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Frequently Asked Questions

Bespoke Handcrafted Quality

All of our custom-made pergola frames and shades are produced in our workshop located in Hampshire. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding our products. If there is anything else you would like to inquire about, feel free to schedule a discovery call or contact us.

As the pergola frame is free standing you are not fixed to certain locations, allowing you to find the perfect spot in your garden or external area.  Ideally you will have a suitable patio, decking area or hard area that is level and in good condition for the base of the pergola frame to be sited.


The frame can also be adjoined to other suitable structures to extend an indoor living space and connect it to the outside garden area.


If you wish to install the pergola in the lawned area of you garden, that’s okay too but will require a suitable concrete footing to be set under each post.

You can then sit back and relax to enjoy a fully open shade and blue sky or stay cool and comfortable under a part or fully closed shade.

There are several types of shades available in the UK. Summarised below are the main types and what we believe to be the key areas.  


Hampshire Shade

Wire Hung Shade

Extendable Awning

Aluminium Louvred Shade

Cantilever Parasol or Umbrella

Sun & Rain protection

Sun only

Sun only

Sun & Rain protection

Sun only

Any size single shade up to 6m & unlimited with kissing canopies

Any size up to 3m

Any size up to 3-4m

Fixed sizes up to 6m

Up to 4m

Unaffected by high winds

Designed to be retracted high wind

Designed to be retracted high wind

Unaffected by high winds

Designed to be collapsed high wind

Unaffected by rain, shade fabric softens noise and diverts water to any side

Weight of rain water can cause excessive load on cable and fabric eyelets

Not designed to carry additional load of rain water

Unaffected by rain, closed metal louvres can be noisy in heavy rain

Water resistant fabric for light showers only

Retractable to any position or in full for an open sky

Normally designed to be either open or closed

Fully extendable to any position or closed for full sky

Fixed louvres have partial opening to sky and sun’s path

Normally designed to be either open or closed

Free Standing pergola frame in any size

Attached to a current pergola frame

Frame attached to a building structure

Free Standing pergola frame in fixed sizes

Free standing from the side of covered area

Fully customisable colour of pergola frame and shade fabric

Customisable shade fabric

Fully customisable colour of extending frame and shade fabric

Limited range of standard colours of matching frame and louvres

Available in wide selection of colours

Can cover non-standard shaped frames

Difficult to achieve

Not possible

Square or Rectangular only

Square or Rectangular only

Simple single track, no binding movement and not affected by debris

Multiple wires required on strong fixing points

Extendable arms cannot be operated under wind or rain load

Closure of mechanical louvres by lever or gears, debris can affect closure

Parasol suspended from cantilevered arm, liable to swing in the wind


The frame and shade are bespoke to your requirements and can be any size up to 6m x 3m as a single shade and combined as multiple shades for larger areas with kissing canopies which come together in the middle when closed.

The fabric in our shade design is suitable to more testing environments than just the wind and rain of the British weather alone.  When combined with the unique cantilever design of the shade beams it creates a small fall/slope (similar to a flat roof on a house) to prevent build up of rain water.  The rain water can be diverted to any chosen side of the pergola frame, keeping you and your furniture dry.

It may be possible to match the shade material colour and design to your outdoor furniture.  Whilst we have a chosen supplier of shade fabric there are alternatives available that offer similar weather proofing in different designs rather than a single colour.


Our pergola and shades are backed up by our 5 year warranty to give complete peace of mind, proper care and maintenance and cleaning of the fabric will help maintain the colour and extend the life your Hampshire Shade.


We use an acrylic canvas that has polyurethane coating to provide superior waterproofing giving a water column in excess of 1000mm.  This a standard measure of how much water a fabric can withstand before water will wick through the fabric.  Look after your fabric and under normal conditions you can rest assured this will provide more than adequate protection to keep you and your furniture dry.

The manual and rope driven shades have been designed to be easy to operate and move on nylon covered bearing within a protected track.  The manual handle is an easy push or pull to open and close the shade before the position is locked.  The rope driven shade is a pull on one of two ropes to either open or close the shade.

Although we have not set out to test our shades in a wind tunnel, we have operated them under real world conditions over an extended period covering all UK seasons.  The beams of the shade are flexible to an extent and will move under severe wind loading when the shade fabric can be seen to buffet strongly. In these and similar conditions we would recommend retracting the shade fully to safeguard and extend the lifespan of your shade.

We plan all customer projects to avoid any scheduling issues or double booking and our aim is to deliver on our promised date. A standard shade and painted pergola frame will take around 3-4 weeks to manufacture and installation takes about 2-3 days.

Our shades are designed to be maintenance free, all components are designed for outdoor use and all moving parts are self-lubricating.


Regular inspection of the shade fabric and the removal of any natural or fallen debris will help maintain a constant fabric colour.


Periodically, the fabric can be cleaned by spraying with a specialist cleaner following the care instructions or warm water with a mild soap, taking care not to let it dry, then rinse thoroughly. Do not use detergents and / or solvents.


Over time, the pergola frame will require a fresh coat of wood stain to maintain a weatherproof finish and may need to be applied more often if it is in a more exposed position, the same as any timber product designed for outdoors.

The shade should be removed during the winter period to keep the fabric in its best condition and to avoid the build up of any snow. However, if you decide to leave it all year you can be confident that under normal weather conditions it will still perform and operate to keep you and your furniture dry. You may need to clear away debris more often, especially during autumn, and must remove any heavy snow build up during the winter.

In most cases, under permitted development rights you don’t need planning permission to add a pergola to your garden unless your house is a listed building.


As a general rule, from the 1st October 2008, pergola frames do not require planning permission as long as the following points are followed:


  • No outdoor structure is allowed on the front of your house or on the side between a boundary wall.
  • Within 2m of a boundary the maximum height cannot exceed 2.5m.
  • Further than 2m from the boundary the maximum height can be up to 3m.
  • No more than half of the existing land around the original house is already covered by garden buildings.
  • In Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, World Heritage Sites, the maximum area to be covered by an outdoor structure, more than 20mtrs from the original house, must be limited to an area not exceeding 10sq mtrs. However, any buildings at the side of the property, within these nominated areas, will require planning permission.
You will always need planning permission if your building is listed.


It is always worth checking with your local planning department that there are no extra regulations applying to your property.

We are a member of Made in Britain, and our timber pergolas and bespoke shades are designed and made in the UK.
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