists;
  • fewer technical and administrative constraints.

How do you install a pergola on your apartment terrace?

To equip your outdoor space safely and in compliance with your building’s regulations, you’ll need to take certain constraints into account.


Technical constraints

Your first consideration concerns surface area. You may be limited to a balcony. Even if small areas can be landscaped, you’re subject to the same rules as terraces and gardens, even if your dwelling is not a house.

Weight can be a constraint. On a balcony or terrace, it’s a risk for the structure of the building. Aluminum fittings are therefore preferable.

Brightness must be taken into account, especially on garden level.


Administrative constraints

First of all, make sure that you alone own the outdoor space. Even in condominiums, you must enjoy your private space exclusively.

Apartment pergolas are usually attached to the façade of the building. You will drill holes in the wall and in the floor. If your renovation is going to affect the foundations and appearance of the building, you must request authorization from the general meeting of co-owners to carry out the work.

A declaration of work must also be submitted to the commune. You don’t need planning permission as you would for a veranda.

Still undecided?

Our buying guide simplifies your choice with 19 key questions! Avoid surprises and make the most of your future pergola.

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