Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What In-The-Living-Crap Is The Purpose of a Pergola?

The Pergola. What is the point of this ridiculous object? Is this what lumberjacks build when they get bored with leftover wood? Is it the trend of people who once adored Lincoln Logs? What is this thing?

I don't think the idea of a pergola would bother me so much if it actually served SOME purpose. Does it keep rain out? Nope. Does it keep seagulls from from crapping on your head? Nope. Does it shelter you from excessive sunlight? Again, Nope. Wait...then there is the Divine question--was God just looking for a huge wood cheese grater that He commissioned you to build for Him in your backyard?

Why do all the high-end homes have these? They serve NO purpose whatsoever--other than to give you a striped tan. Do you see the fan hanging from the middle of this picture? What the hell sort of air was it circulating? There is no confined space to even feel a breeze! The only breeze you're creating is for your neighbors while simultaneously contributing to global warming!...and your neighbors aren't even contributing to your electric bill. You're fanning them for free!

I'm sorry. I live in Colorado. There's a lot of rich mountain snot here. Doesn't matter that we are a bunch of white people running around at high altitude in the skin cancer capitol of the world. Now we'll be the skin cancer champs by making porch covers that don't...well..cover jack squat (see how good I am for watching my mouth?...although I did say hell a few times--but it's a noun...just a place).

The Pergola. More useless crap that we humans can eventually toss into a landfill. I don't know why this ridiculous structure frustrates me so much. Maybe it's because it sounds like a gondola for cats (Purr-gola)--which is just as ridiculous, but I should invent it so rich, snobby people can build it on their back porch to give their cats a scenic tour.


  1. They're great for growing semi-noxious ivy...

  2. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you. My thoughts exactly. A pergola makes no sense at all unless it's covered with vines for shade. Why the heck not just put a ROOF on the columns and get some real use out of the structure?

  3. LOL! I was just thinking about the purpose of a pergola just now and did a google search. Whats the purpose of a pergola and behold found your blog. LOL! Priceless.

    1. Yes!!!! that was exactly how I felt!

  4. Ha Ha thank you also, i wondered if we had been missing out, clearly not. thank you for explaining.

  5. It's aesthetically pleasing design-wise, but that's kind of about it. At my house, we got one on the porch out back last year added, but put a corrugated plexi-glass-type roof on top of the structure, so it looks nice AND does something.

  6. It's aesthetically pleasing design-wise, but that's kind of about it. At my house, we got one on the porch out back last year added, but put a corrugated plexi-glass-type roof on top of the structure, so it looks nice AND does something.

  7. Hilarious!!! Love the post on this pointless pieces of wood

  8. Thank goodness I'm not the only one who finds these things silly. I don't even find them aesthetically appealing. I've heard people say, "It defines an outdoor space." At my house, the outdoor space is defined as "the space that isn't indoors." And I did it for free! At the house I grew up in, we had structures that provided about as much protection from sun and rain as a "pergola." They were called "trees."

  9. I recently rented a home that included one installed into the concrete of the back porch over a hot tub making it even more bizarre since it served no purpose at all let alone one related to a hot tub!

  10. I don't know you. I found this by accident while pondering the same question.
    I'm now annoyed that I'm only just discovering your blog.
    Thank you for brightening my day.

  11. I googled this same question and loved your blog! Lol!!

  12. Wow some people are T R I G G E R E D by people having money and liking architecture/art in their back yards.

    For what its worth, it does give shade. The fan is kind of dumb, but all you have to do is reverse its direction and it pushes air up, which means air comes in from all 4 directions thereby generating wind and cooling you. Its called air CIRCULATION for a reason. When you create lower pressure in one area, higher pressure air rushes to equalize it. This is th essence of how fans and vacuum cleaners work.

    Now, I, for one, find all western architecture atrocious. Google Calearth. You can make a mud house that looks fancy, is immune to earthquakes, and stays a constant 60-65 degrees all year round.

    Post and lintel designs fall down as the moment they are built they are fighting against themselves. Square structures, be it house, bench, or table, develop a wobble over time as the joints start to separate. A dome house would last forever where a post and lintel is going to collapse without serious repair within 50 years.

    Its like watching people who live in terrible, energy inefficient structures bitch about another terrible inefficient structure.

    For starters, it gets supremely hot in a lot of areas in the U.S. Think 90-110 degrees fahrenheit. That's ~32C to ~44C for you dirty foreigners with your metric systems and whatnot.

    You know what a person sees when they go through communities built in these areas? High square buildings with paper thin walls and giant, GIANT air conditioners. For miles (again, kilometers for the DFs in here).

    But if you look at middle eastern architecture where they live in a desert, they sink a pipe into the ground until it reaches the aquifer level, much cool water and air. Then they have an opening, think of it like a chimney, where hot air escapes. Due to having hot air (more pressure) pushing out these 'chimneys', it SUCKS cold air in from the aquifer, making a practically free source of cooling.

    Similarly, if you don't really have that option, you could dig down 5 feet and bury a building in it all recessed like. Now you've got protection for 5 feet from direct sunlight and lots of surface area contact with much cooler soil, thus easing costs.

    Alternatively, you could plant a row of trees which will branch over above the house and shade it from morning to noon sun at the least, while supremely insulating and having a large concrete pad, larger than most houses. A double concrete pad will help exchange heat and cold from inside air to the ground it sits in. A decent option for people who live in post and lintel trash houses.

    Another option, sink a large number of metal poles in the ground down about 20 feet, which touch a metal plate that is ensconced between and upper and lower layer of a typical size concrete house pad. This large metal plate can then be attached anywhere in the footprint of the house to a secondary metal plate within any internal wall which does not need to be insulated from the outside. Think separating walls between bedrooms and living rooms or kitchens. So now you've got these metal plates that have a direct thermal connection to highly conductive poles that are sunk into the ground.

  13. Another option would be digging a ditch and laying some pipe. PVC would probably do if you can assure good thermal conduction between pipe and the ground it sits in (maybe you fill the pvc pipes with water halfway full at the lowest level, maybe you have a ballast turn off a water pump automatically like in toilets, to prevent the pipes from getting completely filled. You run this pipe however you want, cross sections or straight runs, or even a maze, under your property. One end is open to the air at the edge of your property. The other end runs into the wall of your house, or under the concrete pad and up throug h it at the point where the wall is planned to be built. Now you've got to build just a little more pipe so that it reaches up through wall right into the attic space. Such spaces are notorious for being ovens, destroying anything that is not wood or metal (plastics, vinyl, etc), which is stored within, and also becoming a large hotbox sitting right on your ceiling. What brilliant idea! Have a giant hot room below the rooms you're trying to cool with electricity.

    But you take this pipe system, a similar system to the middle east aquifer trick, running it through the much cooler ground, and up to the attic. As attic air heats up and exits, it pulls from anywhere it can. Usually an attic is granted this by some cleverly hidden holes in the roof which happen to be lower than the egress port, so circulation can occur. Now block off those lower holes and leave only one hole open; the hole which comes from that series of tubes buried under the ground. As air tries to escape the attic due to heating, it sucks on that tube, pulling air from the edge of the property into the cooling resevoir, then up into the attic, thus granting natural cooling for only an initial cost. As the attic is continually kept cool, the AC units need to work less, and thus you don't waste electricity. Good for the environment, good for your wallet.

    Oh, and a dome shaped house helps to keep things cool, too.

    Until people start living in tornado proof, earthquake proof, fire proof houses which need bare minimal AC/heating from electricity or other sources, I find the complaining about Pergolas hilariously hypocritical.

    There's an old chinese saying "before you criticize others, make sure there isn't crap like dead leaves on your own roof" or something.

  14. Mr johnny: shut up. No one cares. Also; 7,000 words for a comment on a blog? Grow up.

  15. I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking these things are useless wastes of wood

  16. i feel the same way about Pergolas. that's why i googles and found your page.. its like - . WHy? what are all those wooden posts for.. and up there , what it is. ? i's not a roof? what is it? nothing.. :) .. i reckon an umbrella would be better lol stupid pergolas