How to Build a Pergola | Mitre 10 Easy As
How to Buy a Pergola
A pergola is a freestanding or attached outdoor structure that is supported with columns and has an open or latticed roof. As with a pavilion or gazebo, a pergola enhances the landscape surrounding it and can be used to entertain guests outdoors. If you’re interested in buying one, consider purpose, space, and structure, pick from different styles and materials, and finally install and accessorize your pergola.
Deciding on Purpose, Space, and Structure
Decide what you intend to use your pergola for.Pergolas are available in either freestanding or attached versions. Knowing the purpose of your pergola should help you figure out how much shade and privacy you’ll need. Use this information to determine which structure and location will be best for you.
- Attached pergolas can be attached to your house and used as small porches or to your deck to provide an area to entertain guests at a barbecue.
- Small freestanding pergolas can be placed in a garden and used like a trellis to grow vines upon. Larger freestanding pergolas can be used like gazebos.
- Pick a shady location to put your pergola if you’re using it to cover a dining area or hot tub.
Look into local regulations.Go online and look into permit requirements and local building laws before you buy your pergola. Depending on your area, there may be restrictions on where and how you can build your pergola legally. You may find that you have to obtain a construction permit in order to install your pergola.
- Living in a bushfire-prone area, for example, may significantly limit your material options.
Consider your roofing and shading options.Once you’ve decided on your pergola’s purpose, as well as whether or not you intend to grow climbing plants on it, you’ll need to think about how close together your rafters should be. More rafters set tighter together at perpendicular angles provide more shade, but less space for vegetation to grow into.
- A latticed roof is the best, most cost-efficient option if you want to maximize shade and privacy under your pergola.
Measure the area to determine the size you should get.As pergolas are rectangular structures, you need to define the length and width of the pergola you want, whether you decide to get a freestanding or attached one.
- Factor in the size of your yard. It might look silly or odd to have a tiny pergola in a giant yard or a huge pergola in a small space.
- If you’re putting your pergola on an existing patio, measure the length and width of the patio’s surface.
Decide how you’d like to attach your posts.It’s very important that your pergola is secure. You can either secure the pergola posts on a concrete slab or by sticking them into the ground. When deciding this, it’s best to keep in mind what you’d like to use the pergola for.
- If you plan to secure the posts by putting them into the ground, make sure that you purchase a pergola with posts that stand slightly taller than you want.
Customizing Your Pergola
Go natural with a wooden pergola.Choose to get a pergola made of wood if you want to enhance the natural environment. Wood is always a safe choice for any outdoor setting, because it easily fits in.
- A cedar pergola will repel insects, repel water, give off a nice aroma, and resist decay.
- Redwood pergolas are desirable because of their strength and attractive appearance.
- If you’ve got a higher budget, go with pressure treated oak, fir, pine, or bamboo.
Get a metal pergola to add antique or modern flair.Depending on the type of metal you choose, metal pergolas can accentuate a variety of styles, including both traditional and more modern. Go with either wrought iron, aluminum, or steel.
- Wrought iron pergolas are typically both the most expensive and most ornate choice.
- Choose steel if you want your pergola to stand strong for a long period of time.
- Aluminum pergolas are popular because they’re inexpensive, sturdy, and lightweight.
Choose vinyl as an easy, lightweight, affordable option.In recent years, vinyl has become a more popular material choice. Vinyl is cheaper, more lightweight, and easier to clean than the other options. You would only have to spray down a vinyl pergola with a garden hose from time to time to keep it looking good, and you won’t have to worry about any cracks forming.
- Most vinyl pergolas are white, but you can also find them in gray, tan, and other colors.
Make a statement with a Tuscan style pergola.If you’re wanting to add a “wow” factor to your yard, consider getting a Tuscan style pergola. Its large, round pillars and stone material leave a lavish impression on guests.
- The stone material makes this style an expensive option, so if you’re working with a small budget, consider getting a Tuscan style that uses materials other than the traditional stone.
Complement your koi pond with a Japanese style.If you already have a koi pond or a small asian-inspired garden, then a Japanese style pergola would be a great choice. This style is characterized by its wooden beams that curve upward, similar to many other pieces of Japanese architecture.
Add handmade charm to your backyard with an Amish pergola.Go for an Amish pergola if you appreciate one-of-a-kind quality woodwork. If you get this style, your pergola will have a distinct grain and coloration unlike any other, and will provide a quaint addition to your yard.
Create height with an arched pergola.Arched pergolas are both stylish and functional. If you want a bigger pergola used as both an impressive focal point and for functional coverage, this may be the best option.
Customize the details of your pergola.Especially if you’re wanting a specific, unique pergola that you can’t just assemble with a kit, you’ll need to make a note of each and every detail. Decide on the size of the corner posts, the size of the lattices, and how much the pergola's roof should overhang the corner posts.
- This is especially necessary if you’re wanting a very large, very small, or uniquely shaped (round or triangular) pergola.
- Keep in mind that customization prices add up quickly.
Installing and Accessorizing Your Pergola
Install your pergola yourself.Pergola kits include all the materials you'll need to assemble your pergola in a short time. The posts and latticework are usually already pre-cut to the lengths you need and notched for quick assembly. You will pay more, however, for this convenience, and you will need to have the tools necessary to assemble it.
- This option will save you a little bit of money because you won’t have to pay for labor.
- If you already have the tools and experience necessary to completely construct the pergola yourself, you can instead build the pergola from scratch.
Hire a professional to install your pergola.You can custom-design a pergola using an online retailer's web-based design tools. You'll be asked about the architecture of your home and offered options to design a pergola that fits with the architecture. Depending on the options you choose, a custom-design pergola can cost about the same as a prefabricated kit or significantly more than one.
Add accessories to your pergola.Lighting, ceiling fans, and awnings can all add to a pergola's attractiveness and usefulness. However, these accessories each come with an extra cost. Some accessories require supporting materials, such as solar panels or electric wiring, that may impact where you can place your pergola or how it should be designed in order to accommodate them.
- If you plan on using your pergola to entertain guests at night, add in a lighting feature to enhance the ambiance.
QuestionCan I secure a pergola by just anchoring the support beams to my cement patio?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can secure a pergola to an already existing cement patio. The best way to do this is with hammer set fasteners. You can also secure a pergola to a wooden deck by using 90 degree strap brackets.Thanks!
QuestionHow much do pergolas cost?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe price of a pergola depends on several different factors, including the size and material it's made out of. Installing the pergola yourself will knock the price down a little. Typically, pergolas cost between ,000 and ,000.Thanks!
- Certain plants are better to use than others if you intend for your garden plants to climb the pergola like a trellis. Good suggestions include grape vines, clematis, hops, and honeysuckle.
- Depending upon the size of pergola and the materials used, your pergola may cost anywhere from 00-00 USD to construct. Consider the cost of maintenance and upkeep as well before deciding if a pergola is right for you.
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