Pergola Construction

Secrets to Successful Pergola Design

If a Pergola Construction is going to have any chance of improving the value to your home as well as the quality of your outdoor living - then you can't compromise on the quality of materials and workmanship.

The Secrets to the success of a long lasting garden structure will not only depend on your availiable home improvement and financing budget which will be reflected in the type of lumber you choose to use, but also by the way that you put it all together.

This is one project that you can either contract out to a team of qualified, experienced and insured local builders or you can choose - with careful planning - to do yourself, as long as you do it right.

picture of pergola construction

Pergola Construction Secret Nº. 1

Choosing Your Timber

Your choice of timber has got to look right for your home - the finished result should look like it was always meant to be there - if a red toned timber is too strong a look for your home, consider the more subtle tones of cedar or opt for a pressure treated lumber that you can stain any color or tone.

Not all homes look right with the country timber look - in more modern environments a white vinyl pergola looks much more at home

Budget Pine Pergola

It's easy to choose your timber by price if you are working on a tight budget - the type of wood that is most readily available everywhere is usually pressure treated timber from the Pine family provided from replenished forests.

Pine is quite a soft wood so is easy to cut to size, but this does mean that it needs careful looking after with yearly protection from heavy use, the elements and insects. One advantage of pine is that it can be easily stained to any color or tone so you can still get that redwood or cedar look.

Mainenance Free Vinyl Pergola

If you are looking for a maintenance free option for your Pergola you won't be dissapointed with a vinyl pergola. The best vinyl pergolas are made of solid treated pine which has a vinyl coating which results in a really durable and stable material which is ideal for outdoor structures.

Vinyl that is made with UV inhibitors ingrained in the material instead of just covered with a coating - will help the white stay white or the color maintain its tone longer.

A Vinyl Pergola Kit provides one of the easiest ways to build this long lasting virtually maintenance free garden structure.

Quality Redwood Pergola

When someone says that they have an outdoor structure that has lasted for many years, it's usually made of Redwood or Cedar - the reason being that these timbers have natural qualities that actually help repel moisture and insects making them an ideal choice for outdoor projects.

Redwood costs more than other renewable timbers, especially the cinnamon red tone of 'Contruction Heart' which is from the center of the tree - but it has natural qualities mean that all your hard work could result in your garden structure lasting, with due care and attention - for upwards of 50 years - as long as you also use suitable quality hardware.

- another pergola timber option is a quality cedar timber - which, depending on the availability of redwood verses cedar in your area - should come out at a slightly lower budget cost. Many homeowners prefer the softer wood tones of cedar for outdoor liviong space construction.

Pergola Construction Secret Nº. 2

Pergola Posts

A pergola construction is often built as a deck with pergola or to provide a shaded cover to a patio area.

How you connect your pergola posts to the ground is key to it's stability.

The best and usual practice is cemented in Pergola Footings - it takes time and effort to carefully measure out and dig deep post holes - mix the cement - check the posts for plumb - and patience to wait for the cement to "go off" or harden - but it's worth it.

An attached deck with pergola is always going to be more stable if the pergola is attached to the wall of your home and extends out to cemented in posts.

Using hardware to secure your pergola posts through decking boards and into the stronger joists below is becoming a popular option - mainly because it is a lot quicker and easier to do - but it is not going to provide as stable a pergola construction as posts that are cemented into the ground...

- and what if you have a problem with your decking boards - are you going to dismantle your pergola to replace a plank of wood on your deck !

Pergola Construction Secret Nº. 3

Pergola Joints

How you put your pergola posts and beams together may depend on the time available for construction, so Secret Nº. 3 is to plan ahead and give this project the time it deserves - so that you can really work on giving a professional finish to your post and beam joints and even notch in your rafters.

If your aim is to throw up a pergola as fast as you can over the weekend, your can't be overly concerned by the possible asset value of the structure or how long it's going to last.

A quality pergola kit that is correctly precut to size and notched and predrilled is the only way an inexperienced crew of at least two people can put together a pergola construction on preprepared ground in the minimum of time. Read our Pergola Kit Review to find out your different pergola construction kit options.

However, if your aim is to build a pergola construction from scratch - that will compliment your home and could well last for generations, it's well worth taking that little bit longer to notch and counterbore your timber.

Building a Pergola is a great project that gives immediate results in how it enhances your home and how you and your family can further enjoy your outdoor living spaces, BUT Please remember...

  • before you start any home improvement and financing project - to always read and understand the instructions of any power tools you use and to always wear your safety gear as advised.
  • always use sealant on any freshly cut timber - so after you have carefully cut out your notch - protect each and every the new wood surface.
  • only use quality fixtures, bolts and scews that are recommended for the type of wood your use.

As long as you are determined to build a Pergola Construction to code - that compliments your home, that is made of quality materials and of a well designed pergola building plan, this should turn out to be a successful home improvement project that you and all the family can really enjoy.

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