bear under pergola

Western Timber Frame™ shade structures are visibly massive heavy timber of impressive engineering masterpieces rich in architectural heritage, perfected in modern technology, creating monumental heirlooms for generations to enjoy.

pergola with no roof
timber frame covered pavilion entryway

The design of a roof on a timber frame pergola can really change the look and feel of the architecture which is really exciting. In many ways it almost seems like the sky is the limit. Luckily, at Western Timber Frame™ you don’t have to just dream it in your mind as a Design Manager can give you a rendering of how that particular material or idea would look like. See the example of at the bottom of this post. With one material choice or a combination of materials, 100’s of difference looks and styles can be created to the taste and desired designs of an individual homeowner or commercial business.

timber frame pergola shade
With the Dovetail Difference™ design there is virtually no unsightly hardware, the view beneath a roof of a timber frame pergola is breathtakingly beautiful to see.

#1 Asian Style & Tiered Roofs

oriental roof design
Asian style double tiered timber frame pergola roof in process of being pre-assembled in the shop.

An Asian/Oriental style pergola can be designed to complement and fit comfortably with the style and architecture of a modern home, garden, park or other outdoor spaces. The decorative elements in a pergola including characteristics such as a skylight, hipped roof or a double pitched; some color elements all add to an awesome Asian/Oriental atmosphere creating a private sanctuary you can escape to and relax as though you were across the world; in your own backyard retreat.

oriental asian style pergola roof
Oriental Roof on a Pergola
oriental asian style swing pergola
Back of an Oriental/Asian style swing hung from a timber frame pergola that mirrors the roof design.
backyard pergola shade swing
Asian style pergola
Asian style pergola designed by Western Timber Frame © 2015

#2 Retractable Canopies, UV Protective Shade Cloth & Fabric Umbrella Blinds

custom stain finish pergola
retractable shade cloth

Canopies create an shady umbrella that can add the soft look of fabric and can add a great contrast and color complementing the strong masculine timber setting. There are motorized and manual retractable blind roofing system as well as solar powered.

Weaved through the solid timbers, this Southwest style attached timber frame pergola keeps the canopy stretched tightly preventing the fabric from flapping causing undue noise that is often associated with fabric canopies.

Roof fabric pergola shade

#3 Radius Roof

custom radius pergola

Some of the oldest constructions of indigenous structures for shelter were round or semi radius such as the North American tepee, hogans and yurts. Spherical or circular shapes reflect the earth, and naturally give a welcoming curve appeal. Interestingly, results from Neuroscience studies conducted at Harvard Medical School showed that when people were given a choice between linear or curved styles in architecture most chose circular or curved to be more aesthetically pleasing than linear styles. This was said to be more than just personal taste but as though it is actually hard wired into our brains. It has been our experience with timber frame pergolas as well, curves, round and radius are very popular roofing style choices.

swing timber framed pergola

#4 Custom Uniquely Styled Pergola Roofing

Custom beam end profile

One element on the timber frame roof shade structure can change the dynamics of the overall appearance or as pictured right, the whole roof structure can be customized for its own unique look or style.

home show booth

A hipped roofed pergola shown at the home and garden show featuring lattice and glass privacy windows.


This beautiful pavilion-gazebo combination features the elegant glass privacy windows also.

Barrel top pergola

The Barrel-Top pergola is eye-catching from every side but particularly pretty standing underneath it with the flow of massive over-sized timbers arching up in the center.

Timber frame pergola displayed at the Home and Garden Show featuring a hipped style roof with the TimberVolt™ power posts.

#5 Louvered Roof

At the push of a button a remote controlled louvered roof can open and close to let in the sunshine when you want it and close it off from the rain. A louvered solid wood roof is more can be strategically positioned when designed to direct and take advantage of the shade and the sun during the prime time of the day.

louvered roof pergola timber frame
A timber framed DIY pergola kit with a solid wood louvered roof.
Timber framed pergola featuring a louvered roof and outdoor fan.
Closed louvered roof on a timber frame pergola.
Opened louvered roof on a timber frame pergola.

#6 FullWrap™ Distinctive Pergola Roofing

cantilever fullwrap roof

The FullWrap™ roof is an elegant, unique finished look with the beam profiles shown on 3 or 4 sides and is one of our top pergola roof design choices.

fullwrap pergola for shade

#7 Cantileverd Roof

cantilever roof timber pergola kit
cantilever roof pergola kit
pool side dovetail pavilion shade patio

A cantilevered pergola roof makes an enduring statement with its well thought-out design creating the feeling of openness and space as it graciously provides expanded shade in a limited or smaller area.

#8 Integrating Pavilion/Gazebo and Pergola Roofing Designs

roof pergolas
pergolas gazebo swings
dovetail timber frame pergola kit

Integrating gazebo/pavilion and pergola roofing designs is a beautiful and practical combination in many outdoor living landscapes. With areas that are completely shaded as a pavilion or gazebo is joined together with the openness and freedom of a pergola the architecture can be stunning.

gazebo pergola retreat
fire pit pergola gazebo
shade for pool pergolas

#9 Grass, Thatched or Vine Covered Pergola Roofing


If you are looking for that tropical backyard paradise or a lush garden-green atmosphere, a grass, thatched or vine covered roof can capture the style and feel.


Although this is not a Western Timber Frame™ arbor, vines are a beautiful way to cover a pergola.

plant climbing vine

Vine in the beginnings of growing up a Western Timber Frame™ timber frame poolside pergola.

#10 Solar Pergola Roofing

Pergola Mounted Solar Panels
Pavilion Mounted Solar Panels

Pergolas and solar panels are a winning combination. Instead of being an eyesore, solar panels can be custom integrated with one of our award winning timber kit designs. Beautiful, responsible, and smart outdoor living.

Customizable roof pitch combined with flexible site position allow for maximum seasonal energy collection. A flat roof allows panels to be ideally mounted with stand off mounting hardware for maximum angle of incidence, and also allows for seasonal adjustment as needed.

solar pavilion pergola

#11 Arched Pergola Roofing

A continuous curved arch that forms a timber frame roof for a pergola adds interest as well as drawing the eye upwards giving the perception of a grandeur scaled structure.

timber frame pergola arched roof
arched garden arbor

#12 Polycarbonate, Lattice & Custom Roofing

Polycarbonate roofing on pergola
custom shade outdoor dining fire

Polycarbonate or latticed roofing can add some real dynamics with color, lighting and specialty designs.

Top View of a Western Timber Frame™ Backyard Pergola Design

pergola kit layout
Top view of a Western Timber Frame backyard living layout and design with solid wood timber frame pergola kits.
Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide