How To Enclose a Pergola for Winter? 6 Best Ideas

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to enclose a pergola for winter. Many homeowners relish the fresh air and outdoor living space that a pergola offers, but when winter rolls around, the snow, wind, and cold can make this charming outdoor structure less inviting.

During my career, I have enclosed a pergola for a cold season many times. There are several ingenious ways to transform your pergola into a cozy retreat during the colder months.

Read on to find inspiration, design aesthetics, and affordable options for turning your pergola into a haven you can enjoy year-round.

How to enclose a pergola for winter

Can You Enclose A Pergola?

Yes, you can enclose a pergola, transforming it into a cozy retreat shielded from the elements. This transition opens up the possibility for you to spend time outdoors in your enclosed pergola, even during heavy rain, wind, or the winter season.

With a range of enclosed pergola design ideas to choose from, including contemporary enclosed pergolas and classic enclosed pergola options, you can easily find a solution that fits your outdoor living space.

Whether you opt for outdoor blinds, clear vinyl siding, or insulated curtains, the options are vast and can cater to many homeowners’ specific needs and preferences.

6 Best Ideas To Enclose A Pergola For Winter

There are various ingenious ways to enclose your pergola for the winter, allowing you to enjoy a cozy, sheltered haven even when the weather isn’t so welcoming.

We have shortlisted the 6 best ways to enclose a pergola for a warm and cozy winter season, these six ideas to enclose a pergola for winter will provide you with options that range from the simple to the sophisticated.

With the right adjustments, your pergola can become an inviting, fully enclosed space that extends your outdoor living opportunities well into the winter season.

1. Double Glazed Glass with Aluminum Panels

The first brilliant method to enclose your pergola for winter is incorporating double-glazed glass with aluminum panels.

This option not only elevates your design aesthetics but also offers practical advantages. Known for its excellent insulation capabilities, double-glazed glass ensures that the warmth generated by your heat source stays within the enclosure. Talk about an efficient way to provide shelter during the colder months!

But that’s not all.

You could basically transform your pergola into a sun-drenched solarium during winter. On sunny days, this enclosed pergola option acts like a magical retreat, allowing you to bask in the sun’s rays without braving the frigid outdoor temperatures. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the best of both scenarios: the coziness of an indoor setting and the natural light emanating from your outdoor space.

2. Wooden Paneling

For those who crave a more rustic touch, wooden paneling offers another excellent way to enclose your pergola for winter. Not only does it create a private and cozy retreat, but it also boasts thermal insulation properties that are hard to beat. The wooden panels act as a barrier that retains heat, making your outdoor living space comfortable even in the colder months.

What does this mean for you?

Lower fuel bills, for starters. By keeping the warmth inside your enclosed pergola, you effectively reduce the energy needed to heat the space. It’s a win-win situation: you get a snug haven to enjoy the winter season while also making a smart, energy-efficient choice.

3. Fiberglass Batt Insulation

For those who are keen on insulating their outdoor structures without compromising on aesthetics, fiberglass batt insulation is a strong contender among the various ways to enclose a pergola for winter.

Known as blanket insulation, this material comes in flat pieces made of either fiberglass or mineral wool, readily pre-cut to fit your specific dimensions.

By adding a layer of this insulating material and enclosing both sides with a wall, you can convert your pergola into a year-round haven, all while maintaining its design aesthetics. The insulation keeps the cold air out and the warmth in, making your outdoor living space the perfect cozy retreat for colder months.

4. Aerogel Insulation

If you’re seeking top-tier insulation capabilities for your enclosed pergola, aerogel insulation is worth considering. Slotted between the outer and inner panels much like batt insulation. Aerogel stands out as one of the most effective insulators available today for your outdoor living space.

While it may be on the pricier side compared to other materials, the benefits it provides are second to none. This cutting-edge material dramatically enhances your pergola’s insulation, enabling you to create a private and cozy retreat that’s warm even in the depths of winter.

5. Insulated Curtains or Shades

For those who want a blend of style and functionality, install insulated curtains or shades which offer an excellent solution for enclosing your pergola during the colder months.

These shade screens are ingeniously designed to trap warm air within fabric pockets. This creates a thermal barrier between your pergola’s transparent surfaces and the interior living space, providing an extra layer of heat retention.

Not only do these insulated shades proffer remarkable thermal attributes, but they also bestow upon you the inherent capacity to masterfully manipulate the quantum of luminosity penetrating your pergola.

Thus, whether one encounters torrential downpours, blustering gales, or the frigidity emblematic of the winter solstice, these shades adeptly transmogrify your pergola into an enduring place, replete with an air of enigmatic allure and a beguilingly mutable ambiance.

6. Clear Vinyl Tarps

For a solution that offers both visibility and protection, clear vinyl tarps stand as a noteworthy option for enclosing your pergola in winter. This option lets you maintain an unobstructed view of your outdoor space while simultaneously providing a barrier against winter’s harsh elements.

The clear vinyl siding is particularly effective against heavy rain and wind, allowing you to enjoy your pergola year-round. Its installation process is generally straightforward, making it one of the more affordable options for many homeowners looking to spend time outdoors even in the colder months.

With this, you achieve the best of both worlds – visibility and protection, without compromising on design aesthetics or the cozy retreat you’ve created.

How Do I Make My Pergola Warmer?

While enclosing your pergola for the winter months significantly contributes to maintaining heat within the structure, achieving a truly warm and cozy retreat might require an additional heat source.

Consider installing a dedicated outdoor heater or even a clean-burning indoor wood burner to elevate the temperature of your pergola after covering it with insulation.

These options provide immediate warmth and can be especially beneficial during colder months when even well-insulated curtains and shade screens might fall short. An added bonus is the inviting ambiance that a wood burner can offer, making your pergola a go-to spot for relaxation all year round.


As we’ve explored, there are multiple enclosed pergola options today that can transform your outdoor space into a comfortable and cozy retreat during the winter months. From advanced solutions like double-glazed glass panels to more traditional methods like wooden paneling, the choices are diverse to suit various design aesthetics and budgets.

Adding heat sources like outdoor heaters or wood burners can further enhance your experience, allowing you to enjoy your pergola year-round.

By carefully considering your specific needs and the various options available, you can successfully create a welcoming outdoor living space that provides shelter, warmth, and relaxation, regardless of the season.

  • Alex

    Alex is a backyard enthusiast and skilled DIYer. Through his blog, “BusyBuildingThings,” he shares practical tips and creative ideas to help you transform your outdoor space. Join Alex on this journey of backyard improvement and unlock the potential of your oasis.

    Alex P.