Architecture and Outdoor Living Space Design
When considering the design ideas for your outdoor living space, it is also necessary to consider the existing architecture of the surrounding building(s). How will your plans affect the overall aesthetic on completion? Are you able to maintain the architectural integrity of the original design, whilst at the same time respecting the technical and engineering specifications/constraints of the pergola or other shading structure you wish to install? Importantly, the ideal result would be that your outdoor space will not end up looking like an afterthought.
So, for instance, it would just be wrong to fit a simple carport-like structure to a building with a very contemporary, upmarket design. In the same breath, an ultra-modern structure with minimalist lines would not exactly fit with a rustic design, filled with lots of natural elements, such as we would find. Of course, individual tastes differ, and nothing is cast in stone, but it helps to spend a little on the advice of a good architect or designer.
Remember that the construction of a specialised outdoor living space is a long-term investment. Ideally you do not want a situation where you are bothered with constant, expensive, and time-consuming maintenance issues.
Now keep in mind that although architects are very clever, creative people, they cannot be expected to know all the technical details about every single product and option on the market. Different outdoor structures have different technical aspects that need to be considered. Even the best structures in the world have certain limitations. For instance, the width and projection limits can vary quite significantly from one model to another, as does aspects like wind resistance, minimum and maximum inclination of the roof, electrical requirements and a host of other factors that can have a direct impact on what is and is not possible in terms of the design.
The more complicated the structure is, the more significant these technical specifications and details become. So, for instance, it is to be expected that retractable or adjustable structures will be more technologically complicated that fixed ones. Other technical considerations would be the impact of the local environment on the structure. Strong winds, heavy rains, excessive dust, or a corrosive environment (such as near the beach) are all factors that should be considered in the final design. This will determine which materials are best to use, because they more resistant against the elements, and are therefore better to use in the construction of your outdoor area.
Once you have decided what kind of structure you would prefer, it is important to speak to an industry professional who has an intimate knowledge of the technological aspects of the proposed structure, and ensure that the solution is a viable one. The best scenario would be a close collaboration between you, your designer/architect and a knowledgeable professional in outdoor structures.