The story of how Tile Merchant began selling Pergolas
Living in Ireland, it’s hard to escape the fact that the climate often seems to be working against us. Whilst we might enjoy a few weeks of hard sun, open, cloudless skies, and easy breezes in summer, most of the time we have to contend with some pretty undesirable weather conditions. Whether it’s snow and ice in winter, harsh, salty winds by the coast, storm weather or just plain old rain, we have to put up with a lot more than would someone living, say, on the Mediterranean.
Still, just because we’ve made Ireland our home shouldn’t deprive us of enjoying our gardens as much as our Mediterranean cousins. This, at least, was the mindset of our Sales Manager Aisling when she set out to renovate and redesign her back garden.
The story: Aisling went on the hunt for a pergola for her garden… and ran into a problem
Aisling was looking to open up her house to the gentle light and lush greenery which she enjoyed across the 100 square metres of her back garden. Problem is, with Ireland’s weather as it is, you can’t just build a veranda and call the job a good one. Neither would it be ideal to build a conservatory and just open it to the elements. Whilst either renovation might work well during those rare dry months, they’d be effectively redundant throughout the rest of the year, and the money you’d put into them would never pay itself off.
But Aisling knew what she wanted to do – she wanted to purchase a pergola for her garden. A pergola, if you haven’t had the fortune of sitting under one before, can either act like a permanent awning attached to the side of your house, or a standalone gazebo, with open sides and a roof on top. The really unique aspect to the very best pergolas, however, is that they come with roofs which you can open and close, adjusting to the weather as it suits you, rather than having to submit to the mercy of the elements.
An open-close roofed pergola enables you to sit out in your garden and enjoy the outdoors all year round, no matter what Ireland’s climate throws at you. It’s the perfect installation if you’re looking to really make the most out of a large garden.
Thus, Aisling went on the hunt for a pergola for her garden… and immediately ran into a problem
Sales Manager Aisling had in mind a sleek, modern, colourful pergola to compliment her newly installed patio tiling. However, the only pergolas readily available on the Irish market were made of wood. These wooden pergolas would have required painting in order to suit her garden’s palette (making the cost of them even dearer), and on top of this would have required expensive, laborious annual maintenance just to ensure that they didn’t rot at the first hint of rain. (To read about the benefits of versatile, durable, and long-lasting composite wood versus natural wood, head to our blog article here).
Aisling was forced to turn to a number of carpenters, hoping that building a pergola from scratch might solve her problems. Unfortunately, quotes for construction started at €3,500, and this was before painting! A fully painted wooden pergola (which again would require annual maintenance) was going to cost Aisling some €4,500, before she even started thinking about the costs of maintenance. No good. What’s more, wooden pergolas were basic, and had no open-close roof, drastically reducing their adaptability.
Wood, Aisling decided, was not going to work. This realisation caused her to start looking for an elegant aluminium pergola – a material which would require next to no maintenance, and could be readily built to suit her desired sleek, modern style, right down to the colour. Aluminium pergolas, moreover, tended to come with roofs which you could open and close. The only drawback? The quote Aisling received for an aluminium pergola was €27,000! The cost of a brand-new car!
Now, of course, garden renovation can be quite expensive, and Aisling knew she’d have to invest the right money to get the right product. Still, at that price installing a durable, versatile, and attractive pergola was put completely out of the reach of all but the wealthiest homeowners. Being the Manager of Tile Merchant’s sales department, Aisling strongly believes that garden and home renovation – including the installation of a pergola – should be accessible to everyone.
Following her many trials and tribulations, therefore, Aisling eventually found herself in a meeting with the CEO of Tile Merchant, to whom she proposed they source affordable, modern, aluminium pergolas, which they could then sell on the Tile Merchant website. After a series of video-calls and virtual-meetings with some of the industry’s top business leaders in Asia, Aisling and her CEO finally settled on just the right pergolas, with just the right colours, and just the right systems.
This is the story of how Pergolux™ Pergolas landed in the Tile Merchant store.
What Are The Benefits Of A Pergola?
With the introduction of Pergolux™, pergolas have proved a hit on the Irish market, and have become the latest trend in the most modern and attractive of Irish gardens. Thanks to the shelter provided by their open-close roofs, you can extend the indoor sanctuary of your home to the outdoors, blending the very best aspects of both worlds. With a pergola, you no longer need to wait for the sun to come out to enjoy your garden!
Installing a pergola transforms your garden, creating and re-defining its space. You can use a pergola to create a dedicated BBQ area, outdoor-dining area, a music-listening lounge or an outdoor cinema, you name it! The only limit is your imagination. Pergolas are not only perfect for a romantic night under the stars with your partner, but can also play host to large parties and gatherings, regardless of the weather.
In addition to the obvious protection and shelter a pergola with roof provides from typical Irish rain and wind, they also offer much-needed shade during those hot summer months, ensuring that no one need suffer sunburn, and that you can enjoy the close heat of summer, only exposing yourself to direct sunlight when you want to. Our pergolas also come with optional side screens, which can be lowered on one or several sides to shield you from the very worst weather.
If you’re concerned about privacy, then fear not. Our pergolas, although open structures at first glance, can easily be transformed by equipping the side screens mentioned above. Keep how you and your family use your pergola space private, and out of the reach of prying eyes.
A final note on the benefits of a pergola. According to experts in the field, you can add as much as 20% extra value to the market price of your home, if you transform it with attractive landscaping. Carefully incorporating a versatile, aesthetically-pleasing aluminium pergola into a modern garden renovation can drastically increase the value of your property – an advantage to you whether you plan to sell or not, since it’s you who will be appreciating that new injection of beauty on a daily basis!
Here at Tile Merchant, we are extremely proud to now offer a range of pergolas which are not only easy to assemble and adjust, but are made of durable, long-lasting aluminium: the perfect remedy to the infamous Irish climate. Pergolux™ Pergolas offer modern elegance with all the benefits of weather-adaptability and practicality.
All of our Pergolux™ Pergolas are made from highly durable aluminium. Aluminium has an impressively long service life, meaning that your Pergolux™ Pergola will require very little maintenance, especially when compared to wooden pergolas. Aluminium is exceptionally resistant to corrosion and is extremely fire resistant, and as such you’ll never have to worry about rust or any other unsightly damage spoiling your otherwise perfect garden experience, and can use your BBQ under the shelter of the pergola without worrying about anything catching fire.
We currently offer two different pergolas in two different sizes, both infinitely more affordable than those previously found on the Irish market – the best pergola prices in Ireland, in fact – whilst never compromising on quality or style. For €2499.99 you can buy our 3m (length) x 3m (width) x 2.4m (height) version. Alternatively, for €2999.99 you can buy our 4m (length) x 3m (width) x 2.4m (height) version. Both are available in either white or grey, are minimalist and unimposing in style (so that they compliment your garden, rather than stick out in it), and can be equipped with side screens to offer even greater protection and shelter from the elements.
Each of them come equipped with unique tilting layered louvre systems, meaning you can easily open and close the pergola roof to achieve your desired level of sunlight or shade, in which you can relax and entertain. Furthermore, all of our models are equipped with a unique drainage system. When rain lands on the closed roof of your pergola, it is siphoned off into the channels of the pergola framework, and then drained into the four hollow legs, to be dispersed into the ground. The U-shape of the tilting louvre system also ensures that even if you open the roof when it’s wet, no water will be spilled onto you or your furnishings – instead it is also disposed of through the hollow legs.
Our Pergolux™ Pergolas are also easy to install. You’ll need 2-3 people to hold and support the frame during construction, but can do so simply by following our step-by-step assembly guide in about 90-120 minutes. Our pergolas can just as easily be disassembled and moved about your garden in future. We recommend you install your Pergolux™ Pergola on a flat, solid surface. Suitable surfaces include: a sturdy lawn, 20mm outdoor porcelain, natural stone paving, decking and/or cement. It is strongly recommended that all legs of the pergola are securely bolted to the floor using the holes on each leg base plate.
We recommend that you seek the advice or help of one of our professionals if you’re struggling to build the pergola yourself. You can contact us here.
Thanks to the journey of our Sales Manager Aisling, we’ve revolutionised the Irish outdoors market, introducing a stunning range of versatile, durable, and (most importantly) affordable pergolas so that anyone with the right size of garden can bring the indoors, outdoors.
With a budget friendly aluminium pergola you’ll never again have to factor the weather into your desire to sit outside and enjoy nature. Thanks to your pergola’s open-close louvre system, and optional side screens, you can indulge in the summer sun, host parties, or cuddle up under the gentle pitter-patter of rain on the roof, glass of wine or cup of tea in hand, at peace and in bliss in what is, essentially, your very own garden room.
To peruse our full range of modern pergolas for the outdoor area, click here.
Blog by Calum
Cal Bannerman is a freelance writer, editor, podcaster and voice actor from the Scottish Borders. They run the storytelling podcast “Stories from the Hearth”, and live in a wee Glasgow flat with their partner and cat.