Homeowners Trade Palapa for Poolside Pavilion by Archadeck of SW Houston in Friendswood, TX

We are thrilled to show off this poolside shade pavilion we recently designed and built in Friendswood, TX. Even the greatest outdoor structures need to be replaced when they display a certain amount of wear and tear, which was the case here. The homeowners’ poolside palapa had seen better days. It was time for a change.

For those who don’t know, the palapa is a shade structure with a thatched roof made of palm leaves, bamboo, reeds or grasses. In addition to its function of providing shade, the palapa lends a tropical ambiance to an outdoor living space, whether that is residential or commercial. You may have seen palapas at restaurants, bars or resorts. The palapa is similar to a tiki hut, but the difference is a palapa is open on all sides, while a tiki hut is usually enclosed with walls on the sides. Just a technicality!


— Before Archadeck of SW Houston began the project

Either way, when the thatched roof is made of natural materials, after 4-6 years the thatched covering needs to be replaced with fresh thatch. In the case of this Friendswood property, however, the homeowners decided to start fresh with a completely new poolside pavilion made from wood and stone. For this project, they called on patio builder Archadeck of Southwest Houston to design and build the new shade structure they wanted on their patio.

New Structure, New Roof

Rather than a thatched roof, we built a gabled roof detached covered porch with shingles to match the roof on the client’s home. The structure is made of beautiful, warm cedar stained to give it a golden hue. The roof is supported by large beams on all four sides with a ridge beam running from front to back under the peak of the gabled roof. At either end of the open gable you can see a W-shape made of short beams. The vertical beam in the center supports the ridge beam, and the additional pieces on each side provide a decorative accent.

Looking up from the interior, the ceiling is made of beautiful tongue and groove cedar with a light stain. We added recessed can lighting and a ceiling fan with a nostalgic, lantern-like light fixture.

Stone for Stone, the “It Was Always There” Look

Supporting the roof and beams are four hefty cedar posts with the lower portion of each post wrapped in stone. We were able to match the style and color variations of the clients’ stone patio to visually tie the new structure in with the existing stone patio. As with all of our outdoor living structures, we wanted to make the new shade pavilion look original to the home.

The new poolside pavilion is freestanding and similar to a pergola but designed to provide complete shade as a poolside refuge for enjoyment on sunny days. It’s spacious inside with room for lounging, grilling and dining, depending on what type of furniture the homeowners add to give their new outdoor living space some indoor comforts for outdoors.

Are you looking for a way to increase shade and comfort on your Southwest Houston patio? Or maybe you need us to build the patio, too! Contact us today to schedule your free outdoor living design consultation. Call us at (713) 391-8613 or email us at [email protected].


David Herbert, Owner, Archadeck of Southwest Houston

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