Finding the perfect pergola is the perfect solution to adding to your outdoor living space. Are you looking for such qualities as comfortable, protected, or relaxing? A pergola is an extension to your outdoor living area. It serves its purpose by allowing you to design a nice shady area that can be used for whatever purpose you would like, as well as provide a safe haven in your garden. A pergola also provides a light, airy and inviting space for people to gather, and for entertainment purposes as well.
A pergola has a simply design and can be an easy DIY project for those of you who are handy with tools and construction. Pergolas are close relatives to arbors, and can be either freestanding or attached to a structure, such as your home.
You can do many creative things with a pergola. One of the most popular is to plant climbing vines or roses along the columns or posts, or add outdoor holiday lights for special occasions, or anytime that you need them to add a little sparkle to the night. Japanese lanterns, as well as some of the more popular pergola lights such as, solar garden lights, or types of patio lighting will add a special touch to your outdoor living spaces. Another neat idea, is to run colored fabric streamers through the rafters to create a soft, flowing effect, as well as aid in the protection from rain. Don’t leave out the option of colorful paint. This can be very effective if your pergola is a freestanding one that is set out in your yard. It will serve as a colorful focal point that will liven up your landscape. A pergola is the perfect structure for such embellishments, so be creative and design one that fits your individual style.
If you are thinking of building a pergola yourself, you can do that very easily. If you cannot find a plan for a pergola, get a simple plan for an Arbor, as it will have the same layout and basic construction guidelines. You will need to decide if it will be placed as a nice shady walkway next to your home, or, as a nice shady retreat that will be freestanding.
If you use an arbor plan, all you will have to do is to make the dimensions larger, as a pergola is just a larger version of an arbor. The main task in building a pergola will be digging the post holes that hold up the pergola, installing the beams across the top, and attaching the rafters and the cross strips.
*Tip- If you are enlarging an existing arbor plan, or if you are following a plan for building a pergola and are attempting to lengthen it, make sure that you don’t spread the vertical beams more than 8 ft.
Finishes on Your Pergola
You will have the choice to either finish the wood with a sealant, or to paint it. A stain may also be applied to the wood before it is sealed if that is what you have chosen. You may also choose to let the wood age and turn a gray color naturally.
Then the fun part comes-decorating and embellishing your pergola. If you want something more elegant looking, you might decide to plant some nice plants along side the posts and allow them to grow up the posts up and along the rafters. This is a good idea, especially if you live in a warm climate without harsh winters. Climbing roses, and Bougainvillea are great climbers that will do well for this purpose. You can choose any of your favorite climbers for this purpose. There are many different flowering vines and plants that will also work. You might want to take a trip to a local nursery and see what they might suggest, as some plants will thrive better in your area.
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