Building a Pergola

Mickey | Home Improvement | Sunday, December 19th, 2010

To build a pergola, it is often prudent to acquire a set of plans or a kit. Pergolas are seen in yards and gardens of all types, but do not come pre-assembled due to their large size. Fortunately, a pergola is one of the easiest outdoor structures you could build. Once plans have been bought, one must do some planning to determine exactly how they want the final result to look. The shape and style of the pergola can be changed to match your intended style. For example, many different types of woods can be used in the building process, including pine and cedar. The wood species of cedar is highly desired for its strength and beautiful gray color it turns into over time.

Pergolas are more for decoration than they are for function. The reason for this is that they do not offer a lot of overhead protection. The top of a pergola is made from a system of cross braces which leave a good majority of the top open to the air. Even when plants are grown over the top, little rain protection is provided. This concept has been used for years to create interesting pathway overhangs that link pavilions and courtyards. A pergola is simply a smaller version of these structures.

Pergolas stand freely and can support a good amount of weight. Four support columns hold up the top and are secured into the ground. Securing the legs is done in one of two ways. You can either dig a concrete-filled hole for each leg or bolt the legs down to a concrete foundation. Either way is viable. Try using textured or colored concrete to take the industrial edge off of the concrete. In addition to wood, metal and plastic pergolas are available too. These types are more difficult to manufacture at home and should be purchased in pergola kits.

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