Don’t Chase the Shade

Roof Top Shade

One of my favorite memories about my pug Pegi is how much she despised the heat – I mean despised it! During the summer when we’d take her on a walk she would run ahead to the shade, wait for us to catch up, stay there as we walked past, then run to the next bit of shade. Truth. Hand to God.

And when there are days like this for us humans it’s gonna take more than a spot of shade to beat the heat!

So rather than wax poetically about this, here’s the punch line.

These are our top 5 solutions for beating the heat when you have a pergola.



The endless options for pattern on these fixed panels creates a unique respite from the sun.

Roof Top Pergola


When the heat is too much, grab the “wand” and slide the panels where you’d like to have them. There are different options for fabric color too.

Roof Top Pergola


Fixed in place, depending on the time of day, these louvers will minimize the heat by creating dappled shade.

Roof Top Louvers


With a click of a button (or as a reaction to the the weather) the louvers will open and close providing instant shade.

Roof Top StruXure


One of the more interesting and creative solutions that we’ve designed and installed are the moving panels. Using a “wand” the panels slide forward and backward to block the sun.

Roof Top Moving Panels

Beating the heat is no joke when you’re a pug . . . that’s for shizzle. But it’s even more fun when you’re human!

Can’t stand not having the outdoor space of your dreams? Can’t stand not having respite from the sun? Then now is the time to contact us and we’ll walk you through our process. 

Loving living beautifully outdoors!


You CAN Have It Your Way!

StruXure and Topiarius Rooftop Pergola

Not only does Burger King believe you should have your hamburger your way, StruXure does too. (I mean a 1974 reference is still relevant, right?)

This past winter Topiarius became a certified designer and installer of StruXure pergolas and accessories. After a few installations this past year, we realized that because it’s such a well-built and creative system, that we needed this product in our installation portfolio.

StruXure pergolas are 100% customizable and that flexibility allows any client to have a configuration that integrates with their overall home design while integrating state of the art accessories and features. The overall structure is powder-coated aluminum, which helps with weight load on rooftops and is extremely rust resistant and low maintenance.

The pivoting louver system is the highlight. Because of its smart capabilities it can open and close based on the weather. When winds are too high the wind sensor will automatically open the louvers to reduce the wind load on the pergola. When rain is detected, the pergola louvers automatically close. Don’t worry about snow and freezing water because, you guessed it, the louvers will adjust to prevent sticking and damage. The louvers can also be adjusted through an app on one’s phone, so if there’s too much sun or not enough, it can be adjusted as needed. If you really love technology, then you can utilize the voice-controlled commands.

The pergola can have different architectural elements that can help it integrate into the design of its location. (These pergolas work great in both residential and commercial locations.) There are options for corbel ends, cornices, column wraps, caps and bases. There are 6 standard colors, but custom colors and wood grains are also available to choose from.

As for the accessories. If you’re interested in lighting, fans, retractable sides and screens, and heating and cooling then it is easy to incorporate. The pergolas even allow Topiarius to provide our own unique design customizations.

Here’s a project – from before, in progress, to completion.

Rooftop Before

A standard rooftop in Chicago. Lovely umbrella, but just not enough to allow the level of outdoor living this family wants.


Work began over the winter. The StruXure pergola is able to span the width of the roof top.


The louvers and the recessed lighting are installed. On this project, Topiarius custom designed the metal panels that provide the privacy around the perimeter.


Rooftop begins to take shape with furniture and containers/plants. This family is going to be living outdoors more comfortably and more often!


Ta-Da! Finished and freaking awesome!

9 Practical Tips to Maximize Your Budget for Rooftops and Gardens

Outdoor Space Guide Topiarius

If you’re thinking about renovating your outdoor space, but aren’t sure where to begin, Topiarius can help. Click on The “No Surprises” Guide below for your free download.

In this article you’ll

  1. Learn how to prioritize spaces.
  2. Identify how you want to live in your outdoor space a MAJORITY of the time.
  3. Determine what views are the best.
  4. Understand the importance of roof construction.
  5. Learn how to incorporate water and gas sources.
  6. Think through your flexibility.
  7. See how your interior esthetic impacts your exterior design.
  8. Figure out your first steps in creating a budget.
  9. Learn how different landscape design companies are organized.