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Patio Shade & Outdoor Oasis Made Possible With a Pergola

“The Derecho” hit back in 2020. A storm term that many had not even heard of prior to that day in August, but boy, one that no one here in the Midwest will ever forget.

While the storm ravaged through almost the entire state of Iowa, no one was hit quite as hard as people in the Cedar Rapids area. The storm’s 120mph winds leveled businesses, sheared off roofs, and toppled hundred-year-old trees. Some couldn’t even leave their homes for days as roads were impassable after the storm. It forever changed the landscape of these affected areas.

Life moves forward though; the debris was removed, and structures rebuilt. One thing that became noticeably absent for many however, was the loss of shade and tree cover now that their mature trees were gone. These trees provided shade to outdoor patios and privacy between backyards. Suddenly all these homes were missing a big part of the character and necessity that the tree cover had provided.

A solution that some are now finding in their quest for shade and privacy is an outdoor structure like a pergola!

Vinyl & Aluminum Pergola over a patio in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Vines are growing on pergola.

This was the exact case for these homeowners in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Living in an older home, they were surround by giant beautiful trees that secluded their well manicured backyard and kept the heat of the summer sun at bay. After the trees were gone, sitting on the patio in the midday sun was hot and unbearable. As a couple who loved their outdoor gardens and patio, they needed something to create relief and make their patio usable again. They found that in a freestanding pergola installed by Lovewell.

White vinyl pergola on a patio next to a home in Cedar Rapids, IA

This freestanding pergola was installed to help create a patio cover for outdoor enjoyment as well as cutting down on the heat that would pour into their home. The optional fan mount was also added which helps generate even more circulation on stagnant days.

Pergolas are outdoor structures, either free standing or attached on one side to your home. It provides an overhead roof structure that typically is not solid but is created with beams, louvres or grids.

A pergola adds a lot of character, style and charm to your outdoor living space, shade to escape the strong summer sun, and a defined area for outdoor dining, pool side retreat or a cozy gathering space to visit.

Aerial view of a patio pergola in Cedar Rapids, IA

Lovewell Fence & Deck installs Heartland Pergolas. A vinyl and aluminum pergola that is known for strength, durability and longevity. Heartland Pergolas is a sister company of Lovewell Fencing, Inc. We have a team that fabricates all of our pergolas right here in our Midwest shop. Lovewell Fence & Deck installs these pergolas for all local Iowa & Illinois customers, but they became so popular that they are also sold and shipped nationwide under the Heartland Pergola name!

The benefit of our Heartland Pergolas over competitor structures comes down to a few key features.

  1. Materials – The exterior is made of low-maintenance vinyl, while all posts, rafters and beams have an aluminum insert that makes our pergolas robust. Vinyl pergolas lacking any kind of internal structure can’t handle the force of strong winds, so even a modest thunderstorm may leave your pergola in a heap. A vinyl pergola with wood inserts will add strength, but as we know, wood rots, sags, & warps over time which leaves you with a pergola that may only last several years.

  2. Angled Shade Purlins – What is a purlin? Rather than just beams that run across the top or a lattice style roof, our pergolas use angled vinyl slats which create shade under the structure.

  3. Lightweight – Compared to wood pergolas, vinyl & aluminum are lighter materials despite their strength. This makes them ideal for installing on decks without having to add extensive structural reinforcement.

  4. Customizations – Because we fabricate our own pergolas, we can create a structure that is custom fit to your space! L-Shapes, following along angles of a deck or patio, working around bump outs in your home’s exterior, etc. You aren’t just limited to a perfect square.

  5. Lifetime Warranty – Because of the strength of materials used in our Pergolas, we know our pergolas will last for decades to come.

Tan freestanding pergola on a deck
Free standing deck pergola in Sandstone Tan

White free standing patio pergola with added lattice privacy panel
White free standing patio pergola with added lattice privacy panel

White custom designed pergola on patio below a deck
The purlins (angled slats) on the roof create the shade below from overhead sun.

White attached pergola on a deck with posts integrated into the deck railing
White attached pergola on a deck with posts integrated into the deck railing


Are you lacking shade for your home after the derecho or series of strong storms since?

Or are you looking to elevate the aesthetics of your outdoor living space?

A pergola installed by Lovewell may just be the perfect option for your home. Estimates our free and installation only takes 1-2 days in most cases.

Give us a call!

563-391-7025 | 319-351-9996


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